Westsail Owners Alliance - Thread: "It Finally Happened..."
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Thread: "It Finally Happened..."

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012


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It Finally Happened...


After almost 30 years of happy sailing & motoring, our trusty Perkins 4108 finally gave out... Luckily it happened at the dock instead of out somewhere - There had been some warnings like alot of smoke sometimes while running, and getting harder and harder to start, but usually, after running for a while, she'd start right up and run well enough... The last time, after taking an hour to finally start up, would not idle long enough to put in gear and would die... My trusted mechanic came over and checked the compression levels and was only just over 100psi, so that was it -rebuild time! I've pretty much decided on a rebuild because the cost is less than half that of a comparable new engine and I'm quite familiar w/ this one. The mechanic said after a rebuild, she'd be as good as new...

The first step (which sounds easy) was to remove the cockpit floor so the engine can come out. I wanted to do this myself because I didn't know how long it would take and I didn't want the mechanic charging me $50+ an hour to do something I could do myself...

Well, I don't know what they used back in the 70's to glue those things down, but it's taken me two days, 4 cans of "anti-bond", two steak knives, hammer & wedges and a car jack to get that thing loose...What a job!

The next step will be to get towed (which I've never done) about 5 miles, through 3 bridges (sounds like an adventure in itself) to the marina where the work will be done. I'm told it will take about 3 weeks and about $4500(estimate still out on B,S & T)... After the engine is out, we will evaluate it again, to make sure it is worth rebuilding. This mechanic has done over 100 of these and I trust his judgement completely...

I'm kind of looking forward to this because while the engine is out I can clean, paint & fix up the engine room and cockpit area and rewire the controls, etc...

I would appreciate any input, ideas, etc. of what I should do while all this is going on, and those of you that have already gone through this, your experiences, advice, comments, whatever.

I will post from time to time with my progress.

Fred Cheney
W32 Great Writ
Satellite Beach, FL

Rich Morpurgo


Where are you getting the work done? If you need help with the tow, I have a friend down there who could help. He is an ex sea-tow franchise owner.

Good luck

SV jasmine

Jay Bietz

Please keep us advised on your new adventure in boating. I have an old engine also that will need help -- sooner or later.



I'm planning on taking the boat to Diamond 99 Marina near Pineda Causeway and having David Carter do the work. He has kept her running for the last ten years and got her going again in 2001 after she seized up after being on the hard for 18 months. (At that time MarinePro in Merrit Island prescribed a rebuild and then tried to sell me a new Yanmar...)


Now that I've got the Cockpit sole out (which is why it rained like hell last night I'm sure) I've just gotta check w/ David to make sure there's enough water to get in the marina - it's been really low for months now but I think it's come up a bit...

Thanks for the tow offer, I've got a couple of friends that can do it as soon as the weather calms down...I'll keep you posted.

Rich, I cruised by your boat the other day while tooling around in my dingy - the new hatch looks great!

W32 Great Writ #629

Rich Morpurgo

I would hip tie your dinghy to the boat and go down the grand canal. Then you could sail to diamond 99 and use the dink to get you in.

Works great with the westsail and you would be able to steer with the boat just fine. We have done it before with jasmine.

Thanks for the compliments on the hatch. It didn't take very long to do, I should have done it sooner. I'll drop you a note when we get down that way again and we could have a mini rendezvous with Great Writ, Salty Dog, and Jasmine.



Well I ended up not having to move the boat - the water is still very low (maybe Alberto will help w/ that) So David brought over his chain winch and just removed the engine at my dock - first the tranny, then the rest of it, went very smoothly I must say... It will be ready for re-installation in about another week. In the meantime, I'm cleaning and painting parts of the engine room and also ordering a new instrument panel from Trans-Atlantic Diesels in Virginia... http://www.tadiesels.com/instrument_panel.html
I'm gonna try to post a couple of pics of the operation here...
Engine removal1
Engine removal2
Engine removal3

I'll post again at the next step...
W32 Great Writ #629

Michael Dougan

Hey Fred,

If you can, document the process with photos and your comments, as above, and then send them to both Christie and I at the addresses on the main home page. One of us will see that it gets into a future edition of Windblown. That's exactly what I and other members of the Association want to read about, because we'll all be there eventually, and that's what makes this a real association!


