Gegg-fest 2014!

We met Colin and Wendy Gegg in Mazatlan last summer.  We all had a lovely first get together at Mr. Leones at Playa Bruja in Cerretos, north of Mazatlan. So in recognition of their fantastic accomplishment of making it to the Marquesas after leaving PV of the Pacific Puddle Jump, we thought it a good idea to return to Playa Bruja and toast their success ie. Gegg-fest 2014!  Find them bloggin’ and spottin’ at:   (password is “PuddleJump”)

Happy crossing Shellbacks from us lowly Pollywogs!  We toast you with the best mango margaritas we could find:


Where the music plays all day: DSCN0097_1024x768 DSCN0109_1024x768


Que la via bien!


On the way back to El Faro, the boat, from Playa Bruja the bus got in a wreck when a motorcycle tried to pass on the left during the buss left hand turn!  Jess did the immobilization of the boys head/neck until the ambulance arrived:  Jess is the one in the purple/blue top on her knees in the street keeping the boy from moving his head/neck.  Probably a broken leg, maybe head and neck injury, in and out of consciousness for the 15 minute wait for the ambulance…

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Mazatlan Déjà Vu

We are back in Mazatlan, came in yesterday around 11:00 AM.

We had a nice trip up the coast, from Mantanchen Bay to Mazatlan.  We ran into the FOG around 3:00 AM about 25 KM south of Mazatlan.  It cleared around 11:00 AM and we hailed the Harbor Master ( Jess hailed the harbor master ) and came into the OLD harbor.

It is busy enough with ferries, sport fishers, cargo ships, etc. that they require a “control”.  Harbor master ask Jess, “How far can you see out there?”  When the fog lifted, it only took about 15 to 30 minutes to clear.  We guess he was holding a couple sport fishers in so they shot out past us on the way in.  Soon as you clear the break water here you hang a hard left and coast into the small repair/mooring/anchorage area…  Only a couple other cruisers in here today so we joined them.  It’s 50 peso a day for the dock privileges, they have wifi on shore, can’t seem to get it out at anchor.  There are restrooms and supposedly showers.  Jess said they are cold water?  At times we get a whiff of the treatment plant across the road…

There is a bit of small ferry/tour boat traffic so they come and go most of the day and by their courses, they make you think that maybe this is not an anchorage?

George is good!

A little lonely in there all by herself…


I looked back at the past few blogs and see that I have not kept up with the BREAK-IN story so here is the missing stuff:

Break-in was, after install and align, run at 2/3 throttle for 15 minutes.  If all was well, sea trials were 15 min at 1/2 throttle, 15 min at 3/4 and 15 min. at full throttle.  We found at that time that our Wide Open Throttle (WOT) at dock was 2700 rpm.  All worried I started to look at and get price estimates on propellers which need less Horse Power (HP) than our little Beta 30 seems to have.  I also had a chance to clean the keel and propeller while diving for some missing parts from the dinghy before we left Puerto Vallarta (PV).  Turns out that cleaning the keel and propeller has helped us pick up about 600 rpm towards WOT of 3600.  We can now get 3300 RPM in calm(ish) water and when motor sailing, with favorable winds, I saw 3500 RPM.  We are rethinking the propeller changing scenarios.  It is not so critical as it seemed at 2700 RPM WOT, but may still need to be changed?

We changed her, George’s, oil yesterday and will do transmission ATF today. The BETA break-in book says 30 hours and we had about 32 on her coming into harbor yesterday.  Checking oil, water, transmission fluids before every trip-leg, and at 8 hour intervals during longer motor trips.

Our dilemma with the oil fill level has finally ended.    Back story:  Opened new motor crate, put in the 5 liters requisite oil.  Read the dip stick and it was over full by a couple inches and at that level hard to read the dip stick?  We pumped the sump dry and retrieved the 5 liters back into containers.  OK!  Must be correct?  So we put it back in and installed the motor into the boat at the 14 degree flywheel down angle.  Dip stick still reads over full by 2 inches?  After starting, and cooling we checked oil and still overfull.  Beta suggested we remove oil until it reads mid full on the dip stick.  We did this and removed about 2.5 liters of oil.  Huh?  We continued through sea trials and break in watching closely ( every starting cycle and every couple hours during run cycles).  Engine oil level stayed at mid dip stick level.  At the oil change yesterday we were careful to remove all the oil, just over 4 liters and the old filter oil too.  Put in 5 liters new oil and we get a slightly over mid dip stick reading.  Our conclusion is that the motor, as shipped, still had around 2 liters oil trapped in the block someplace and when we put in the 5 liters on dock, we overfilled her.  It all makes sense now, my grey and grey world is a little more black and white today!

