Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Small Horrible Job....

This week I was suppose to be off work... So far I have worked every day.... I keep reminding myself we have just one year to go....

Last night I stayed on the boat and Shelley brought me some supper and spent a few hours organizing the galley... This morning after I worked for an hour or so I took on a job that I have been putting off since we bought the boat 3 years ago...

The fuel capacity of our boat is 700 liters (185 gallons). There are 3 tanks each 200 liters (50 gallon) and 100 liter (25 gallon) running tank. The 3 - 200 liter tanks feed the running tank thru a small fuel pump and a Racor fuel/water filter. After the running tank the engine fuel pump draws fuel through another Racor fuel/water filter and a fuel filter on the engine.

On the way home we allowed (accidentally) the running tank to run out of fuel causing the engine to quit in the middle of a narrow section of the Hudson River running against a 3 knot current. We threw out the anchor, announced a securite on the VHF and replaced the 2 Racor filters but not the engine filter. Luckily it all went well and we completed our journey home to Canada.

While the boat was on the hard we left the filters alone, but I knew that we REALLY needed to get those filters replaced as soon as we were back in the water....

TODAY was the day... I started with the engine filter which went easier than I anticipated.... Next I tackled the Racor filters... WOW... WHAT A MESS! The clear globes on the bottom were VERY fuzzy. I thought that was age... NOT! they were 1/4 filled with the blackest, grungiest crud I have ever seen!

It took about 4 hours to completely dismantle, clean and re-assemble both of them. When everything was back together I bled the system and started the engine.... SUCCESS!

It then took about an hour to clean up the boat and put all my stuff away. When all that was done I showered in the Marina showers and I literally threw the old pair of shorts and t-shirt I was wearing in the trash. They were covered in diesel and stunk to high heaven. That and Shelley would have killed me if those clothes ended up in the washer and dryer at home...

From now on the Racors will be changed every 300 hours (more often when necessary) and the engine filter will get changed every 400-500 hours.

Last night I discovered that the reservoir for the hydraulic steering was empty. I couldn't find any leak so I refilled it and hope that there was just an air lock which has now cleared.... We will have to keep an eye on it....

All of this reminds me that living on a boat will be an ongoing life of broken and worn out stuff... this will only grow when we move into a salt water / salty air part of the world...

The last job today was to design some security bars for the large (24"x24") hatches... Sad, but another reality of cruising....

Cheers!


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