Ask Sail: No-Go Engine

My Catalina 40 has a Westerbeke 42B diesel engine with less than 800 hours. After a head-gasket repair, the engine was put back into the boat...
Author:
Publish date:

Jim Wilson of Heathsville, Virginia, asks:

My Catalina 40 has a Westerbeke 42B diesel engine with less than 800 hours. After a head-gasket repair, the engine was put back into the boat. Since then the engine dies when put into reverse while the boat is moving, apparently due to being “over-loaded.” It goes easily into reverse at the dock, but has no power. With the transmission out of gear, it revs easily. A diver checked the prop and bottom, and found no problems. 

Nigel Calder replies:

First you need to determine if this is an engine or transmission problem. With the boat tied off at a dock, open up the engine compartment and have someone put the boat in forward and throttle it up. Look for the mechanism that moves the fuel rack on the engine to throttle up. Do the same in reverse. If the fuel rack goes through the same motion, then the problem is in the transmission. If, however, the fuel rack does not move, there’s a problem in the shift and throttle mechanism. I think you’ll find this is the culprit. If not, it sounds like your reverse gear is more or less seized up, but this is unlikely. 

NigelCalder

Related

07n_45R2699

Multihull Sailor: Classic Cats

If you’re looking for a decent sub-40ft cruising cat, you have few choices when it comes to new-boat offerings. It is a well-known fact that the multihull market has taken off in a way very few could have predicted. Despite Hurricane Irma’s recent destruction of a large part of ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Thanks a bunch  This scene is very calm and seamanlike. No frantic rope throwing or shouting. As he passes the line to the gent on the dock, the crew on the boat says, quietly and clearly, “Would you ...read more

mcarthy-and-mouse

Experience: McCarthy and the Mouse

Sitting at the helm in a light breeze, my arms crusted with a fine rime of salt, my skin so dry I’d lost my fingerprints, I heard a clatter and a curse from below. There were only three of us a thousand miles from shore and only one on watch at a time. Usually, the off watch lay ...read more

2018-giftGuide

2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Brass Yacht Lamp Does someone on your gift list spend the whole winter missing the warm days on the water? Let them bring a little bit of nautical atmosphere home with this new lamp from Weems & Plath. The glass enclosure means the flame cannot be blown out even by ...read more

image001

Opinion: On Not Giving Up Sailing

E.B. White was 64 when he wrote his now-famous essay “The Sea and the Wind That Blows,” which begins as a romantic paean to sailing and then drifts, as if spun around by a pessimistic eddy of thought, into a reflection on selling his boat. Does an aging sailor quit while he’s ...read more

1812-JeanneaueNewsVideo

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 410

Designed by Marc Lombard, the Sun Odyssey 410 shares much in common with her older siblings including of course, the walk-around deck. Other features that set the 410 apart from other models being introduced this year include the 410’s “negative bow” shape allowing for a longer ...read more

shutterstock_698968441

Cruising: The Bahamas

“The ‘Explorer’ chartbooks. All three.” “An unlocked phone. But good luck with BTC.” “Spam. It’s ‘spensive there!” These were just a few suggestions we received from fellow sailors who had cruised the Bahamas when we asked how to best prepare for the trip. In fact, several ...read more