Wow.  Feels weird to come home to our blog and write something.  Its been over a week hasn’t it?  Sorry I haven’t been keeping up lately.  Life has been chaotic.

Is it not a rule or law of the cosmos that whenever you change everything you’ll break something?  I think it may be.  These in the software world we refer to as “bugs”.   I’ve found some bugs in boat work too.

Of note.  Since going back in the water we’ve had several hiccups in our new engine install.  The engine has not done well at idle speed.  Various times it has sputtered out at idle.  Each time after being shut down for over 4 hours we also have had intermittent problems with starting it.  It will always start, but not before lots of bleeding and priming.  Classic signs of an air leak in the fuel lines.  However, it runs just fine at higher RPMs and a few times we’ve come back to it after shutting down at high rpm and its been fine.  So what gives?

Speaking with Stanley at Beta and Bud at Worldcruiser told me that its either an air leak or too low of an idle.  I had fiddled with a bunch of different things trying to get it to work.  I also managed to burn up our stuffing box packing despite the kind warnings of a certain reader of this blog.  I’ll have to change the packing again soon.  After burning it up though I loosened the packing nut quite a bit to get it to start dripping.

Despite these problems, Dani and I resolved to go sailing this weekend.  On Saturday we did some tinkering and fluid changing and whatnot (first fluid change @ 20 hours), but did not finish in time to go out.  At least we got to see some black hawks.  I swear, cool aircraft are attracted to Sundowner.

We did make it back out on Sunday and try to start the motor after all of our hopeful tinkering.  It didn’t crank on the first try; I had to bleed it.  We got it started and all seemed well, so we left the dock.  Just out of the final markers I started hearing some sort of ringing sound from the engine room.  I went below and looked in.  It was the nut from the stuffing box that had come off and was rattling on the spinning prop shaft.  I had gone from too tight to too loose.   Sometimes I feel like a real clown.

We got the jib up and shut down the engine and pulled the hatch off to fix it.  I’ve carefully cropped this photo so that you cannot see my butt crack.  You’re welcome.

So after getting that straightened out.  We try to fire up the motor to test it.  Motor runs and then dies.  We try a few more times, same thing.  Our problem is worse not better because now even at higher RPMs she is sputtering out.  So finally I get back down in the engine room and retighten every single fuel line connection despite having tightened them previously.  To my surprise, there are several loose.  I have no idea why.  I can only speculate that as the weather cooled and cooled the hoses contracted.  We did install them in 90+ degree heat.  But really I don’t know why.

After tightening everything up, the motor fired and ran.  We put the hatch back on and got down to sailing.  FINALLY.   And it was some great sailing.

Eye candy.

This guy wanted to race us.  Catalina 30 I believe.  He won.   Though we put on a show for him.  At some point Dani and I were dancing in the cockpit just having fun, but then the guy started scoping us out with his binoculars.  It occurred to us that maybe from a different angle what we were doing wouldn’t have looked so innocent as dancing.

He really was in a hurry to catch up.

We spend most of our time “sailing” digging around in snacks.

The rest of the day was fantastic though.  We had solid 10kt winds all day long.  We could set the sails and hit 5kts easy and just cruise along enjoying ourselves.  We tacked back and forth just sort of hanging out close to our harbor until it got later and we headed in to dock before dark.

I also got to experiment with some configurations for adjusting the gooseneck on the mast and boom.  I had emailed the Firey’s and they responded in detail about how to handle reefing and raising of the main.  I had been having some weatherhelm and I tightened up the forestay and it seemed a lot more manageable this weekend.  It was literally the best sailing we’ve done yet.  I really can’t wait to start fiddling with the wind vane.

All good things must come to an end…  We headed back to Southshore.

I made plans for what we’d do if the motor died while we pulled in or what to do if it wouldn’t start up.  But it fired right up and got us in.  Dani and I are hopeful that retightening everything fixed the fuel issue.  At the dock, it idled for about 15 minutes without problem (which it has never done).  Next up on the agenda is repacking the stuffing box I destroyed.

Never a dull moment.