Friday, May 26, 2017

Never Leave on Friday

There is a tradition among sailor for generations to never begin a voyage on Friday.  I had always adhered to it until recently.  This week I flew from our new home in Southern California back to Portland.  A tradition of always photographing the carpet in the airport brings Portlanders good luck.

PDX Airport Carpet (new one)

The CarolMarie is moving down to Southern California, and I have been getting her prepared through the week.  The plan was to load up, provision and leave at 5:00am Friday the 26th of May from Portland, to Astoria the first leg of the journey.

Yesterday we ventured out to top off the diesel tanks, pump out the holding tank, and clean out the cob webs from the engine.  No sooner did we leave the dock before a hissing sound arouse from the bilge, along with black soot.  Our muffler had died, run dry because of a failure to turn on the intake hoses for the engine.

It's not easy here in Portland at 3:30pm to find a diesel mechanic willing to work.  Luckily the closest dock we could tie to had a power boat with a live aboard mechanic.  That was as far as my luck had extended because finding a muffler in Portland for a 30 year boat took a valiant effort by our friends Jim and Paul.  Between them both they'd found three possible solutions.

The mechanic was named Donnie a small framed woman who fit well in the tight engine compartment on the CarolMarie.  She agreed to swap the mufflers for free, but we offered a small bottle of Patron for compensation.  The exchange was agreeable to both of us.  Boat people are great after all at helping each other out.

Old Muffler gone with the hoses ready.

Now it should be noted that you must have the right diameter intake and output hoses to match the muffler to be fitted.   Upon reading the intake hose it read 2 inch inner diameter.  Paul, found an exact match for the muffler needed at a local engine store.  The muffler had been sitting on the self for 15 years and no one purchased it.  Once we got it on the boat we found out why.  The model SBM-20 mufflers (the model of the new one and the replacement Paul found) use a 2 inch intake and a 1.75 inch output.  Someone had cut off the output rise on the muffler such that the 1.75 inch output hose wouldn't fit.

Well the SBM-20 has a history of burning up and I was kind of glad it didn't fit. They're made of rubberized plastic and not very durable.

The second model Paul found was two big physically to fit in the previous space.

Jim found a model that would fit in physically but the intake and outputs were too small for the existing hoses.  So as I write the blog today, I have forced to push out the departure for one day while Paul modifies the new muffler to fit.  Hopefully we will be able to fill up today, provision the boat and leave Saturday.

New Muffler hopefully modified today.

A couple of learnings here: 1. Boat people are kind and helpful. 2. remember to check the seacocks before starting the engine in the spring 3. Never push the luck of leaving on Friday's again.