It’s hard to believe that I have 5+ years and 20,000+ miles under my belt. I don’t.
Why, you wonder?
Oh, the routine things, those daily tasks or almost daily takes, are easy. It was in Germany when I lost my bow thruster. That was at the beginning of our 2015 Baltic Adventure. Seems like ages ago.
So, I’m pretty good at back and filling now. I can turn Dauntless around in a 180° in two boat lengths or 85 feet. It also gives me the excuse to Just Say No. When a marina, like recently at Dana Point, gave me a slip that I thought that I may be able to get in, but never get out again, I was able to easily say no, without guilt.
They found an end “T” dock for me.
I can also change the Racor fuel filters and prime them in less than two minutes. But now, I have the wisdom that I don’t need to rush. That’s the advantage of having the two dual Racor filters in parallel. Also, by only feeding from one fuel tank at a time, it a problem or issue develops, I immediately change the tank feed and filter and then diagnose the problem. This came in handy a couple of weeks ago when I sensed a change in engine pitch. I immediately asked Larry to take the helm, while I went to the engine room. Sitting on the stringer in front of the engine, I could tell the rpms were not steady, but slowly rising and falling.
That meant a fuel or air problem.
The Racor bowl looked good, but I immediately changed to the other Racor. No change. I switched fuel tanks. The surging continued and got a bit worse. But now I thought I understood the issue. I talk Larry to increase the throttle. After a moment’s hesitation, the engine started running smoothly and normally again.
What was the problem? I’d run the fuel tank empty!
But I didn’t kill the engine because I acted immediately by changing both the filter (that at that point, probably had some air in it) and the tank. The Ford Lehman can be a PIA if you run it totally out of fuel, but I do have an auxiliary electric pump which I use just to prime the Racors and the engine mounted filters if need be. It works great, within seconds, system is pressurized and no more f…ing with that lift pump on a hot engine.
But the dingy, why that’s another matter. In 2016 we only used it a few times. Sitting in Cabo San Lucas with nothing to do, waiting for the head winds to die down, I figured I may as well make one last attempt to get the dingy going.
I spent an hour in the hot Cabo sun pumping it full of air. I’d already used another tube of 5200 to seal the back transom to the pontoons. The dingy looked pretty good. No need for a new stink’in dingy. I had looked at the local Costco the day before but saw no sign of any. (My observational powers leave a lot to be desired).
Then in yet another moment of inexperience, I decided to lower the dingy to the dock, without checking the outboard.
I was feeling pretty good until the next morning. That sad picture tells the tale.
I decided that we could survive without the dingy. And in hindsight, we would’ve, could’ve, should’ve done without one.
Returning to Costco to stock up on required supplies like Danishes for yet another attempt to head north, I spotted the dingy that had eluded me the last TWO visits. They had it displayed standing vertically, on it’s tail. Of course, I couldn’t see it like that. They may as well have hung it from the ceiling. But remember, that this point, I had decided to go without. How was I going to get it to the boat in any case, so, I just bought my Danishes
Walking out of the store, I noticed these guys, presumably taxi drivers, and with my 20-word Spanish vocabulary, I never found out, but they did point me back to the store and I understood that Costco delivered.
When businesses make it easy to spend money, I’m all in. In 10 minutes, I had my dingy bought and they would deliver the next day.
Another hour of foot pumping, my new dingy was good to go. Now, to get the outboard working. Of course, after The First and Nearly the Last almost a year of non-use, it was a no-go.
I realized I had to clean the ports in the carburetor again. No biggie, except in my inexperience, I had not done this while the outboard was on the boat or even on the dock. It was now sitting on the transom of the new dingy. I debated trying to take the carb apart while hanging off the end of the boat., but realized it was a sure way to lose a critical part. My back would have to pay the price for my brain not thinking about this before.
Another hour later, I finally was good to go and thought it would be good to take the dingy down to the fuel dock and fill up the gas can.
All went as planned and I was left with a confidence that I did not deserve.
The video of the first and nearly the last dingy trip