Shakedown

Everyone’s had experience with an engine that won’t start up, but how many have had an engine that won’t shut off? 

The purpose of a shakedown cruise is to encounter all the likely problems and issues you’ll have before your trip starts. I’m in day two of approximately 2 weeks of my shakedown, and I’ve already come across some good ones. My diesel engine not shutting down, that was interesting, as a diesel will continue to putt along forever until it runs out of fuel. When the pull knob only slowed it down a bit in neutral, I tried manually cutting of the fuel at the lever on the engine, the shutoff lever itself, but that only slowed it to a rediculously slow chug. Next plugging the air intake, but it’s quite difficult to find something that will seal the damned thing… I remembered quite clearly from Marine Tech class, “Don’t ever use your hand to plug the intake on a diesel!” You’ll lose a portion of your hand or something… Rags didn’t work, a book didn’t work… So I gave up and tried the last resort with the decompression lever to shut it off and that worked. Not something that’s at all good for the exhaust valves, but it’ll work. My thoughts ran to the talk of a Diesel burning its own oil so that it will continue until its all out and crispy, a terrible end to an engine! 

The unresponsive shutoff happened as I was exiting a narrow channel that welcomes you on to Grand Lake, the place where sailboats roam free here in New Brunswick. Sails up and cruising beautifully at 5 knots, I set the autopilot and set to fixing the engine. All that was needed was a small adjustment to the Idle speed screw, to allow the cut-off arm to move a lil bit further. It actually sounds like people carry spare stop cables on board as well, and they need to be cleaned and oiled annually… Bloody hell, the list never ends

I climbed the mast half a dozen times on my new Mast Mate ladder system, installed an electronic spinny thing and a few other tasks, but have no power going to the display. I’ll figure that one out tomorrow. It’ll be a fuse or loose connection, it usually is.

I installed a block (pully) at the mast head for an extra line to go up. This will be the line that raises the storm sail, that slides around my fuerled jib, and also secures me in the future for climbing the mast. I’m looking forward to trying that out on a windy day!

Anyways, there’s more tech stuff, but I’m set on fixing only one or two things a day. Rest and recreation is important! 

My first anchoring was a success, albeit there was no current in the beautiful channel I settled in. I dove down to inspect and it looked like an ok set. Every day I’d like to dive down to check the set, for a shower, exercise and safety of course! I’m interested in the different bottom types as well, I’m strange like that.

Now I’m anchored on grand Lake and my first try didn’t hold. Both Anchor alarms went off, but as my first time use of an anchor alarm, I figured I’d wait n see what happened. Lessons: clean off anchor after every use, and, I don’t think I went in reverse hard enough in this hard (mud/clay?)- as the second attempt bit in solid.

 Apparently I can’t dive more then 10-12 feet, as my lungs aren’t trained yet, so I couldn’t see this one set.

Endless cleaning. I have too much stuff and I don’t like clutter or moving 5 things to get the item behind said things… so some stuff will be tossed overboard, metaphorically speaking of course!

This boat tracks beautifully, and sails fast. That makes me very happy. I honestly would do without an engine, if it were practical (it’s not). I lost all sense of the fear of being out here solo, once she was under sail and powering on through. Thoughts of the Ex pop up every now and then, having purchased the boat together, it has added some introspection to the cruise. 

Also, not having a set schedule makes me feel like this trip will be a successful one, as I’ve also learned how crappy it is once the wind dies and your destination is just a half hour away… you are at the mercy of the weather and the currents, should your engine ever fail. Tonight if there is any wind I’ll take her for a night sail, and again, try my hand at anchoring. 

Oh I am excited!!! My spare piece of PVC I just noticed is the exact dimension of my Irish flute – I feel a new project coming on! ❤

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Author: thebumblysailor

Going to spend a year, maybe more heading south towards the carribbeans. Once I get there? I'll find out

One thought on “Shakedown”

  1. Your list never ends!
    Makes me a lot more happy I bought a narrowboat instead of a sailboat, at least I’m always close to the land and help.

    Your blog and your adventures in sailing are awe inspiring.

    Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Like

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