Day 24 - Last Full Day at Jekyll Island
25 April 2012 | Docked at Jekyll Harbor Marina, Jekyll Island, GA
Tue 24 Apr 2012
Docked at Jekyll Harbor Marina, Jekyll Island, GA
[photo: bypass pump in place near the rear of the engine.]
The wind really calmed down shortly after sunset and stayed pretty mild all night for a good night’s sleep. We did wake up a few times to add more blankets, however, as the temperatures plummeted. I don’t have a thermometer handy but it had to be low 50s inside the boat. Even Duane reached for the long sweatpants, sweatshirt, and the foulie jacket upon waking, so you know it is cold.
Speaking with the marina staff this morning, they all said this is the worst cold snap they have had this late in spring since they can remember, so perhaps this is just a fluke and a brief “payback” for the wonderfully warm winter we all enjoyed. The forecast has daytime highs back in the 80s starting tomorrow, so we are glad for that.
As of 0800, I left a message for the mobile mechanic who stays on the boat just 50 feet from us, and I surely hope we connect soon. Plan A.1 has me looking for a gear puller so I can try to finish the job myself.
Diane strolled to the staff office a bit later and found where the mechanic was working right here on site. I went over to speak with him a half hour later and he basically told me that although it seemed that I knew what I was doing, even with the right tools, it was not remotely a simple task. He further said that if something went wrong during this “major surgery,” we could be looking at a huge repair bill and losing 3-4 weeks, as he and any other local mechanics were already way too busy. Lastly, he strongly suggested I do as I had originally considered and rig a bypass pump.
Well, at this time the dock hand, Randy, showed up to tell me my camshaft had arrived. I went back to the boat disappointed, but with an open mind about the mechanic’s warning. I decided then that I would reassemble all the parts I had taken off, and test the engine to be sure it was still working with no leaks or obvious problems. When that succeeded, I prepared a detailed list of all the parts I would need to jury-rig this bypass cooling circuit and headed to West Marine.
The sales person there was very helpful and cooperative, and between us we found a mix of parts that would adapt what was on the boat to the DC pump I purchased there. I also got a switch and some appropriate gauge wire. We had to drive another several miles to find a store that sold engine coolant. As the marina staff lamented earlier, this is not a good place to need boat repairs.
By 1630, we were back at the boat and Diane readied Clyde to go back to Edie’s garden and enjoy a stroll. Diane was also looking forward to being off the boat and away from the mess. I got to work and was able to attach the hoses to the pump with the adapters I purchased. Next, I used crimped butt splices to extend the pump wires to the location of the new switch and an appropriate place to take off electrical power.
With everything in its temporary place and not likely to get caught in any moving machinery, I climbed into the cockpit (not easy with the engine cover and ladder missing), started the engine and tried to memorize the sound of the engine running with no cooling water in the exhaust. About 15 seconds later, I started the bypass pump and observed (and heard) water splashing out of the exhaust port. So far, so good!
Needing to see what the temperature gauge would indicate, I put the transmission in reverse and increased RPMs to put a load on the engine. About 15 minutes later, the temperature was normal and holding steady. I shut down the bypass pump first, and then shut down the engine 20 seconds later. Can’t be certain yet, but it is looking like a winner.
I finished securing everything and cleaning up at 1800, just as Diane returned. We got our shower stuff and the food for the grill ready and headed to the bath house and picnic area. I got the grill going and then showered while Diane tended the stuff. Then I relieved her while she showered and went back to the boat to ready it for dinner. The grill was not nearly hot enough due to its age, condition and the still strong wind, but I was able to cook the streaks adequately. The pork tenderloin I was grilling as a future meal would have to be finished aboard the boat.
Overall, it was a good day. We really hope that this problem will remain solved until we are home and can schedule an appropriate time to do the major repair; at least we already have the part.