THE ROYAL NEW ZEALAND NAVY’S FLEET OF CHICO 40 YACHTS HAS BEEN REPOWERED AND IS READY TO GET BACK TO WORK AS SOON AS COVID RESTRICTIONS ALLOW.
Ovlov Marine has fitted each of the three yachts with a new 50hp Volvo D2 diesel engine and 130S saildrive, to keep them in top working order for the Navy’s leadership and sail-training programmes.
The three 12-metre Chicos — Manga II, Mako II and Paea II — are 30 years old, and their existing 40hp Volvo MD2040 diesels, each with over 5000 hours use, were in need of a significant refresh.
“They’d had a good life but were in need of a full overhaul,” says Hamish Ivey, senior instructor of the Navy’s Experiential Leadership Squadron. “When we investigated, the price difference between overhaul and replacement wasn’t that great, so we decided to go for new engines, and to upgrade from 40 to 50hp.”
Ovlov Marine special projects and customer service manager Matt Jackson says the D2 provides a totally integrated package — an in-line four-cylinder, 2.2-litre, freshwater-cooled diesel engine powering a matched saildrive — to provide low cruising revs with quiet running and minimal vibration.
All three yachts were hauled out simultaneously at Ovlov’s Westhaven base for the installation, which required adaptation of the original engine beds. They were also fitted with new Volvo folding props, additional alternator brackets, custom fridge compressor mounts and new exhaust systems. New sound installation was fitted and the fuel systems overhauled.
The new diesels have been set up with Volvo’s Easy Connect NMEA interface, so engine revs and warnings can be monitored on the existing Garmin instruments above deck or via an app on each yacht’s dedicated iPad. The engines can now be started and stopped from on deck, too.
The yachts were originally used by the Navy for adventure training and team building, but are now utilised primarily for leadership training in a maritime environment. “Leadership is required at every level, so we have a range of Experiential Leadership Development Activities that suit recruits all the way through to senior officers. No simulation is required out on the high seas, the risk and challenges are real which helps develop our people on their leadership journey; it has the added inclusion of developing skills in seamanship, navigation and sailing,” Ivey says. The yachts are also used by Navy crews for recreational and competitive sailing, including events such as the Coastal Classic.
Ivey says the Leadership Squadron chose to work with Ovlov as they have a long-standing relationship.
“Because we are so busy and need a quick turnaround if something goes wrong, we know we can contact them at short notice, get the issue sorted and get back out there.” While there were some delays to the refit due to international parts-supply issues, the new engines have now been officially handed over, and the busy life of the Navy Chicos is ready to resume as soon as alert levels allow.
OVLOV MARINE, 142 BEAUMONT ST, WESTHAVEN, AUCKLAND. 09 3774285 WWW.OVLOV.CO.NZ