Saturday, May 4, 2013

#2013-04: Boat Issues on the way to Gorge Harbour

Saturday, May 4: Gorge Harbour

The sunshine and Lasqueti nudists not only caused us to overheat, but also the engine manifold and stabilizers got hot too!  Yesterday the manifold was reading 167F while the engine was a steady 161F.  The engine temp is normal and has been 161F since commissioning.  The manifold probably shouldn’t be higher than the engine temp.  Alex got to thinking that maybe the engine’s raw water pump impeller was marginal and causing insufficient flow to cool the both the engine and the exhaust.  So before pulling anchor and leaving nudist-land, Alex decided to replace the impeller with the spare.  These big engine pumps have big impellers which can be difficult to replace.  If we couldn't get it replaced, we might have to stay yet another day at Lasqueti.  …….Sadly it all went well and we were on our way by 8AM.

Main engine raw water pump impeller compressed to fit into pump case.
The SeaMax pump impeller has a threaded shaft to make it easy to remove and install replacements.
On the way to Gorge, the seas were mostly flat but passing boats can generate big wakes that roll the boat, so we tend to leave the roll stabilizers on during our cruising, especially when Pat’s aboard.  A couple hours into this morning run to Gorge Harbor, a siren whine begins to sound.  Now there are so many different alarm sounds on our boat: anchor alarms, depth alarms, engine alarms, navigation alarms, generator alarms, Pat’s cooking timer, the smart phone Amber alerts, and auto pilot alarms.  Even the VHF distress alarm sounds continually through the radio.  It’s a puzzle that needs a quick solution.  Both of us turn ears to the various nooks and crannies aboard, trying to locate the source.  At last…. it’s the stabilizer panel.  “Oil Overheated” is flashing so we shut down the fins.  Apparently the hydraulic oil raw water cooling pump is not.  We continue while Alex examines the pump in the engine compartment.  The power wire has come loose from the pump.  After a quick repair, Pat, Alex and the oil all cool down.

It's the black pump (cylinder shape below the silver tank) that needed rewiring.
Last year we entered Gorge leaving a huge dark cloud and hail storm just outside. This year, after six good days of bright sunshine, it’s beginning to feel a lot like California.  We make it to Gorge for a late lunch and rinse the salt from the boat.  After a lazy afternoon we enjoy fresh cod, salad and chips at the Gorge Harbour “Float House” restaurant.

Sisters Island in the middle of the Georgia Strait provides vital weather info for boaters.

At the dock in Gorge.

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