Repairs (probably just part one)

We have now been on board for two weeks. After all the work we had commissioned over the last year, we were expecting a few teething problems and they came as expected.

The engine runs well but loses various fluids and occasionally refuses to start when needed. This is not a good state for an engine. Three times now we have reached the end of a journey to not be able to start the engine without considerable effort. Sailing backwards and forwards in front of a port instead of entering it is not fun.

First it was losing fresh water coolant. We refilled it twice and both times it lost the refilled amount. This turned out to be an easy problem; the system was overfilled to begin with. Once we stopped topping it up, it stopped losing coolant.

There is also a small diesel leak whch we traced to the fuel filter and is now on the “wait until it gets worse” list.

Heidi in the "engine room"
Heidi in the “engine room”

The strangest problem was that there were occasionally liters of salt water below the engine. These appeared randomly and once they did the engine would no longer start. Yesterday, while sailing up the Sound of Sleat, we saw water dripping out of the air filter. In Mallaig a neighbouring motor boat owner in consultation with the local guru decided that in heavy following seas the water was being rammed back up the exhaust. So now we need a “cat flap” on the back of the boat.

The boat has two banks of batteries and these were connected together by a strange switch that made no sense and didn’t appear to work properly. In Oban, we had the circuit rewired in a way that we understand. All the corroded connectors were also replaced. Since then the electrics are working perfectly.

Somewhere off Mull the fresh water pump stopped working without lifting the floor, reaching into the bilge and tapping the pump with something hard. In Tobermory we dismantled the pump but it was beyond repair. The chandlers had a pump but a different make. Some rewring and replumbing later, we had it working.

The furling lines for genoa and jib were really hard to pull so we have replaced both pulleys and one line. At least a job that was done without being head first in some small space.

So at the moment the question is not just “when will we get there?” but also “what will break on the way?”

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