And the Work Goes On
22 December 2011 | Vero Beach Marina
OK, first I’ll admit the bird has nothing to do with what I’m writing about today. I like to have a picture with every post, but we’ve been sitting on the same dock dealing with the same problems for so long that my inspiration for pictures is about gone. We spent the day working on the fuel lines and the bilge pump switch. Not much to show you there. I’ve already put in a picture of the bilge. It’s not getting any prettier. I took the camera out after supper thinking maybe I’d try to capture some of the Christmas lights around when I saw this huge bird on the end of one of the docks. He kindly stood there while I snapped his picture. Even the flash didn’t spook him.
I got up at a bit after 6 this morning and Bud was already up. He’d been thinking about the air leak in the fuel lines and the fuel leaks from overfilling. Even though we only saw diesel around the return lines to the tanks, he thought if they could be leaking so could the supply lines. He decided the Teflon tape he’d used on the threads was not appropriate, so by 6:15 AM he was disassembling the fittings to the fuel tanks. I helped clean the threads. He then put them back together with another pipe thread compound we had. I went on- line and found technical information on that compound that listed diesel oil as a fluid with which it could be used. It didn’t give the cure time for that application, but did give a phone number to call for technical support. So at 8:30 AM (7:30 Central Time) when they opened, I called the technical support number and was told to wait 12 to 24 hours before running diesel through the lines. That ended us moving off the dock today.
Once those fittings were redone and the gasket on one tank’s viewing port replaced, we moved on to the bilge pump switch. Bud lay down on the engine and reached down into the bilge. I lay on the floor and tried to pass the bilge pump hose to him. I couldn’t move it far enough forward and up for him to grab it. In the end Bud disconnected the upper end of the hose from the strainer near the pump, we passed that under the engine and then up straight and he was able to manipulate the end with the pick-up, the weight and the switch to get the switch sitting flat on the bottom of the bilge. We hooked it back up and it was still sticking. Sometimes you could add water to the bilge and the switch wouldn’t come on until you wiggled the hose. It was switching off on its own, though. Finally Bud broke down and pulled it out one more time. After some fiddling we decided that our mounting was binding the wires, which exited the housing on one side of the pivot, so the wires were keeping the float from moving freely. We ended up constructing a new mounting board out of Starboard, a plastic material. This is actually more stable because we made it so the weight is held horizontally between the switch and the hose pick-up. We tested it thoroughly in a bucket and it seemed to work fine. Another 30 or 40 minutes of work with Bud on the engine and me on the floor and we got it in place. It does seem to work. We hope, since this is the switch that’s supposed to be pretty much bullet proof, that it will still be working in a week. One job finally done, we think.
We’re still waiting to see if the local Yanmar dealer will get a new fuel manifold to us. I’m supposed to call in the morning. They do have the gauges and engine sending units for the water temperature and oil pressure. Tomorrow we are moving back out to a mooring ball, the rest of the work can be done there. We’re tired of paying dockage, and besides, they have someone who’s reserved this space. We decided today to stay at Vero Beach City Marina through Christmas. Realistically, we won’t be done until Saturday at the earliest. They are having a Christmas potluck here, so we signed up. We do hope to leave here Monday, but I’m not making any bets.