Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Almost Done. . .

Good day today. Number one goal was to get the engine to pump water. Couldn’t find any obstructions so I thought I’d just narrow it down. I took off the boot to the heat exchanger. Now the pump only has to pump water from the bucket I’ve put in the engine room to the top of the pump! If it can do that then the problem is down range from there.

Let ‘er rip. Wow! Lots of water spewing around the engine room. That’s a good thing. I put the boot back on hoping that this has somehow ‘primed’ the pump. Go again. Wheeeee. . . water is going all the way through the system and out the stern. Good deal. Unfortunately it is also spewing out around the pump plate at all four screw locations.


I realize I’ve changed out this plate for another I had on board. Certainly they are identical. The one that was on there had some of the paper gasket welded to it so I spent some quality time with a sharp knife scraping off the old gasket and trying not to deeply score the plate. I put this plate back on and try once again and now I only have a tiny drip from the top screw. I’ll work on this at some other time as I only like to complete 95% of any project anyway.

I talked to the people at Enza Marine who service KISS wind generators. They gave me some good information as to how to take the unit off the mast it is on and bring it to them. Unfortunately this process involves standing on a ladder on deck and said deck is already about 14 feet off the ground. I am so bad with heights.

The plan is to unscrew the hub that holds the 3 blades first. Then remove the unit itself. The hub is a left handed screw. Fine. I hold the axle with a wrench and try to unscrew the hub. No way. I try taking the whole unit off with the blades attached. I can’t turn that collar either. I’ve had it.

I call Enza back and tell them I’ll pay for THEM to take the thing off and get it to their shop. I nice guy, Mike, shows up later and working together we the the unit off. While sorting out the paper work for payment he looks at me and says, ‘So you’re Scott Welty”. I am. Turn out he recognized the name from the astronomy articles I’ve been writing for the Cribbean Compass. Oh the problems of fame! He remembered I wrote a column telling where and when to look to see the space station go by . . . and it worked! Who knew?!

So Enza has the KISS unit at the shop and will be in touch to get more money. Fine.

I have the dingy suspended up in the air and have been cleaning the deck down where she has been laying for these several months. Not too bad. Maybe now’s the chance to find that leak that has been driving me nuts in the dinghy. Actually suspended about 3 feet off the deck is a great way to work on it and clean it. I can blast dirt out from between the tubes and the hull which is hard to do when it is right side up. I spread soapy water as I work looking for tell tale bubbles. And there they are! right on the nose a significant leak. I buy some glue as the stuff that came with the dinghy repair kit has dried up and patch said leak. I’m happy about this but upon later inspection I see that this tube is still down so there is another leak (or more) to find.

I put up the dodger. I was afraid how this might look but it looks great. Plastic needs some tlc but overall it is fine. Now she’s starting to look like a sailboat again!

No good news on the remaining part for the auto pilot which was my main reason for coming down here. I was given the run around by the boys at Budget Marine today: "It’s on the truck, the truck is coming, any time now, Nick is getting it now". The day ended with me saying, I’m glad that Nick is picking it up now. If it’s not here in the morning I’m bringing the other parts back and expecting a refund. I can only be dicked around so long. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

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