Well it has been a year now since the engine was out to sort out a gearbox whine that sounded very much like the bearings had gone. At the same time the engine was serviced. I normally have the work on the engine done by my engineer that I used on my last yacht - he was excellent, and the engine bay always looked sparkly clean.
A sudden change in my work circumstances last Summer mean that I needed an engineer quickly and mine was booked so I went for the default yard engineer. This was a mistake as after many expensive invoices the engine and gearbox were delivered back in worse shape than I had handed them over. The brief was to get both working as reliably as possible for an extended cruise. he was well short of delivering that!
There were oil leaks, fuel leaks and water leaks! Oh, and the gearbox was worse than ever with it crunching into gear. The famous "velvet" drive sounded more like a coffee grinder.
After months of deliberation I finally decided to take the gearbox down to Lancing marine in Brighton where it was fully serviced. Sometimes the gears would stick in forward even though the lever was in neutral. This was because of some wear on the gear shift cog itself; it was quite badly worn. A new drive plate was installed to stop the crunching. As you can see from the pictures below, there is diesel in the sump - this from a poorly fitted lift pump that squirted diesel. The engine oil came from the cam plate that was not bolted on tightly enough. The water leak we sorted in December - we just needed a new water pump. So slowly, the engine is back to her former glory and ready to do many more miles.
I am not an engineer myself, but it is so reassuring when you know a "proper job" has been done! Now I feel confident in some cruising this summer with a reliable engine and gearbox to help me out in times of no wind!