Gone camping

I’ve been on vacation the last couple of days and have not had time for blogging. Tomorrow we are going camping and won’t have an Internet connection or even cell phone service.

I’ve posted some QOTDs that may or may not show up on the appropriate days.

I’ll get back into things Monday or Tuesday.

Part of what I spent part of my vacation doing was fixing my parents boat so we could take it out camping to some boat accessible only campsites. It had a heating problem. When the engine was running at slow speed it would quickly get hot. At high speed it was fine. Brother Doug and I hypothesized there must be a bad hose that was feeding water from the stern drive (it’s in inboard/outboard Mercruiser) to the engine. The boat doesn’t have that many hours on it but it is 36 years old.

Kim, Caleb and I took the stern drive off and found the hose we knew must exist. It as as hard as a rock and it must have took us about two hours to get it off. It came off in dozens of pieces. Here are some of the larger ones:

It didn’t help that the ends of the hose were only accessible with our finger tips or tools. Getting a clear view, with light and tools on the object was impossible.

Doug happened to be in town and called just before he returned. We gave him a parts list and he picked up the hose, gaskets, O-rings, and a few other things we needed and we started putting the boat back together.


That took hours too. Just putting the hose on must have taken an hour by itself.

We didn’t get home until about 21:45. We were tired and covered in grease.

Next time, 35 years from now with the hose goes bad again, I advise our kids and grandkids to take it in and have an expert fix it. We must have put 25 man-hours into it. It wasn’t worth a day of my vacation for the dollars saved by doing it ourselves.


4 thoughts on “Gone camping

  1. been there, done that, (well similar stuff anyway).

    Yesterday I jacked up a twentyfour foot fifthwheel, removed all for tires, and repacked all four wheel bearings. (In prep for getting new tires). When I stopped in to get the tires, I asked the mechanic, how much more it would have cost, if I had just brought in the trailer and dropped it off. Answer: one hr labor = $45 !!!!!!

  2. Yeah, but a farm boy usually never thinks of having other people do such work. That Joe thought of it at all, even after the fact, is evidence of his more recent “citification”. Normally when a farm boy sees a problem, his first thought is, “where are my tools and where is the best place to work on it right now” as opposed to, “oh dear me, who can I call?” It may not always be the best approach, but it sure helps when there are no other options, ’cause he has experience in coping.

    I’d never have made it to Boomershoot this year, but for the fact that I had some compressor hose (you know, just in case) and some tools in my truck. Brand new engine, but she’d blown a small coolant hose at our rendezvous point at ~07:30 on Sunday– steam gushing from under the hood, coolant sprayed all over the engine compartment. Catastrophic failure, still needing trouble-shooting, with minutes to spare. Who ya gonna call? Screw that– I had three other people with me, we were dead in the water so to speak, I’d spent a thousand dollars in preparation for this event, and we were NOT going to miss it. We made it to Boomershoot on time (I with greasy, sore hands and a slightly elevated adrenaline level) with all instruments in the nominal.

    Joe; your episode may not have been worth it in dollars vs. time, but next time you’re out in the middle of a large body of water with mechanical problems, you’ll be that much better prepared.

  3. Tore those down a few times during my Marine Patrol days…

    That photo of assembling the drive leg back onto the outdrive unit is a PERFECT illustration of how you MUST carefully align the shift linkage into the hole in the leg. Lots of people get them back together and they don’t shift properly, and it’s ALWAYS because care was not taken to align the parts on re-assembly.

    The other clue that you’ve done it correctly is after it’s back together, shifting forward, the pawls click evenly when the prop is hand-spun in the reverse direction, and they click at the same even rate when done in reverse, with the prop hand-spun in the forward direction. If it doesn’t, your shift quadrant is badly adjusted, and you might not be able to get it to stay in gear (at which time the shift-dogs will destroy themselves).

  4. Rivrdog, we didn’t think of the shifter until it was almost all put together. We tested it and found it was wrong. We took it apart and adjusted appropriately. Probably another 15 minutes added to our lesson…

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