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Forums, Engine, Gearbox, Stern Gear, etc

Problems or questions about your Engine, Gearbox, etc

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12:30 3 May 2024

Leak in engine bay... 0 Replies

Has anyone seen a leak in the engine bay sump that is only there when the engine is ran?

Now that she is on the dry I’ve been unable to find the source. Strategically placed dry wipes have found nowt.

Liquid does seem to be reddish brown in colour. I replaced a fuel filter housing oring recently and stopped that tear drop leak. If anything it got slightly worse then.

Went from a table spoon or two, to more like 100mls…

Planning on relaunch end of next week all going well

Any help or input greatly appreciated!



John Thompson

19:21 16 October 2023

Packed gland or dripless seal? 8 Replies

waratah912 at 05/03/2013 17:14:07
Well after 25 years (and having removed the rudder, prop shaft, engine exhaust, heater exhaust etc.) the packed gland has finally been removed from the prop shaft to replace the rubber hose, though it looks in perfect condition.
Question : now I’ve got it all in bits, should I replace it with a new dripless seal such as the PSS or a new packed gland system (or even the old one if I can get it apart, however with such little access it’s going to be a bitch to adjust).
Does anyone have experience of / recommendation that would guide the choice?

I’m hoping it goes back together easier than it came apart!



23:50 15 October 2023


QUINTESSENS at 23/01/2023 12:35:51
Does anyone know where I can find the right engine mounts for a new Lombardini engine (702M) that has recently been fitted in my Contessa 32. The ones that the boat yard used are too soft so the engine moves and shakes and as a result the front starboard engine bracket broke. The boatyard (La Rochelle) has trouble finding the right ones for some reason…


23:50 15 October 2023

Sigma drive 0 Replies

DaleMoon at 20/04/2021 15:52:46
Just wondering if anyone has fitted a Sigma drive coupling in a 32?


23:50 15 October 2023

20 vs 25hp 4 Replies

Speedwell at 15/11/2019 19:58:04
How much difference does a 25hp vs 20hp Yanmar make to performance, I’ve always found the 20 a little underpowered in the Solent. I may have to replace the gearbox on Speedwell and thinking of going the whole hog and re-engining with a 25. Would welcome any thoughts.


23:49 15 October 2023

Engine Mounting bolts 3 Replies

Victoria808 at 28/10/2019 15:00:21
Hi – One of the securing bolts for the engine mount has come loose and worn away the thread holding it in place ( I noticed after a strange vibration whilst idling). I am going to try a tap and die set to re do the thread but failing that any ideas on how to secure the engine mount?


23:49 15 October 2023

Propellers (Again!) 0 Replies

Alastair Pugh at 30/12/2018 09:59:25

Marisca has a 2-blade 14×8 prop with mottled pink, slightly nibbled blades and interesting cracks emanating from the blade roots.

The swept back angle of the blades is also noticeably eccentric. Despite this I used to get ~5kts at 2000rpm and ~6.5kts at piston-popping teeth-rattling 3300rpm on my Yanmar 2GMF in flat water but a hobby-horsing 3kts or less in head seas. “Used to” ‘cos I re-engined in March with an instant starting 3YM20.
The re-engining was a bit rushed as an unused, still in its packing case but 7-year old donk fell into my hands and has been an almost unalloyed joy all year. (Did I mention instant starting?) The rush meant I kept my original prop and the performance remains the same except it revs to 3600 and gets a stern-squatting ~7kts. What hasn’t changed is the ability to punch into short steep seas or the vibration from the prop.
I am contemplating a Darglow 3-bladed Featherstream – a reforming/weld of my original 2-blade is the alternative – and seek the forum’s wisdom. Will it give more bite into head seas and be a bit smoother? The forum has tales of woe from earlier Darglow adopters of low speeds and worn stops – are these problems all in the past?

Edited: Alastair Pugh on 2018-12-30 10:00:52


23:49 15 October 2023

Max length of anchor chain 8 Replies

Resolute635 at 18/02/2017 11:27:11
I’m wondering what the total length of chain members find can be got into the anchor locker? For a trip to the Hebrides I want as long a piece of 8mm galvanised chain (I have no windlass) as possible – the Clyde Cruising Club guide mentions 60m! I’ve got a 10kg Delta. What’s the longest chain members have found they can use given the size of the Contessa anchor locker?

Thanks for any advice.


