Sunday, November 13, 2016

Well, maybe not so ready to go.

We motored away from Charlotte Harbor Boat Storage thinking we would soon be headed to the Keys. A planned one night stop outside Fishermen's Village to pick up diesel and say goodbye to Don and Gail has turned into a longer stay. The faithful little Yanmar 3GMF20 chugged along for two hours through the canals, lock and finally the channel to Charlotte Harbor. Then it began surging from idle speed to operating speed every few minutes.

No big deal we thought. Just sail or motor-sail over to our anchorage where we would replace the fuel filter. The little Yanmar kept surging all the way across the harbor without dying which made anchoring a bit nicer. Mike replaced the fuel filter/water separator and then began bleeding the air out of the system. Hmmmm, the manual fuel pump lever doesn't seem to be moving much fuel. OK, time to replace the fuel pump. Our good friend Don picked us up and took us to Certified Diesel where we purchased the new pump and gasket. Tomorrow all will be well.

Mike wiggled, bent and folded his "girlish figure" into several pretzel shapes and eventually got the new fuel pump installed. Using one hand and an extension mirror is an interesting way to do motor work. Sweet, a new pump installed means the Yanmar should be happy. Mike started the air bleeding process again with high hopes as the new pump actually pumped diesel. Problem fixed. We'll be motoring soon.

The sit on motor/one-handed/work by feel method.

Not so fast Mr. Optimist. Mike found that the bleeding process would stop at the fuel injection pump. Yup, pump number two in the system. Repeated efforts to bleed fuel past this pump failed even after checking for any other possible causes. Since the fuel injection pump is a pricey and complicated little item Mike had to do something he hates more than just about anything in the world. He had to ask for help. We have Certified Diesel coming to our boat on Wednesday to go over the fuel delivery system and diagnose/confirm the problem. Mike is actually hoping the expert will look at the problem and say, "Mike, the problem is so simple I can't believe you didn't see it." Hey, call me an idiot all day if it saves me the several hundred dollars I would have spent on a new injection pump.

We'll see what happens on Wednesday. Either we will be happy cruisers sailing south or broke happy sailors waiting for a rebuilt fuel injection pump.

A nice spot to do motor repairs.


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