Perkins M-50 Prima Engines


Arrrrgh.    So far all the work I had done seems to be worthwhile, except....We left Annapolis last Wednesday morning and motored almost 3 days towards Newport RI. The winds were light (3-5 knots) and seas were flat.  It was a good experience and an opportunity to see how all the systems were working, check the actual fuel burn rate, and to find out her range.  Once we rounded Cape May it was a straight shot towards Newport. 

After 72 hours of running, and making 320 NM,  my water pump gear drive suffered another break.  I replaced it last year.  Does anyone know anything about Perkins M-50 engines?  My guess is that something else is the root cause of this.  The pump didn't have 125 hours on it before failure. 

Doing some research my next thought would be be the drive shaft and timing gear arrangement; namely slop or worn gear???? 

I've ordered a new pump assembly and will go to pick it up and replace the old one from TAD (Trans Atlantic Diesel).  Boat is currently stuck in Montauk, NY and I  will sail it back to Annapolis next week with the new water pump installed.  Once home I hope a good Perkins mechanic can diagnose the underlying issue....

The good news is that my burn rate was about 1 gal per hour.  It is high, but looking her bottom I can understand why the burn rate was high.  Also, I got a good handle on her actual range.  320 NM  on 67 gallons of diesel (23 gallons still left in the tank) @ 2200 RPM's.

Power wise; my B&G monitoring system shows voltage hovering between 12.0-12.7 volts depending on time of day.  I had the Frigoboat reefer (replaced last winter) and freezer on.  These are the only items on while the boat is at rest.  I replaced the batteries last year with AGM's (6V series/ parallel) for a total of 680 AH> plus a separate start battery.  I'd like to add another solar panel off the rail so that I don't need to run the engine so often.  I'm also playing with power management techniques to control usage; turning off the freezer every other day: 1 day on then 1 day off (if motoring, I turn it back on). 

Prop Gen, Solar panel, work fine.  With no wind, Wind gen just sat there...Still have some more work to perform and tweaks to make, but I'm getting closer to making the boat more reliable.

Next project to tackle are the re-build of the electric furlers.  I want to remove them, get them re-built, powder coat them and reinstall. 

Sharki #163

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