Cooling System Fix

Salty window.

Wednesday Sept 28:

After getting back from my unscheduled trip (see Ian and illness and solo and running away), I spent the rest of the day rinsing off all the salt spray on the outside of the boat and tidying up. Sitting up on the top it did not seem like a lot of spray but once I stepped into the cabin I could see just how much spray doused the windows and everything else.

Thursday Sept 29:

Today I was going to explore the rest of the cooling system. I was at the dock now, so if I broke something I could go out for parts.

The cooling system is just like any car. In a car, the engine turns a pump that circulates coolant through the engine and the radiator. Air then flows over the radiator removing excess heat from the coolant. In most boats, the radiator is replaced with a heat exchanger and the air is replaced with sea water. Like a car, the engine circulates coolant through the heat exchanger. The engine also has a second pump. This pump is taking sea water and pushing it through the heat exchanger (like the air through the radiator), removing excess heat. My task today was to inspect the sea water pump and hoses.

Broken impeller in pump housing.

First step was to disassemble the sea water pump. Easy, six screws and the cover pops off. When I looked inside I could see what the problem was. The impeller (a paddle wheel thing that moves the water) was broken into a “million” pieces. My next task was to find all the little pieces. I do not want them clogging the plumbing somewhere down the line. I got fortunate because all the pieces were fairly large and they all got trapped in the first connection after the pump. I was able to get them out and pieced them back together with the impeller. By doing this I could verify I got most, if not all, of the broken bits.

Broken impeller and bits.

As luck would have it I remembered seeing an impeller in the spare parts bin. I pulled it out and it matched. I put a little lube on the new impeller, inserted it, put the cover back on, started the engine to check for leaks and I was back in business. On another day, I will take the boat out and run it to check that its cooling properly.

While all this unexpected chaos was not welcomed, I learned a lot. Without having to leave because of the hurricane, I would not have discovered the cooling issue. Now when I leave this marina for good, I will not be surprised 30 miles down the road. I also learned some boat handling in rough water, anchoring at dusk/dark, pulling up the anchor in windy conditions and the list goes on.

Not broken impeller.

I remember reading something on the internet, maybe a meme or something, but it goes like this and i’m para-phasing “I never lose. I either win/am successful or I learn”.

While I write mostly about things being broken or need fixing, I do find it more interesting. There are many more things that are working out correctly. At this point the boat is mostly ready to go. There are still things to work on, but it is a boat. There will always be something to work on.

I am eagerly waiting for the hurricane season to wind down so I can truly start the adventure.

I did take timeout one morning to take some pictures with my “good” camera. I just haven’t had the time to download them to look over, plus my primary laptop died several weeks ago. They are mostly pelican pictures so maybe you’ll see them in one of the next posts.

2 Comments on “Cooling System Fix

  1. Well done on the engine repair. Sounds like the impeller has failed before. Time to order another spare.

    Liked by 1 person

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