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While Rebecca works to improve her culinary techniques, I have an entirely new set of mechanical skills to acquire in preparation for our life on the new boat. Many of you are likely aware that our PDQ 32, and most other PDQ catamarans, are powered by dual 9.9 HP Yamaha 4-stroke outboard engines. While this is a fairly common combination for small cats, almost all larger yachts are powered by inboard diesels, including the Leopard 4600 that we’ll soon be living on. That boat contains two 54 HP Yanmar diesel engines with SD50 sail drives. While diesels are considered to be very reliable, they, like all mechanical things, do have issues from time to time.

So, to acquire this new skill set, I have been both reading and picking the brains of my friends who have boats with similar engines. Our good friend Kirk gave me a bit of a lesson not too long ago and he also gave me a copy of the operations manual for the engine (his Lagoon has the same engines and sail drives as the Leopard). Some other friends have recommended that I pick up a copy of Nigel Calder’s book Marine Diesel Engines. Perhaps I’ll grab a copy when I’m in the States. What I’d really love to do is participate in Mack Boring’s 3-day maintenance/repair course. Alas, that would involve spending 3 or more days in New Jersey! Perhaps Mack Boring should open an office in Miami?

Operation manual for the engines in the Leopard 4600.

Lest you think that all of our time has been focused on a boat that we have yet to acquire, we are not neglecting ZTC. On the contrary, yesterday was fix the propane system day. Rebecca took our one remaining bike to shore (we have sold the other one) to ride to Budget Marine to pick up a new solenoid. Fortunately, the one that they had in stock worked perfectly and we now have a properly functioning propane system on our boat again. Woo hoo!

With this little guy installed, our propane system now works as it was designed.

Of course, we can’t let the work:fun ratio, or as our friends call it, the work:suck ratio get too out of whack. While work has been ongoing, we have also enjoyed some fun times socializing with our nearby friends. The photo below, showing Rebecca consuming a jello shot, was taken on board our friends’ boat Banyan. Alexandra obviously doesn’t believe in doing things small as, instead of using shot cups, she filled wine glasses with alcohol-laced jello. Black Cherry… MMMM!

Lastly, for those who have yet to visit this area, here are a couple of different perspectives of Hog Island, the spot where we are presently anchored and will remain until later this week when we move around to St. David’s.

Screen capture from Google Earth on the iPad.

An image I found on Facebook this morning.


  1. Nice site!
    One thought…holding tanks common there?

  2. Mike, have you got reverso oil pumps fitted on those Yanmar’s, it makes it so much easier to do an oil change……and not too much mess either.

    • I’m going to guess the answer to that is no. But then again, I don’t really know what that is. Do you have a link where I can look at these pumps?

  3. Hating on New Jersey, much? Can’t make fun of my neck of the woods! But hey, its not the same as Hog Island, not at all!

    Patrick ,
    Environment and you

  4. Mike – both Bob & I took the 3 day Mack Boring Class in MA (they do have some courses there as well) – and we found it well worth it. If Larry is still running the class he is great and you get a chance to actually work on the same type of engine that you have in your boat. We also have a Yanmar 54 HP and have been very happy with it. We have a dual filter system which is great – the filter boss – we have never had a problem with any fuel we have added and it has been great having a dual filtering system. You might want to check it out if you don’t have one on the new boat.

    good luck with the new adventure!

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