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Date: 2 January 2016. Getting Betsy Ready-to-Go.


Betsy runs! My engine is beautiful. Her name is Betsy. She is quiet and purrs along. What is left to do? The fuel return line. The mechanic could not find the old one from the BOB engine so who knows? Maybe the last engine did not have one though I believe all diesels have a fuel return line. In any event Paul was successful in getting the engine up and running. My prayers have been answered. Here is what's been done by Sunrize Marine thus far:

Paul of Sunrize Marine looking at the situation and making a plan of action.

Coming part-way into a job is always difficult. Essentially a mechanic must figure out what the previous plan was, along with how he is going to make it work now. The key for me is to have a boat that can move under her own power. Being stuck for another hurricane season is unacceptable.

Besides, Seaweed was made for cruising. She is set up for life off the grid and I am anxious for new vistas. There are so many places to visit on the Gulf coast being tied up is simply torture. Mind you, it is torture with a fabulous view. Have I mentioned the weather is wonderful down here?

Life on a boat is not suffering. I might be a bit testy sometimes when things are going belly up however you must know this:

I love my life aboard Seaweed. She is both my shelter and my ticket to freedom. I am fortunate beyond measure and grateful for all the blessings that come with life afloat.

Exploring beaches with Skipper is always fun. This one, with its "No Dogs Allowed" sign reminds me
why civilization needs work. Or I need to be someplace remote where rules have not been made...

But I digress.
The fuel return line has to be attached. My mechanic said he would be here this week however in listening to his schedule I am not expecting him until the following week. He had a crane job (dinghy on top of boat) that was awaiting a part (arrived) and a one day job. No job takes a day. There is always something discovered during the process so I am planning on him early next week. And that is okay.

I do understand priorities and am glad I'm in his schedule.

Paul arrived with tools and has knowledge. Heck, Paul even has his own lathe and mill at his shop. He was able to smooth out one thing and built me an expansion tank for the heat exchanger. Not everyone has those talents. Paul of Sunrize Marine, paraphrased, described it this way:

A technician replaces parts. A professional finds out why something
happened and solves the underlying problem before replacing parts.

The FUEL RETURN LINE is temporarily run to a CONTAINER below the engine.

The FUEL RETURN LINE is temporarily run to a CONTAINER below the engine.

That hose that appears to end at the coupler next to the blue star above is actually unattached. I totally removed it yesterday. I should have done so earlier.

The heat exchanger (big thing at the top of the picture) is off the boat now.



As you may recall from the Welding Shop and a Riser article a stainless box surrounding the riser pipe was removed by Todd of Lizotte's Welding.

His company was recommended by two cruisers. One local fellow and a boat currently in the Bahamas spoke highly of Todd. The man has a reputation and it is a good one. Prices are fair and the work is excellent.

Lizotte's Welding in St. Pete, FL
[phone: 727-343-7690]


I also bought at the suggestion of Stu a roll of LEDAUT 2" x 50' Titanium Exhaust Heat Wrap. It will cover the exhaust manifold and riser pipe prior to where the raw water enters it. This protective shield will ensure that I cannot accidentally burn myself on those hot pipes. You know how hot your car's exhaust pipe gets. The same principle applies to my diesel engine. 




Details about Betsy picture:


Same photo repeated for easier reference
without scrolling to description on right.

From the top: First the EXHAUST MANIFOLD (green oval) is wrapped with a special fiberglass tape that will keep it cooler to the touch on the outside. When working above an engine I will be safer. We, meaning Paul, also wrapped the riser until where the raw water enters that pipe.

Next Paul put back on the ALTERNATOR (red star). I do have a 55 amp Hurth with a separate stud for an external multi-stage regulator. That is a definite desire for later. Mounting the larger alternator will not be easy.

By Paul's thumb is an EXPANSION TANK (blue arrow) he created at his shop for Seaweed. The standard radiator cap fits the hole and filling with coolant will be easy. This is a spiffy setup.

