logo Salsa af Stavsnas
Date: 09 Nov 2013 21:20:01
Title: There is a boat with no engine

KISS, you know the _expression_, Keep It Simple Stupid! Well we met the BOAT in Vavau a couple of weeks ago.
He sailis with a djonk rigg, two masts, beautyful design. He has no engine whatsoever. Not in the boat not in the dinghy.
He rows around. The only drawback I understand is that his female companion gave up sailing with him a couple of months ago.
When we met I asked, "No engine at all?" He responed "Nope, they brake on me, all the time".
He has handheld GPS, complained it took a lot of battery (well install a fridge and that will show you that the GPS takes the least)
Well yesterday I could have traded our Salsa to his boat...
We have had many problems with the generator, cooling being the main issue.
Yesterday I started the generator as there was no wind or no sun (very rare indeed). It fired up nicely and I started to have a lesson with Erika, we were supposed to make the year of the farmer from material they gathered in Vavau. well  after 20 minutes the generator stopped and the panel showed the usual message, overheating!
Well I practiced some language that is not printable, changed clothes and dived into my "little room".
Started with checking the inlet and filters. No problem. Opened the impeller housing (you know that one by now, what effort it takes to just do that), No problem. OK so I decided to change that exhaust elbow that Anders brought from Sweden(fixed by Dag or DP). To do that was a breeze.
Restarted, no flow of water, just a small jet ment for showing that the ocean still exists outside...
Opened the overflow valves and started to blow with my mouth, just a complete stop of flow inside the engine somewhere...
Asked for help from Miss My if they had anything that could pressurise the system so I could blow out whatever was inside (I suspected a piece of rubber from the previous impeller that broke). Borrowed some pumps but none could do the job. Asked if Serena of Our had any diving equipment, the idea was to use high pressure from a tank to clear the system. He came by without tank but had an idea of using the dinghy pump. Well that did not work either. So we started to diskuss how to get on with it and he encouraged me to start taking the system apart, take each cooling system piping in the engine. Well soon I had opened an aluminum sacrificial part where the water is distributed to the engine and generator.
And I found something that I can imagine is the view a surgeon gets when opening a heart with calcification.
The tubes that should have a 15 mm diameter to flow the water where 3-4 millimeter! Smaller than a straw!
So we put the part in vinegar first and then started to open the tubes with brute force. By now the engine room and the adjacent spaces looked like I had taken the whole boat apart. It was hot, no wind, and there was thundery weather coming with lots of heat and moisture in the air. Everybody was sweating like crazy. My "mechanical dress" a surgeons outfit from Bronx Trauma Dept was wet like I had taken a swim.
Time to reassemble the whole beauty... Hoping it would do the job. We are now late afternoon, like 6 pm-ish.
The whole thing is one piece again and the start buttom ist started. I jumped in the sea to see if water was coming out from the exhaust (it was!).
I measured the engine parts with our laser heating measuring gun (something I used far more than I could imagine) and it showed that the engine was cooler than ever before! At the same time the kids started to call on the radio from ashore where they had been playing all afternoon wit the kids from Miss My. Erika our chief negotiator managed to have us invite Miss My for a last dinner before they take off towards NZ.
So I cleaned out everything fast and Ellinor had a great soup for everybody with freshly baked bread from us and Miss MY.
I tell you the cold beer was so nice! Good food in good company! And when they took off for the night our fridge overheated. Thank you very much!
So I had to find the problem and it was easy some creature got sucked into the inlet of the cooling water. Off it went and it cooled again! Anything else? Well yes, the dinghy looses a lot of air since yesterday. So we have to fix that too!
Today Miss MY have taken off, we think it is better to start tomorrow morning. The wind will most probably be more favourable.
Ellinor is filling the fridge with food, I am securing all things on board. Going trough the checklist for safety.
Hope we get a descent trip...

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