Randell 'Randy' Kocurek

Hi Fred, Thanks for the posting. 30 years: awesome. I am a new WOA member in the market for a W32 and considering engine options. P4-108 is my first choice, even though it may mean a rebuild. Please let us know how it works out for you. Thanks.


The "new" Perk!

Perkins 1.jpg.

Perkins 2.jpg.

More soon...

Rich Morpurgo

Looks good!

Good luck with her.....



Thanks, Rich, can't wait to get it back in the boat, except now I think my starboard fuel tank is leaking and am considering replacement - now would be the time to do it, while everything is out of there...

Dave Kall

Damn Perdy !!!

Rich Morpurgo

I'll be down there in a couple of months and if you need some help I could be coerced.

drop me an email toolowd AT aol DOT com and I will let you know when I am there.


Fred K. Cheney

Thanks, Rich, for the offer - I'll let you know - I just ordered new fuel tanks (see my thread on "In the yard: Removing orig. fuel tanks) - I should have them in 4 weeks so December looks like the time I'll finally get her back together...

Aaron Norlund


I live down in Miami, but wouldn't mind taking a trip up the coast some weekend for a chance to dig around in a W32 and listen to you talk about her. My father and I are looking for a W32 I'm taking every chance I can to meet owners and see their boats. I'd love to see the nooks'n'cranies in the darkest corners.

Keep your quarter shady,
Aaron N.

scott caskey


If you get as far as Melbourne consider pushing on to Titusville (25 -30 mi.) for a tour of Maccine.
She is currently up on the hard undergoing blister repair.
Email me: scottcaskey AT yahoo dot com

Richard and Penny Beesley

If you don't mind my asking, what was the final total cost of the rebuild?

Fred K. Cheney

The engine ended up costing a little more than the estimate of $4500.00 because when he got into it, it needed more new parts than originally thought - a new heat exchanger alone was 450.00 and the rebuild kit from Perkins had gone up from $900.00 to $1200.00, so I ended up paying a little over $5100.00, plus another couple hundred or so for new fuel lines and new bronze fittings for the refurbished fuel tanks, & new bronze fills for the deck. Instead of having new tanks made which would have cost over $900.00, I found a local welder who cut the bottoms off the old ones, cleaned them out, then welded new, thicker bottoms back on. I saved over $400.00 by doing that instead of buying new tanks...(see my thread "removing original fuel tanks" on the "In the Yard" section...) I am now in the process of installing the new fuel lines, then the tanks will go back in (hopefully as easily as they came out), then when the wind dies down, I'll get towed to the marina and have the engine dropped back in... Wish me luck!

Fred K. Cheney

Now that the holidays have come & gone, I finally have some time to finish this little project - I've just finished installing new fuel lines, and the refurbished tanks are ready to be reinstalled. My next question is wheather to wire (ground?) the tanks again. There were two wires running from somewhere on the breaker panel back to the starboard tank, one wire attached to the tab on top of the tank, the other threaded into the fuel fill hose. Then two more wires running across the inside of the lazzerete to the port tank. Is this really neccesary for diesel fuel tanks? Do they really need to be grounded to the rest of the boat? Any input will be appreciated...

Bud Taplin

Fred, Not really. The tabs are for grounding wires from the deck fill for tanks used with gasolene to prevent a spark from igniting the gas vapors. That is not a danger with diesel fuel. The original wires should have never gone to the breaker panel, only from the deck fill to the tank. They are required on gasolene powered boats, but not needed or required with diesel fuel.

Fred K. Cheney

Thanks, Bud, I really didn't want to have to do that wiring work again, but just wanted to be sure it's not really neccesary... I'll post some more pics soon - Happy New Year everybody!

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