Sunday, August 9, 2015

Its alive II...

Not the Beast. It is still slumbering away in its cave waiting on the new raw water pump. The last bit of solar panel wiring was stalled as well, waiting for the post man to show and drop some fancy Renogy solar panel connectors into my hands. Deb was working on taking the front end of the boat apart to check on the holding tank sensor. It has lost its little mind, unable to decide if the tank is full, empty, or somewhere in between. Which kind of defeats the purpose of having a holding tank sensor in the first place.

All of which left me poking around, looking for something useful to contribute to the day. Once we get away from this dock the hope is to not be near another for quite a while, making the Dink and its Merc vital pieces of equipment. The Dink has been collapsed, rolled up, stashed in its cover, and nestled in front of the mast. The Merc has been hanging on the rail. Both have been completely ignored since we got to Oak Harbor. It was time to get them back in the game.

The Dink is, of course, just a kind of chubby balloon one fills with air. Except for an occasional cleaning, so long as the air stays in and the water stays out the Dink is basically good to go. On the other hand the Merc has a bit of a history of being, shall we say, temperamental. I used to regard it as down right mental, even a bit evil, but over the last year it had proved itself to be a reliable bit of kit. The only ongoing hassle was trying to keep the idle speed happy. Warm and with the choke off, shifting into neutral would either have it revving like mad or muttering to a stop. The sweet spot in the idle adjustment eluded all efforts to dial it in. Mostly I learned to time the approach so as to coast the last few yards to the dock or boat with the Merc in neutral, either fading away or screaming to announce our arrival.

But our little Dink pusher has been idle for lo these many months now, and experience has taught us that it doesn't like to be idle any more than it likes idling. The better part of a day just hanging around waiting for something to fill it up seemed a good fit for bringing the Merc out of its hibernation.

I replaced the zinc before dropping the motor from rail to transom. After two years there was still some of it left, always a good thing. With just a little effort the dregs popped out of the counter bore making room for a shiny new sacrificial bit that Sister Sea can gnaw at for a while. On the transom the locking pin for holding the motor up out of the water was found to be pretty much stuck in place. A little WD40 and some gentle tapping with a mallet put it back in service. There was still some old fuel in the tank which wasn't likely to help encourage the little motor to wake up, but there was no good place to dump it out. Turning on the fuel, setting the choke, and checking the ignition safety was mostly to see if it all still moved as it should, given that the lift pin had been stuck. It all appeared workable so, almost without thinking I gave the rope a gentle pull, mostly to see if the motor would still turn over.

The little wanker actually popped a little. Are you kidding me? A second pull and it fired up, puffed some smoke, and settled into a very nice idle.

Are you kidding me? I had most of a day to kill and the Merc came to life in less than an hour. I swear I heard the thing giggle at me.

Fortunately, the mail man showed up shortly thereafter. The rest of the day was filled bringing the third solar panel on line. Kintala is almost a magic boat, sucking electricity directly out of the air. Now all she needs is an engine that runs.

And a Bimini cover.

The Beast would appreciate some fresh oil and a new filter.

And some fresh fuel filters.

There are new lights to install in the cockpit.  

But we are getting there.


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