Over the last week, we’ve made some real progress! It took Roger, the mechanic, several days to finish working on our engine, but as he said when he finally finished, “I got to your engine in the nick of time, and I’ve basically saved its life”. In truth, he is a little like a surgeon, with the boat’s huge metal heart in his hands. Roger was so great, letting us record him as he worked and talked with us.
Here’s an incomplete list of what he repaired/replaced:
- Scrubbed out the main fuel tank
- Cleaned all the fuel lines all the way to the injector
- Cleaned the fuel injector
- Replaced all the hoses, clamps and fuel filters
- Cleaned the oil lines to the oil filter, and replaced the oil filter
- Rebuilt the alternator
- Replaced the thermostat
- Repaired a leak in the coolant system
- Repaired the throttle linkage
During this time, we were able to do some homework and scout around to buy/order:
- 7 new fenders (the boat came with only one working fender)
- handheld waterproof VHF radio
- handheld GPS that will plug into our iPad
- full set of charts downloaded onto the iPad
- some new docklines
We also purchased a new RIB (inflatable dinghy) – it’s a 10’ Highfield, with an aluminum bottom and a built-in bow locker for the fuel tank. Our little Mercury outboard should get it zipping around just fine!
We’ve also started the long process of cleaning – we take one section of the interior, unpack everything (the previous owner was apparently a ‘hoarder’), throw the crap out and catalog whatever we’re going to keep, and then ferociously clean every nook and cranny that we can reach. It’s exhausting.
Yesterday, we also had the yard’s electrician come take a look at our system (he’s the one who installed our new battery bank). He replaced the old non-working battery monitor/charging console, and talked with us a little about our system.
Because of all the work that took place this week, we feel so positive about our situation now. We have a boat with a working engine, working electrical system, and new running rigging. We took her out for a test sail a couple of days ago, and it felt so wonderful to have all her sails out, cruising along. She sails so beautifully – she shines. Her rocking motions are gentle and steady, and she takes to a tack with an eager will. We feel like she is a boat we can trust. Yea!
Our current plan is for Joe and Norm, on Monday, to sail/motor the boat down the ICW towards Port Charlotte – it might take 2-3 days. I will drive the Prius down, with Buster, to meet them. Once we have the boat at the new yard, then Joe and I will move onto it as soon as possible, to save money on hotels, and get to work. We have a very looooong list of necessary refits – whew.
Around 11/20 or so, we will lock the boat up in the yard, and start driving back to Oregon for the holidays – I cannot wait to see the kids again (it seems like its been forever!)