Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Red Beast in the boat...

Not the Orange Beast in the White House...

After three nights on a Dinner Key mooring ball, two bumpy and one quiet, Kintala is back in No Name Harbor, provisioned up and ready to go. The original plan was to be in West End in the Bahamas early Thursday morning and, had we made the crossing on schedule, it would have worked out fine. If we had been slowed down for any reason though, say the WesterBeast went on strike and the winds stayed calm, we would have still been bobbing around out there come the afternoon. By which time the winds had ramped up to the 25 knot rage with seas approaching 10 feet soon thereafter. That was cutting things bit too fine for this rusty crew. We like weather windows that look more like garage doors.

I feel a bit bad about mistrusting the Beast as much as I do. After all, it was the v-drive that exploded right after we bought the boat, not the Beast's fault. Our struggles with water leaks is a Jabsco pump problem, attached to the Beast only by a drive belt. The poorly mounted, aftermarket alternator also hangs on the side, attached mostly by belt, and fails independently of anything the Beast might do.

The fact that the Beast is often hard to service is Tartan's fault, them having put the engine in backwards with the access panel on the wrong side. (The remote oil filter helped.) Indeed the only real failures that can be directly related to the Beast was the high pressure fuel pump fiasco in Oriental our first year out, and the heat exchange overhaul needed to cool its fevered brow. Those, and incessant minor oil leaks. (Maybe the Beast has a Harley Davidson somewhere it its lineage?) In fact the Beast thumped along happily for years with its prop shaft way, way out of true. All in all, the WesterBeast has been a prince.

Yet every time I reach for the start switch I expect nothing but mayhem and misery. I've driven 30 year old cars and flown 30 year old airplanes without having incessant heart burn over those engines letting me down. (Literally with the airplanes.) Really, I should trust the Beast more. I just don't know how, nor am I sure it would be wise. My suspicion is the instant I do start trusting that thing it will puke buckets of oil, toss pistons hither and yon, snap rods, swallow valves; and will do so just when an enthusiastic cold front is bearing down on my badly exposed hide.

For now I will keep making decisions taking into account that the Beast is old, tired, and not particularly well put together. It isn't really out to get me, but it isn't to be trusted either.

Now that is like the Orange one in the White House.


Richard Griffin said...

Ok, I was almost done with reading your whole blog. I enjoyed the stories about sailing and the maintenance. I enjoyed learning through your stories about sailing and the techniques. I just can not stand your political banter that you now seem to write about all the time in your sailing logs. If this is a sailing blog then please stick with sailing and not your political beliefs. Or at least tell everyone that this is a sailing blog with a political statement. Smooth sailing, sorry just could not finish your blog.

Deb said...

@Richard - As I've mentioned several times recently, the main reason we don't accept sponsorship for this blog is that it is our blog, and we don't want anyone dictating what we can say. That our blog benefits anyone other than us and our family is a humbling thing to us, but we won't change our writing and reporting to fit anyone else's needs or desires.

The Retirement Project is not primarily a sailing blog as you mention, it is a LIVING blog. We happen to live on a boat which sails (although not as often as I wish). We happen to do a lot of maintenance on it and are happy to share our procedures. We happen to deal a lot with weather and share stories about it. We happen to enjoy the company of the cruising community and share often about how it benefits and supports us. We happen to travel to other countries and share photos of their beauty.

We also happen to live in a country in turmoil which greatly affects our life on the boat. It is an integral part of the success of this cruising venture and to ignore that is to put one's head in the sand. Even though there is an abundance of sand where we are, we choose not to do that. If you wish only to read the sailing and maintenance stories, all you need do is to ignore the posts that are labeled politics in the labels.