Yellow-Green-Blue-Silver

These are the colors of the diesels that have been players in our lives. I would have rather they had all been white. It makes it easier to keep them clean and to see problems at their earliest. The yellow ones were Air Force and were essential to keeping my 46 airplanes weapons ready and loaded. If I had ever touched one of those air-cooled demons, the QC cops would have written me up.

The green Volvo was raw water-cooled. The blue Perkins and silver Yanmar were/are freshwater cooled. But all three have impeller driven, self-priming water pumps. All three have eaten impellers. The Volvo ate a half-dozen and kept the pieces, gradually affecting the cooling performance until I tracked them down and extracted them (a seven-year process).

The Perkins ate only one in eight years–probably because I went to the expense of buying a quick removal cover.

The Yanmar just ate its first. It was OK at the beginning of the season. Usually, it’s because of age. There are screens upstream to keep solids from damaging the blades. Except for sand. During this trip we went through several areas with significant suspended solids in the water because of the state of the tide

The impeller should look like this.   Installing them is straight forward. I put a nylon cable tie around the vanes and pull it tight to compress the blades. I lubricate it with waterproof gear grease. I insert it until the cable tie is just reachable with diagonal cutters. I snip the tie and push the impeller the rest of the way home.

Of course this came after I had completely emptied the cockpit  storage locker so I could crawl below and check transmission fluid level and quality — as well as topping off the genset oil (remember, we are talking bear in a refrigerator carton}.

Then the impeller change. Then the engine run to heat the oil. Then scavenging the used oil (required two trips to the collection tank at the back of the marina). Then came the oil filter removal and replacement…and THEN the fresh oil went into the engine. Then came the belt check.

Then I decided to finish the TV cable installation our installer started for us seven years ago. All clothes had to come out of three lockers. The back of one locker had to be removed. The existing wire had to have a new end fitting. (A process done almost entirely by feel).

By now, I have contorted for four hours and nothing doesn’t hurt.

And then today I spent six hours chiseling teak trim off the cockpit coamings in preparations for new traction material.  Even using a rubber mallet with the chisel, my wrist  is now walking wounded as well.  Thank goodness for chewable aspirin.

Tomorrow we cut and glue the new non-skid and pick up the departure tempo. Our next stop is focused on peace and quiet, walks on the beach, and dolphins.

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