Monday, April 30, 2012

Idleness yields Atrophy

Just like people, boats are not designed to sit around doing nothing. And, usually, if you do nothing, something bad comes of it. The damage may not be obvious but it should be expected.
In our case, almost every thing that we have had to fix on SeaClearly was a direct result of sitting on the hard for almost 2 years. While she waited for us to show up and take her home, things got older, dried out when they were supposed to be moist or got wet when they were supposed to be dry.

As we came across Pamlico Sound, the engine High Temperature alarm went off. I throttled back and the temperature immediately started dropping until the alarm shut off. So, we went below to check the situation before shutting down. We found that the belt that looked pretty OK through inspection and survey was, in fact, dry rotted. It was dissolving into a fine black mist that was coating the engine compartment while it flapped loosely around the water pump and alternator. Quick back up to shut down the engine. Push the big red 'stop the deisel' button and exactly nothing happened. So, of course, just as you push an elevator button harder to make the lift come faster, I pushed the button harder. This only raised my frustration level and did nothing to shut down the engine.
Engine before black powder. How clean!
What happened next was nothing short of funny. We all scrambled in different directions doing what we do best - finding the resource that will give us the answer fastest. Printed copies of Yanmar manuals and Nigel Calder's boat bible appear from nowhere while the new-boat-idiots try to figure out how to stop the engine.

OK, there is a stop solenoid somewhere. It looks nothing like any of these pictures. Go push the button again while I watch. Wait! Something tried to move. Let me help it. Yes! Alright, step one accomplished. 

We were pretty sure we had a spare belt and we did - 2, in fact. (We swear we will be as diligent stocking spares as the prior owners). It's an easy job to replace the belt. Start her back up. Well, not so fast. Those alternators don't charge so well when the belts are just flapping around. We had to jump ourselves off the house batteries to get fired up.

Then, we all sat back, sort of relieved and thought 'Well, that was fun'. Could have been much worse. Two hours earlier we would have gotten tossed around, maybe at a bad spot. If there were no spares, no references, no tools - we would have been screwed. So, we live and learn.
On towards Manteo.

1 comment:

  1. June & Dwayne: I howled at your stories of getting from Point A to Point B and the way you told the story!! She looks great and as you said the Teak will be a major price of work "always". Reminds me of my days sailing and racing - just when you thought.........

    Congratulations!! I am so happy for both of you and I am so glad you keep this blog up. Vicarious experiences!!

    Keep her on Starboard and I'll talk with you later.

    All the Best,