Severn Swan

Propulsion and Steering

The engine room is situated below the pilot house floor.  One climbs down into it.  You can stand upright,  sit next to or beside the engine or even get under it.  There is easy and comfortable access to everything. Everything is new, clean, dry and well laid out for access and maintenance.  The main items in the engine room comprise the engine, generator, watermaker, calorifier, greywater tank and all of their ancillary equipment.

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Fuel System


All new in 2013 built to Nigel Calder specification (Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual – Nigel Calder, 3 rd Edition, ISBN 0 7136 7226 9, Adlard Coles Nautical).


Under deck valves prevent theft of fuel and ingress of water to the tanks.


There are twin 600L tanks, baffled with Weka inspection hatches in each compartment enabling easy inspection of the interior of the tanks (which are currently immaculate). Each tank has a moisture collecting sump and test points to drain off any future moisture or contamination and to sample fuel.  The tanks can be run separately, one for the engine and one for genset and central/water heating or run together.

The engine is fed by twin banks of water separators, filters and electric pumps that can be switched over at a moment’s notice should a filter become blocked or a pump fail.  

Glass bowls for the water separators give visual indication of problems. A suction gauge indicates the condition of the filter in operation.



The engine is a Volvo Penta D2-75 with low running hours. It is mounted on R&D mountings designed to take full prop thrust.


The conventional wet exhaust employs a Halyard fibreglass water lift muffler.

The PRM 260 hydraulic gearbox was new in 2013. PRM have a reputation for bullet proof gearboxes and this one is also rated for the next size range of engines up to 120hp.  It is designed to take full prop thrust and operates equally in forward or reverse.  There is an R&D flexible coupling.

Prop shaft with 4 bearings (2 roller bearings, 1 bronze bushing in the stuffing box and a synthetic Vetus cutlass bearing).  The stuffing box has a brass greaser.  The recently refurbished stuffing box has excellent tolerances such that with a turn of grease from the greaser the stuffing cap can be removed to replace stuffing material if needed with hardly any ingress of water.


The prop is 18x11 inches.  There is a spare prop (18x14), key and nut if ever needed. The prop is mounted behind the hull within the rudder so is well protected from lines or damage (touch wood never happened to us yet!)


There is ample room to fit a shaft generator to produce electricity when sailing if required.  

Engine and Engine Room

Steering and Autohelm

The rudder is transom mounted on 4 substantial bearings.  It is fully protected by the hull and is cable driven from the wheel through a yoke.  Under sail the steering is light and well balanced.  


The rudder also has a trim tab.  This can be used to steer the boat on the Raymarine autohelm (provided there is reasonable boat speed).  This also provides a back-up should the cable steering fail.


As a further back up there is a beautifully crafted laminated douglas fir emergency tiller which fits into the top of the rudder stock.


For normal autohelm, the Raymarine 3000 drives the main wheel through a belt driven by the more sophisticated Raymarine 4000 head unit which employs a fluxgate compass mounted on the mast.

We have a SIRS Major II binnacle compass.