Thursday, January 19, 2017

Folly Beach - 2017

Jan 16 thru Jan 19

--Blogpost written by Bob

Today starts our twelfth week following the breakdown of our engine while traveling south on the ICW.   We are still living in our rented oceanfront apartment in Folly Beach, having extended our original rental period by a week.  Our boat's re-powering should be completed very soon.

January 16

This morning I drove to Rockville to watch our boat splashed into the water, while Maggie slept in.  It had rained during the night.  I arrived at the boatyard early (about 9 AM).  Matt was still working on the engine alignment while the boat was still on jack stands.  Two guys were trying to fix a flat tire on the travel lift when I arrived.

Smoke gently rose from the chimney of a home close to 
the boatyard.  The nearby homes are shaded 
by large live oaks and the lack of sun 
causes mold to grow on the roofs.

Launch wasn't anticipated until about 11 AM when the tide was highest--so, I had to wait about 2 hours and I hoped the flat tire on the travel lift didn't cause a delay in the launch.  The morning was very still as smoke gently rose from a chimney on a home adjacent to the boatyard.  Boatyard workers were busy working on their individual assignments.

By 12:30 AM the tire on the travel lift still wasn't fixed and it seemed to me that our boat's launch would likely be delayed.  I drove back to Folly Beach to meet up with Maggie.  In the afternoon, we drove to Mount Pleasant to do some errands that we had scheduled for tomorrow.

January 17

When we arrived at the boatyard late this morning, the boat was already launched.  Apparently it was launched yesterday afternoon after I left.

We got the top of the hard dodger back in place this afternoon 
after Marine Propulsions spent all morning 
cleaning up the boat--it looks great.

While we were away at lunch, Anthony Black (the owner) and Matt (the mechanic) took the boat out for a sea trial.  When they came back, they had to make a few further adjustments to the engine alignment because the shaft seal was leaking excessively.   Anthony Black recommended that I consider increasing the prop size to make propulsion more efficient.  I told him that I had been thinking about changing to a 3-blade (from a 2-blade) propeller.  He located a used 18" x 12" RH prop that is in good condition ($300) and I gave him the "go ahead" to order it for delivery on Thursday afternoon.  A quick haul will be required on Friday morning for the prop changeout.  This is expected to improve performance (more easily get to hull speed and maintain it at a lower engine RPM), and improve performance docking in reverse during.  It was great to get this kind of input from an expert in propulsion.

January 18

We spent most of today completing the re-routing of the raw water inlet lines for our deck wash system and the supplemental water cooling for the fridge.  We relocated the raw water strainer from the engine compartment to an area beneath the floor in the quarter berth.

I placed a plug into one side of the tee right off the seacock
where the inlet to the deck wash pump was attached.

We changed out all the hoses and completely cleaned the existing raw water strainer as we did the relocation.  Of course, like any boat project, we made three trips for materials (two of the boatyard's warehouse and one to West Marine, about 30 minutes away).  We finished up about 4 PM.  While we had water at both deck wash faucets, the pump didn't automatically shutoff (like it normally does) when either of the two faucets were closed--this means that there is a leak somewhere in the discharge hoses that run through the boat.  We'll have to look for the leak tomorrow.  It is possible that the seawater remaining in the discharge line froze up and cracked the hose during the 25-degree night-time temperatures we experienced a couple weeks ago while the boat was on the hard.


During the sea trial yesterday and while running the engine in the slip early this morning, the PSS shaft seal would be leaktight when at idle but it would leak when the engine was under load.  Attempts to solve the leakage by compressing the bellows were not successful.  So, at Anthony's suggestion, we will be installing a brand new PSS shaft seal to see if that solves the leakage problem.  Our existing shaft seal is about 5 years old.  Since we are hauling out for a prop change, changing the shaft seal can be done at the same time (Thursday afternoon or Friday morning).  By searching my blogposts in the evening, I found out that the shaft seal was previously replaced in January 2014.  Therefore, replacing the 3-year old shaft seal, in my opinion, will not likely solve the problem.

The new engine is noticeably smaller (size and weight) compared to the old engine and the new engine mounts are probably more flexible--maybe too flexible to allow the shaft seal to seal under all operating conditions.  As I drifted off to sleep, I came up with the idea of replacing the lighter new engine mounts that came with the new engine with the stiffer mounts from our old engine.  During the early morning hours, I sent an email to Anthony Black (of Marine Propulsions) with my thoughts.


As we were working on re-routing the inlet hoses for the deck wash system, I noticed a rusty stain along the inside of the hull under the quarter berth coming from the compressor unit for the fridge.  I will have to check this out tomorrow before we leave.

During our work on changing out the inlet hoses for the deck
wash system, we noticed this  rusty water mark
coming from the fridge's compressor.

January 19

Since we couldn't replace the engine panels yet and our progress with getting the inside of the boat back together being hampered, we planned on getting a late start this morning.  Now, with all the pending boat jobs, I'm anxious to get going again today.

Maggie cleaned all the dodger windows and installed them
today.  Even though the boat is not ready to
leave, its looking like it getting there.

Anthony, Matt, & I talked about changing the motor mounts.  We checked the new motor mounts--the two forward mounts were marked "75" (maybe durometer of the rubber?) and the two aft motor mounts were marked "100".  All four of the motor mounts on our old engine were marked "100".  So, we decided to replace the two new motor mounts that were marked "75' with two motor mounts from the old engine.  Matt is working on doing this task this afternoon while the boat is still in the water.  We decided to leave at 1:30 PM and give Matt all the space he needs to work.  Tomorrow morning is the short haul for changing the propeller and the the shaft seal.


We will have at least one more blogpost from Folly Beach, as we will be moving personal things (clothes, some groceries, and our cats) from our rented oceanfront apartment in Folly Beach to our boat in Rockville.  It's going to be a hectic couple of days!

Thanks for following our blog!

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