Date: 10 August 2020. To the Boatyard.
For several years I have been
paying a series of divers to clean the bottom of Seaweed each month.
Zincs are changed as needed. All in all, I have been satisfied. When
I was able to get into the boatyard for a haul-out and paint plus
more (there is always more!) I deliberately did not say anything to
the current diver. This is an Excellent way to verify that the scraping is
being done well.
A great diver is
worth the price. He can
identify issues before they become a problem.
Check out Seaweed's bottom:
There were a few large barnacles and perhaps a couple
dozen smaller ones near the waterline. This is understandable after
a half dozen
years without bottom paint. My zincs were in good shape. The
condition is a tribute to the diver I have now. He has been doing a
When I told the boatyard (Salt
Creek 727-895-4481 in St. Petersburg, FL) that
Seaweed had not been hauled for several years they were naturally a
bit concerned about their equipment. Barnacles and oysters can cut
straps used for the lift. I assured them that I had a regular diver
and all would be well.
On the way to the boatyard
however I ran into a couple of problems. One was self-inflicted. The
other was unfortunate. Problem Two was a direct result of Problem
First, the self-inflicted:
Aboard Seaweed I have a radiator cap atop an
overflow for the coolant. When I opened it pre-trip, apparently I
did not get the cap seated correctly. Thus, when the engine heated
up coolant was escaping around the cap.
is near my Racor fuel/water separator. Just below that is an
OVERFLOW ↓ CONTAINER.
You may note the arrow written on the top of my Racor. It's so that
when I'm tense I don't have to wonder which way to turn the top.
Now I am certain most folks perform well under pressure. I prefer to
have clear directions so I cannot possibly mess up when stressed.
This idea, to mark my Racor filter assembly cover,
is not my own. I adapted this from Lily Marie. For
details on one of the coolest engine rooms in existence, the
Life onboard Lily Maria
(Thompson 44 M/V) article has
solutions you might like to implement. Captain Colin was a smart
Lily Maria is a 44' Thompson motor vessel.
Like most boat problems, it is
seldom ONE THING. Usually
another will exacerbate the situation causing a cascade failure.
That is the exact thing I experienced on the way to the boatyard.
The engine overheated first.
Second, the breakdown:
Initially I was running Seaweed in place. After a
half hour or so all was well so I got underway. Shortly thereafter
she began to overheat. I shut down and looked. There appeared to be
water bubbling out around the top of the radiator cap. After a few
minutes I added more coolant and restarted.
Then I got back underway. You see,
I had a long overdue appointment at the boat yard for a haul out.
Well, Seaweed stalled out a second time after about 45 minutes. I
was near a channel marker so lasso'ed it. Yes, I know you're not
supposed to tie off. On a Monday morning with zero boat traffic and
shallow areas down wind of my location, this seemed like a good
Tying off to a channel marker is
against the rules. So too is anchoring in a
channel. Thus, I opted for the lesser of two evils while assessing
In my defense, I would like to add that there was zero boat traffic
around and this was a temporary solution to a bad situation.
↑ from my oil pressure sending unit had gotten hot,
melted, and come loose from the fitting.
When I opened the engine room hatch I saw oil sprayed over the
batteries on my port side. The engine was obviously too hot. It was
at that point I determined that my problems needed a professional.
was beyond my level of expertise.
First, I telephoned TowBoatUS for their assistance.
They sent out Captain Jason. He arrived shortly after I called. I
could have used the VHF radio however I was embarrassed... Over the
phone was a bit more discrete.
regarding TowBoatUS: I love love love them,
and have always been satisfied with both the speed and level of
service. There is another company, SeaTow, which provides similar
services. My advice would be to see which company is most prevalent
in your area and pick them.
TowBoatUS Cap'n Jason quickly got Seaweed secured to
his vessel. Thus began the tow to Salt Creek Boat Yard.
My engine had overheated. Oil was in the bilge.
I do have an oil absorbent pad in the bilge so no oil went
overboard. Still, it was messy. I knew the issues I had would
require a mechanic. This was beyond my scope of understanding. I
did check the oil dipstick and fortunately there was no water in
my engine block. I had not blown the head gasket, I hoped!!!
In the meantime I pondered my
situation. I was up the creek with a single engine boat and no
I needed a solution, one that could help me get to safety
if/when my main engine fails. That is when I remembered the
lovely couple on M/V Manatee. In the
article I learned of Ted and Sarah's solution.
With modification, I believed I could utilize that
brilliant idea albeit on a smaller scale for my Seaweed.
Though Ted and Sarah
live aboard a Kadey Krogen 36, on the way to the boatyard I passed by
another KK, the 42' version.
She's a KK42, and her name is Henrietta. Isn't she just the prettiest
And a final picture of Henrietta
out of San Diego, California:
And thus my journey to the boatyard was a bit eventful. The good
was Jason and TowBoatUS towing service. One fee, once per year,
and my Seaweed is safe from breakdowns. But I need more. I want
to be able to self rescue.
I was expanding the job (one-more-thing-itis) I knew my boatyard
costs were going to rise. And too, Tom the Salt Creek boatyard manager would
not be able to give me an estimate until the jobs were underway.
More shortly. I have been having computer
difficulties. Argh!!! Thank you for reading.
Have you ever broken down on the way to the boatyard?
And, what was your issue?
Regarding the Comments Section,
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In the Bilges,
Credit Card Compromised ~
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