sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Photo Gallery Cruising Australia Cruising USA Cruising Canada Boats for Sale Sail-World Racing FishingBoating
Video Gallery Newsletters
Sail-World.com : Love your sailing boat's belts and they will love you in return
Love your sailing boat's belts and they will love you in return


'Tension should be ’just right’ in the belt'    .

When did you last replace the belts in your sailing boat's diesel engine? You didn't? Then you are waiting for the belt to snap just when you need it least. Let's face it, belts are not so expensive, and changing them regularly, rather than waiting until they snap, is the smart road to trouble free sailing.

Not that these belts - the alternator, auxiliary alternator, raw-water pump and circulator pump — won't typically provide really reliable and trouble-free service as long as they are properly maintained. But they do have a life, and replacing them on a sunny day in harbour is a comparatively pleasant job, compared with doing the same job in a lumpy sea when there's a crew, or worse, guests, wanting to get home.

The belts used to drive these accessories are of the 'V' variety or ribbon-shaped flat serpentine belts. Often, one V belt may do double duty, sending life from the crankshaft pulley to both the alternator and coolant pumps, while another belt will help drive the raw-water pump.

You can help elongate the life of a belt of course. One of the most important factors that affects belt life is making sure it is properly tensioned when it is installed, that the proper tension is maintained throughout its service life and it doesn't slip.

The regular inspection:
1. Check that the belts are tight — tight enough so they don’t slip, but no tighter. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for belt tension, don't just guess, or use old-fashioned 'rule of thumb' rules. If a belt is slipping, it won’t turn its related accessory properly, and it will wear out and break prematurely. If it’s too tight, it will accelerate wear on bearings and seals. If you see any evidence of belt dust on the front of the engine or the alternator casing, the belt is either slipping or misaligned. If the belt and/or pulley shows signs of glazing — a particularly smooth, shiny appearance — it means the belt is slipping. A glazed belt must be replaced, but the glaze on a pulley can be 'dressed' using 220-grit sandpaper.

Correcting the tension:
To tension a belt, use a breaker bar as a lever to pry the accessory away from the crankshaft pulley, and then tighten the fixing bolt. Threaded 'spreader' tools are available to make this task easier. Finally, ensure that each belt’s profile properly matches every pulley over which it turns. The belt should be even with, or stand slightly proud, no more than 1/16 inch, from the top of the pulley walls.

Self-adjusted tension and pulley bearings:
On engines with a single serpentine belt, tension is usually self-adjusted automatically via a spring-loaded tensioner. No additional adjustment is necessary. If this is the case, check the tension pulley bearing. When the belt is removed, the pulley must spin freely with no rough spots detected under hand pressure.

Continually replacing belts?
If this is the case, misaligned pulleys could be your problem. Alignment can be checked with a straightedge. If a pulley is bent or not on the same plane as the rest, the problem should be corrected, or the 'bad' pulley will continue to ruin belts.

Allowing a tired belt to keep working: Give your belts the break they need. Deteriorating belts can cause collateral damage to the alternator. A chronically slipping alternator belt can create large amounts of fine dust. The issue arises when this belt dust is drawn into the alternator with the cooling air. If the rubber dust-like debris makes contact with the hot components within the alternator, it will melt and adhere to them, creating a harmful insulating blanket coating the bearings, windings, diodes and heat sinks, potentially causing failure. Not a nice outcome!

How often should they be replaced?
As belts are pretty cheap in the scheme of things, it’s wise to replace them, say, during the annual check. Never leave them past 2,000 hours, whichever comes first. Having said that, it's also wise to replace them when you are embarking on a long voyage. But not JUST before you go, because in the first 50 to 100 hours of use the belt may need retensioning or some adjustment. So do it well enough in advance so that you can trouble-shoot before you leave.

Do all of the above and you are giving yourself the best chance of carefree sailing.


by Des Ryan/ Sail-World Cruising round-up

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=108463

1:49 AM Tue 16 Apr 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
Practical

Related News Stories:

06 Apr 2013  Something to ponder - Is your GPS system 100% safe?
05 Apr 2013  World's tiniest PLB now certified for use
05 Apr 2013  World's tiniest PLB now certified for use
31 Mar 2013  Paper charts essential for the prudent sailor - or are they?
29 Mar 2013  Sail clear of these three dangerous wreck symbols!
29 Mar 2013  Paper charts essential for the prudent sailor - or are they?
16 Mar 2013  Getting your boat to shine in all weathers
12 Mar 2013  Secure attachment innovation iPad/iPhone for sailing boats
11 Mar 2013  T200 thermal camera - ideal for smaller sailing boats
10 Mar 2013  Use the Magic of S.T.O.P. for Safer Sailing Navigation
MORE STORIES ...






