Osprey next door
12/10/2007, Cocoa, FL
FWednesday in Cocoa
My goal for the day has been to replace the sensor / switch that turns on our bilge pump when water is present. The device is called a Water Witch... the current one has not been working for about a week and it's a reasonably important safety device.
To take the old one out we have to remove everything from a storage area behind out engine and then un-screw the aft wall of this area. Then I get to climb into the basement through one of the hatches in the cockpit where I barely fit. Once inside the hatch, I have to turn myself around moving my head and shoulders downward into our keel .. at this point the bilge pump is located about four feet below my nose.
The switch is clamped to a 6 foot section of ¾ in pvc pipe the top of which is hose clamped to the mizzen mast compression post. The Water Witch is at the base. Once the hose clamps are removed, whole assembly needs to be snaked past the drive shaft and bent enough to get it out the hatch that is now above my feet.
At this point 2 hours have passed... and with everything ... pipe, wiring, switch, in the cockpit we disassembled the old and wired in the new. However, before I went back down we wanted to test it out. So we got a bucket of water and stuck the switch under. It would seem that once the thing was dumped, it should turn on the bilge pump.... But no luck. However when we submerged both of the sensors on the switch it worked. I was confused so I called the number on the box and spoke with a very nice tech guy who explained that there was not enough capacitance in the bucket of water to make it work, but promised that it would operate as advertised when in the bilge.
At about this time we got a call from Sojourner saying that they were heading for the bus stop if we wanted to tag along. So we were off to shore and took the bus to a very nice grocery store. After purchasing all we could carry , we made our way back to the boat and finished our the job of repositioning our bilge pump switch.
After reading for a while we fried some very nice oysters for dinner. My goal for the day was not accomplished. ...alas....
The osprey was living on the top of the mizzen mast on the boat next to us. I'm afraid those people might come back to a big mess.
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.