Engine Operating Information
Cassiopeia's 55 HP Volvo diesel engine burns about 3 litres per hour at 2400 rpm. The 210 litre fuel tank provides a maximum cruising range of about 70 hours or 420 nautical miles under engine power only. This is under ideal conditions and risks running the furnace or engine out of fuel. When that happens, the systems may be difficult to restart, even after refuelling.
Always keep a reserve of at least 50% above estimates to allow for idling, furnace use, changes of plan, late arrivals, rough seas, currents etc., and the possibility that fuel may not be available as expected at a destination.
Wise boaters never run the fuel tank below one-half and refuel whenever a fuel dock is convenient and the fuel gauge is down a third or more. It is much easier and safer to refuel at leisure than to have to divert for fuel, worry about making it to the pumps -- or run right out of fuel in a narrows, off a lee shore, or 100 metres from a fuel dock.
Daily Engine Checks
Remember to check the engine every day before starting.
Check the oil using the yellow dipstick on the starboard side of the engine. Access to the dipstick is from the main cabin by lifting the companionway stairs.
Note: Cassiopeia's engine has not been consuming any oil, so if the level seems to be down more than a tiny fraction of an inch from when you signed out of Sidney, keep a close watch on the engine oil level thereafter.
Verify that you have not been running the engine above 2650 RPM and if you find that you have been, don't.
The level will naturally vary slightly with engine temperature and the length of time since the engine was running last as some oil stays up top and drains back down slowly.
Call our base for advice if the level goes down
again after being topped up to avoid engine damage -- or being
Check the coolant level by removing the green twist cap to the right of the oil filler cap.
Make sure the engine is not hot to avoid scalding. The coolant is normally an inch down and visible. It is green.
If you need to top up the coolant, there is coolant stored in the starboard cockpit locker. Mix full strength coolant and fresh water in a 1:1 ratio (half coolant/half water) before adding. DO NOT add full strength coolant. Replace the cap and twist clockwise firmly by hand until it won't turn further.
Make sure belts, hoses and clamps are not loose or worn and please notify us if you see anything that causes you concern.
Inspect and clean the raw water filter daily before starting up. Ensure the engine is shut off. The raw water strainer is a black canister with hoses coming in and out on the starboard aft end of the engine compartment (right).
The top screws off easily for checking and
cleaning. Check it daily and clean out any debris or scum and
reassemble carefully. Ensure the lid is straight and screwed
down firmly hand-tight. A loose lid will result in air leaks and
Note: It is not normally necessary to shut off the raw water intake. The pickup for the water intake is a red lever on the port side of the sail drive unit, accessed from the port side through the aft cabin panel. (below right). If you do shut off the intake, be sure to open it again.
In any case, when starting the engine always
make sure spurts of water come out with the exhaust. If no
water comes out make sure the strainer was assembled correctly and
the lid is on properly.
Look for signs of engine water or oil leaks. Look under the engine for any new drips, pieces of beltsor filings. Check the bilges.
water pump, with access to the impeller, is located at the
forward starboard side of the engine. To gain access, simply
hinge the upper companionway steps up and then lift the lower
section straight up and out.
See the Itroubleshooting section for more information and engine troubleshooting tips.
Starting and Running the Engine
Please complete the checks in the Checkout section above. and also read and understand this entire section before starting the engine.
To start the engine
To start the engine:
Once the engine has started:
To shut off the engine
REMEMBER – SAIL WITH MOTOR IN NEUTRAL ONLY – NEVER SAIL WITH MOTOR LEFT OFF AND IN FORWARD GEAR OR TRANSMISSION DAMAGE WILL RESULT.
Under most conditions, fuel efficiency, based on distance travelled per litre burned is highest at about 1800 RPM and falls off rapidly as the throttle is advanced.
Increasing throttle from 1800 (~5 knots) to
3000 RPM (~7 knots) only increases boat speed in the water by a few
knots but increases fuel consumption from 3 litres per hour to
almost 13 litres/hour! Advancing the throttle to gain a little extra
speed not only consumes extra fuel, but also increases engine noise
and vibration significantly.
The fuel gauge is located at the aft end of the cockpit table underneath the chart plotter and above the depth sounder/knot meter, auto helm and wind speed/direction indicator.
On a normal charter, starting with a full tank, it is unusual to
consume more than half a tank of fuel.
The engine power control switches are in the panel with the tachometer beside the starboard helm.
At right: Tachometer, circled in red, switches (right) and indicator lights in the strip below the tach.
Multiply the tachometer reading by 100.
The manufacturer's recommended cruise speed is from 1800 to 2300 RPM
The engine can go up to 3000 RPM for short periods when necessary, but efficiency drops off and fuel consumption becomes excessive. RPMs above 2650 do not increase boat speed much.
engine alarm siren, is circled in red.
power switch is circled in red. Power and panel lights on
(Switch up) and Engine Kill (Switch down)
Alarm test (up) and glow plug (down), circled in red
Activate Glow pugs for 10 sec before starting when engine is cold
This switch also acknowledges an alarm and stops the siren.
It does not solve the problem, though. The relevant warning light
(see below) continues to flash until the malfunction is corrected.
Start Button. Press to start. Do not crank more than 15 seconds.
This engine always starts within five seconds and if it does not something is wrong.
Listen or look for water splashing from the exhaust on the port
stern side of the boat. Water spurts show that the engine
cooling system is working.
Engine Warning Lights
In case of engine problems, a siren will sound and an indicator light will come on. The alarm is shrill and can be stopped by using the "Alarm Test" switch.
The problem that set the alarm off will however not be fixed by silencing the alarm, and troubleshooting must start immediately to prevent engine damage.
Warning light Panel. These lights are not very bright. Details
Engine overheat indicator. Reduce engine speed to idle in neutral. Check for a normal water stream from the exhaust. Stop the engine if the temperature does not drop soon.
Possible causes of overheating: Blocked raw water
inlet, closed raw water seacock, plugged strainer, or raw water pump
impeller. A loose water
strainer lid could also cause the cooling pump to lose its
prime. Investigate engine for leaks, etc. Call base
Proceeding without correcting this fault could destroy the engine.
Low oil pressure indicator.
If the low oil indicator lights, stop the
engine immediately and investigate. Do not restart
the engine unless certain the problem is solved. Call base if
necessary. Proceeding without correcting this fault could destroy
the engine very quickly.
not charging. Presents no immediate hazard, but repairs
must be made before batteries run down. Check belts and
pulleys and obvious wires on alternator. If no solution is obvious,
seek a nearby repair facility and/or call base.
comes on when glow plugs are activated.
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While the information provided here
is believed to be correct at time of publication, errors are possible