Date: 28 August 2014. Diagnosing a Blown
being dragged into Steinhatchee at the end of a TowBoatUS line I can
assure you that departure was looking better and better. But first,
I needed to determine why the latest breakdown occurred and how to
remedy the situation. In that regard, I was blessed.
original mechanics helped with advice. That was both appreciated and useful. Steve, who
worked on my girl and Jerry from Just Right Marine were able to offer troubleshooting
suggestions as I began the process of tracking down all the post-event
"Why Did This Happen?" scenarios. Hindsight is always 20/20.
And too, I
have a network of friends. Remember back in the
article my friend Irene had
some suggestions for staying in touch? Well, it's a great idea --
one I advocate strongly to all, not just soloists such as myself.
You see, if
the only time I called you was because I wanted something, soon
enough you'd avoid taking my calls. That's why it's important to
call and say hello often. Keeping in touch means I'm more
likely to know what is happening in your life -- and it is a way of
not being so alone out here too.
was also very fortunate in that a couple of fellows (website readers)
actually called to offer phone assistance. We went through the entire post engine install
run-up, through to the failure while I puttering along offshore. What a blessing that was!
The three hours spent on the phone with Captain Will made a huge
impact on my knowledge of this Volvo engine and cannot be underestimated.
I'm only sorry that I won't be keeping the BOB engine. I did
so want to but alas... (more on that upcoming)
Will is on a Pilgrim40 named Beachcomber. He was the fellow who gave me the diagnostic
determining that the bearing was blown. This is how we did it.
lay-woman's terms, here goes:
the oil filter
open the filter housing
out the paper part
look for metal shavings
bottom of my filter I could see small pieces of what looks like
flecks of gold. That's the carcass of bearings -- and it's not a
Well, I went online and
replacing the bearings looked straight forward. First pull the
crankshaft then put everything back together and voila:
instant repair. It looked inexpensive too.
What I didn't
know/realize is that the engine would have to come out. This
job has to be done with the engine upside down. Who dreams up
stuff like that?!?
became apparent that I needed to get back to friends and be with
people I trust. I found a boat transport company online and was told
to be at the local ramp for an 11 p.m. pick-up. It was a
bargain price as I was going to be part of a dead-head* back and
the price was great at $2.50 a mile. That met my budget
is a term used when a company truck is heading back to home base
without a load. The trip would be uncompensated, thus the price goes
down if you're heading the right way. And I was.
needed to get Seaweed to the launch ramp in Steinhatchee that night.
I didn't want to call TowBoatUS -- it wasn't an emergency and I felt
certain I could find a local to drag Seaweed over to the ramp. After
all, I could see where I needed to be. Were the current cooperative
I probably could have towed her over there with just Algae.
for me I met a couple of fellows who were from Bradenton Yacht Club
and vacationing in Steinhatchee. Steve and Brooks, along with
First Mate Paxton have a pontoon boat and were willing to side-tow
me over to the ramp. How nice that was!
College men and their hand signals. Trusting someone
to tell me which fraternity this is ASAP. I am curious.
The trip to
the boat ramp was the first time Brooks (on right) had side-towed
another boat, and Seaweed has a bit of heft plus windage too. Even
in the current, he did a great job.
What put my
mind most at rest though was the First Mate, Paxton, who took charge
of Skipper so I could concentrate on getting Seaweed secured.
Here's Paxton and Skipper aboard
the pontoon boat:
My Skipper loves to be held and seemed
to have a great time on the pontoon boat. I know that was because she felt
so safe with Paxton. Thanks for helping out that night Paxton. You were a
terrific First Mate / Captain-in-Training.
And thanks to your dad and his pal for
helping get Seaweed where she needed to be that night. Bradenton Yacht
Club has some right nice folks and it was a pleasure to meet you all. I
hope your time in Steinhatchee was fun.
Have you ever been helped out on the water by a fellow
And, have you ever been able to help some out here? What did you do?
In the Bilges,
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