To all members
Recently while crossing the Tehuantepec Bay a distance of 230 miles we had as anticipated light winds and lots of motoring. All fluids and filters were checked and topped off.
20 miles South of Acapulco motoring at 2300RPM at 0200hrs the engine surged a couple of times and stopped.
During long runs like that we regularly check the engine room temperatures with a laser thermometer and nothing had previously seemed amiss. The transmission unit now was 84C it is normally around 50 to 55C and the ATF fluid was gone and replaced with emulsified sea water, a grey colour from what little oil or grease there was left in the bearings etc.
The transmission had seized and after sailing for four hours to allow everything to cool down, to it's credit the transmission engaged enough ahead to allow us to motor into Acapulco gently at 1500RPM against the headwinds. It would not engage astern as the clutch was seized.
The transmission is destroyed due to a pin hole leak in the oil cooler, we had the cooler professionally cleaned in August last year and I checked it myself when I returned to the boat in October to ensure the Bowman rubber end caps and clips were in good condition.
It is a painful lesson, the engine has 3000 hours and runs like a dream, clearly that cooler now has to regularly inspected and or changed as part of my maintenance program.
I hope this email will save someone else the costs and hassle we are now incurring.
Seafever of Cuan
Super Maramu no 425