Sail-World Cruising News - local and the World

.... [more]  




Irish student turns a mobile phone into a VHF radio by Niall Murray, Irish Examiner/Sail-World,








'Sailing Adventures in Paradise' by Vincent Bossley by Noonsite Reviewer/Sail-World,












Springtime Greening: Boaters Tips for Earth Day by BoatUS Foundation/Sail-World Cruising,










British rescuers go for their own circumnavigation challenge by Derby Telegraph/Sail-World Cruising,


How sailors really do have a voice in the future of our oceans by Sandra Whitehouse, Sailors for the Sea,


Message-in-a-bottle record - 102 years by AFP/Sail-World Cruising,














Canadian solo sailor rescued north of Auckland by Sail-World Cruising round-up,














RYA Competent Crew Skills – Second edition now available
Why ethanol and boats don’t mix + Video
Check this sailing gear more often during the season
Bluewater open boat weekend - if you are 'starboard' of the Atlantic
Laura Dekker honoured by OCC Award of Merit in New Zealand
Free online fuel spill course - how much do you know?
Smaller but plenty of space: The Nautitech Open 40
Product of the Week: Chafe guards save lines from friction
Government sneaks through the 'Affordable Boat Act'
Japan's Antarctic whaling program harpooned
Yacht of the Week: Kokomo III - and she could be yours
Life-shattering event sends 'rookie' couple sailing the world
Mysteries of the seas, happening right now - missing, sunk, foul play
Sail Norway and Russia this summer - your own boat, or charter
Sunshine4kids' 'Fleet of Hope' sets off again
3,200-year-old boat found in Croatian waters
Product of the Week: the LineGrabber
Mediterranean Mooring - How to moor stern-to to a dock or quay
Canadian storm bomb threat - sailors advised: get off the water!
Carbon monoxide poisoning - is it possible on YOUR boat?
Sailing family condemmed for taking 3-year-old on circumnavigation   
New contract-free plan for satellite communicator on your smart phone   
Yacht of the Week: The Dashew creation: no sails, but eco-friendly   
No laughing! Sailing mistakes I don't want to make   
Multihull Solutions Phuket 2014 Regatta - new sponsorship   
Destination: From Moscow Sea to the White Sea   
Land sailors of India on adventure across the Rann   
Jet stream gets fish in hot water   
Still no plans for e-Borders   
A Paint App to (almost) replace your marine store assistant   
Air warms but water slower - be careful, sailors, of hypothermia   
Volunteer Canadian rescue team homeless - any offers?   
Hilary Lister and Nashwa Al Kindi set a new trans-ocean record   
How to anchor and 'never utter a word'   
Non-pyrotechnic flares for my boat - Can I or can't I?   
Health benefits of sailing   
Cruising in the Maldives - some nuts and bolts   
ISAF Guide to Offshore Personal Safety for Racing and Cruising   
Halyard Tension - a video   
Winchrite - for lazy days or extra muscle-power   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  



















 
Our Advertisers are committed to our sport, please support them!
This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia Pty. Ltd and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.

Photographs are copyright by law. If you wish to use or buy a photograph you must contact the photographer directly (there is a hyperlink in most cases to their website, or do a Google search.) with your request.

Please do not contact Sail-World.com as we cannot give permission for use of other photographer’s images.

Only if the photographer named on the image is Sail-world.com, Powerboat-world.com, Marinebusiness-world.com or NZBoating-World.com.
Contact us .
Ph: +61 2 8006 1873 or complete our feedback form    Contact us .
   View our Privacy Policy.    [Go Home]     [  Banner Advertising Specification]    [Bot Archive ]

Customised news feeds -Marine Industry companies, Clubs and Associations have their own customised version of our news feed on their website.
Look_here_to_see_examples

X6XL WAS CRU NH