Re: Enroute Report - Between Morris Island and Portland Roads Anchorage - Genset and crocodoodle
13 14.25 S 143 38.0 E
Thought I should provide an update on our genset problem; the simple bottom line status >> working again!
Went to bed a bit after midnight pretty much discouraged and thinking that we would have to set out on a fast non-stop passage direct to Darwin....a distance of 1000 nm. Without the generator > no way to make water and our tank was under the half-full mark so tough on showering etc, etc as would have to oonserve what water we had; no stove/cook-top/oven >?> so tough on the eating even though we still had refrigeration and a full freezer but no way to cook; no washing machine; and only the back-0up battery charging capability from the main engine hihg output alternator. So definitely no dilly dallying....it was going to require a bee-line run to Darwin. Also, no internet in these very remote partrs of Australia so no way to get technical help, technical drawings, order parts etc from shore based providers or Westerbeke headquarters. And of course the other side of the world when it comes to time zones....and then of course, the weekend...when no one works anyway.
I woke up just after 3 am...refreshed from almost 3 hours of sleep! First priority, conserve water...so switched the 2 toilets over to our salt water back-up plumbing supply for flushing. In doing that, my good luck started....we have been experiencing water ingress to the bilge but had not yet found the source...it was a fleeting condition....and looked like some connection to using the shower in the forward head. Low and behold when I opened up the sole (floor) boards to flip the three-way valve for salt water flushing, there was the obvious source of the bilge water.....the shower and basin drain pump ( a Gulper 220) had worn out and its internal seals had failed allowing water into the bilge whenever the shower or wash basin was used. So, I immediately addressed that issue with replacement of the gulper pump with one of my spares. Unknown water ingress problem solved!
So once I quickly got all of that task cleaned up, I went back to the genset...re-opened its engine compartment/sound hood enclosure...not a small task. I had put everything back together when I went to bed at midnight because I needed the boat in stable condition for the 1000 nm passage to Darwin. NOw that I had exposed the engine and its failed components again, I though I could recognize a potential fix...without external help or new parts. It appeared that the engine had been designed for installation of the raw water pump from either the forward side of the engine/timing gearcase....or ....from the back of the gearcase. I studied it further and could see a way to disassemble some parts and that looked like it would be possible...>BUT !!...it would be a real mess of trying to redo the sea-water hoses as they are all custom shaped hoses and not set up for a back of the gearcase installation. I then found a way to get the drive gear out of the housing ...and after cleaning
it up from the mess of debris when the pump and drive gear had broken apart....I could see that the bearings and the gear were all in good shape...AND...most importantly, 1) I found that the gear had the same raw water pump drive slot on both sides of it...and 2) that the gear design allowed me to remove the complete assembly of gear/drive and ball bearing races and turn it around and reinstall. Now I had my solution...WITHOUT...having to make up bastardized hoses for the sea water plumbing feed to and from the pump. And since I had a NEW complete spare water pump assembly in my spares locker....I was now confident that I could create the solution to get back in business.
So shortly after 7 am I had rebuilt/reinstalled all the failed and/or removed assemblies...and voila !!...we again had 220V house power supply for all our water making, cooking, air conditioning, clothes washer/dryer, etc. Tidied up ...Cheryl made a nice hot breakfast to make up for the miss on dinner last night when the genset failed....and we were weighing the anchor by 8:20 am and away. Both of us feeling MUCH BETTER!!
Oh, by the way....those comments in the last blog entry about crocodiles and a foolhardy dunking to cool off in the water on the nice sand beach.....well, guess what???...the big, resident croc was sunning himself on the sand at 7:30 am today, right where I went in for my 2nd cool down immersion about 5 pm yesterday. I think there might be a lesson buried in there somewhere?? At least Cheryl suggests so.......
CYL....j&c ...motoring along......very little wind...but just enough to keep the sails full for motor sailing...and adding about 0.5-0.75 kts to our speed.