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Bright Eyes
The search for bright waters...
Engine Fail Update
05/21/2010, The Hole

First, Thanks for all the advice and concern.

After doing alot of research and having our mechanic friend Nick over we discovered a failed water impellor.

Our synopsis is that this caused no water to run through the engine and the engine got very hot. This melted the plastic muffler and caused the water in the muffler to leak out into the pan below our engine. It also caused the exhaust to fill our engine compartment and then come out through our cabin and cockpit access.

I believe that a temperature alarm did go off and I mistaked it for an electrical problem. I turned the key to silent the alarm but the engine was still over heating. A few wires became disconnected during this over heat which probably caused the RPM guage to stop working. Once the engine got too hot it stalled/seized.

As for the stuck gear, after manually turning the engine we were able to get it shifting again. However we noticed that the engine would turn fine while in nuetral but not while in forward or reverse. This might mean that there is still remains of our dinghy tow rope stuck on the prop. We are discussing swimming down there to investigate!

Just to let you guys know. Our 3GM30 is raw water cooled only. We do not have freshwater/coolant or a heat exchanger. We do not have a spark plug but we do have decompression levers.

So all this because we made the mistake of leaving in our water impellor after I inspected it a few weeks ago.

So far we have changed the water impellor, removed all water hoses, removed the muffler, removed the thermometer and taken apart the exhaust manifold. We also checked both oil levels and there is plenty of oil and no water that we can see. And we unstuck the transmission.

As you can see we arn't wasting anytime and want to get back out on the water asap!

Our upcoming plans are to replace all the hoses, put in new exhaust manifold gaskets, install new thermometer, install new muffler, repair broken electical connections and change the oil again. We will also be able to change those two pesky hidden zincs now that the exhaust manifold will be removed. And last we might dive down to remove any rope from our prop.

The engine compartment is so tight and uncomfortable and the back is accessed through the cockpit. We just call it "the hole". Looks like i'm going to be spending some time in the hole.

Atleast I have some help, hand me a wrench Nala.

It sucks that this happened but again it's all for the best that we learn now and not while cruising. Just like the Garmin problem greatly increased our knowledge of electrical systems, this problem is increasing our knowledge of the diesel engine and building our confidence!

For more pictures of dirty metal, CLICK HERE

The lead pic is from last year.

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05/21/2010 | Jay Gordon
Sounds like you're getting good advice. Don't cut yourself while checking the prop!

I used to have a boat with 2 v8's. On one the water used to leak from the water pump causing a vacuum. The temps would go to 280 and maybe even above many times without damaging anything. This happened probably about 10 times before I discovered the problem. My guess is if there's no water in the oil or significant oil loss, there probably is no damage. So put that $14000 back in the bank!
Epic Fail Weekend - Part 2
Slight Wind
05/20/2010, South River, Edgewater, MD

Continuing from the previous blog after the Boat US tow boat left us we put up our sails and continued on our way to the Rhode River. But the wind began to die and we just made it to the mouth of the South River when we decided 1 knot of speed wasn't gonna cut it. Plus it was now getting dark. As we all know, with no wind power there is no steering so we were forced to turn on the engine to putt putt us over to the side of the river in a decent anchorage. The engine came on fine but we noticed there was no water coming out of the exhuast. That's not good.

We threw over our new 45 lb Claw and easily made our spot in 14 feet of water. It wasn't a cool island but it would do just fine. I went back down to the engine compartment determined to get the water flowing again. I noticed a slight leak at one of the hose connections so I tightened that and tightened all the other hose connections. Christine turned the engine on again while I looked for more water leaks but there was none. There was however alot of water in the oil pan, but no dripping. There was still no water coming out of the exhaust so we turned the engine off and enjoyed our night.

No point in having all these complications if we can't enjoy ourselves. Steak for dinner! and kitten for entertainment (and rum ofcourse).

Our anchorage turned out to be rather peaceful and we awoke well rested. Opting not to use the engine again we sailed off the anchor. Don't let me make this sound easy because it was not. Over the winter we purchased a new 45 lb Claw anchor with 75 feet of high test chain (and 225 ft rope) and a manual windless to hoist it. However with all the trouble we had with the Garmin and Autopilot, the windless never got installed. So me being the barely stonger of us went up on the bow to pull this hunk of metal up. While I was pulling up the anchor Christine did a great job of turning the boat back and forth as I needed and then sailing straight enough to yank the Claw out of the mud. After about a 5 minute battle we had the anchor back on the bow.