23:48 15 October 2023

Diesel Tank 9 Replies

samourai at 21/10/2016 09:57:51
Hello everybody,
Yesterday I try to take out the diesel stainless tank from the port-side locker.
After spending an hour to disconnect everything I realize it does NOT want to come out
from this locker….Actually it is a matter of few mm. The tank is really dirty inside and I would
like to clean it up and also repaint the entire locker. Does anybody know how to take the diesel tank out ?
Any advise will be welcome. Disapprove


23:47 15 October 2023

Propellor cavitation 3 Replies

Alan Dixon at 16/10/2016 17:46:15
I have just stripped the propeller and shaft from Charlotte I had suspected electrolysis on the prop, but on close examination can find little evidence of this, there are no pink patches but the leading edges are of the prop are badly damaged I could use them as a file or saw!
I believe the damage is being caused by cavitation I have tip to hull clearance top of aperture of 22mm and at the bottom only 17mm. The max aperture is 410 mm I have a 14" prop.
I suspect the unequal clearances are causing a pressure point and cavitation as well as the transmission noise I have had.
Considering sculpting the aperture to give equal clearances? Any comments welcome


23:46 15 October 2023

Speed & Revs 2 Replies

Speedwell at 07/10/2016 20:05:34

I am getting about 4.5-5.0KTS from our ~20yo Yanmar 2GM20 and Darglow 3-blade folding prop. The engine appears in good condition and well maintained. We have no rev counter so I estimate what feels right for the engine, but since on one occasion I ended up with a sooty transom I am nervous about over-revving.

What speed should we be getting with this setup and what methods do people use for estimating the correct power settings without a techo?

Many thanks


23:46 15 October 2023

Propellor pitch and dia 4 Replies

Alan Dixon at 28/09/2016 17:00:58
Electrolysis has attacked my prop and I need to replace it
To fix the electrolysis I intend to rewire and replace the anode also for a galvanic isolator. I also suspect the earth braid across the coupling is broken and the shaft has become insulated. thats all fixable.
My question to this wise body concerns the choice of my new prop.
I have eliminated the Darglow from the equation, too expensive and and worried about it becoming entangled in a weed called “dead mens bootlaces” common NW scotland where I intend to locate.
I currently have a three blade 13 dia x 9" pitch from a 25hp engine max revs 3500 2:1 gearbox
this gives me hull speed 6.6 knots but as the prop is slightly overpitched I can only get 3000 RPM from the engine. normal cruising I have 5.25 knots from around 2000 rpm
In general quite happy with the setup I get good thrust and prop wash, the prop walk is considerable, which can be a good feature some of the time.
I have always had a considerable amount of transmission noise when motoring, some of which I have attributed to the clearance of the 14" propellor within the aperture. the quoted figure is 17% of the prop diameter which I do not quite have.
Would a 13" prop be better? what have other owners fitted?


23:46 15 October 2023

Fuel tank gauge 8 Replies

marisco at 08/06/2016 21:24:06
My fuel tank gauge is a length of discoloured hose pipe – no longer up the job.

Wondering what gauge system other boats tend to have ? Someone suggested I could just stick a ‘dipstick’ down the fuel cap – but I don’t know if there are bends in the pipe ?

And what capacity tank am I likely to have – original from 1977 I think, looks stainless steel ?

And what is typical fuel consumption (I’ve got a 20HP BUKH) ?

Sorry – too many questions !

Thankyou, Paul


23:45 15 October 2023

Engine alarm issue 9 Replies

marisco at 22/05/2016 17:22:04
I’m getting an alarm problem…

About 10-30 seconds after starting engine the overheating alarm sounds – not normal volume but fairly quiet – you need to put your ear close to the panel. Also the blue overheating light doesn’t come one. It’s like it’s doing a half hearted effort.

The engineer thinks the engine temperature is fine. He has tried 2 sensors. When he shorts the alarm circuit manually the overheating alarm sounds loudly and the blue light comes on – as expected.

Wondered if any advice on what the problem might be or what I should try next ?

BUKH DV20 1977 I think..

many thanks,



23:44 15 October 2023

Stern gland packing size 10 Replies

Zoom 495 at 07/04/2016 03:14:59
Hello sailors!
Does anyone know what size and type of packing is best suited to the packing gland on the one inch prop shaft? The gland is the original one with the manual greaser on it.


23:43 15 October 2023

Cracks in rudder spine and possible disalignment 11 Replies

blueheron at 18/03/2016 01:36:00
Hi co32 members, I hope you can help us.

I have some severe issues with the rudder on CO32 Blue Heron (1971)

- I get less stbd turn than port.
- There are cracks running vertical from top and bottom in the neck of the rudder.

Attached some photos, as you can see the big crack although at centre is much more visible when rudder is steering to port – explains on thing!

Whilst removing the skeg cap and the 3 machine screws, I found the aftmost screw to be almost corroded away just behind the screw-head. None of the screws were very tight, I could almost open them with my fingernail. The centre screw was actually a (thicker) bolt and this was a bit tighter. Were they fitted like that? (1971) Or perhaps this indicates this is not the first rudder removal for this boat? (we adopted her in 2009)

Any repair advice appreciated – alas a budget is not existent so a new rudder is not an option this year.

