Thursday, 9 June 2016

A new (old) engine for nb Freyja

 While out on our trip to the Middle Levels, we met Paul, who I'd spoken to on the Canalworld forum. He said that he had bought an ex-lifeboat Sabb 2JHR 30hp 2 cylinder and said that it would make an ideal replacement for our BMC 1.8. I got in touch with Sean at Marine Enterprises in Dorset, they advertise them at £1395. He said there was a six week wait, then he said it would cost more (£1800-£2000) after six weeks he said it would be five weeks, after five weeks it would be four weeks etc. etc. then Paul kindly sent me a link for a Sabb 2JGR on ebay, priced at £800 to start, I sniped it at £1075.75, and it stayed on £800 until, with 24 hours to go it jumped steadily to £975, that was too close for comfort so I sniped it at £1775.75 (the maximum that I felt willing to pay for an engine that was unseen and untried). I was back in welsh Wales for a funeral and then seeing my family, as the minutes ticked away Jac, my youngest son, said leave your phone alone Dad! Then my mate started phoning to remind me. I switched it back on and counted down the seconds, it finished at £1220, but I received no notification that I'd won! Oh no, should I have tcked that small box? Just then I got an e-mail to say I'd won it. YeeHah!

Our newly acquired Sabb 2JGR, a nice bit of grunt! It has some nice features, like the ability to hand start it, decompressors on both cylinders, oil cups on each cylinder that allow the addition of a small amount of oil to aid cold starting. The flywheel is heavy because it's deep but not too large in diameter meaning that it will fit between the engine bearers. The torque that this engine puts out should make it a lot more capable of pulling two boats upstream against a strong wind.

We had to drive down to Margate to pick it up, the seller had grave doubts about putting it in the back of our Renault Espace. He had bought two of these engines, one 22hp and this 30hp, he took the heavy duty Sabb gearbox off the 22hp and used the shaft out of the 30hp's Hurst reversing box as it is compatible with a PRM gearbox, he'll put the Sabb 2G/PRM in his new narrowboat tug that he's fitting out.

It was too tall to leave on it's pallet, so we wedged it in with wood and strapped it down, the Renault almost stood up! A larger pulley will be needed to spin the new alternator. This is a proper marine engine, designed for use in Norwegian fishing boats and made to be repairable at sea. Sabb means 'tough' or 'robust' in Norwegian.

We got stuck on the M1 because of people rubber necking an accident on the other side, Grrrr! But made it to Tony Redshaw's Vintage Diesels before they left for the day, they are now fettling it, fitting a bigger alternator pulley, making a new air filter housing, replace the flexi and reinforced pipes with solid copper and sorting out a mechanical gearchange, modifying the speedwheel set-up etc. Watch this space...