I’ve been in Georgetown since May 9th, working on the boat and assisting with the engine rebuild when and where I can. I’ve been living on the boat, and one of the girls from the marina has taken a shine to me! Brenda will be jealous!
While working on the engines, the floor is out of the main part of the boat. There is a big hole in the floor that drops about four feet, with two small walkways on each side. I have been jumping around the hole, and in the evening, I have a 2′ wide area on the engine hatch where I set up my chair to eat dinner, work on my laptop, and watch TV. Frequently I fall asleep on the chair, and Brenda calls me to try to wake me up so that I don’t slip off the chair into the hole.
Well… I was walking out of the boat, and my foot just missed the edge, and I fell into the engine room. I landed on the alternator and knocked the wind out of me.
I thought I might have cracked a rib, but aside from some pretty good bruising, and being a little sore for a few days, no major damage (my head must have broken my fall!). Now, I try to cover it with the plywood panel at night.
Port Engine Goes Back In
Last week on Thursday, (May 11th) we put the port engine back into the boat! Basically, it was the reverse of the removal process. Thanks again to the guys at Georgetown Dry Stack Marina for using their big forklift to do the heavy lifting!
Starboard Engine Start
On Tuesday, May 16th, I was again invited to the shop to watch the Starboard engine startup test. Again, it was a flawless startup! We loaded the engine on the trailer to go back to the boat for installation on Wednesday.
Starboard Engine Install
Wednesday, the forklift at the marina was down for maintenance so we could not put the engine in and had to delay it to Thursday. We used the day to finish up on the Port engine and got it running! There was only one small issue with the starter, a relay had failed, but I already had a spare on the boat so it was a quick fix.
Thursday it was raining hard in the morning, but we still got the engine onto the boat and into place in the engine room. Mendy (the technician) got it mostly hooked up. We were supposed to move the boat to the marina next door on Thursday afternoon, but it was still pouring rain and very windy. I didn’t feel comfortable moving the boat on one engine in those conditions, so put it off until Friday.
On Friday, we worked on finishing the starboard engine install. Just before noon, we started up the Port engine and moved the boat (under its own power) down the harbor to Hazzard Marine. All went well, and the port engine ran fine!
At 1:30 Mendy had finished hooking up the starboard engine, and we gave the key a turn… It started on the first try and ran VERY well! Again we had a few wiring issues to straighten out to get the gauges all working (I did the wiring hookup and swapped two wires). During the first few minutes, we saw a bit of smoke, coming from the top of the engine and shut down. The pre-heater was not shutting off after the engine started and was overheating a rubber boot. We think it’s either a sensor switch or a relay, so we have ordered some replacement parts which will be in next week. Unless we try starting the engine in very cold temps, the system is not needed, so it’s not going to hold us up.
So, as of Friday at 3:00 pm, both engines are back in the boat, hooked up, and working!!! Woo Hoo!
Finally, time to get packed up!
Friday afternoon, I drove back home to Palm Coast. Saturday we picked up a rental car.
Brenda has been packing for the trip while I’ve been up working on the boat. Everything is pretty much packed up, and ready to go to the boat. Sunday we loaded up the rental car, and Monday Brenda and I lock the door and drive back up to Georgetown to start our trip!
We are doing a Sea Trial on Tuesday to shake down the engines, look for leaks, and check performance. Assuming that all goes well with the Sea Trial, Wednesday we will do an oil and filter change to check for any metal in the oil and finish buttoning things up. We will go back out on Wednesday to put some hours on the engines. We will probably go out to the entrance to Winyah Bay, and then back up the Waccamaw River to our old marina Wacca Wache then back to Georgetown.
Again, if all is well and we can get everything on the punch list taken care of, we will try to move up to Wacca Wache on Friday for the weekend. We don’t want to travel on Memorial Day weekend, as if the weather is nice, the waterways will be super crowded!
Our friends Brenda and Tim that we will be traveling with, are leaving from Wacca Wache on Wednesday, and will wait for us to catch up somewhere in North Carolina.
Phew! It’s been a trying couple of months! But it looks like we are finally at the point where we can relax and start our Great Loop Adventure!