(Anchored – Middle River, Ft Lauderdale, Florida)
All has not been smooth sailing these last couple days on Oceanna. The port engine has developed something of an oil leak. Nothing detrimental, but certainly not ideal. As we’re heading south with no plans to return in the near future we’ve decided it’s best to fix the leak before we make the crossing to the Bahamas. Parts and help are just that much easier to come by here in the U S of A.
Greg has determined that he will have to replace the front main seal of the engine, as well as the rear seal, or main seal to the sail drive. (Excuse me if my mechanical jargon is bassackwards). Greg has contacted yanmar dealers in South Florida and found the seals in Ft Lauderdale.
As we got closer to Ft Lauderdale the coast line rose and the boats grew. Back in Wilmington we were used to being one of the bigger boats on the playground, but here that is not the case. As we pulled into the Ft Lauderdale inlet we ogled at all the large cruise ships and motor yachts. We motored north up the ICW and quickly found our planned anchorage at Middle River.
After the anchor was set Greg got to work on the engine. He had a front main seal in the spare parts box, so that was as good as done in no time flat. To change the rear seal, the one at the saildrive, Greg needed to unmount the motor and move it forward. To accomplish this the battery bank needed to be moved to make room. Greg disconnected and removed 4 of our 6 house batteries, leaving Oceanna to live on two.
Our trusty onboard crane was once again called into play. Greg brought the main halyard around through the deck hatch and rigged it to the engine. As he spotted the engine, I ever so carefully winched the engine up. With the engine now moved forward the real problem was glaringly obvious and brought forth a string of choice words and a terrible sinking feeling.
An ear of the bearing housing was broken. A clean break that went right through the tapped hole that the seal sat flush across. The sight of this validated the terrible suspicion that Greg had all along. In all the work that we did to Oceanna we called in professionals once. We had a mechanic come in and service the sail drives. While he was there they determined that the cone clutch on the port engine also required servicing. Greg spent the day with the mechanic soaking up all the information he could. As the mechanic was splining the bearing housing and pinion shaft back into place he was tightening the studs one at a time. On one stud there was a loud bang. Because they couldn’t see anything since the flywheel housing was in place, the mechanic continued to tighten the other studs and everything seemed to match up cleanly. The loud bang remained a mystery until today.
Now this was a turn for the worse. Not only did we have a busted bearing housing and an entire engine torn apart that was no fault of our own, my parents were schedule to arrive tomorrow with dreams of sailing to the Bahamas the very next day. Bummer.