6 December, 2012, Allans Cay, Abaco, The Bahamas
While having lunch today in our usual pozzie at the aft deck table, Maynard noticed a slightly different tone to the normally consistent tone that the Onan gensets put out. He also noticed white smoke or steam coming out of the exhaust. He went in and checked the genset engine temperature and it was well within normal working range but maybe a couple of degrees higher than normal (179 deg F). So just to be safe, we shut it off and started up the starboard side genset and finished lunch....as you do.
After lunch, Jake and Maynard went down to inspect the impeller to ensure all was well and were amazed to find that 11 of the 12 impeller blades had broken off but the genset was still able to operate in its normal temperature range which is quite amazing. These impellers are supposed to have been changed every 500 hours and it was our understanding that they were changed in Maine by the previous crew. It was our plan to change them again in Freeport, Bahamas at their normal 500 hour interval. I suppose it is possible that these impellers were not changed and that might account for the really poor condition it was found in or there may be some other problem with the housing or whatever. We will now be inspecting the impellers every 50 - 100 hours just to make sure all is well. Tomorrow, we will pull off and inspect the impeller on the port side and let you know what we find. Of course, we felt it was necessary to find all 11 blades and as you can see, we were successful and removed all of them from the heat exchanger which is a happy conclusion to this job.