The sound insulation really keeps the heat up in the motor compartment and down in the crew quarters.  We are keeping an eagle eye on that.  We have lots of ventilation and our handy dandy $17 laser IR thermometer gun says that the maximum motor temp is around 165 deg. F and the shaft log is staying under 95 deg. F and dripping nicely.  Might add a 12v ventilation fan to the system in the near future.

IR gun:  Cooling fan: 

Under the category of FYI and/or fun things to know and tell (again maybe? ) – We added a 167 deg. F. thermal switch ( Ebay two for $11.70 delivered )  to the exhaust system just after the mix elbow.   Search for “Thermal Switch Normally Open 75℃” on EBAY or ??   The IR laser gun says the exhaust is staying under 95 deg. F.  Similar to photo below, but not so clean and new an installation, we mounted the sensor at the top of the flexible 2″ hose above the silencer can and below the mix elbow, on the top of the flex 2″ hose coming from the exhaust mix elbow.


The sensor thermal switch will close when it hits 167 deg. F ( 75 deg. C  ).   I wired it into the existing circuit that was left over for LOW OIL ALARM from the old motor. It made installation VERY EASY for us.   You can buy these systems for around $50 to $85USD which include a panel, wiring, etc!

The switch will close and sound the alarm if the flow of RAW water through the exhaust mixer is slowed considerably.  This might happen if BOAT ingests a plastic bag or ANYTHING that plugs up the raw water supply.  THEORY is that this point on the exhaust will heat to above 167 deg. F. very quickly, sounding the alarm so you can STOP THE ENGINE without harming anything in the engine, check the raw water strainer, swim down and clear the intake through hull, change the impeller, prime the raw water pump and start her up again.  All before slamming onto the rocks just downwind. Hey! that sounds cynical…

SOME PHOTOS – Mantanchen Bay before leaving…


Mazatlan Harbor, the old one!  As the fog lifts…




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On the road? Again!

We left Banderas Bay around noon.  Motored to Punta de Mita and sailed about half the way up to Jaltembe, motored the rest.  We now have about 6 hours total on the new Beta 30. We can actually talk to each other while the motor is running!

To all techies, it turns out that cleanliness or propeller and hull may make a tremendous impact on figuring out if your prop is too big for your new motor.  During sae trials we ran George, her, up and could only get to about 2700 rpm wide open throttle (wot).  We had lost a bit from the dinghy, Mate, off the dock in the marina, so Jim rigged up the hooka and dove for it. While there, under the boat, why not clean up the keel and prop a bit.  It was not too bad, only done 4 weeks back.

And now our WOT is closer to 3300 in on the bay.  Motor/sailing we hit 3600 ish rpm!

so now I think we will run it with this prop for a bit and see how it shakes out! 16 x 12 RH 3 blade fixed bronze prop. On the Beta 30 on the Tartan 37…

Pretty new panel:






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Do try this at home

A little vinegar, sugar and water and we (Jessica really) are finding that you can pickle lots of goodies (even pickles).   For the Pollo Pibil, (Barbequed chicken) you NEED some pickled onions so why not add a serrano pepper for a little kick and some (radish so red, radish so red, …delicious) and carrots?  For the pibil recipe, you will have to ask Jessica!


More fun facts!

It took 8 weeks for a letter posted in Great Britain to reach us here in Mexico.  The letter was an order confirmation for the new engine that we received  a week ago!


Moving right along:

We are going to head out of the Banderas Bay area and start north for Mazatlan.  One step at a time.  (maybe on to La Paz after a stay in Mazatlan?)

The motor has passed sea trials, we can get 2700 rpm, about 5.5 knots, with the prop we have ( we knew it might be a bit large for the new motor on this boat) and so we are heading out tomorrow or Wednesday.

We will stay close to shore, maybe 5 miles ±  offshore and try to take some advantage of the daily winds that move from onshore to offshore direction due to the daily heating and cooling of the land. An affect of the sun!

We will use the SPOT along the way.


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Judo in Sayulita Spring 2014


Sensei Mario, Adela, and their staff at Casa Duende and the judoka from Tepic all worked very very hard to make this last weekend a very memorable one!

Jessica and I took turns confusing and then straightening out the judo classes!  Hey it’s what we do!

