Sailing to the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean 1500

Preparing For The Voyage (continued)

Installing The New Engine

Here are some pictures of Night Heron getting a new engine, only three weeks before our departure date. The engine is a modern Cummins diesel that is significantly smaller, lighter, and more powerful than the old Ford Lehman engine that it replaced. To save money, this is a remanufactured engine, which might normally raise some questions. However, the remanufacturing process is very conservative and is done by Cummins at the main Cummins factory, plus the engine carries a Cummins warranty. The people doing the work are the first-rate technicians from Full Throttle Marine, operating out of Tidewater Marina in Portsmouth, Virginia. Jeff was very satisfied with their work.

Two views of the new engine swinging in the breeze while technicians prepared to lower it into the main hatch. Click on the right-hand picture to see a bigger version; use your browser's "back" command to return here.

Down the hatch it goes! It fit easily enough, since it's smaller than the old engine. Click on the left-hand picture to see a bigger version; use your browser's "back" command to return here.

Two views of the massive aluminum A-frame and girder that supported the engine as it was being lowered. Once they lowered the engine through the hatch using the crane, they set up the A-frame on blocks of wood to spread the load. The A-frame girder has a chain hoist that was attached to the engine, and after taking up the load on the chain hoist, the crane cable was removed. Then they used the A-frame chain hoist to lower the engine into the bilge space.

Working on the new engine in the bilge space. Night Heron has a very spacious bilge that can accommodate lots of equipment (or people). In the right-hand picture the engine is supported on temporary wooden blocks, since before they can fabricate engine mounts they have to properly position the engine and measure the required engine mount size.

We're not yet done with our voyage preparations; the work continues on the next page.

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