We think we found the problem!
12/04/2007, Cocoa, FL
Tuesday, December 4 - Cocoa, FL
Thanks to all who commiserated and offered suggestions about the engine trouble.
Back to the engine- it appears that the thermostat is installed and is not, I repeat, not leaking this time. However, a leak was spotted somewhere in the back (will this ever end?) I would like to say also, that because the engine is under the stairway, the stairs must be removed to work on the engine, hence making me a prisoner down here. Besides, I fetch tools and parts. It looks like a perfect, sunny day outside-maybe I'll get to check that out later . . . It is cooler today and is only supposed to get to around 70 degrees.
Well, looks like everything is back together and it is time to start the engine. So Mike is putting fuel in the boat from the jerry cans, drinking coffee, doing "things" to keep him from starting the engine. After all this work over the last day and a half, what if it does the same thing? And will it start? Yes! It started right up, although we probably won't know if the overheating problem is fixed until we hit the ICW again.
WAIT-Mike decides to check one more thing that Carl had suggested before we put the boat back together-the fitting and hose that bring in the raw water to cool the engine. Holey cow! No wonder the poor engine was overheating-something was living in the pipe! We aren't sure what it is, but we are pretty sure we don't want to keep it. Mike is on his way back to the hardware store (with more trash) so we can put things back together. That should take the rest of the day. We are going out for pizza with Rick and Linda (Sojourner) and some of their friends tonight.
It's not all glamour and good times
12/04/2007, Cocoa, FL
Monday, December 3 - Cocoa, Florida
Well, the boat is completely torn apart and the only place to sit is in the chair, so I might as well type up the blog entry. Mike has his head in the engine compartment and is systematically taking apart anything that could have anything to do with our overheating problem. The engine is under our stairway and the compartment is not large. We have already checked the easy things, like the sea water strainer, which was clean, checked the impeller, which looked fine and is relatively new. So, it was time to check the heat exchanger which is at the back of the engine, down low. This means Mike has to put a board on top of the engine and basically stand on his head to remove the hose clamps and disconnect hoses to get the thing out. Well, he got it out and it's pretty clean-no jelly fish or crud. Darn, that must not be the problem. Then he had to remove the alternator to check the thermostat, replaced the thermostat, although the old one looked good. Probably not the problem either. He also checked all hoses for any blockage and we won't mention that he dropped something in one of them which meant we had to take the thing out and empty it-just meaning it took longer than anticipated.
Luckily, Carl and Marilyn (Discovery) stopped by and invited us for supper with another couple from "Sojourner". Whew, I didn't know how we could cook anything in this mess.
Then, Mike put some antifreeze in the engine, as some was lost in the process above, and it was leaking out of the thermostat housing. Arrrrgh! It was off to the hardware (with the trash which we would leave in the trash can at the park-always take the opportunity to get the trash off of the boat) to get some permatex (a gasket making concoction of some sort) and of course, more antifreeze. Then Mike went to get water, which is not easy here-he took the pliers and mumbled something about "behind the privet hedge". . . When he got back, I worked on getting the water in the boat and he put the thermostat back together again and it was still leaking. Double arrrgh. Well, now it was 4:30 and time to get cleaned up to head over for dinner. Tomorrow we will try again. Oh, and I only heard two bad words today.
We had a wonderful dinner of salad and salmon on rice with peanut sauce. We also met Rick and Linda from "Sojourner" and had a lovely evening.
12/03/2007, Cocoa, FL
Titusville to Cocoa - December 2
We left Titusville about 10am bound for Cocoa. When I turned on the engine, it turned over nicely but did not start. I tried 5 or 6 times, but stopped before I ran down the battery. The same thing had happened, to a lesser degree the yesterday. I gave it one last try a minute later and it came to life. Sadly, before we had gone a mile, our overheating buzzer sounded. Yesterday we were fine running at 1900 rpms but today all we could manage was 1000 before overheating. So we spent about 4 hours at 4 miles an hour. It was a perfect day in the 80's. I am thinking that the two problems are not related... hoping is more like it. I called Ken from "Second Wind" (sister ship) who knows much more that I about this engine and his position was that I needed to clean our heat exchanger. I will probably wait now until the morning because the engine is still hot and I have to lay on top of it to get to the exchanger.
For the last two days we have been traveling mostly in the Indian River which is a very large body of water between the beach and mainland Florida. At times it 2 miles wide and goes on a far as the eye can see north and south. The ICW here is a marked channel in the middle that is about 40 yards wide. The markers are about ½ mile apart so you just keep aiming for the next one. There is plenty of wild life. Today we saw a couple of osprey along with the pelicans that are becoming our favorite birds. Dolphins are rolling most of the time ... we are almost at the point where we are taking them for granted.