Monday, May the 26th – 22:00 – Cascais / Portugal

We started late today because the harbourmaster was not there before 09:30. We left Peniche at about 10:00 local time and motored out of the harbour. Just before hoisting the sails the engine buzzer started beeping loudly indicating that something was wrong. We switched the engine off and tried to understand the problem. The engine panel light burning was indicating too high temperature for the outer cooling circuit. There was enough cooling water coming out of the exhaust; the impeller was working. There was also enough oil and cooling liquid in the inner cooling circuit. Then we realized that the engine main block was getting too hot. We had a cooling problem indeed. It was not just a faulty temperature sensor. And it was not the outer cooling circuit. Most likely, it is either the thermostat that adds the outer cooling system when the engine has reached a certain temperature or the inner circuit pump.
The wind had fleshed up a bit and Peniche was now lying about 5 NM behind us. The engine was out of order. The question was now: Do we sail back into Penich where we could be in one hours’ time and where we know what to expect or do we sail south the 50NM to Lisbon with the risk of not arriving in daytime in an area we had never been before? I took the decision to sail to Lisbon. The weather was expected to be the same as the past days. With the Nortada blowing at F5 we could arrive in Cascais at about 21:00. If not we would stay outside and try to sail into the harbour with the first daylight. We switched off most of the appliances that weren’t necessary in order to save battery power, hoisted the main and headed south.

The Nortada was reliable and with all sails up we accomplished the remaining 50 NM in about 8 to 9 hours. I contacted Cascais Marina. I told them about the engine problem and that I would have to sail into the harbour, they offered assistance and sent out a RIB at the harbour entrance which towed us safely into a berth.

The destination of the second leg of the voyage was reached. We were lying in Cascais Marina at the mouth of Rio Tejo which leads to Lisbon.

20150524 Dutch SinglehanderA little race with a Dutch single handed sailor on the way to the Marina

20150524 Cascais MarineroThe “marinero” is coming to help us into the marina

20150524 Cascais Marina 1Matilda safely moored at the reception pontoon in Cascais Marina

10 Replies to “Monday, May the 26th – 22:00 – Cascais / Portugal”

  1. Guten Morgen,

    das liest sich ja wieder sehr abenteuerlich.
    Hoffe, ihr könnt das Problem mit der Maschine zeitgerecht lösen.
    Aber wenigstens das Wetter spielt ja jetzt mit.
    Ansonsten viel Spass in Lissabon und bis Gibraltar,


    1. Hallo Eckhard,
      Tja… ich hoffe dass das Maschienenproblem in den nächsten Tagen gelößt werden kann.
      Habe Vetus schon kontaktiert und die Vertretung in Lissabon. Morgen will sich das ein Techniker anschauen.
      Das Wetter wird so langsam Mediterran. Da wir solche Temperaturen nicht gewöhnt sind schwitzen wir schon beim Sitzen bei 19C :-)
      Cu in Gebraltar

  2. na, das nenn ich doch mal Abenteuer.
    hoffe alles wird zeitlich hin hauen.
    bin froh, dass du gesund und munter bist
    take care A.

    1. Dear Christos&Zoe, nice to get a message from you. Tips are always welcome, thanks! I will try it. Today and tomorrow are Lisbon days though. Very nice city as you know. Cu in August.

  3. Dear Evan
    I read on your blog that you already are in Portugal, you will make substantial progress.
    I also read that you have problems with the heat of the engine.
    I assume that the coolantpipes are not affected.
    Then there are several other possible causes:
    – Failure of the temperature sensor, which often occurs.
    – Loss of coolant, for example through the boiler, but you already checked this
    – Faulty thermostat in the internal circuit, which does not happen often.
    – Faulty coolant pump, possibly caused by a to tight V-belt.
    As a result, the bearing can be affected.
    But most likely you have already discovered the problem and solved it, I hope. We will read it on your blog.
    Corry and I wish you a safe journey.

    1. Hello Corry en Guus,

      Yes, although the wind has been against us in the English Channel we made good progress and everything is still acc. to planning. On Sunday I am hoisting the sails again. Next leg is short but also exciting: Lisbon – Gibraltar.

      Thank you for the list of possible causes for the engine problem. I was quite sure that the engine temperature was getting too high. It felt a lot hotter, the paint and the sticker on the engine block did show the same and finally the revs suddenly went down significantly such as the load had changed abruptly. So, I switched it of in order to make sure I am not damaging it completely. Vetus/Lisbon checked the engine. It was finally as simple as the temperature sensor at the exhaust output but I am glad the engine was checked. It is still under warranty and so the repair was for free. By the way, can you remember if the warranty was 3 or 5 years?

      And many thanks you for your wishes for the rest of the voyage!

      1. Dear Evan,
        I have the warranty conditions from Vetus, but not your postal E-mail address.
        By the way, a warranty document should be included in your Vetus file.
        For Vetus engines the warranty period is 5 years.
        Regarding the engine overheating: there is a temperature gauge on the control panel.
        Kind regards, Guus

        1. Hi Guus, thanks for the info. I don’t have all the files with me but I thought it was 5 years. I don’t need the document now. The gauge next to the panel was showing ~75C which is good but then I didn’t know if it was right. Now I know it is showing the right temperature. As it seems it takes some time to get familiar with your boat :-) Always fair winds, Evan

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *