Day 22 - Big Setback!
22 April 2012 | Docked at Jekyll Island
After a relaxing early morning with lots of rain overnight, it was time to tackle replacing the leaking raw water cooling pump. First, was the tedious job of cleaning up the mess that the leaking pump makes in combination with the black rubber dust that came of the new v-belt (which is now too loose and needs tightening).
Getting the pump off was easy, but what I discovered then was shocking and very disappointing. The end of the camshaft was broken. It had two tangs that drive the water pump and with those broken, we have no cooling. [For those fellow Catalina 36 owners, yes, the reinforcing sleeve was in place.] I suspect I know why it was still (marginally) working before the disassembly, but nevertheless, the camshaft will need to be replaced.
This can either be a MAJOR job entailing removal of the engine from the boat, or a semi-major job with a partial tear-down of the engine in the boat. Neither will be cheap or without a lot of disruption.
As for our cruising plans, we are not disheartened. We will have to await tomorrow to make our calls to the engine manufacturer and then see what the repair options are. It might be something I can do with my tools and skills, or it may have to be a professional diesel mechanic. We won't know until tomorrow.
I would say we would be very fortunate to have this resolved within a week, but longer would not surprise me at all. We have to be very grateful that we did not have a failure while underway that put the boat or us in peril. We are also in a very desirable location with a new friend to lean on for transportation, if needed. It may not be the greatest place to get repairs done, but it could be far worse.
Rather than brood bot our new predicament, it was time to make some phone calls to family and friends. During one conversation, I mentioned that the only thing wrong with the engine is that the camshaft can’t turn the water pump; the engine itself runs just fine. Then it dawned on me that maybe all I need to do for a temporary fix is to rig an electric-driven pump that will do the same job the engine-driven pump does. I have run the idea by some others and they concur.
I still need to call the engine manufacturer Monday and get all the facts before making a decision and then setting the plan in action. If I go with plan B, it may be just 2 days before we can continue.
The day’s weather proved why we are at a marina rather than at anchor, although the very blustery winds are pushing us onto the dock from the beam (side) and that makes for less than comfortable conditions. We didn’t have to endure that very long, as Edie came to pick us up at 1700 for another short tour of a different part of her island and then cocktails at her house. We went to a resort restaurant just a short bit from her house where we did indeed have one of the best fish sandwiches we had ever eaten.
Back at her place, we enjoyed the company of her son, Kenny, for a while. They are leaving on an unexpected car trip to PA for a funeral of her close friend, and they graciously insisted we take her car back to the marina and gave us access to the home if we needed it for some reason. Even though there is a courtesy vehicle here at the marina, having her car will facilitate whatever errands we need to run for the next few days.
Back at the boat, the winds had not abated too much, yet it was a pleasant sleep after all.