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.

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