Author: Mónica Lorenzo
Gerard Pou, a naval mechanic, and distributor of Solé Diesel in Ibiza, has been working on the complete refit of the Green Dragon, a motor boat of 38 feet of American origin that arrived in Baleares 8 years ago.
The Green Dragon is almost a classical boat from Cheoylee Yacht shipyards built in 1979.
It is a motor boat, 13.5 m (38 ft) long and 4.5m wide with 3 cabins and 2 bathrooms. Very large interior, open and fully equipped with every luxury for great comfort. Hot water, air conditioning, and heating, microwave… And wood finished interior.
The hull is fiber lined with wood and is built on three floors.
It is a boat ideal for family travel, both for day trips and small trips, although it is also prepared to provide a month of autonomy. It is a heavy boat that offers a cruising speed of 8kn and maximum of 9.9kn.
Why did the boat engine need to be replaced?
Why it is being repowered
This boat, since it was bought in the USA eight years ago, has been standing for 5 years waiting for the processing of the papers. With consequent wear and lack of appropriate maintenance.
Once the situation was legalized it has only sailed for 3 years doing mainly day sailing trips and short hikes on the Balearics.
Now when the engines were checked they had serious problems of reliability and maintenance. They came home with worn crankshafts and excessive oil and gasoil consumption. The excessive losing of oil had come to leave the crew adrift on short voyages. The sudden engine shutdown during navigation also compromised the safety of the occupants of the boat several times.
The high maintenance costs and lack of reliability led the shipowners to change the engine of the boat.
This repowering was the perfect occasion for a complete refit of the Green Dragon.
To repower, Gerard Pou’s team also changed the fuel tanks, rebuilt the engine room and built new engine bedplates. And for the rest of the ship there has also been a complete rebuild a refit of the interior and exterior.
The ship was originally equipped with 2 marine diesel FORD LEHMAN 120 horsepower engines and an ONAN generator of 40 horsepower.
The generator was also very unstable with a spent crankshaft, and the connecting rods sounded and did not stop. This was a very dangerous situation.
How to choose the best engine for this boat
The marine engines that the Cheoylee had installed were originally 6 cylinders inline and Gerard Pou intentionally sought a model to present the same characteristics, especially looking for the same stability and proportions as the original.
We were looking for a marine engine block that was the most reliable and stable on the market.
Gerard tells us that he was documenting and reporting the different options on the market, looking for a reliable engine unit and a stable mechanical motor (without electronics) to offer a very easy maintenance. Since in the end, the maintenance of a boat’s engine is many hours of work.
The next challenge was recalculating and calling for the other components related to the repowering of the boat. Elements such as propellers, shafts, hoses …
In the end we decided on a marine engine Solé Diesel, which provided us with reliability, minimal electronics, and good value.
Referring to the generator, they calculated the power used by the boat (oven, coffee maker, microwave, dishwasher …) and it was decided to install the marine generator 14KVA, Solé Diesel 14 GSC.
The company that brought us the complete solution of engines, shafts, propeller, gensets, hoses, waterlock, exhaust system, fuel filters, water filters… in a single delivery, under the same warranty and aftersales service throughout the Mediterranean was Solé Diesel.
The installer of marine engines, Gerard Pou, confirms that these new engines have brought a reduction of 50% diesel consumption in the test of the sailing trip from Premia to Barcelona which he performed
How the repowering was performed
The full refit of the ship has been more of a year of work.
Regarding the engine change, the steps for repowering were:
- Removing the previous engines
- Removing the generator, exhaust, cooling, lubrication, and fuel tanks.
- Modify and properly size the engine bedplates and generator.
- Installing new deposits
- Fitting new bedplates
- Changing shaft lines
- Removing the rudders and installing the new hull
- Creating a double buttress for the shaft, since the axles are almost 4.5m.
- Installing the new marine engines
- Attaching a dual alternator of 140 amps to the boat engines and a water pump for washing down a fire.
- Installing propellers
- Teflon Packing replacement by Rubber Stuffing Box VOLVO Type
- PTOs were installed on the Solé Diesel marine engines to feed hydraulic pump installation of bow thrusters, and stern propellers as well as anchor windlass
- Engines alignment with propeller shafts.
- Installing the gas exhaust and auxiliary systems (cooling, lubrication, fuel)
- Installing the generator and electrical installation.
Due to the boat dimensions and navigation system it needs, it was needed a double panel, one on the fly bridge and the other in the intermediate cover.
We installed a double panel to drive the boat from the fly bridge (the boat has a 40m2 terrace)
Gerard Pou has gone through a lot of emotions in such a long process, in the reconstruction of a boat like this requires a lot of work and involves too many people.
Installations like these are a very exciting experience, and you can not do it very often, every boat is different and is a unique experience.
A full refit of a boat, which not only involves the repowering, also many other elements (such as the interior, fiber hull, mechanical… ) puts you in many complex situations where you have to be able to manage different deliveries, suppliers, materials, and failures of third parties that constantly test you to the limit.
The passion and excitement you feel when you see the finished project is indescribable..
One of the most important lessons for me is how crucial it is to trust your distributors and have good communication with them.
The fewer dealers that are involved in your project, the shorter the delivery and the wider the guarantee. And this incredibly reduces the expenses in dry dock and labor.
After this experience, I definitely recommend working with Solé Diesel for reliability, trust and tranquility. It is an efficient company.
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This post is also available in: Spanish