Casa Duende:

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It started – It RUNS

The motor arrived on dock at 7:00 PM on Saturday Marck 29, 2014:

We installed:

Day ONE, Sunday,  went very nicely, opened, mounted the feet, rigged, lifted and installed the engine, We drilled the motor mount holes, bolted it down, did a rough alignment, hooked up the throttle and shift cables and power cables on day one.

Day TWO, Monday,  it took a day trip down to Puerto Vallarta and Las Juntas for parts: 3/4″ raw water hose and 3/4″ 90 deg. from the raw water strainer, fuel supply hose and 1/4″ to 3/8″ hose barb adaptor (temporary til we can find 8mm hose and a 1/8 NPT to 8mm 90 deg.) Day two ended with “READY TO START” we will do it tomorrow!

Day THREE, Tuesday April 01, 2014.  It was our first Moto-no-versary!  We ran through the check list for first start, bleed fuel line, check engine oil, coolant, transmission fluid level.  Tamiko from Landfall came over, we checked it all again and touched the key and IT STARTED!  Sounds like a diesel!  We let it run for 10 minutes or so, cracked a celebratory beer. And then on the third day We rested!

Day FOUR, Wednesday, we had a feeling a few things needed adjusted:  We re routed the ground wire from the engine to the front end of the Amp-meter shunt so we can see the charge going into the batteries when charging.  Added a flex coupling in order to move the prop aft to see if the noisey forward gear was actually the prop rubbing on the shaft strut. It was, we may need to move the motor forward a bit to permanently fix this, for now the second coupling is OK.  No fuel leaks, no raw water leaks, no oil leaks, no transmission leaks.

We can only make about 2600 RPM out of the engine’s 3600 MAX RPM with our 16×12 RH 3 blade propeller when tied to dock.  So I think they say we have too much propeller for the motor/boat.  We are heading out today to actually move the boat under it’s own power.  MAy need to get a different propeller…  Anyone got a feathering prop requiring less power to turn?


Tomorrow starts a Judo weekend over in Sayulita with Sensei Mario Rubio and some area judoka.  We will start our run-in work on Sunday/Monday following!  Photo from a couple weeks back…



We ran the sea trial today and could only get about 2750 RPM.  So it looks like we need to reduce prop diameter/pitch.  Maybe down to a 15×9 RH 3 blade from our 16X12 RH 3 blade.

Data Input

Waterline length in feet: 28.5 feet
Beam at the waterline in feet: 11 feet
Hull draft in feet (excluding keel): 2.3 feet
Vessel weight in pounds: 16000 lbs
Engine Horsepower: 30 HP
Number of engines: 1
Total Engine Horsepower: 30 HP
Engine R.P.M. (max): 3600 RPM
Gear Ratio: 2.45:1
Shaft R.P.M. (max): 1469 RPM
Number of shaft bearings (per shaft): 1
Desired speed in Knots: 6.5 knots

Horsepower Calculations

This will calculate the maximum horsepower and torque available at the prop(s).
Total available horsepower at the engine(s): 30 HP
Total available torque ft/lbs at the engine(s): 44 ft/lbs
Horsepower loss of 3% per gearbox: - 0.9 HP
Horsepower loss of 1.5% per shaft bearing: - 0.4 HP
Total horsepower available at the propeller(s): 28.7 HP
Total torque ft/lbs available at the propeller(s): 102 ft/lbs

Speed & Power Calculations

Basic displacement speed and horsepower required
Displacement hull speed (1.34 X sqrt of waterline length): 7.15 Knots
Minimum horsepower required at propeller(s) for Hull speed: 34.9 HP
Calculations based on desired speed and available HP
HP required at propeller(s) for desired 6.5 knots speed: 24 HP
Estimated maximum speed with existing 30 horsepower:
This is the speed we will use for the propeller size.
6.88 Knots
At this point it is important to note that all of the calculations above are based on full RPM and HP. Most engines are rated to run at a percentage of thier full RPM. This is what will determine your maximum cruising speed. The propeller sizing calculations below are based on 90% of full RPM. This gives the engine some reserve power to allow for variable loading in the vessel.


Propeller Size

Number of blades Diameter (inches) Pitch (inches)
2 Blade 16.5 X 9.1
3 Blade 15.7 X 9.0
4 Blade 14.7 X 8.8
The propeller sizes shown above do not contain calculations for cavitation or blade loading.
If you find that the recommended propeller is too large to fit your vessel, you can try increasing the shaft speed. Failing this, you can reduce the diameter and increase the pitch at the expense of your propeller efficiency. The rule of thumb is 1 inch of diameter is equal to 1 1/2 to 2 inches of pitch.



