Sunday, September 30, 2018

My summer vacation - 2018

It was to be a summer of extended cruising.

We did a good week or more in July, heading south to Scituate and then through the Canal, with a night at Bassetts Island and the following night at Parkers Boat Yard, where we rendezvoused with a bevy of old Cape Dory friends. Then off to Cuttyhunk for three nights before wending our way back to Boston.

Did a good long weekend (or maybe is was mid-week!) to and from Provincetown,via Scituate coming and going.

Then came the planned three week August cruise. Delayed a day or two by weather, we headed first to Salem, and had a great, beam reach sail. That was as good as it got. With about half a mile to go and the wind nearly on our nose heading to the mooring field, I rolled the Genoa and started the motor... and was greeted by an as yet unheard whine. By the time I shut down the motor I was already smelling something amiss.

With the motor shut down, we were sailing on the main, and just on course to the mooring field, close hauled. I put a call into Hawthorne Cove Marina and they sent a work boat out to escort us to a mooring, which I managed to pick up on the second try.

The diagnosis of a failed starter (which didn't disengage and quickly burned itself out) was easy enough. But what to do next? We stayed a day (two nights) in Salem, as planned, then opted for a Sea Tow trip back to Boston, where my mechanic was already working on sourcing a replacement starter.

Back on Friday, failed starter out on Monday, new starter installed on Tuesday. All's well now, except for the apparent low voltage short that caused the oil pressure/temp alarm buzzer alarm to buzz when the electric panel was energized. Solved that one only to find the engine starting, then powering down, then revving up, powering down...

Hmmm... everything we know about diesel engines says that it's either fuel or air. WRONG! The problem was finally traced to some salt and corrosion on the engine's electrical connector, which was powering the fuel shutoff as the engine revved, then de-powered it as the alternator slowed. Clean that up a bit, and all's well, including understanding why the starter likely failed in the first place.

We spent most of our planned "cruise" in our slip, with the side benefit that we explored locally in a way we wouldn't have otherwise. New (to us) historical sites, restaurants and more.

No complaints.