For the past 4 months, I have been glued to the dock and unable to fully envelop myself into this experiment because my engine has been inoperable. My lack of knowledge concerning fuel lines, regulations, code, and diesel engines in general has stagnated my adventure. I have tried to track down the elusive marine mechanic who is willing to cram themselves into my tiny engine room (HAHAHAHHA ... engine "room". Thats funny) and do the few hours of work I am unable to do myself.
|This is Steve, braving the depths of my "engine room". Thanks Steve!|
That's right, my friends. I FOUND A FREAKING MECHANIC! His name is Steve, and thanks to his efforts - Aramis and this great adventure are ready to take the next step.
The boatwas a bit worse off than I had expected. Everyone was telling me to just "reattach the lines" that have been in there for who knows how long and the thing should run fine. I'm glad I didn't listen to them. If one thing my time in the Coast Guard taught me, it was that you don't do things half ass'd on boats. That's how people run into trouble, risk their lives foolishly, and ultimately do themselves no good. So on Aramis, my home and my dream, I decided I wanted things done right.
All the fuel lines were illegal. Not one was rated for diesel fuel - and most weren't even marine grade (or regulated or code). The fuel tank, which was previously just secured under a piece of plywood, is now secure and I don't have to worry about it bouncing around. The corrosion that took place before shouldn't happen now, as all the gaps have been filled in and the tank now rests on a padded mat to prevent rubbing or friction of any kind with the hull.
Why is it important to do all of these things? Simple. I don't want to sink, catch on fire, or die. And if you are a boater, then I suggest you do the same! Especially in these older boats who have had numerous owners - a lot of weird sh*t has been done. And normally all of it on the cheap without a lot of thought as to why we have regulations in the first place. That and, if your boat is insured, good luck actually getting a claim to go through if your boat catches fire and they, "oh ... it seems you didn't have the correctly rated fuel fill line. Sorry ..."
Steve was also able to identify some other possibly life threatening issues with the engine and instruct me on how to remedy them. He was incredibly knowledgeable, willing to teach, and easy to talk to (unlike some "river people" I've run into). I can not thank him enough for the work he has done. I know now where I will be turning to if I ever have a project that is beyond my knowledge.
If you are in the Portland, OR area and are looking for a decent crew of dedicated marine mechanics to work on you vessel, then I'd highly recommend contacting Adam or Steve at Independent Marine Repair.
I can't recommend them enough! If only for the peace of mind I'll have while exploring the river - I'm glad I had the boat worked on by a professional.
Oh ... and by the way. Anyone want to go sailing?
Until Next Time