We were pointed north so I decided we should go up and around the first buoy in the bay to take advantage of the wind we now had. We only had the Genny up though and although this is our favorite sail it doesn't sail to the wind well. We were sailing north along the coast we had just anchored at and I couldn't get her pointed further away from the shoal. So we attempted to tack and head back. I guess we still had some cobwebs to brush off cuz we didn't do a good job. After about 3 attempts to tack or gybe and the wind just pushing us back the way we came, I attempted to turn the engine on to cheat and get us away from the impending shoal. The engine came on but as soon as I threw it in forward it stalled. Then the gear shifter would not return to neutral, it was stuck in forward. Great, no engine to save us. It must have been high tide because we were now more than half way across the reported shoal and almost in deeper water. So we just kept sailing north again and soon we were out of danger.

Needless to say the stressful situation created a quiet atmosphere for the next hour or so. We need to get this boat back to our slip before we do anymore damage. We attempted another tack to get headed back south but it just pointed us directly at the shoal we had just missed so we gybed and headed out further into the bay to get a better angle. It was a lil while later when I saw two boats headed in the exact direction I wanted to go but couldn't. I noticed they had there main sail up and we still did not. So we put up the main sail and tacked back south again. This time we were much closer to the wind and were aimed south and away from the shoal. We were headed home!

One of the reasons we liked the Genoa was because it was easy to deploy while the main was hard and often got stuck. Well since we replaced one of the damaged slider pieces the main has been going up much easier. And now we know the main sail is intregal to sailing close to the wind.

I didn't mind that we ended up sailing further out into the bay because atleast we were sailing, but it was nice to be headed home. We were able to stay on that single tack all the way down the river. On the way down I went below to check out the engine again and see why the gear was stuck in forward. I couldn't figure it out, it was just stuck. But now that I was in the aft section of the engine compartment I discovered our water leak. The plastic muffler had melted and there was a gaping hole in it. This was where all of the water had leaked out into our oil pan. There was also oil sprayed around this area, it was a mess.

So I came back up and told Christine the news. I briefly tried to convince her we could sail into our slip but she wisely convinced me to call Boat US again. I now had them on my cell phone and gave them a rang. The lady remembered me from the night before and said they'ed be there in 30 minutes.

While we were waiting and sailing toward our slip the wind died down and eventually we lost all wind power again. Our sad lil boat just floated there in the river waiting for the tow boat. The power boats dictated where we went as their wakes pushed us back and forth. Soon we were floating toward a tall Green Marker. We slowly floated right up to it and had to push our selves off the marker. Embarrassing.

Boat US tow boat got there soon after and towed us the last 5 minutes into our slip. Also embarrassing. But we were home now and the "adventure" was over. We cleaned up a lil and treated ourselves to our favorite restaurant, The Original Steakhouse. We needed the pick me up as we discussed the possible damage to our engine.

Experience is what we want and experience is what we got. I'll leave you all with a few Sailing Wisdoms we now better appreciate.

"The ease and success of launching and docking is inversely proportional to the number of witnesses"

"If you get embarassed easily then sailing's not for you."

"if you haven't been aground, you haven't been around."

"It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others."

"Working on the boat is the reason for owning a boat. Going on a voyage is only to ensure that there will be something to work on when you get back."

"Definition of Adventure: Agony in retrospect."

"EXPERIENCE, is what you get . . . about 5 seconds after you need it."

But still my favorite: "A bad day on the water still beats a good day at work"

Epic Fail Weekend Pics

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05/20/2010 | Snoodle Time
So when you say oil in the oil pan, are you saying underneath the engine and not the oil pan of the engine? What I really am asking, is there water in the oil? And did the engine get so hot, it seized up? It sounds like you really did not blow the motor if it did not get to hot. Just hot water pouring all over the place and rinsed oil off the engine.
05/20/2010 | Joey Bigsby
yeah there was water in the pan underneath the engine from where the water leaked out of the muffler.

From the advice we've gotten so far, the engine should be ok. I will post repairs updates soon.
05/20/2010 | christine
ah! Eureka! So really.... all that water pouring all over the place was really HELPING cool our engine :) AND that smoke we saw since it was white may have been steam? huh maybe maybe? hopefully?
05/20/2010 | Snoodle Time
Yeah, you were most likely seeing exhaust fumes, maybe a bit of steam and what ever was around the area of the leak being washed into the air. Did you have high temperature alarms going off too? If so, keep looking for a problem. also, you might check your alternator output. If your tachometer stopped working, it might be an indicator. The tach gets its input from the alternator.

Hopefully you will be out sailing by the weekend.

