Monday, November 11, 2013


The UPS truck dropped off a nice sized box from Engines 1 today.  Inside the nice sized box was a bit of copper tubing bent here and there and an invoice for $48.89.  There were no fittings on this bit of copper tubing, no compression collars, and of course no explanation of what I had done to deserve being the recipient of a nice sized box filled with STUPID.  Such STUPID is, of course, completely useless in the quest to get our engine running once again.  Deb attempted to explain the STUPID to various parts fools; but was unsuccessful in penetrating the false assumption that they had the slightest idea of what they were talking about.  "Experts" are supposed to contact us tomorrow morning in an attempt to fix the STUPID.  (You might be able to guess why Deb did the talking and not me.)

We rented a slip for a month ... not sure that is going to be long enough.

Meanwhile new friends sailed into the anchorage and dropped a hook.  They sailed in because their engine isn't running either.  Deb and I spent some time on Happy Dancer this evening to see if I had any ideas.  There appears to be an airlock in the fuel injection system but I couldn't move enough fuel with the lift pump primer to clear it.  They don't have any loose diesel on board to fill the filter bowls so we are going to head over there in the morning with some, see if we can't get them going.  Heading back to Kintala with nothing but an idea of what to try tomorrow was disappointing.  If I don't actually fix something pretty soon (rather than just flailing away like some kind of bone-headed amateur) it may lead to uncontrollable twitches and mutterings unsuitable to human ears.

Adding to the joys of cruising is the gale warning in effect from Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday; highlights include N winds 25 to 30 with gusts up to 40 and waves 2 to 4 feet.  The thermometer will just touch freezing come Wednesday morning.  So there are about 48 hours of fun and games headed our way. 

And yet here I sit, broken boat and impending night or two of little sleep while being buffeted by an icy North wind, and figure this is just part of being in this place we have wanted to be and doing this thing we have wanted to do.

Weather is part of the deal.  Broken boats are part of the deal.  But I could do with a little less STUPID.


Unknown said...

For the fuel flow issue, have they tried adding an electric fuel pump? After struggling several times with the Westerbeke lift pump in my Tartan 37, I ended up installing an electric fuel pump which fixed many fuel problems. Typical electric pumps cost less than $100 and make it much easier to feed and bleed when necessary and provides a more reliable fuel supply through the filters.

Re: stupid, I have had similar experiences ordering parts for my old Westerbeke. I have been shipped pieces of tubing instead of parts for the fuel system. They should really not advertise they have the fuel line parts if they are going to just ship a piece of tubing.

TJ said...

Alan, they don't have an electric pump - we don't have one either. It is something I hope to add one of these day but I would like to get to warmer temps first.

With the exception of Joe Joyce, a Westerbeke tech rep who has helped me with emails, Westerbeke's customer service is about as bad as any I have run across. Sadly, that makes them about average in the marine industry.

Unknown said...

I know this is an old post, but just a comment (consider it a public service announcement) about adding an electric pump - the PO of my Cal 3-30 had added an electric pump to compensate for an 'airlock' issue as described here. All good. Except that the issue was really more of a loose fuel fitting, which had allowed air to get sucked into the fuel system. True, the diesel ran better with the electric fuel pump which converted the problem of a small amount of air getting into the fuel system into a small amount of fuel leaking out. Until the vibration of the diesel vibrated that fuel fitting full loose, and the electric pump very efficiently emptied the diesel tank into the bilge. That electric pump ended up in the garbage. All of the copper compression washers in the fuel system got replaced, problem is gone, and I'm less likely to get a bilge full of diesel again. :)

Deb said...

Phil - very good point. I'm going to have to think on that one some more.