That is a truly shocking title, isn’t it? The story behind those words comes at the end, but first…..
Spontaneous get togethers are often the best. We grabbed 3 days in a row to be out on the boat. That’s why we have one, right?
Stonington was our destination.
The short ride to Stonington brought us together with Mary Jo and Dean on Jallao.
Saturday was a lovely day filled with boat chores and some nice swimming in the 70 degree water.
We were in the perfect spot for the weekend. Dan and Marcia on Cutting Class were traveling from Vineyard Haven on Martha’s Vineyard and decided to end in Stonington. They had a long day so we invited them for a dinner on Kindred Spirit.
Sunday began with fog so we puttered around trying to decide how long to stay and when to depart.
And now back to the title…….. Around 11:00 am Al started lifting the anchor off the bottom to clean it. I got the electronics up and running. Ready to go? All set. I started the engine, or rather I tried to start the engine. No start and she sounded odd. This little Kadey Krogen has always turned right over and begun to purr with no hesitation.
Al started to investigate the issue beginning with the usual suspects when an engine won’t start –
- Check for bad fuel in the fuel filter.
- Bleed the injectors which usually starts the engine.
- Check the voltage at the starter.
- Thinking that it might be low voltage on the engine starting battery, he moved a bow thruster battery to replace the engine battery, to no avail.
My job was just to turn the key and push the start button each time he tried something new. Dan came over. Dean came over.
After an hour of exhausting the possibilities, it was time to call BoatUs for a tow back to Shennecossett Yacht Club. This was a first for us so you can imagine how distressing it felt, but this is why we have BoatUs with towing insurance, just in case. Some might say, with a disparaging air, that this is why a twin engine boat is better than a single engine because you can always limp home on just one. My response to this (again) – TWO engines is double the expense, double the maintenance, double the fuel, and not necessarily double the fun. Having tow insurance is much cheaper than having a second engine.
The tow back was no longer than if we were under our own power. This was an extreme way to use less fuel in these expensive times, we joked.
Turning into Shennecossett towards our dock had me worried. How will Keith maneuver us down the fairway and then close enough for us to wiggle backwards into our slip???? He did it! He did an awesome job! Darn near perfect!
It was a disappointing and discouraging end to a really nice two days. But, to keep things in perspective, there was no accident, no damage, no injuries. Just an engine that wouldn’t start. On the other hand, an engine that doesn’t start isn’t much use on a boat. Al spent Sunday evening at home talking it all through with Don (who is cruising on the Hudson River), searching the internet and posting questions on the Marine Diesel Engine Maintenance and Repair Discussion group on Facebook. There were many suggestions for possible causes.
Al was back on the boat on Monday to test two possibilities 1) could the stop button be stuck or could there be a fault in the stop solenoid? and 2) the air filter. Al had done some routine maintenance and checks on the engine on Saturday. He pulled out the engine’s air filter to show me that it was time to order a new one. Someone in the discussion group had said that their engine had not started once because they put the air filter back in upside down. Al assured me that he would check that but was absolutely certain he had replaced the air filter properly. #1 and #2 were a last resort and the next step was to have the diesel mechanic expert make a boat call (marine version of a house call.)
I answered my phone to hear a happy and laughing voice from my husband, “Listen to this, honey!” The engine was purring in the background. “I am not perfect, he declared, “I put the air filter in upside down!”
So we had a new adventure – getting towed. Once is enough for that. 🤞
And I still think my Captain Al is perfect. 😘