Had a great trip out to Treasure Island with some great friends (Bob, Sean, Trace and Ramsey). Jane’O sailed really well, but when we went to restart the starboard engine, it didn’t start.
I went back to my “gee it must be the starter” and replaced the starter first thing in the morning with another starter which was a known-good starter. This had absolutely no effect, so we limped back home on one engine. After my guests left, I rigged up my remote starter switch to see what was going on. After pulling the decompression levers, I saw some water come out the air intake! This is obviously not good, and clearly meant that there was water in the cylinders. So I did my usual thing: panic.
I hunted around for a diesel mechanic and, lo and behold, there’s one who lives in Brisbane, Michael Lael. I pleaded with him to pull my injectors. He came by and, working together, we were able to get all the water out of the cylinders. He then filled them with diesel.
Some research into this problem online says I did the right thing. This article talks about how catastrophic water in the cylinders can be. Especially seawater. It’s just not good.
More research led me to figure out a wear item in the 3GM series Yanmar engines. according to this article, the exhaust elbow is cooled via seawater. The elbow works by running some seawater around the outside of the exhaust, cooling it. Problems happen when the welds that keep the seawater away from the exhaust deteriorate. It’s especially bad since the exhaust is hot and the seawater is corrosive.
I took the author’s advice and purchased two new elbows, an aftermarket stainless steel one, which should last longer than the stock yanmar ones. I’ll just replace them and call it a day. But now I have to get my injectors back in. Should I service them before putting them back in? Seems like a good idea, and it will take a few days to get the elbow anyway. I’ll probably just do both engines.