New Engine For “Morgan’s Cloud”—What We Chose

We decided that we wanted to stick with a simple machine without a turbo-charger or a controlling computer. And that we wanted an engine based on a block designed for commercial/industrial use, and to run for at least 10,000 hours without rebuild and with only routine maintenance—this is my third repower (two in this boat and one in the last) and I don’t want another before I retire from offshore sailing!

Finally, it had to be an engine that is available to our long time preferred boatyard, Billings Diesel and Marine, since we were not willing to get into this project with a yard we didn’t know.

The first thing we discovered when we started the search for our new engine was that there were very few choices available that met our criteria. This is at least partly due to new emission controls, which are most easily met by higher revving engines with common-rail computer controlled fuel systems.

Our first choice was a John Deere 4045D, a four cylinder 4.5 litre 80 HP engine with a reputation for reliability. However, the Deer’s mounting points are substantially wider set than the existing beds in Morgan’s Cloud. I’m sure that Billings could have modified the boat to accommodate the engine, but it would have been expensive and access to the lower parts of the engine would not have been good.

The envelope, please.

John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for 25 years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 20 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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