Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Savannah at Hinckley - a nice sail

Three dogs on board! 

Today was a day of revelation. For the past year I've been fighting what I thought was a higher than normal temperature of the engine. Last year, as readers of the blog recall, I has the engine descaled, the heat exchanger removed and cleaned, the thermostat replaced, the temperature meter replaced (in the cockpit), the temperature sending unit replace (on the engine) and new antifreeze put in. When in Key West later that year, I also replaced the exhaust elbow which had one of its two ports clogged. All this seemed to help but did not return the operating temperature to what I remember when the boat was new, around 185F when under load.

Emma Rose's first turn at the wheel
In discussing this with Bob, the Hinckley mechanic, he put an IR meter on the engine as we ran it at the dock at 1800 rpm (securely tied down) with the result that the temperature gauge in the cockpit read higher than the IR meter Bob had directed it on the engine at the point where the temperature sending unit was located. Furthermore, it was sensitive to changing the rpm, the gauge would vary almost immediately as the rpm was changed. Bob suspected a bad ground and so I checked the main ground to the engine and found that it could be easily turned with the wrench, not good!

Hoolie's in the dog house, he left the boat to explore the countryside - not appreciated! He was caught and put downstairs alone...
So I took everything off the engine ground, sanded all surfaces and put it back together with a much more tightened nut. We took the boat out for a spin this afternoon with the result that the gauge never read higher than 185F! That was a great relief! Now I can motor north with a peaceful mind and not have to worry about over temperature readings from the cockpit gauge. Through all of this the backup alarm never went off which operates off a bimetallic strip which is independent of any ground resistance changes. Getting all that behind us is a great relief. Now I can worry about other things.... 

Hinckley's travellift operates by remote control - the guy in the orange shirt is driving it
Lee and Emma Rose left today after a wonderful sail. We had blue skies, 10 to 12 kt winds and no wave action, a great introduction to sailing for the first time. So now Fleetwing is once again empty as we head north again on Wednesday, arriving in Charleston on Friday. We'll be at the city docks this time since our first choice is full due to Race Week at Charleston, groan!