Posted By RichC on March 22, 2015
Last year about this time I had mentally decided that Brenda and I would be cruising the Bahamas aboard our sailboaat Encore in March 2015, but as “life happens” those dreams were not meant to be. As the year progressed, both of our surviving parents had health concerns requiring more of our attention, Encore started to show her age and had a few mechanical issues needing my attention and those pesky bills continued to keep us in need of a job. Our (my) plans were modified and instead of a month cruising the Bahamas we rerouted to the Florida Keys, then again to Miami and Biscayne Bay for a couple weeks and eventually nothing. Probably the most disappointed was my son Taylor who was looking forward to spending some time someplace other than frozen North Dakota in late winter (we’ll still do something this spring, just not as exciting).
Disappointed but glad not to be cruising with known mechanical problems, I made the most of a couple stretched out boat “work” weekends in Florida and “should” just about have the diesel back in running order. The last fix will be to add a thin copper washer to the number 3 injector on the high hour Volvo (unknown hours). Unfortunately an epoxy fix was attempted prior to our owning the boat and went unnoticed until it failed and began leaking … causing low compression, a loss of power and a little puff of smoke to enter the engine compartment. While it still ran, it wasn’t smooth or with the power needed in some situations and eventually coked up the injector making it’s removal from the head difficult. Thankful a diesel mechanic, Tim LaValley, winters in Florida and travels to the area in his RV each year with some of his tools. With Tim’s knowledge and penance for saving a buck, he suggested instead of removing the head and having a machine shop bore and press out the existing copper sleeve and install a new one (major engine work), that we try cleaning and placing a thin copper washer to see if it seals the leak (yet to be known). I’m crossing my fingers and hoping this fix will complete the diesel updates for 2015.
For now, I’ll follow my cruising friends the Judy and Mark Handley aboard Windbird (emails in above photo) who are in the Bahamas in between Mark’s chemotherapy treatments. They are an amazing couple making the absolute best of their challenging situation. So onto my 2016 dreaming and planning.