27 September 2011 | St. Augustine Marine Center
I'm in Detroit now and posting this on our iPad so it will be short and there is no picture. Monday turned out to be quite the day. We got up at 6 am. We moved the boat to the haul out slip at around 8, as soon as the tide was slack enough to chance moving the boat with so little thrust from the prop. We were pulled without incident and Danny pulled and adjusted the prop again. The boat was then put back in the water for the fourth sea trial! I was assured that I would be back from the sea trial in plenty of time to get ready and get to the airport. I told them I needed to be back no later than noon. Bob, from Yanmar, came aboard, as well as Dave, the electrician, who was trying to find the source of the current leak.
We went out the San Sabastian River once more to the Intracoastal Waterway and headed away from St. Augustine. This time the boat moved well and we got up to the engine rpm we were supposed to reach under full throttle. Bob had Bud back the engine down to a slower speed. Suddenly Dave, who was poking around the engine with his meter, called out, "Hey, there's a leak here!" Bob went down to investigate. "Shut the engine down", he ordered. So Bud shut it down. After we drifted for a minute Bud had me go get the anchor ready to drop, in case we started to drift too far out of the channel.
I went down below and found a hose clamp and piece of rubber tube for Bob. It seems that a clamp had gotten bent either at the factory or during the installation and the water pump pulley was rubbing on the engine coolant hose and wore a pin hole in it. While Bob worked on a temporary repair I went back up on deck. Bud asked me to get the staysail ready to set. There was a tiny breeze and it was turning the boat in the channel. When the boat drifted around enough I pulled out the sail and Bud tried to sail it although we were hardly moving.
Soon Bob had a patch improvised and we started the engine back up. The patch held so we started back at just over idle speed. After a bit I took the staysail back in as it was doing more harm than good. We were now returning against the tide, we were going just a bit over 2 knots. The plan was to take the boat back to the middle floating dock, have Danny come back aboard, drain the coolant, take off the hose, cut it and put a tube in to repair it, reinstall it, refill the coolant and take the boat back out to finish the sea trial. It was already going on 11. Having no faith that we'd get that done by 12:30, which was my real deadline for showering to leave for the airport no later than 1:45, I decided to finish packing and take all my stuff ashore. I would skip the next sea trial and if Bud and the boat didn't make it back by 1:45, someone would have to take me to the airport in Orlando.
The repair was done by 11:45 and Bud, Bob and Danny took off. I sat and waited. At 12:30 I was just getting up to take my shower when I saw them coming back. I went and helped them tie off in the slip. The sea trial was done! Everything went fine. I hurried off to shower. Dave and Mark, another guy from the marina, came on board to continue the search for the current leak. Bud, Fuzzy and I left for the airport at 1:45. I arrived in Detroit at about 11 pm. The current leak seems to have been caused by a dead short in one of our solar panel regulators. Hopefully all is well back at the boat as I start the next chapter.