Third Times a Charm (Almost)

Check out the sweet, sweet new headpiece.
Trip número three started and ended a LOT better than the one before, but we still have a long way to go. Everything started fine and we got out of the marina without any surprises with me, Kristen, and first-mate Grant onboard.

As planned we motored upwind (still lame, I know, I know) and once in open water I noticed that the motor (while running) was not idling as it should. "Eh... I'll check it when we get back," I said. After a while and many pirate jokes later we made it far enough upriver and killed the engine (AKA it died when idling) and we raised the sails. The sails went up rather quickly and we even looked like we knew what we were doing. But that sense of pride was quickly lost when we compared our skills to the regatta taking place downriver. Stupid regatta stealing our thunder.

With Grant working the jib sheets, Kris trimming the sails, and me at the tiller we started making way. While still not able to sail downriver (the desired direction and upwind) we were able to successfully able to sail with the wind on our port side and downwind, I still can't figure out why we can't go with the wind coming over the starboard rail. Maybe the Buena Visa has the Anti-NASCAR curse? It can only make right turns. After a while we notice a storm cloud forming inshore so we decided to head in for the day. Fun's over. 

Grant in all his glory taking us in.

Once back at the marina the fun began. As soon as we got close to other, more expensive boats the motor started to act up. Have I mentioned recently how great this motor is? (If not refer to the previous posting for details) After restarting we were able to quickly regroup thanks to my superhuman motor skills, but as soon as we reached the point of no return the motor died/croaked/stopped/ceased to work. At this point Kristen was on the bow holding onto another boat and the stern was quickly turning away from the dock as I was trying to get the motor started again. I hated that stupid motor with every ounce of my being at that point. About that time Mick poked his head out of his boat and asked if we needed a hand. Yes. He came around the dock as we tossed a dock line to him to pull the stern into the slip. Within a few minutes it was all over and we were back safe without having to call TowBoat U.S. Success!

Overall we did pretty well and we learned a lot even thought we only spent a few hours on the water. However, it is still depressing to be sitting still while we get overtaken by another sailing yacht like we're a beat up station wagon getting passed by a European sports car. One day.

The following day I went back to the Buena Vista to work on my believed motor. My first thought was to make sure the plugs were not fouled. Nope. Next, I took off the carburetor to clean it out. Nope.

Somethings missing...
During this painstakingly non-simple project I managed to give Davy Jones my 5/16 wrench and I was still no closer to finding the problem. Great.

If found please return to the Buena Vista.
Once I got the carb back on (thanks to a spare wrench) I fired off the motor to find two things: 1- the motor still did not idle 2- the seal for the thermostat was leaking saltwater. Awesome. As usual, Mick popped his head out to save the day. He said, "de issue is tha ethanol. Everyone here swears that it screws with ya motor." Thanks Mick. Now with that with mystery hopefully solved I now had to deal with the leaking thermostat to prevent my beloved 7.5 from turning into an overheating lump of corrosion. Thankfully the designers of this part understood that it might have to be removed and I was able to see the issue quickly and clearly.

FYI, this should be one piece... Just so you know

After a lot of scrubbing, scraping, and leaning over the back of the boat I was able to clean the surface and prep the area for the replacement parts which were ordered today. Once they come in it's only three bolts to replace so should be an easy fix, I hope.

With that knocked out I wanted to run the 110 volt shopvac to remove that pesky water from the bilge due to the weeks rain storms. I fired her off and filled up the first bucket, then the second, and then the third. What's going on here?!?!?! Then I figured it out, we're taking on water...

The crack...
The bad news is that it's a crack in the hull below the waterline (that's bad) and the only good news is that it's small and seems to only let in about a half an inch of water at most. It still makes me nervous and I want it fixed. I want it fixed now. How in the world am I going to fix this one?

It seems like I've got my to-do list for the week...

Good Times,

- Jake

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