05/20/2010 | Jay Gordon
My guess is coolant system failure (thermostat failure, water pump air lock ect) cause engine to overheat. Extra hot exhaust plus remaining cooling water boils causing steam and melts the plastic(never heard of this) muffler. if overheat was severe enough it could warp the heads(of a gas engine, if that does not apply to diesel just ignore me) Head warp would cause failure of the head gasket and allow cooling water into the oil system and therefore into the oil pan of the ENGINE (you have not made it clear to me at least where the water was found). The engine would fail at some point due to the overheat. Hopefully this would happen before permanent damage occurs. If the engine fails while in gear it is conceivable that the gear could lock in gear preventing you from shifting out. I might try to turn the propeller shaft in the opposite direction or maybe just everything cooling off might allow a shift with the engine off.

Do a compression test on the engine. If that turns out
05/20/2010 | Snoodle Time
It is a big question to whether or not your engine really did overheat, or if was the hot exhaust filling the cabin. It does come to mind that if your muffler really did melt rather than have a hole worn through it, then the most likely reason is a failure of your exhaust elbow. The exhaust elbow mixes the hot exhaust with salt water. This mixture of exhaust gasses and and saltwater is what comes out the back end while running.

so make sure you know if it melted or had a hole worn in it.

05/20/2010 | Snoodle Time
Oh yeah, this is the salt water side, so it has nothing to do with the thermostat or the anti freeze side of the cooling system. What I have been talking about runs the salt water from the intake, through the sea water pump, through the heat exchanger, through the exhaust elbow and then overboard via the muffler (melted or warn through) and overboard.
05/21/2010 | Mid-Life Cruising!
Glad ya'll made it back to your slip okay! Love the sailing quotes - so true!
05/21/2010 | Jay Gordon
Snoodle: I understand the concept of an intercooler but have never seen one. If the coolant/anti boil reached 250 degrees could this temp not be transferred to the sea water side?

Bright: a note-for all I know compression tests may make no sense for a diesel. On a gas engine it is tested through the spark plug hole but I understand dielsel wouldn't have one. My practical knowledge is limited to gas engine. It may be possible that if an diesel can turn over and run that is proof that compression is at least reasonable.
05/21/2010 | Snoodle Time
There are two types of cooling systems on marine engines. They are called raw water and fresh water. In a raw water cooling system, salt water is pumped through the motor and then dumped overboard. It does not have a heat exchanger and just goes overboard.

I am pretty sure bright eyes is a fresh water system. That means there are two loops. One is the anti freeze side that circulates anti freeze through the engine block to take away the heat. To get rid of the heat, it runs through a heat exchanger, and after that (anti freeze cooled) it is sent back through the engine. This side of the cooling system just loops round and round and does not go overboard or see the muffler that might have melted.

On the salt water side, salt water is pumped in, through the heat exchanger and thus gets hot, while the anti freeze cooled off. This hot salt water can go through a fresh water hot water heater if the boat is equipped. If you have a system like that you know you can really get h
05/21/2010 | Joey Bigsby
See the new blog above. we have a raw water cooling system only.

and yes we have it configured to go through our water heater so we can get hot water by using the engine.
Epic Fail Weekend
Slight Wind
05/19/2010, South River, Edgewater MD

So Saturday we made plans to sail up the South River and down the Rhode River and anchor at one of thier islands. The boat was all prepped and we just went food shopping, we were ready to go.

We started the engine up on the first try and everything sounded good. There was water coming out the back exhaust, all systems were hooked up. This was our first time leaving this new slip though and it proved to be a troublesome one. When we backed out, the current along with our prop walk pushed our boat directly toward the main dock. We are in the second slip so it wasn't long before I was pushing our stern off the main dock. Luckily the slip next to ours just has a small DNR boat in it and the opposite side is empty. Also the 3 slips behind us were empty too, otherwise we would have hit everyboat in those slips!

We had to back up almost all the way into the slip across from us and even then when we tried to go forward we couldn't even clear our own slip again because of the current. Eventually we had 2 other people helping us push our boat around and we decided to back out the fairway. Going reverse with a boat is no easy task because the propellor tends to push us to the left (prop walk). So we zig zagged out of the slip nearly missing all the boats that were hanging out of their slips. It wasn't pretty but we were out of there.

This should have been our indication to stay home, but we are fearless (or dumb) and continued!

So now we are motoring up the South River talking about what a disaster that exit was when an alarm goes off at the starter panel. This alarm usually goes off when the key is left in the on position, and after flipping the RPM meter switch it turned off. But this time the RPM meter stopped working once the alarm stopped sounding. We just thought, darn must be some loose wires.

Well about 5 minutes later the engine stalls.