There is a standard Kubota heat exchanger now secured to my motor mount support. It is plumbed with hose. Pipe would have meant worries about vibration weakening the joints. That won't happen now.

Because a smaller heat exchanger is in use the temperature will be better regulated by my thermostat.


The FUEL SHUT-OFF VALVE (purple arrow) was a good idea in theory that was not so good in reality. It was mine and there is no one to blame but self. I wanted a way to cut fuel to the engine in case there was a problem.

There was. The problem was that between the fuel shut-off valve and the engine, there is enough fuel in the line to run for thirty minutes! Have I mentioned my little diesel does not use much fuel?!?


On the final visit Paul will be wiring an engine cut off switch. This Kubota has a power-off gizmo and I will be able to shut her down immediately. That is a critical safety feature in my view.

Previous Ut-Oh Event: I was coming into a dock with Beast, the gasoline engine. When I tried to put her in neutral nothing happened. She remained in forward gear. Rather than crash into the dock at speed I immediately shut down the engine. Fortunately I was not going fast and no damage was done.

That is precisely why I will always have a way to immediately shut down the engine quickly.

At present if I just let the fuel go into a container she runs. She runs quiet too. I put down the decks while she was running and the noise was not too bad. I could hear the VHF radio and that is important to me. At some point in the future I will consider installing sound barriers.

Inside the home Daddy built. She's a 40' steel sedan cruiser with a fly-bridge.

On our 40'er we had wall-to-wall carpet UNDER the decks as a sound barrier. Above was a layer of cork that did not do well with oil and such. Later rolled linoleum made clean-ups easier. You might note the edges for decks are aluminum trimmed. That means you can take a screwdriver to them and raise each deck section easily. Those fancy pull rings cost money. This way from any angle you could raise the wood. And all decks came up in our *saloon.

*Saloon or Salon: Also known as Deck House or the place you sit around and shoot the breeze, do your living and plan your next adventure. Ours was comfy. The loveseat (above in corner) was a hide-a-bed for when guests came. It was not real comfortable for sleeping and that was fine. Visitors, like fish after three days, begin to stink.

Seaweed went into gear easily without a clunk. That is a good sign. Like before there was water movement at the transom. I started to take the boat I am rafted to out of the slip. That was mighty fine. Then Paul noted a drip of transmission fluid by the shifter attachment gizmo. He put the engine back into neutral and then he shut her down.

An engine painted white means drips are easily spotted.

Paul removed the piece where the drip emanated. While he had it disassembled he smoothed the stainless shaft inside the gizmo on his lathe. Spiffy. On returning with the new gasket in place all was well. No more drips could be seen.

Life is good aboard Seaweed.

This is what Paul has accomplished thus far:

  • Glow plugs wired

  • New hoses for cooling system

  • New to me heat exchanger attached and plumbed

  • Built and installed an expansion tank for the coolant

  • Attached the riser and wrapped it plus exhaust manifold in fiberglass heat-shield

  • Wired a new key start for engine

  • Detached, fixed and replaced gizmo (clutch attachment thing) by transmission

  • Replaced sending unit for oil pressure

  • Changed and built new orifice for thermostat housing

  • MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL: I heard my Betsy running. Gosh that was wonderful!

Like any boat project more was discovered in the course of the repair. Such is the norm and why it is imperative to budget for extras. Yet to do includes attaching the throttle and shifter cables, wiring a shut down switch, attaching the fuel return line and probably more I have forgotten. However we are Close. THISclose.

Life afloat is wonderful. That I will be able to take her out for a spin at will means more to me than you can imagine. Besides I have cruising to do. I do not want to wait too long. As Peggie Hall so rightly pointed out in the previous vignette Time Flies.

Is your engine painted white? Did you change it or was it a Previous Owner's decision?
And, can you use any paint for your engine or does it require a special concoction? (I'm curious.)

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