Yanmar SB12 Installation:  Initial Engine Placement
This page was last updated on 5 June 2000

With the engine foundation work complete, it was time to move on to the initial engine installation.  I call it initial because it is really just the placement of the engine in the boat in its designated location; there is much work associated with finalizing the installation, including electrical, plumbing and fuel connections and fine tuning the engine alignment.  However, all that is important at this stage of the game is to get it in place; this will allow me to begin working on rebuilding the interior and laying out some of the ship's systems.

The first steps after completing the fiberglass work were to lightly sand and then paint the new foundation and surrounding areas, which I had left unpainted earlier.  This took two coats to properly cover.

Once this was done, I positioned my engine template one last time on the foundation, and marked the locations of the engine mounts.  After removing the template, I drilled holes for the 4" lags screws that secure the mounts, and installed the mounts on the foundation.

A couple days later, I was ready to get the darn thing up into the boat, finally.  To get the engine into the boat shed and, thus, into the boat, I had to do a little modification.  I had already opened up a portion of the back gable, and all I had to do was remove a single stud and cut an opening in the sill plate (so to speak).  This would allow me to back my little garden trailer into the shed from behind the boat.

Using two ladders, my chain hoist and a 4x6 pressure treated beam I had, I raised the engine in the garage and loaded it into my trailer.  Using my tractor, I pulled the trailer into the backyard and down the narrow passageway next to the boat shed, with the ultimate goal of getting the trailer and engine to the rear of the shed where my new opening awaited.  Unfortunately, there is a pretty good slope there, and after progressing partway I realized that the trailer was never going to make it without tipping over.   Yikes!  I couldn't back up, so I was pretty stuck.  I decided to unhook the trailer from the tractor and, after moving the tractor out of the way, I proceeded to--by hand--pull the trailer with engine loaded down the little slope a little at a time, being sure to keep some pressure on the low side to keep the thing from tipping over.

enginetrailer2.jpg (62260 bytes)With the trailer behind the shed, I rehooked the tractor so I could, hopefully, back it up the slope into the shed.  I only made it partway before traction gave out on the slippery slope.  Locking the brake, I reconnoitered.

enginetrailer1.jpg (65224 bytes)The trailer and engine were too heavy for me to physically push up the slope, so I hooked my chain hoist to one of the shed studs, hooked it to the engine ring and slowly pulled the whole thing up the slope and into the shed.  As it was growing late, I called it quits for the day.

hoist2.jpg (72832 bytes)The next day, with the trailer now inside the shed, I set up a couple ladders to be used to place my beam on--one in the cockpit (a 6' stepladder) and my huge aluminum stepladder outside the shed, with one side partially in the shed.  Placing the beam necessitated cutting a hole in the plastic gable.  I blocked up the rear end to get the beam as high as possible, as I knew clearance hoist1.jpg (65316 bytes)would be a problem otherwise.  With the beam in place, I wrapped a chain around the middle and lifted the chain hoist into place just behind the transom.   Ready to lift!

Here I made a stupid mistake--which, fortunately, ended up causing no real harm, but could have...

The engine was slightly to the port side of the boat, where I had dragged it the night before, still in the trailer.  With the hoist now installed on the beam, I figured I would just lift the engine from its current location--it would be pulled towards the ladder and then upwards.  Wrong!  As I began raising the engine, at first things seemed to be going well.  However, all of a sudden I (who was standing off to the other side, prudently) was surrounded by a hailstorm of heavy objects--a staging plank, which had been placed on the poop deck in preparation for the engine; a 4x6 PT 10' beam, and a chain hoist all came crashing down unexpectedly, the beam just grazing my hand and everything narrowly missing the engine.  Yikes!  What had happened was, as the hoist had taken a load at an off angle, the ladder in the cockpit tipped over, spilling its contents--the beam and hoist.  Close call, and how stupid.  I knew better than that.

enginetrailer6.jpg (70056 bytes)After regaining my pride a little bit, I set everything back up, this time tying the boat ladder very securely in four directions and chocking the legs in place in the cockpit.  I also clamped the beam in place to give it a little added stability.  Then, I moved the trailer, by hand, directly under the hoist for a better angle--what I should have done in the first place.  I unbolted it from the palate, and raised it until it cleared the trailer, which I moved out of the way.

enginelift1.jpg (44792 bytes)Then, slowly, I began raising the engine the seemingly terrifying 8 or 10 feet to deck level.  Because of the angle of the ladder I was using to support the beam, I had to pull the engine forward (toward the boat) in order to clear the first several steps, a real pain.  Finally, though, it hung clear, and I raised it until the hoist was two-blocked.  It didn't look like quite enough...

Moving on deck, I could see how close the height was!  I had to make it!  The thought or lowering the thing to the ground, somehow safely raising the beam and rehoisting was inconceivable.  I would win!  

engineonboat1.jpg (57464 bytes)Grabbing the engine, I pulled it towards the boat, slowly letting out the hoist as needed.  By doing this, I was able to just scrape it over the transom and, with great difficulty and a lot of huffing and puffing, get it onto the plank I had on the poop deck.  Setting it on its oil pan and transmission housing, I felt a flush of success...or was that the heat and exertion?  Because it was kind of precarious, I tied it in place as best as possible and went for a break.  I needed one!  This had taken several hours, all told, to this point.

enginecockpit1.jpg (59432 bytes)I couldn't leave the engine where it was and, although I was tired, I decided to move it into the cockpit for the night.  This was a two-step process.  First, after removing the cockpit ladder and beam, and repositioning the hoist more or less above the engine by hanging it from the shed's ridgepole, I moved it off the poop deck and into the cockpit well.  Much better.

enginecockpit2.jpg (59068 bytes)From there, one more repositioning of the hoist on the ridgepole enabled me to set the engine down right next to the companionway, where I left it for the night.  Enough!

lowerhatch.jpg (40556 bytes)The next day, it was a relatively simple matter to move the engine one more time, from the cockpit and down onto its mounts in the cabin.  I repositioned the hoist, again on the ridge, and supported the ridge with some additional bracing--just in case.  One more time, I raised the engine, guided it through the hatch and lowered it into place on the mounts.  This was fairly easy.  I had loosened the lags before, so the mounts could be adjusted as needed to line up with the engine mount holes on the engine.  The forward two went in quite easily, then some minor up and down and side-to-side enginedone1.jpg (41996 bytes)finagling convinced the two rear mounts to cooperate.  The location of the engine, fairly far forward, made it an easy lower without too much rearward travel necessary.  Once the engine was on all four mounting studs, the job was complete!  Well, not really complete.  Just started, really...there's the alignment, electrical, fuel and plumbing hookups, filters, sea strainers, stuffing box, exhaust...the list goes on and on.  These projects will all come later, however.  With the engine firmly in place on its mounts, I can move on to interior rebuilding projects, and keep Glissando moving towards her launch date!

After the engine was in place, I checked its rough positioning with much trepidation.  After all, I've never done this before, so why should it be right?  It was a little hard to tell from inside the boat whether the shaft coupling was in alignment and on the proper angle with the shaft log.  However, when peering through the shaft log from outside, all I could see was the nut at the center of the transmission coupling--bingo!  The rough alignment looks right on, thanks to the engine template and all the work I put into foundation preparation and layout.  Inserting the propeller shaft that came with the engine through the shaft log--backwards, since the coupling is frozen on--further pointed to a successful rough alignment.   A triumph for first timers everywhere!  

Still to come:  final hookups and out-of water alignment.


Glissando, Pearson  Triton #381

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