Thursday, October 8, 2015

Free At Last

On October 2, I fired up the diesel engine for the last time. It was a short drive within the marina to a more substantial concrete pontoon. Soon thereafter Twister was relieved of her biggest burden. No, not me, you smart alecs--the noisy, smelly, and did-I-mention heavy diesel engine (weighing in at around 240 kg or 528 lbs). I had been involved in removing the engine once before and planned to use the same strategy--pulling the engine with a chain block and tackle supported by the boom. I anticipated the weakest link to be whatever would support the boom and used every available halyard and the topping lift. Of course the first step was to disconnect all the electric cables, gear and throttle cables, fuel line, prop shaft, and the four rubber engine mounts. As the motor gradually rose out of the cabin I was imagining the boom giving way and the engine dropping straight through the boat and everything ending up at the bottom of the harbor (I had seriously contemplated removing my passports and other important papers from the boat, but decided I had enough confidence in my halyards to proceed without further precautions).

The worst part is over

Sitting pretty
 Having removed the alternator, the engine came through the companionway hatch (ie door) surprisingly smoothly. After taking a break to catch my breath and take some photos, I raised the engine as high as possible, and it swung effortlessly over to the pallet on the dock.
Less damage to gelcoat than anticipated
The diesel tank, fuel lines, ignition, gear and throttle cables and lever came out without much fuss and I had it all waiting for the new owner who came to pick up the engine and accessories the next day. Twister is now ca 340 kg lighter than she was with the engine and a full diesel tank and she sits much prettier with the stern ca 10 cm higher than before. And there is so much space inside!

Naturally you may be asking, "now what?" The answer is, "not sure," but I have long contemplated sailing as God intended us to sail--engineless. The romantic appeal alone is enough to make me seriously consider this option. Another less romantic but more practical option is to buy a small outboard engine for maneuvering in tight spaces and as a bonus to propell the dinghy. At any rate, I was able to get Twister back into her slip using the rudder to scull, so maybe a dedicated sculling oar is the answer.

1 comment:

  1. An interesting challenge for you lies ahead. Hope you find a solution that works best for you and most importantly keeps you sailing!