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Motor’s IN – Girl Mechanics ROCK!

Lots done today, thanks Jess and Tamiko!

Opened it, looked at it for a while, what the heck!  May as well just put it in the darn old boat!

So the first step was to put the motor mounts on it, fill it with oil and coolant, check the dip stick readings flat.  We install at 14 degrees aft down so we will mark the dip sticks installed and full!  Rigged the boom to accept the come-along borrowed from Steve and Tamiko on svLandfall… Wait around for the crew to assemble and first lift to the cockpit, re-rig the sling and come-along for dropping it into the companionway and onto the motor bed …  Voila, easy as that.  Nick on svIolanthe was there every step of the way too!

So today we got rough alignment, mount holes drilled, mount bolts installed and tightened.

Things that unbelievably went just as planned:

The morse cables for throttle and shift levers bolted in perfectly!

The old 14 inch section of 2″ exhaust hose from the mixer hi-rise elbow to the silencer can fit perfectly!

The 3 meter cable harness from the engine to the type “C” control panel fits with enough length to allow us to pull the panel down and work on it without having to disconnect the cable harness, no, really!

Thing we need to adapt from old to new:

OK, so the raw water inlet was a 1″ ID hose on the Westerbeke 40 and the fitting on the Beta 30 is a 3/4 hose barb so we need to change the strainer fitting and hose to 3/4″ or we need to change the engine fitting to 1″ and get a little longer hose!

We do this and final alignment and connect up the power cables which fit perfectly from old to new and we will be ready to start her up!

We still call her “George”!


Jess added (photos follow):


I have to say on the motor install, first and foremost, Tamiko off of Landfall rocks!  Not only is she ultra cool, ultra tough, and can laugh at the most ridiculous things, including Jim’s rolls of fabric falling on her while she’s trapped in the engine hole, she is an ace mechanic.  She is also team player, and she somehow made Jim and I play nice with each other for this install.  That takes real leadership, and she managed it with nary a scuffle or sniffle, it just happened like magic.

So, the engine arrived last night.  Just about sundown, on the day of arrival, the impossible happened and Juan Arias rolled up in his truck with our motor in the back.  Then it was a matter of fending off well meaning help, rounding up the rolling cart borrowed from a neighbor, and horsing the 182 kilo box off the pickup truck and onto said cart.  I saw the wheels flatten and feared for the axles, but they held.

Off of the cart was easier for the lack of abundant help.  Nick from Iolanthe stuck around, and so did Juan.

Kudos to Juan Arias, known as the paperman for his ability to get things through customs.  He does your papers.  Touch him for any of your customs needs.  I was in an office signing off on papers and heard him tell hair-raising stories of customs on both sides of the border, from which he, of course, returned triumphant.  Modern day dragons need modern-day knights, with the patience and persistence of a bull dog.

This morning we stared briefly at the box before our coffee kicked in and we dismantled the outside.  Then we stared at the engine and fondled the parts and accessories.

Eventually our crew assembled.  Nick from Iolanthe and Tamiko and her husband Steve from Landfall came over, and somehow Tamiko and I ended up below being the muscle for shifting the engine into its bed, while Jim and Steve and Nick worked up above with the comealong.

Then–well, we were there.  We crawled into position,  into which we fit much better than Jim.  Steve took off with their son Eli, and Jim was left with the abundant estrogen.  Tamiko took over, and Jim fetched tools, shifted the engine  now and then, and vibrated outside while we diddled the whole beast into something close to alignment.  Then we drilled the holes, and between the three of us managed to reach all the nuts at the end of the engine mount bolts.

That was when the miracles started to occur.  The morse cables, which connect the power and gear shifter to the binnacle, fell right into place.  The cable from the instrument panel to the engine was perfectly sized.  Even the hole which Jim had cut for the instrument panel was–well, perfect.  We all wound up with these enormous grins as one thing after another fell into place.  Things never work that well.  The gods were smiling on us in our efforts

Normally during a piece of work of this magnitude, there are abundant swear words, many curses, blood, and tears.  Somehow we hit about one curse word (mine when a bolt went AWOL) and a whole lot of laughter.  I haven’t had that much fun in the engine compartment, ever.  I love working with competent women.  There were a lot of “Wow” and “Look at that!”  and “Got it!” phrases flung about.

We folded up the tools eventually, and will approach the alignment tomorrow.  I’m looking forward to it.


Opened it,


Looked at it,



Rigged it and lifted it onto the boat,


Put my two mechanics to work on it and VIOLA,


FIN for now!


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