Last year we bought a Contest 32.... the smallest boat we thought it was feasible for our family of 4 to take off in. So far we're pretty pleased. A little compromise on performance, and wheel steering rather than the tiller we'd like, but she's a tardis of a boat for our small family and sails better than we had hoped. However with a baby and toddler on board we haven't really got to know her as well as we'd have liked.
We have a vague plan that in 6 or 7 years time when our now 1 and 3 year old are old enough to appreciate, it we may take off for a couple of years. Depending on if you talk to HWMBO or myself there is between about 30% and 70% chance of this happenining.
We always felt that if we were to take off in her we would replace the engine..... it's a volvo penta MD17C, 30 years old and we are told that it is very hard/impossible to find some spares. (regular service items fine). She was significantly under budget so there is money in the pot to do this. To add to the mix, the gas water heater installation has been condemed so we now have no hot water. (Don't think a calorifier on the raw water cooled 30 year old volvo would work too well).
So we put her in the water this year and she was overheating. Checked thermostat, impeller, raw water in, and finally took off exhaust manifold and found a blockage in the water jacket. Unblocked it and hopefully when i put it back together next week it will be fixed. However it got us thinking..... if it's not fixed should we replace the engine now rather than throwing money at an engine we were probably going to replace anyway.....do we plan to replace it even if fixed, or are we crazy to think about replacing an engine that works, just because parts may be a bit tricky in the future if we have a breakdown?
Anybody got any thoughts?