Blue Heron

upper crack

LOWER CRACK – view from STBD

steer portside


23:42 15 October 2023

Engines and alignment 14 Replies

Zoom 495 at 05/03/2016 06:39:54
I am stuck with the Volvo MD2030 (same as Perkins Perama 20 and 30) that Zoom came to me with. I would prefer a Beta 20, but I have searched for a 2nd hand unit to no avail, and the Volvo has low hours so it stays. The Volvo was very poorly installed by the previous owner and I have removed it to re-install it. The engine beds are in a different plane than the propeller shaft. The MD2030 mounts were spaced up at the front so the gearbox met the angle of the shaft. Upon removal of the engine, it is apparent that the engine beds are at a way flatter angle than the shaft. Did the factory installed engine have a down angle drive on the gearbox output shaft? Do I need to fabricate and laminate in angled spacers (wedges) on top of the present engine beds?
The stern tube has separated from the aft engine room bulkhead. It is not leaking (yet) but I can move it and see the crack around the concentric bond in the bulkhead. Does anyone have experience with this problem?
Any help is appreciated and photos of existing installations or links are welcome!!


23:41 15 October 2023

Gear Reduction Ratio 2 Replies

Zoom 495 at 26/11/2015 05:00:40
Since the Beta 20 seems to be the engine of choice for the Contessa 32, what is the gear reduction that is most popular? And is there a corresponding ideal propeller as well?


23:40 15 October 2023

Underdeck autopilot 4 Replies

Galatea at 03/11/2015 04:01:47
Has anyone installed an underdeck autopilot? If so, what brand/model? I’m not sure if there’s enough space to fit one properly.


23:40 15 October 2023

Engine Beds 13 Replies

Zoom 495 at 11/09/2015 18:36:41
Hello all.
I am getting a tremendous amount of vibration and the aft motor mounts on my Volvo MD2030 are starting to come adrift. The installation of this unit (by a shipyard no less) is terrible. I suspect it was done poorly as to do it correctly the motor may have to be mounted further forward and therefor needing a longer shaft. Questions are please:
Does anyone have such a beast mounted in their boat, and if so, is it possible to get a photo of it to show relative location of the motor?
Can I effectively install a spacer or flex coupling to potentially extend the shaft length, thus being able to do the re-mount without removing the shaft?
My Contessa was built in 1977. Will the shaft be a metric size on an imperial size?
Thank you and fair winds,kris


23:38 15 October 2023

Tiller Play 5 Replies

garethd at 10/08/2015 12:34:42

The tiller on my CO 32 has developed about 6"; of ‘play’ before becoming effective. It feels quite loose and, before taking anything apart I wondered if there is any obvious answer. The tiller itself is fixed quite firmly to the block at its base but it is difficult to find any more without taking things apart. Any ideas. GD


23:38 15 October 2023

Fuel 'purifier' fitting 3 Replies

derek.rust at 26/01/2015 17:23:46
Have just bought a MLS Fuel Purifier, as recently reviewed in YM. Does anyone have any experience in fitting one of these? Any hints/tips gratefully received!,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=6&cntnt01returnid=77

Derek Rust


23:38 15 October 2023

Volvo 2030 10 Replies

Zoom 495 at 21/11/2014 17:41:29
Hello all. I have a Volvo 2030D engine in Zoom. I believe the hours to be very low although I think the engine was installed at least eight years ago.
Does anybody have any experience with these Nordic beasts?
Specifically, the engine gauge panel appears to be faulty. The rev counter registers different numbers than what I feel the engine to be turning, the hour meter does not read, and the temp gauge reads quite low even though a heat gun says the engine temp is normal.
Thanks all


23:37 15 October 2023

Replacing volvo penta 2002 with a Beta 2 Replies

Lee at 01/11/2014 10:37:31

I have just removed my old volvo penta 2002 and am putting in a Beta 20hp (which I don’t have yet).

The volvo had a down angle gearbox and I have ordered one for the Beta.

It looks as though the Beta will have to be raised off the existing bearers. Does anyone know how much and the best way to do this?




23:36 15 October 2023

engine ventillation 2 Replies

Nick Howes at 15/10/2014 19:23:01
I have a new beta 25 in Quest, a 1990 M. J. Slack built Contessa 32. The manual suggests two vents in the engine compartment, one inlet low and near the alternator and one exit, high in the compartment. As far as I can see there is no provision for ventilation at all! There is a vent on the deck behind the cockpit but this seems just to vent the aft hull compartment which does not appear to ventilate through to the engine compartment. We have Quest in Gozo, Malta, where today it was 32 degrees so I am concerned that we don’t starve the engine of air. Could anyone tell me how their Contessa engine is ventilated ?

Thanks, Nick


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