We mentioned in our last blog that we had brought the boat back up to South Carolina for some additional engine and transmission work.
We arrived in South Carolina, and our mechanics got on the boat the next morning and started working. We had been experiencing a great deal of black smoke while at higher RPMs, and the first job that they did was to remove the injectors and scope out the cylinders. What we found was that there was a fair amount of pitting, scoring, and rust on the cylinder walls.
After talking to the mechanic, we made the decision that since they had to disconnect and lift the port engine to remove the transmission already, we might as well pull the engines and do a rebuild while it was there and before we went on our trip. They can re-build in the boat, but getting access to the crankshaft involves some yoga-type positions, and it’s hard to get a torque wrench in to torque the connecting rods properly. So as we were lifting the one engine anyway, and they had the jacks on board, it would be better just to pull the engines. Fortunately, our boat has excellent access to the engines, so this is not as major an undertaking as it is on some boats.
We scheduled a haulout and time with the Telehandler Forklift at the boat yard, and the mechanics started prepping to haul out the engines.
Our haul-out was scheduled for March 13th. However, there was one boat in front of us scheduled for engine removal, and we had to wait for that one to get back in the water before we could have the slot in the boatyard.
Murphy’s Law Struck! The boatyard was backed up, so the other boat didn’t get pulled until Thursday, the 16th. They got the old engine out as it was mostly disassembled. However, when they went to install the new engine on Friday, it didn’t fit!
From what I’ve heard, the boat that is getting the new engine is a relatively new boat, a Downeast style, that sold for upwards of $1 million. It has very low hours, <200, and there was an issue with the engine. A connecting rod broke and came through the side of the engine block, not good! The owner has been waiting over a YEAR for a new engine! It finally arrived, and now it won’t fit.
The owner gave the okay for the mechanics to cut the fiberglass around the engine hatch to get the engine in (the alternative was to disassemble a new engine and re-assemble it in place, which would have added another month to the installation).
On Monday the 20th, they cut the fiberglass, picked up the engine to put it in, and the Telehandler forklift suffered a major hydraulic failure. The machine is old, and upon inspection, it also needed a new chain and gear. They don’t think it will be fixed for several weeks!
So, that boat is stuck in the boatyard in the space we need and won’t be moving anytime soon.
On Thursday, my mechanic made arrangements with a Dry-Stack boat yard nearby to use their big forklift to remove our engines. He towed the Frog over to the boat yard, it was a windy day, and there was a bit of a close call, but the boat made it there safe and sound.
They planned to pull the engine on Friday morning at 8:00 AM. However, the tide was out, and there was not enough water in the haul-out bay, so they had to wait until about 10:30. At 10:30, they pulled the boat into the bay, and the forklift showed up!
Due to the excellent preparation, the engine just slid out, and they had it on the trailer within 20 minutes. We were at home in Florida but were able to watch the fun through our onboard video cameras! The StarLink Internet is working great!
You can watch the full video on YouTube.
So our port engine is out, and the transmission is being removed and sent to the transmission shop to find out what came loose. This week (The last week of March), they are lifting the Starboard engine and getting it ready to pull out of the boat. The plan is that it will come out on Wednesday the 29th.
The issues with the other boat put us about two weeks behind schedule. However, we hope to be able still to make our first week of May departure date!
More updates to come!!!