Help! I’m Injured!

We’ll, not me, at least not physically. The boat is injured and I feel the pain. I feel the pain cause so much of me (us) is in this boat that when something doesn’t work it’s like I’m injured. And I feel the pain cause I’m physically bent over, reaching, cutting a finger – hand or my arm, squinting, trying to hold the light and get a wrench on one end and socket on the other end of what ever I need to fix.

It started out as a couple hour job. That’s what I estimated.  W/ usually doubles that time but ok; it’s a morning job. It’s Sunday; day of rest. Boats don’t rest.  I had two things to do. I was going to tighten a plate down on the top of the Aquagen (it was leaking coolant) and I was going to put a new gasket (made from a glossy magazine cover) on the water pump (it was leaking saltwater), and I didn’t have a spare gsaket.
First I pulled off the water pump; I needed to loosen the belt running to the water pump so I could pull off the refrigeration compressor so I could get to the bolt (that appeared loose) that was under the compressor.  Done!  I find the bolt laying on top of the plate. So I gently try to restart it in the hole. Damn!  It won’t go. DAMN!  (that’s not really all I said). So I pull off the other bolt holding the compressor on and now have clear access to the hole. Words can not fully describe my feelings here. And if you remember the 7 words that years ago were not to be spoken in public you might have heard them all. The bolt had sheared off!

How to get it out. I called Serge on Spirrare  and he came over to help.  He’s younger with better eyes; and has as much or more experience with engines. Besides; it’s always easier breaking someone else’s boat rather than your own.

So from a job that was to be a couple of hours we’re now to a job that may take us to the marina and I’ll have to pull the engine out; take it to a machine shop and have the stud removed.  We discuss some options. But right now it comes down to; let’s see if we can get it out. We look for the Easy Outs. I know I have some. Can’t find any. We do however find some of the screw extractors. Gently Serge punches the center of the bolt and drills a small hole. We try the extractor. Nothing. Serge drills a slightly larger hole. We try the extractor. Nothing. I connect the extractor to the drill and I try using the drill to remove the Bolt.  Viola!  It’s coming out, it came out!  Whew, an am job turned into a month job which turned back into a two day job!  Today is Sunday. Nothing is open. Tomorrow I’ll go to the marine store and get some “metric” bolts so they’re all good, I’ll also go to ACE Hardware (yep there is one in Grenada) and see if I can get some strong metric bolts. Put it all back together and hope the leaks are fixed.

After we got the bolt out, we reminisced about my good luck,  and  Serge took off. After all; there was an afternoon of the Dominos Train Game for cruisers planned at the marina.  I would miss it (I’m not really a big fan of that game) and W/ too decided to stay and assist.  After lunch I raised up the heat exchanger (one of the things on my Trinidad list and that should make sure no air stays trapped in the top of the cooling system).  That done, sweat rolling off me, we picked up and called it a day.

What a day. Aren’t Sunday’s to be a day of rest?

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long

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