The generator stopped working shortly after we launched Rose Lee and I intentionally put off fixing it until the sailing season was behind us, after all we never had a generator on our previous boats so it didn’t seem like a big sacrifice. This fix took quite a bit of research and several trips back and forth on multiple days to identify what the actual problem was. The generator has a safety feature that will automatically shut itself down when there is a problem, so as a result the generator would shut down after about 5 minutes of running. The salty water cooling flow looked fine lots of water shooting out the side. The fresh water coolant was a little low so I topped that up which seemed to help it ran for about 20 minutes before shutting down. The belt seemed a bit lose and there was lots of belt powder around it so I decided to change the belt and again it was back to running for about 5 minutes before shutting downs. I was pretty sure that the problem was in the heat exchanger and had a buildup reducing my water flow, resulting in overheating. I found out from other owners that the exchanger likely needed to be descaled which is a normal maintenance item. I bought some rdylime de-scaler and set up a method to reverse flush the heat exchanger. I did get some nasty looking stuff out of the exchanger and flushed it for about 4 hours to ensure that it was perfectly clean. I was pretty confident that I had found the problem and was looking forward to proving it. The following day I was back on the boat and started the generator that fired right up and sounded great with excellent water flow…until 5 minutes later it shut down %$#@^&. Ok on the advice of a mechanic who had checked the generator out at the 1st of the season and suggested that I should pull it to have a more in depth look, I decided that maybe this would be the next step. Pulling a permanently mounted fischer Panda genset from underneath the forward birth was a big job so I wanted to be absolutely sure. I got in and around that generator with a light a magnifying glass looking for anything that looked odd. I noticed on the back side of the generator beneath the heat exchanger on one end I could see about a quarter of an inch of hose that looked like it wasn’t really seated properly, but it was hard to see. I looked at diagrams of the generator and determined that the hidden hose was connecting the bottom side of the heat exchanger to the fresh water cooling pump. After some disassembly I was able to get the hose disconnected for the fresh water pump. I had a curved set of pliers and after loosening the hose clamp from the heat exchanger I was able to get the hose out for a closer inspection. The 10” hose looked pretty bad but I wanted to test it to ensure that this was the case. I rigged up a fitting to one end with a plug and on the other end I put on a female water hose connector that would screw onto a water hose. Once I had everything hooked up I turned on the water and was very pleased to see the hose leaking like a siv. Your gear is only as good as its weakest link. I bought and insatlled a new hose. I then topped up the coolant and ran the generator for 4 hrs before winterizing it, problem solved:)
Thanksgiving for us has always been a very family oriented Holiday. Joyce and I moved away from our home province 30 years ago and Thanksgiving seemed like a good time of year to get my extended family together for a visit. For the past several years our tradition has been to gather at my house and deep fry a turkey (very tasty if you haven’t experienced it). With the sale of our house last year the festivities were moved to my Mom’s place in New Brunswick. Our son Josh was working in Alberta and decided that thanksgiving would be a good time for him to fly home catch up with the family and enjoy the annual “Thanks Giving Turkey Fry”. After we returned form NB I asked Josh if he would like to go for a sale on Monday since it was a Holiday and I didn’t have to work. Josh had never been aboard Rose Lee prior to this and I think maybe he was humoring me a bit by coming along (Josh knew it was important to me).
Rose Lee was now in her winter slip (our club brings in all the boats that are on moorings after a certain date so that they can service & winterize the mooring field). I gave Josh a breif tour and then we cast off our lines and made Rose Lee ready for sailing. I tidied up the lines and pulled up the fenders while Josh guided us out, and it wasn’t top long before we had the sails unfurled and were leaning into a fresh breeze. Josh was at the helm as we rounded Navy Island and I could see some nice puffs crossing the basin towards us so I decided to go below and put a few things awayJ I could hear Josh shouting Dad! Dad! As Rose Lee started to heel 20 degrees when the 1st good puff hit her. I came up to see Josh with a big smile having a great time anticipating each puff, it’s amazing how quickly Josh got back into the sailing groove.
Josh and I had a great day together sailing and chatting and letting the world go by without us for a little while. We eventually decided to turn after reaching Chebucto Head and began making our way back home. Josh was still at the helm when we spotted a few other sailboats ahead of us, Josh turned to me and said “Hey Dad what are we supposed to do about these guys?” Well we are supposed to kick their buts, you steer and I’ll trim, let’s get this baby moving. And the race was on, we coasted by pretty much everyone we saw, sweet! Josh was fantastic on the helm adjusting for trim and breeze whenever it was needed, nice. We made it back into the slip without incident and Joyce was there to greet us and give us a hand docking. What another great summer memory spending the day sailing with Josh, awesome!
With season drawing to a close I was busy getting some routine maintinance tasks completed chnaging filters, oil etc... I would consider myself a pretty detailed person with procedures and processes in place for a lot of things that ghappen on the boat (log keeping, enine start up, genset start up, monitoring hours etc...) you get the idea. Prior to any engine start-up I check the belts, filters, Oil level and give it a general eye ball) only after this happens do I start up the engine. I also keep the are surrounding and underneath the engine quite clean and lay down oil absorbent mats that will quikly show if I have an oil leak etc... Well today in prepartaion to remove the starter I am attempting to figure out how to tackle it so I have the rear access panel removed which is located in the afte cabin. As I am looking around I noticed a stray nut on the floor below the engine Mmmmmm, wonder what thats for. So I take a closer look and find a bolt and another nut, well I know these wernt here before so where did thgey come from. I take a close look at the engine and evrything looks right no missing nuts or bolts that I can see. Then I take a lokk down at the shaft coupling which connects the shaft to the transmission and notice an emty hole! The coupling requires four bolts to kepp the shaft fastened to the engine, one had fallen out and a nut had fallen off the second. The remaing two bolts were finger tight and would have soon vibrated off possibly causing some major issues, collision shaft breakage, transmission etc.. Wow this really cause me to take a bit of a pause and allow this close call to sink in a bit, I was really lucky and this could have been bery bad. So from here on out I put loc tite on the bolts and re-torqued them and the coupling inspection will now be part of my regular start up procedure. Just a two minute check could make all the difference in the world when boating, this was a good lesson.
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