Care And Feeding Of The Ford Lehman Diesel

The time is finally growing short for our departure on our next great adventure. Since we sold our dear friend Sea Trek, our Mariner 40 ketch, we have been preparing Beach House for our Bahamas/Great Loop adventure. The first thing we did was join the AGLCA, America's Great Loop Cruisers' Association, to glean as much knowledge and information as we can from others that have done the Loop in the past or are in the process now. The number one thing we learned was that the engine and transmission would be our top priority and the most important equipment on the boat. With that in mind, we've spent many hours and dollars preparing our Ford Lehman 120 and the Paragon transmission for the 6,000 to 8,000 mile journey. If you have followed us here, you are probably well aware of the upgrades and repairs we have made. We found some minor problems when we bought the boat, added some important safety equipment we wanted, and corrected some deficiencies inherent to the engine.

From the very beginning we replaced any potential problem parts and repaired things as they broke...
I'm sure that there will be more work to be done in the engine compartment before we are ready to shove off. Items on my want-to-have list are...
  1. Heat sensor on the exhaust discharge.
  2. blowers for the engine compartment.
  3. Generator install.
  4. Finish rewiring of the house battery bank.
  5. Install one more large bilge pump.
  6. Finish painting.
We'll keep on posting as each of these projects are finished. I have just completed the installation of a Garmin GHP 10 Autopilot and that will be my next post. Except for a few hiccups, the installation was pretty straightforward. So come back and visit for the latest.


  1. I just make a choice to change my old water heater "SuperStor" of 1993. Are you satisfied of your choice appears to be a "Seaward" when you had a "Raritan"? I just hesitate between a horizontal or vertical model!
    In blogs users seem to prefer "SuperStor", however fragile on its base and also "Isotherm" that can be installed horizontally, but offers an element of only 750 Watts for a 11 gallons.
    You certainly have a review after some time of use.
    Thank you for your help and congratulation for your blog I visit regularly.

  2. Jacques, This is our second Seaward on our second boat. The last one lasted for over 17 years and is still going strong as far as we know. We couldn't be more pleased with the units so I highly recommend them. Ours will also heat up in about 15 minutes even when running it off our inverter and then we can shut it off but still have hot water. Chuck

    1. Thank you for your help, it will help me make a choice.
      I hesitated a bit on "Seaward" which is pretty cheap, but somehow a water heater always end up a leak somewhere and at that price I'd be happy with a lifetime of 10 years!
      aboard "Côte de Nuits"

  3. I plan to start my Loop adventure next May and have started looking for my Loop boat. After all of your experience with Beach House, would you recommend a Marine Trader 34 if I can find a decent one?
    Thanks again for sharing all of this!

  4. I absolutely would recommend the Marine Trader. But be careful in purchasing one and be sure and get a thorough survey. Chuck


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