Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Oh joy, more epic fail.

I finally got back to the boat this weekend after a few weekends off. I had a brain full of ideas to check the engine over thanks to all of the wonderful advice I received from readers of this blog, the PO, and users of the various sailing forums I visit. I even had my friend Jeff come with me, who is much better at fixing things. The idea was to get as far as we could on the engine issue, hopefully fixing it for good.

When we arrived I was welcomed by a whole new world of problems. I noticed that the indicator light on the bilge pump switch was on, but the pump wasn't running. I look into the sump below the engine and find that the bilge is very full of water. I play with the switches on the bilge pumps a bit and realize that only the wet pump is working, but the high and dry one is burned out. It seems to me that the float switches are busted or stuck, burning out the dry pump. The wet pump worked when flipped to manual, but not on automatic. And to top it off, I discovered the manual cockpit pump does not work and needs to be replaced or rebuilt. Since the boat is pretty darn leaky it is imperative that the pumps work. So now I have to rely on the PO to check the boat every few days to make sure she isn't sinking, and to flip the switch on the wet pump. I plan on installing another bilge pump when I go back, hopefully it isn't too much of a pain in the butt. This week I will be researching bilge pumps to figure out my approach.

After dealing with that disaster I finally got to the engine. For those catching up, the raw water circuit on the engine cooling system has failed and no water is pumping through or it is blocked. First, I went over the side of the boat and made sure the though hull wasn't blocked. I also blew out the hose coming from the through hull just in case. I then cranked the engine to make sure there were no leaky or collapsing hoses. I then removed the hose that comes out of the heat exchanger into the vented loop to see if water was coming out when the engine was cranked, nothing. So then I removed the cover of the pump to see the impeller, and when the engine was cranked I saw that the impeller was not spinning at all.

So the problem lies directly on the water pump and the impeller not spinning. From conversations with more knowledgeable types, this could mean that the pump shaft is broken. I guess my only option now is to take apart the water pump and figure it out from there? Any ideas?

I can't wait to actually enjoy this boat, because all it has been so far is a big pain in my rear.


Anonymous said...

Actually I think if it's just a matter of rebuilding your raw water pump, you got off kinda easy! At least you have the problem figured out (hopefully!); with this kind of problem I think you're 80% of the way thru fixing it. Re bilge pump: i would be worried about where the water is coming from - do you know? are you docked in salt water or fresh? if docked in salt, then taste a bit of the bilge water to determine whether it's rain water or salt water coming in thru the hull. To give you the glass-is-half-full perspective: if your bilge was working the whole time you would have never known there was a problem with water coming in. Not a problem I'd like to find out about when offshore!

Anonymous said...

I have had three boats so far and there is always something to be fixed. They are older boats and something is usually dying and needing to be replaced.. on the water is a tough enviroment.

I have friends with brand new boats.. they are always fixing something... I think its just a boat thing..

just remember that BOAT stands for Break out another thousand!!!!

scott carle

scott at scottcarle dot com