Here is a little insight into what we might just ‘do’ all day when we are not sailing, diving, snorkelling, relaxing or socialising with other cruisers. And another story to add to the little known fact that cruising and boat ownership sometimes feels like endless repairs and maintenance in exotic places.
Category Archives: Boat Maintenance
Waiting for weather windows
Doesn’t matter if we are at sea cruising or in a safe anchorage for the next round of renovations, everything depends on the weather. It decides safe from scary at sea, and possible to marginal on most of the job list.
We had such big plans for this summer in Sydney Harbour. Hard work coupled with an injection of funds from newly found work were going to bring the boat to a new level of wow. What we didn’t account for was the wettest summer imaginable. It is disheartening to clean back, sand and prime an area only to wait an eternity for a 2-3 day dry spell. It just hasn’t happened. Neither have many of the well-intended jobs.
Disheartened yes, but not discouraged. It has to stop sometime and we’ve remained positive. For example we have progressed immensely on the matter of stopping the leaks, the decks look scrubbed clean and we get to keep the tanks filled with yummy rainwater ;0)
Delayed in Scarborough Marina
19th – 27th July 2011
Well after a truly lovely first leg we anchored outside the Marina at Scarborough for a nights rest before heading up to Fraser island. Next morning spent on deck doing little jobs and getting used to everything. Wind picked up perfectly but unfortunately the engine didn’t. Neil went through everything methodically and I helped by scouring the forums and engine manuals looking for extra clues. We narrowed it down to the fuel injector pump – a mysterious beastie that if broken can not be repaired by mere cruising mortals. It was broken. I blogged the checklist of how we found out it was broken if anyone is interested… So we needed a tow in, and lucky we had signed up to Coast Guard Rescue!
Long story short they towed us in the next day when it was blowing an absolute hooley and we spent the next week immobile whilst the Diesel Injection specialists did their stuff refurbing the injector pump. We had the 4 injectors overhauled at the same time for good measure and so now they, along with the almost new pump are all set for the next 20+ years. They better be, the dent in our cruising budget was humongous!
Prop is covered in weed from the Manly stay but we’ve no incentive to swim, sea temperature is 16C. Brrrrrrrrr
Scarborough Marina – the job list
Sand engine instrument panel, repair joins and oil teak
Refurb main skylight hatch. Remove teak trims and old window and replace with new. Sand and stain the trims and hatch base. Polish steel bars. Re-assemble and remounted.
Sew spray hood patches where fabric has worn. Replace old broken clears with new clear vinyl.
Align and install the spray hood frame mounts on deck. Design and install a mount for the foot-rail of the spray hood to attach to.
Put up the spray hood and test for sturdiness, attach webbing straps where needed.
Glue and repair the interior drawers from the aft cabin.
Test out new 3.5HP Yamaha engine on the dingy. Check out all the other boats in the Marina whilst doing this :0)
Complete overhaul of the engine fuel system – fuel tank emptied and cleaned, fuel filter lines replaced, manual lift pump removed and cleaned out (noted – need to buy new one). Primary and secondary fuel pumps removed, cleaned, filters replaced. Electric fuel primer pump & filter cleaned.
Tiki and her Perkins 4.236 diesel engine – Part I
When it won’t fire up here’s the drill.
Check the stop valve is in the off position and open the throttle to full.
Check the fuel supply – like have you got any?
Before we go pulling everything apart, check the belt is turning the Fuel Injector Pump (IP).
Use the electric pump to check the input to and output from the primary filter is clean and air-free by disconnecting & reconnecting each point.
Working along the fuel line, switch to manual pump and push through to the secondary filter and again check in and out is clean and air-free.
Now we’re at the IP.
Disconnect supply at entrance and check as above to ensure it is not blocked.
Bleed (loosen them open until they drip) IP at the valves and let them run to ensure clean fuel. This is the Low Pressure section of the IP.
Crack (same as bleeding, different name..) the injector nuts -fuel should run clean and air free. This is from the High Pressure area of the IP.
Check the internal “spline” is turning (ie able to create the pressure) by removing the plate cover and watching as you turn the engine over.
are you still with me? Try turn it over again and if still no good then you will need to return at another time for Part II. Good luck and please keep us posted on the outcome! As for us, we’re stuck at the injector nuts as no fuel is coming through. Good news is the spline does turn.
Coast Guard are towing us into the Marina where we’ll get a professional second opinion and probably end up having the IP bench tested. We suspect the stop valve mechanism inside the IP has failed somehow – Neil’s money is on a spring-like component..
We’ll keep you posted.
It was a slightly delayed start as some dirty fuel got sucked through the engine. Neil was on it straight away and with a replacement filter installed and a switch to the second tank we were off, albeit in a very large cloud of white smoke. We had a lovely send off from the pontoon thanks to Dave, Rose and Gail. See you all again soon! It felt sooooooo great to be out of the marina and on the water again. She looks so beautiful with all her sails up and filled with wind and Neil has that content cat that got the cream look about him that I hope will become permanent.
We set off from Manly yesterday after lunch and headed to Scarborough in Deception bay for the night. Gorgeous sunny winters day around 21C and perfect light winds for a shakedown sail, plus for a total bonus we had our first pod of dolphins yippee!
All the rather randomly stowed provisions have had a rattle around and we will no doubt be relocating a few items over the journey. The onions and spuds id long forgotten were there were first up as the bottom of the pantry soon gets toasty warm when the engine is on – the whole boat started to smell like stewed onion… not good, unless I’m making onion soup!
We will refuel here at Scarborough and head overnight up to the Wide Bay bar ready to pass through on the high tide midday Wednesday and from there the sheltered straights of Fraser Island.
Finally ready to get sailing – an update from Captain Neil
an update from Captain Neil
After what has been a huge amount of effort over the last month the boat is finally in a decent enough condition to get ready to depart for Brisbane. Over the last week in the Marina the engine has moved to a state where it can be sea trialled. This afternoon we went out in the bay and ran the engine for an hour to make sure it works okay. All seems well and Brett left with advice for further work and maintenance over the coming weeks. It will take some more attention on my part to make sure the Perkins becomes reliable after a long period of neglect.
We are back at the Marina for the evening and planning to leave at first light in the morning. This is the culmination of a lot of sweat and effort. I have lost at least 8kg in the last month, that was definitely needed and we have reinvested at least $12k in Tiki, that was also needed. And and I have learnt huge amounts about yachts which was also needed. Next step is to start the 600nm journey to Brisbane and find out how she handles at sea.