What a difference a day makes!…..
15 November 2012 (Eastern Hemisphere)
Yesterday\’s engine room antics were a great crest fall when the engine started and ran for 10 minutes and then failed. Ken Dickenson of Norfolk, UK and Dave Blanding of Shawnee Mission Kansas (\”Sunflower\’s home port) kept telling me about AIR and BLOCKAGE. With all due respect to Rube Goldberg, I FIXED IT!!!
First, the prefilter system WAS leaking AIR and couldn\’t be stopped, so it had to be removed from the system. This is where Rube Goldberg came in. For those of you who don\’t know who Rube Goldberg was…Google it!, but here\’s the short story. Rube was a guy who always wanted to make a better mouse trap. Some of his designs looked like the schematic from the space shuttle. In other words, he over complicated a simple problem and he worked his own ways to make things work.
So to get the pre filter out of the system, I had to use plastic hose reducers, lots of hose clamps, two different sizes of hose to reduce the main fuel line to the priming pump. The NEW pump is in line and assisted in priming, but is not necessary to run the engine. So once I got all this set up, I removed the fuel hose from the ENGINES lift pump and turned on the electric priming pump. The pressure in the primary fuel filter housing went way up (it has a pressure gauge) and NO output. UMM??? So I removed the outbound fuel hose to the engine lift pump from the primary fuel filter to see if it was blocked. I went to look inside the primary filter side and saw the line was completely blocked! But with what? Turns out, that when I was in Fiji, the \”boys\” had the hose on and off so many times they stripped the inner lining and it balled up. We\’ve wondered since Brisbane why we couldn\’t get full RPM out of the port engine. Now we know why! I kept the hose piece I cut off. You cannot blow air through it. It apparently got worse and worse and eventually starved the fuel from the engine.
Having cut it away and remounted it, the fuel came out the engine lift pump side like an artery. It also easily came out of the engines secondary fuel filter with the bleed screw open. It started right up and has been running under load for the last hour and a half. Mystery solved. The other good news is that while running this engine, the alternator is charging and I don\’t have to use up fuel running the generator to just charge the battery system. Also, if it\’s really hot we can run the little Air Con unit, the water makers and run the washing machine all while motoring and charging. Life is better!
The unhappy part of the day is that the wind is coming exactly from where we are trying to get to at 15 knots. The seas however are not bad. The wind is expected to back around to SSE sometime late this afternoon and when it does, will go close reaching again.
Thanks to all of you for your suggestions on the engine issue, especially Ken and Dave!
19-34S x 038-18E, motoring at 6.3 knots against the wind with a now neutral current. This should improve over the next 12 hours.
KIT, Scott and Reading Nikki (who of course was extremely helpful to the Captain in the engine room!)