We try to start the engine back up and after a few lame turn over trys it kicks on, but then turns off after about another minute. Shucks! Christine reminds me that we are a sailboat and quickly lets out the Genny. Who needs a lame engine anyway. I decide ill look at it once we get to our anchorage. But the boat decides otherwise and we see a bunch of smoke coming from the cabin, o shit. Christine hands me the fire extinguisher and I go down below and open up the engine compartment. There is a ton of fog/smoke coming off the engine but thankfully no fire. Christine opens up the cockpit access and more smoke comes out but still no fire. At this point we realized we have overheated the engine. We leave the compartment doors open and let her cool off.

So now we are sailing along in a slight wind but the wind is coming at us so we have to tack a few times. Just before our last tack out of the river the wind dies. We are a decent distance from a near by shoal but once we lost all wind power the current began to take us to land. That combinded with all the power boats flying by and creating wakes that knock us to shore, we are soon SAILING BACKWARDS! I tried explaining to Christine the other day that it was impossible to sail backwards, so she had a fun time proving me wrong as we saw our trailing dinghy float forward of us.

This laughter soon ended as we felt a slight bump and realized we had run aground. Dang it!

Well the engine had stopped smoking and so it must have cooled off and we were in dire need of power so we turned her back on. The engine started fine and it was a relief to have power again. This lasted about 15 seconds when we heard a SNAP! and I saw our dinghy slowly floating away. We just had a prop guard installed and it did its job. I grabbed the line that was supposed to be holding the dinghy hopeing it was still attached but the line had been cut and the dinghy was just drifting further toward the bay.

Now this is a brand new dinghy as you readers know and I was not about to let it escape. I am not a great swimmer tho so I grabbed a floating seat cushion and jumped in after it. It would have been nice if we were so far on the shoal that I could walk but nope, I had to doggy paddle after this thing. The water was very cold at first but that quickly went away as I used every bit of energy I had to catch up to the dinghy. I was so tired I thought I wasn't going to catch it but the current must have helped me some and I eventually climbed aboard our lil runaway tender. The workout wasn't over tho and I had to paddle it back to our dumb boat that was still stuck in mud.

Christine had untangled the remaining line and restarted the engine in an attempt to get us off the shoal. But we were still stuck. I attempted to moter us off the shoal once I got aboard the main vessel but I too failed. Not knowing which way the tide was going (rookie mistake) we decided to call Boat US to tow us off. It went pretty smooth hailing them via VHF and they could be there in 30 minutes. While we waited for them we tried using a long 8 foot pole to push us off but that ofcourse failed. Also while waiting a friendly power boater offered to pull us off but we decided to wait for Boat US.

The Boat US tow boat eventually came and pulled us off the shoal. For anyone who is not a memeber of Boat US, please become one now. We pay $149/year, it was $134 the year before, and we get unlimited towing for free! He told us that he just had to charge the last person $1100 and that our bill would have been $700! We just got our memberships worth for the next 4 years, not to mention all the other benefits of being a member. Well now that we were off the shoal we could have had him take us home but we were already half way to our destination and the engine had just came on fine so we thought we were all good. Let's keep going!

How little we really knew.

To Be Continued.....

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05/19/2010 | Mid-Life Cruising!
Boy, when it rains it pours! You know Murphy's Law. Hope it all turned out okay
Weekend Highlights

-possibly blew up our MOTOR
-used boat us towing TWICE
-prop guard DOES work since it cut our dinghy line which joey then had to swim to retrieve
-proved joey wrong - you CAN in fact sail backwards.

we're busy today, check back tomorrow for in depth crappy analysis.

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05/17/2010 | Jim
Dear Lord I hope you are a member of BoatUS. I hope the engine is OK, keep us updated.
05/17/2010 | Snoodle Time
Sorry to hear that. Hoping you get some good news.
Getting Settled In The New Marina
05/12/2010, Edgwater, MD

So our marina moved us out of that enormous slip and into a smaller one, a much smaller one. Tuesday we moved our boat to the other side of the pier into a 35 ft slip and immediatly felt out of place as our boats butt was hanging out 5 feet on one side and 8 feet on the other (yes the pilings are not even). Luckily tho this slip had electricty for us to plug into so we could recharge our batteries. We spoke to our marina manager the next morning and we finally decided on a slip. It still only 35 feet but it is in close to the main pier walkway so no boats will have to pass us and possibly hit us.

This still lead to difficulty tieing off as the back pilings are atleast a quarter up our boat. We will need to install an extra cleat on our traveler to act as a spring line. Also the wind was blowing hard Friday when we moved into the new slip. Once we got her tied off tight we went inside for drinks to finally celebrate our new resting spot. The electric company would'nt set us up till Saturday but we had a fully charged battery and decided to give our inverter a try. We plugged in our cockpit lights and they came right on, Nice!

