Today’s visit to the boatyard proved useful. Roger had already been there to use an air compressor to blow all the black crud out of all the fuel lines. He also showed us pictures of the inside of our now clean fuel tank. When we gasped at how great it looked, and asked him how he managed that, he smiled and said “oh, you don’t want to know”. I take it that this was one of the dirtier jobs he’s had in a while.
He now needed clean fuel to be pumped into the tank so he could start bleeding all the lines and filters with clean diesel, but the yard’s diesel truck wasn’t due to show up for another day or more. Joe and I volunteered to take Jerry cans down to the local station and haul 50 gallons of fuel the hard way. Roger was thrilled (we want to keep Roger happy, and keep his work docket flowing!). 3 trips to the gas station later, and some spilled diesel around the deck fuel intake, we had a full starboard tank, and Roger could get started with the rest of his work.
While we were busy pouring diesel into the tank (and a little on ourselves as well), Roger came up from the engine room to show us part of the fuel injector, which had these little elbow-shaped connectors that were so clogged up with black goop that he had to take them over to his shop to get them cleared out. This whole engine system is just a big fat mess. He also showed us the old fuel filters that were full of rusty black crap, and the oil filter, with the date 2007 handwritten on it. That’s how long it’s been since anyone’s done any real maintenance on the engine or the fuel system.
We asked him that if he had any spare time (hardy-har-har) could he help us by giving us a priority list of what we still need to do for this poor old engine, to keep it running as long as possible. He laughed a little, partly because he is so backed up with work orders right now. He said his main effort with us, is to simply get us running so we can move on out of the yard, and off to wherever we need to go next. But he would see what he could put together for recommendations.
When we finished with the fuel, we left Roger to his business, and headed off to the grocery store and the Laundromat. One must eat, and one must have clean underwear.
Later, in the evening, Sue from the boatyard called us to let us know that Roger is going to spend the next few days helping us with our engine issues (he’s bumping us to the front of his work queue)! He’s going to replace some hoses, replace our impeller, work on the fuel injector, put in new filters, and also work on the alternator (which doesn’t seem to be working either – of course it isn’t). He had told Sue that he didn’t feel right about us leaving until the whole thing had been looked at. Joe and I have decided that Roger has been sent to us by God. He’s been around boats for decades, races cars, and seems to tolerate us well enough, and we are so grateful! If we had been able to start the engine right away (like we had last January when we used it) then we could have had a catastrophic engine failure while we were in the middle of a busy harbor, with no idea what was wrong or how to fix it. Thankfully, we had all these problems uncovered while we were in one of the best boatyards in the area. Their work might be expensive, but they are really good at what they do, and they have taught us a lot as they’ve worked too.
We’ve also made contact with Norm about moving the boat next week. Roger seems to think that he will be done with our engine by the end of next Tuesday, and Norm will help us get to Port Charlotte on Thursday and Friday.
A plan seems to be formulating! Yeah! Time to celebrate with some food and clean underwear.