Friday, August 04, 2006

And So It Goes...

As I write this I'm sitting on the deck of the Watch Hill Yacht Club, a fine establishment located, well, in Watch Hill, Rhode Island. I met Herb & Gina and Bob & Carol here aboard Goldeneye and Spirit respectively yesterday morning. As you will no doubt guess, I've replaced the pump and done my best to get out here.
But let me digress. From my last post you know my freshwater pump failed and resulted in Laura and I sailing almost back to City Island where we got a tow from Towboat US. If you are not a member, become one. If you don't have towing insurance, get it, and for $99, you get pretty much unlimited towing. Do it.

So back at the mooring Sunday I did some research for Kubota parts distributors. Laura got a ride home from her friend Cathy. Sunday night had dinner at the club (I still love saying that) and got moderately drunk with friends. It is a club, after all!

In case you didn't know, Universal Marine (now ow
ned by Westerbeke) are Kubotas. So are Beta Marine engines. There are parts and there are parts. The basic block and fuel system is purely Kubota. The raw water cooling, the transmission (Hurth), and the exhaust system is Universal. But Universal ground off the Kubota serial numbers of everything. Still, you can find the right model by year and cylinders of the engine. Anyway, mine is a Kubota D950 engine.

I went to Engine Distributors, Inc. of 400 University Court, Blackwood, NJ 08012 (Telephone: 856.228.7298, Fax: 856.228.5531) for the water pump. They were courteous, and responsive, and helped me identify the pump properly. And they agreed to send it overnight, 10:30 delivery. And at 10:30 Tuesday, I had my pump! Woohoo! Pump from Universal dealer: $238. Pump from Engine Distributors: $80. Difference in pump: Nothing. Part of the basic powerplant.

Well, almost woohoo. There's a fitting on the pump that supplies water to the hot water heater (in a tractor, it supplies it to the cabin heating system). The fitting doesn't come with it, so I thought I'd take it out of the old pump. Well after hours of swearing and banging and hacksawing I find that my fitting was pressed in. That's no help.

Off I went to Buddy's Hardware Store, just a couple of blocks from the yacht club. He has a 1/8" pipe to 3/8" hose barb fitting, but the pump has machine thread! Crap. But wait, I'm not going nuts. Let me see a 1/8" pipe tap. Wow! The threads are correct! Ok, I'm outta here with the barb fitting and a can of 3 in 1 oil, and the pipe tap. Twenty minutes later, I'm on the boat with the new pump, newly tapped hole with the hose barb installed (using teflon tape) and installing it on the engine.

Done deal. Pictures abound here, so enjoy.

Two hours later, engine's up and running, I've filled the water and fuel tanks and I'm on vacation!

As you all are aware, it was hot. It was hotter than hot. It was like a million degrees! But on the water, only 950,000 degrees. Much better. Since there was no wind, I motored over to Stamford Connecticut and anchored out for the evening. It didn't cool down until 2 or 3 in the morning! Yech!

To catch as much of the tide as possible and to get as far as I could, I left at 6:30 in the morning to get to Saybrook, on the Connecticut River. The day was unbearably hot. I sat under the umbrella killing flies.

This makes me wonder - where did all the damn flies come from - they're biting black flies. And my only weapon was a rolled up Tick-Tack wireless instruments catalog. I must have killed a hundred of them. The cockpit was littered with smashed corpses of flys and splotches of my blood. I was going to anchor out, but I decided to go to Between The Bridges Marina so I could hose the boat down and refuel.

But it was hot there. They had a pool which I partook of and the men's room was airconditioned. Had I known that, I'd've stayed there!

Anyway from Saybrook to Watch Hill is only about 20 miles, so I left with the tide and motorsailed there. Herb & Gina and Bob & Carol showed up about 2 pm, having come from Newport. We had a lovely hot dog dinner on Herb & Gina's boat, followed by the most spectacular thunderstorm I have ever seen on the water or off!

The lightning bolts were purple and orange and white and blue - they struck ground and traveled what seemed miles along the clouds - this was real wrath-of-God type of lightning. Along with it was 50 knot winds, and rain so hard it beat the waves flat! It lasted for about half and hour - just enough for my boat to get soaked through the small hatch I forgot to close!

Today is Friday, and as I write this, a front has come through and it's now overcast with a nice cool breeze - it's supposed to get into the 60's on Tuesday, but we'll see.

Since I'll be without access until Sunday night at Noank, I'll have to see you on the water!


Anonymous said...

Reading this reminded me why I've always been shy of larger appliances and recreational vehicles. When the gizmos and guts fail, there's a sudden hurt put on the 'joie' department resources. Where the young see a challenge, I see the kind of onerous problem-solving that threatens cancellation of cocktail hour. The ocean prairie and its manmade transportation devices I cede to others like yourself--except for maybe a largish, fully inflated inner tube. -J

Cap't Bob said...

Larger appliances, yes. Too complicated. The hurt put on the 'joie' department however is, 1. temporary; and 2. the stuff of stories. Dare I say legends?

I agree, it does threaten the start of cocktail hour, but makes it ever so much richer when it comes time to describe in excruciating detail with the waving of hands, excited eyebrow wiggling, and exaggerated drama.

Cocktail hour wins out always, even if delayed. It is the law of the sea.

Still, there are times when covered in grease, oil, or even less appetising gook that seems to proliferate in boats, with raw knuckles and bleeding scratches everywhere that the largeish, fully inflated inner tube becomes a vision of desire and beauty.