Monday, February 22, 2010

Hi hose, hi hose it's off to work we go!

The inside of a boat is not entirely unlike the inside of the human body.  There are systems, pipes, hoses and pumps all over the place - and, just like in the human body, they all work together.  Sort of like that old song: "the knee bone's connected to the thigh bone, the thigh bone's connected to the hip bone, the hip bone's connected to the back bone" get the picture.  Except in a boat it's more like: "the water intake hose is connected to the accumulator, the accumulator's connected to the water pump, the water pump's connected to the faucet" or "the through-hull's connected to the engine, the engine's connected to the fresh water heater, the fresh water heater's connected to the accumulator, the accumulator's connected to the faucet" and VOILA! You have hot water (in theory). 

Neither of these examples really do "taking hose inventory" justice (which was what we called this weekend's big project) but, if you'd like to learn a thing or two about your boat, it's systems, and (*literally*) how they are all connected - I'd suggest spending an afternoon with some calipers, some measuring tape, a flashlight and follow those hoses from beginning to end.  It's amazing how clear things become (but not before they become very confusing - don't forget to take very clear and descriptive notes!).

Please note:  The "fun quotient" of this rather "un-fun" job is greatly amplified when your sister and brother show up with beer and laughter and you all go out for Chinese food in Chinatown afterward.  Just sayin'.

Brittany & Scott

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Diesel Engines for Dummies!

Yesterday, thanks to my nearest and dearest Uncle Bob (love you Bobby!!), Scott and I attended a Mack Boring "Diesel Training for the Boat Owner" seminar in Wauconda, IL.  Everyone keeps telling us that diesel engines are "really quite simple" and relatively "straightforward" pieces of machinery and after tinkering around with one I beg to differ.  However, the class - from 8am to 5pm - was incredibly dense and full of great information that we are both still processing.  The first half of class we learned about combustion, engine cooling mechanisms, troubleshooting techniques, oil and diesel additives and all sorts of good stuff.  The second half we got to actually tinker around with an engine; bleed the air out of the system, check the air filter, check the transmission oil (often neglected by boat owners) and see where everything we learned about in the first half of class actually lived on the real life engine.

It was super cool and we met some great fellow boat owners who we are sure to either meet up with again here in Chicago or cross paths with on our journey out to sea!

We definitely learned a great deal and even came home smelling of diesel exhaust - just like REAL engine mechanics.  That's gotta give us some street cred, right?


Brittany and Scott

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Time is Money and Money is Time my Friends...

What in the heck have we been doing you ask?  Well, the answer is: Not much (save a lot of internet research).  BUT our lack of progress on our list has taught me a lesson (and who doesn't love a good lesson?): I should have paid the extra dough and stored the boat INSIDE.  Gotta love hindsight.  The bastard.  But really, we are at a standstill. 

Our boat is frozen all over the place (even all our cleaning supplies that we didn't have the foresight to take off the boat are bloated and frozen solid), we *may* have burst some sort of 'reserve' water tank we didn't know we had (the guy who winterized the boat distinctly remembers doing our 'main' water tank), and we can only *hope* our shrink wrapping has withstood the foot or so of heavy, wet snow that pummeled the Midwest over the past 24 hours.  So - yeah, thinking that we were actually going to get any "real" work done in the smack-dab-middle-of-winter while our boat was outside in the elements (in Chicago, no less) was stupid wishful thinking. 

Being an incredibly "efficient" person by nature - I am DEFINITELY of the mindset that time is money, and visa versa.  The money we would have spent storing our little frozen beauty in nice and toasty heated storage unit would have been worth all the time we'd have been able to spend working on her.  That and we wouldn't have an ice rink in her bilge and a bunch of worthless frozen cleaning products. 


I'm going to remember this one for the future.


Brittany & Scott

Monday, February 01, 2010

This CANNOT be Good...

Scott and I went to the boat to check her out on Saturday morning and this is what we found in her belly:

I suppose it's better than our boat being "on the rocks" the OTHER way...but we have a feeling, come spring, we're not going to be too pleased about this.

For those of you who don't know what this is - this is our "bilge" and it goes down another 3 feet or so.  Its primary function is to contain water coming into the boat so that it's not all over the place and it is now a solid 3 x 2 block of ice.  It also contains our bilge pump which, we can only assume, is now toast. 
Considering that our boat has been shrink-wrapped and is "out of the elements" this begs the question:  Where in the hell did all this water come from?

Oh - and yes, our boat was "winterized" so this, in *theory* should NOT be from our water tanks...if it is, we have a very big problem.


Brittany & Scott

* Post script 3/21:  Turns out, the water in the bilge was just melted snow that came in through scuppers.  Hooray!
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