The past few weeks have been a test, in fact, I think Resa is ensuring we are really committed to her in some bizarre fashion. People laugh when I say that boats have personalities but we've had enough of them in my life to believe it is true. Our first boat and I did not see eye to eye and I was very glad to see the stern of her when we sold it. Our second boat was love at first sight until the day we sold her, interestingly enough the very first day with the new owners she lost her impeller. We had not had a lick of issue with her over the several years of ownership. Our last boat didn't seem to care for Keith that much and we ended up sinking a ridiculous amount of money into things like transmissions but overall we toughed it out together and came to an agreement. Now Resa is going through that same cycle of testing. The most recent adventure was losing the prop.
Yes, you heard me right. We went to go sailing the other day, had a full crew onboard, untied the dock lines, put Resa in gear and went nowhere. At first I thought someone had left a dock line tied, then there was a brief panic thinking we had a transmission issue, finally Keith put his cell phone underwater and spotted that the prop was totally gone! Which is bad, but not as bad (i.e. costly!) as it could be and if it was going to happen, what better place then in the slip?!? Just the day previous I had spent a few hours changing the oil and had run the engine to warm it up, it must have come off at that point because we we went sailing the day before without issue.
We actually had a backup prop and cone so we started to plan on getting the boat over to the yard to haul her out and thought we'd check around the boat to see if we could possible see the prop. On low tide we went down to the dock and looked around behind the boat and were a little discouraged to not see it...though not totally surprised. Then as we walked back to the boat and glanced under it...there it was...sitting bright as day right under the boat and we could also see the cone that was suppose to hold it on not a foot away from it! We tried retrieving with hooks and made a few calls to divers who were not available immediately before our neighbor popped out and offered his services....for the nominal price of a six pack of beer. So we were able to recover our hardware and still have a backup prop and cone which we will keep with us on the boat now at all times. I popped over to the yard and chatted with them about a good time to haul Resa late in the day so we could keep her in the sling overnight to put the prop back on, this time with Red Locktite which is what Volvo and the FB Sweden Yachts group both recommended. This is the permanent Locktite and seems counter-intuitive because we have to take the prop off the boat to replace the zinc and the red Locktite is going to make that extremely difficult! Regardless, we had a plan and we were able to get it to the yard with help from yacht club friends and a very talented husband towing with the little Boston Whaler. We hauled her and got the prop back on....and that's where it should have had a happy ending.
In the morning we received a call from the yard saying they need to drop Resa back in early so at 8:30 we were there dropping her back into the water and as she splashes, still in the slings we start the engine up ready to back her down and back into the slip when one of the yard guys says "I don't see any water coming out". I quickly go below and double check that I did in fact open the thru hull...which I had....so we turned the engine off and began to see if there was another easy answer. (insert hysterical laugh). After some 10 minutes of dorking around and not identifying a quick solution, the yard guys decided to push Resa over to a side tie so they can keep hauling and dropping boats while we started to dig into what was going on with our Volvo.
Keith and I started at the intake, checking hoses and everything looked fine, checked the vented loop and the new valve we'd installed, we checked the impeller and it looked and turned over with the engine running, the water was going into the heat exchanger fine so we looked to the last step where water goes through the exhaust elbow and out the back of the boat. Low and behold it was totally blocked where the water is suppose to go through. There was also some carbon build up but not a total blockage. So we at least had an idea of the root cause of the issue. and we know we need to replace it but since we live pretty far removed from a supply of these and we had a trip scheduled to Sequim to buddy boat with the Sea Scouts that night, we opted to clean the part as best we could and see how it goes. At worst we would at least be able to get the boat back to the slip hopefully and at best it would be fine for awhile until we could get a new elbow shipped to us. Turns out, the cleaning of it helped significantly and water was flushing through at a decent volume so not only were we able to get Resa back in her slip a bit before Noon but I also had time enough to provision and gear up for a fun trip to Sequim for the weekend.
I'm the wife of the captain, a mother of three boys and a PM in the corporate world. This blog is my view of life and activities related to our boat.