Our new view is of the South River Bridge. It's not too noisy and is kinda pretty. It will do.

Saturday while Christine had to work, I drove back to HHN to pick up our dodger wings that were left at the canvas shop. I also had lunch with my dad and picked up an Outboard Engine! No more paddleing for the Bright Eyes crew! My dad's friend Warren kindly donated to us a 1972 Johnson 2 stroke 6 hp outboard engine. My dad's friend Billy gave me the run down of how to use and service it. We started it up and it ran just fine. Cool!

The rest of Saturday was errands and getting our boat back in living shape. Earlier in the week we saw crabs swimming around already so the crab pots got tossed in the water.

Sunday was Mothers Day so a Happy Mothers Day to all the Moms out there! We spent it at my Aunt Dana's getting good grub.

We are planning our first overnighter of the season this weekend!

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05/12/2010 | Ramon
I like your Blog and have also switched from Sailblogs to Blog Spot. I find it a lot more useful, more pictures, links and information; plus it's FREE. I follow on my igoogle page the blogs that interest me whether it be here or on Blogspot.

What got to write to you today was your dilema with dock lines. It depends on your spot and ability but I would consider backing in so you can tie off the stern at the dock and two lines to the probably already there cleat on your bow. It is still not going to keep you from drifting into the dock by spring lines to cleats on the fairlead track should help hold you out enough. Happy Sailing to you both.
05/14/2010 | Snoodle Time
That is about the best suggestion you could get. Using your traveler as a spring cleat is not really a good idea as it is designed for upward force, not fore and aft pressures. If you do back into your slip, an excellent tie off point is your jib wench, from you now forward piling.
Should We Stay or Should We Go Now

Ok readers we would like your opinion.

We would like a little more out of our blog like custom sidebars, google anaylitics, google adsense, map tracking, RSS feed ect...

Our current sailblogs account is free and does not offer any of that. We could get those features at other blog sites such as Blogspot for free. At Sailblogs it would cost us $95 a year. Our only concern is that we would lose our audience here and the sailing enthusiast traffic that this site brings.

So if we moved to Blogspot, would you still be likely to follow our blog? And do you think this is a good idea? Please be honest and all advice is welcome.


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05/10/2010 | Rick - S/V Godspeed
I've seen a number of people move to Blogspot. I rarely look at their blogs anymore. Sailblogs is an easy way to check a large number of sailing blogs.

My 2 cents.

05/10/2010 | Verena
I say go!! Make your own money rather than paying someone. We can follow each other on blogspot!
05/10/2010 | Wayne from Morro Bay
keep both, when you post a message on your Blogspot site, just post a quick message here with a link
05/10/2010 | Fordyce Eldred
Yes - just make sure we get the link. Question did you use back up charts on trip
05/10/2010 | Mid-Life Cruising!
I say make the move if you want to. We'll still follow you!
05/11/2010 | Jay Gordon
Stay. I'm not likely to goto a site covered with ads. It seems thought that you see blogging as a money maker and not a hobby so it is probably inevitable.
05/11/2010 | Joey
Fordyce: I'm not sure what your asking, but on our recent trip to the new marina we just used our new Garmin. We have paper charts available if needed.
05/11/2010 | Joey
Jay: It might seem like we are just looking for money after posting that last blog ad but I can assure you that is untrue. We do want to post some ads to help with our cruising kitty but that is not the purpose of this blog. We know those income numbers will be pathetic, and we could easily devote our time somewhere else to make money at a better rate. Which we do.

This blog is number one: a way to communicate to all our friends and family. And number two: A fun way to recap our adventures and share with anyone who will listen, a hobby.

One of the fun parts of this hobby is to be creative and entertaining. This is where we feel sailblogs is lacking. We know you might enjoy just the words and pictures we post and we are grateful for that. But we'd like to do more like add fun things to the blog and I love statisics personally. And paying $95/year doesnt make alot of sense.

We look forward to making this blog the best it can be and have as much fun with it as we can!
05/12/2010 | C
I say GO! Sailblogs needs to learn that if they don't keep up with the competition, then they will loose clients. $95 is a ripoff for something that is normally free. Additonally, I follow several blogs that have made the jump, and have kept their free SailBlogs site as a "Forwarding" site by simply posting a "teaser" post ending with a link to BlogSpot or Blogger. The "teaser" posts are basically just a Title with a few short sentences ending along the lines of "check out the rest" as a hyperlink to their other site.

I am sure if you look hard enough you can find other SailBlog sites doing the same thing.

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Who: Joey and Christine
Port: Edgewater, MD
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