The past few days have been pretty frustrating and exhausting. I guess I can’t complain too much though. I mean we ARE living on a sailboat, sleeping whenever we feel like it, and don’t have to deal with the pressures of having a job. It’s only fair that we have to deal with working on engines sometimes.
After we replaced the voltage regulator on the alternator we cranked the engine and it started right up. The next morning we were planning on leaving and the engine would rev up like it was about to start and then die as soon as I would let go of the key. My first thought was that it was probably electrical. We had been having other problems with the ignition switch anyways and I thought that maybe it had just finally kicked it. Allison and I decided to take the bus to West Marine to get the stuff to replace the ignition switch and wiring. We took the bus and didn’t get back for six hours. I guess one or more of them had broken down. By 10pm we had finished installing the new ignition switch and realized that it fixed the problem that we were having with it before, but it still wouldn’t start.
The next day I hotwired it thinking that bypassing some of the other connections might help. It didn’t. In fact, somewhere in the process of trying to get it started I burned up the condenser. So I decided to take the bus to the auto parts store to get a new condenser.
I waited at the bus stop for an hour and a half. It never came. So, I walked/ jogged (in flip flops) the 9 mile round trip to Napa. When I got there the guy looked through tons of parts for about 15 minutes and finally told me that he didn’t have one. The door was in the process of closing behind me when I hear the guy yell “Hold on bud”. He walks to the back again and comes out with the 8 dollar part that I needed.
After replacing that I still had the issue of the boat starting and dying as soon as I take my hand off the key. Turns out that it was not an electrical issue at all. The next day I took the carburetor apart and cleaned it really well. It was a little gummed up. After I did that it started up right away. We really should install that fuel filter….
We plan on taking off tomorrow and going offshore outside the inner coastal waterway for a bit. It sounds a lot more pleasant than trying to go through Hell’s Gate.
Also it is a “Supermoon” right now so the tides are crazy.