Spare Engine Parts
Journeying sailors depend on their engines a great deal more than they like to admit. Although the internet has helped close the gap between parts providers and cruising sailors in far corners of the world, the long-term cruiser nevertheless needs to thoroughly consider which spare components and supplies he needs to carry with him.
We found fuel filter components all over the world, but obtaining the quantity and micron ranking we needed to have was no guarantee. Remember that you have at the very least a couple of filters: a remote main filter in between the tank and the engine, as well as a factory-installed secondary filter on the engine itself.
Suggested service intervals for fuel injectors vary by manufacturer, but fuel contamination as well as carbon accumulation is such a typical issue that numerous cruising sailors carry at least one extra injector. If you bring a full set (certainly not cheap) you can still operate your boat while your injectors are being cleaned and serviced. (In the Caribbean, we mailed ours back to the U.S. for servicing).
In case you’re picky about engine oil– and you should be– you might find your preferred oil in some countries. In some cases it is actually available under a different name, and with a little research you could sort this out. Generally speaking, you’ll manage to find diesel engine oil with the specified American Petroleum Institute (API) certification or its equivalent practically everywhere you can buy fuel. For long-term cruising, carry a minimum for six changes, or about 600 hours of engine operation.
Oil filters are another concern. There are a lot of selections of oil filters in the world that it pays to do a little research. In Vanuatu, we discovered Napa filters that corresponded our Volvo filters but cost much less, but, once again, if you go this particular course you really want to make sure you are getting the right filter. The moment you do find the right filters, purchase them. They’re a lot harder to find than engine oil.
You’ll need spare V-belts with regard to you alternator, particularly if it’s the high-output kind. It is nearly impossible to evaluate the quality of a V-belt simply by looking, and when you leave the US, it’s harder to locate the industrial-rated V-belts that you need for high-output alternators. Most belts you locate abroad are fractional-horsepower automotive belts that won’t last long driving a 100-amp alternator, even if you have a dual-belt-drive system (extremely suggested high output alternators).
Most likely one of the most neglected component of the power train is the gearbox. Gearbox fluid does not last forever, but how frequently should you change it? A few engine owner’s manuals don’t even give replacement intervals. Mechanics Nick talked with said the oil in a common two-shaft gearbox, such as the Hurth, should be changed at least at every other engine oil change, or 200 hours of operation. This is simply a preliminary list, but it deals with the most common items.
Raritan is still the most dependable name on the water when it comes to reliability, service and innovation.