Sunday, February 27, 2011

A new throne, engine maintenance, great weather & engine problems, and back on the water by Monday...

It was a crazy weekend!!! I had a four day weekend, Ginny's brother Lou is in town and the head is broken (Ginny did it - that's my story and I'm sticking to it). So the plan was for Sadie and I to head up on Friday and stop by Seattle's Marine Sanitation store and Fisheries Supply store (one of my new favorites). Do some maintenance on Saturday, take Lou sailing on Sunday and head home on Monday. Easy and the weather forecast had promise.

First task was long overdue - changing the oil. I can't remember the last time I've changed the oil in anything, I pretty sure the last attempt I made was on my first car, The Brown Bomber (1980 Datsun 210). Imagine my surprise when I learned that the oil had to be pumped out since there was no drain plug in the oil pan. It went so well that I even changed the fuel filter and fuel water separator filter. Next Sadie and I set off to replace the shower drain pump but quickly ran into a snag since I couldn't reach the screw head and nut at the same time, so that project went on hold.

Then I tackled the head. Little did Ginny know but I had no intention of fixing our Headmate head since neither of us can stand it. I had every intention of surprising her with an electric head (bring on the push button flush!!).... But then I learned how much a push button flush really cost, especially when you figure in the requirement for pressurized water which meant a water pump dedicated for the toilet ($150).... So I made the command decision that we are okay with pump flushing. At least for now, but I did upgrade our commode after I learned how much the Headmate replacement parts were. The folks at Marine Sanitation were great and new throne is awesome, it's a Raritan PH-II with a lever type handle that simultaneously pulls water in and discharges waste with every pump. Sweet!

 Sunday the weather was shaping up to be great!! Sunny with 10-15 knots of wind - prefect for Lou's first sail. Ginny and Lou arrived early and after breakfast at Calico Bakery we set after our pre departure task list. Ginny took the dogs out for some business while I fired up the engine and started disconnecting the shore power line. Five minutes later the engine sputtered out and died, that was at 10:00 am. It didn't start again until 7:45 pm. I can't even begin to list the number of lessons we learned that day, it would take a few pages for sure, everything from don't crank the engine more than 10 times with the raw water intake open to air in the fuel line is bad... even a little bit. It was one hell of a frustrating day as we watched sailboats come and go all day to take part in the prefect weather while we were stranded in the marina.

Anacortes and Cap Sante Marina
Thanks to the engine manual onboard, Google and various blogs we were able to figure everything out and get the engine running again. We were so confident that on Monday we headed for open water with Lou. In true Pacific Northwest fashion... it rained... and snowed a little, but we had a good 8 mile sail in Fidalgo Bay and Lou even drove for a while.

BJ after a long walk... the mechanics had to take a break... a long one

Sadie up past her bed time

Captain Ginny giving some... 

advice to the new helmsman

Lou at the helm

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