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24 April 2014. She runs, however...

Wednesday was a very good day.  For the first time the engine started and ran in Seaweed. She's a bit noisier than on the dock -- more vibration and I've got some learning to do too.  Things like how to bleed the engine, etc.  That's not hard and is something that every boater needs to know for their diesel.

And ladies, my manicure is intact. It may sound icky but "bleeding the engine" is really a case of letting the air out of the system so that only fuel goes into the motor.  It can be done on my Volvo with wrenches (three sizes, and yes, I'll have them attached to bulkheads where needed so I won't have to hunt 'em down) ... anyway, bleeding is just releasing the air from the fuel lines. It's not a filthy job.

So, aboard Seaweed we (specifically, the mechanics at Jerry's Just Right Marine) had hooked up an auxiliary fuel tank. It is really an outboard fuel tank (the red ones you see everywhere) but this one had 1.5 gallons of diesel in it. 

With the compression lever raised on the front cylinder and the throttle at 1/2, we gave her a go. Seaweed started right up and remained running.  A bit of adjustment and we settled down for a "break in" period.  Basically we ran the engine at 1/3rd throttle, checking oil pressure and temperature for any aberrations.

All sounds were normal. Steve (a mechanic at Just Right) showed me how to put on the air intake mufflers and I fixed one with a small crack in it. Rescue Tape stretched and wrapped around solved that.  It's my belief all boats that leave the dock need at least one roll of Rescue Tape. I prefer clear so I can see what is being covered.

Just above the fuel filter (red arrow)  are the two silver air intake mufflers. They are now painted white.

With 1.5 gallons in the auxiliary fuel tank we gave her a go.  She basically just idled for 3.5 hours. And didn't burn even a gallon of fuel.  That's amazing. My friend Bob (see Time Stopped article) said his only burned a quart an hour but men, well, they don't always talk truth, especially when it comes to motors.

There are two types of diesel talk: The fellows who swear theirs only sips fuel, and then the macho types to don't know how to throttle back and complain about burning 16 gallons per hour at 12 knots. Or worse. 

And still, I do not know what my fuel economy will be. At idle is one thing, but Under Load* is another entirely.

*Under Load essentially means while being used.  Underway, versus in neutral at a dock...

So after 3.5 hours of perfection the decision was made to take her out into the river and give Seaweed a go. She was magnificent. We moved nicely through the water and at 1/2 throttle didn't kick up a wake.  There's something about a displacement hull... It was wonderful to again be mobile.

For five minutes.

Then the engine temperature started to rise. The exhaust is right outside the door on the starboard side so putting my hand into that water allowed me to gauge that the temperature had indeed raised. What was of more concern though was that the water flow seemed restricted, and there was oil in the exhaust water.

Back to the dock ASAP.  Within ten minutes we were again tied up and the post-mortem began. 

The following day (this morning) the manifold came off. The thermostat was stuck, with a bit of rust in it. Not good.

So where we are at now:

  1. Hoping the issue is the thermostat (that's a cheap fix)

  2. The Good News: it might be a bad cylinder head ($1000!!!)

  3. Worst Case Scenario: it might be the manifold and that's a $1,300 part!

I'm trying to wrap my head around the idea that Good News
can cost ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS for a part. Plus labor!

Seaweed is a boat and goodness knows they are not inexpensive.

But she's home, and I wouldn't have it any other way.  More news after the manifold is soaked in muriatic acid for a couple days.

Life is great afloat and I will confess I'm enjoying the use of a power line.  The refrigerator has been on 24/7 and a couple days ago I ran the crock pot all day long. I tell you, this decadent lifestyle is simply amazing.

Get a boat and come on out here too. It's fun -- even when stuff goes not-so-great, it's still better than dirt.

Have you ever had an engine overheat while underway?
What was the issue and how did you fix it?


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