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Author Topic: More Kudos to the Forum  (Read 1968 times)

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Kevin Henderson

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More Kudos to the Forum
« on: July 11, 2011, 10:17:50 AM »

 :clap :clap :clap
I thought about starting another topic on my personal triumphs and tribulations regarding sailboat maintenance... specifically engine maintenance. But decided instead to profess once again the value of the information posted within this forum and the association. 
If you have followed my posts in the past you will quickly learn that I am still a newbie in many respects, and I have never considered myself to be a "sloshing around in oil" kind of a mechanic.  That being said however, I do enjoy the general "mucking" around in boats.  And wanting to be forever frugal, self maintaining things like the engine is extremely beneficial and only makes sense.  Not to mention the confidence it builds in oneself in knowing every aspect of the boat.
  My recent quest this weekend was to simply change out my Racor fuel filter.  (I know... some of you 'old salts' are laughing right now).  But you have to understand that my fear of doing something to my trusty engine that could cause it to sputter, gasp, and stop terrifies me.  And so to the forum and the wealth of knowledge contained therein, I went.  I read several posts on the topic of bleeding air and changing fuel filters.  Even most recently Stu's post of the Maintenance 101's.  Having steeled myself for the impending bath in diesel fuel and lining my bilge with absorbent cloth, I grabbed my replacement Racor filter and proceeded to take the steps of changing out my filter.
1. Cut off main fuel line... check
2.  Place coffee can beneath old filter and spin off... check
3.  Lube new gaskets, install new filter, clean bottom bowl and fill with injector cleaner, install... check.
4.  Open main fuel line… check
4.  Open bleed valve on engine and turn ignition key to run fuel pump.
5.  Listen to what seems forever to the fuel pump ticking away in an accelerated state before eventually slowing to its normal rhythmic 'tick’ ‘tick’ ‘tick’…. check
4.  Fingers crossed… start engine and prepare for the eventualities of the engine sputtering out….. Wait… that didn’t happen!!!!  The engine started and ran, and ran, and ran.  Success!!

Again thank you to everyone in the Association and the forum on your invaluable knowledge and helping those like myself to become a more competent and confident Catalina 34 Sailor.
And taking Ron’s advice… I decided not to do too much at one time in case something didn’t work so I’ll do my engine fuel filter at a later date.   :abd:
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The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective.
~Henry David Thoreau

Clay Greene

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Re: More Kudos to the Forum
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2011, 10:24:49 AM »

We went through the same hesitant process last Fall so I congratulate you.  Good to start with the Racor though - the engine fuel filter is a more difficult task because of where it is located.  Makes sure you have plenty of absorbent rags to catch the leaking diesel.  A second set of hands to assist also would be a good idea. 
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1989, Hull #873, "Serendipity," M25XP, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

scotty

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Re: More Kudos to the Forum
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2011, 08:37:41 AM »

Thanks for the post. I've had the same experience on this forum, Kevin.  In the last year I've read and re-read many threads dealing with issues that I thought were germain to my boat, and others that I didn't know about.  I've been busy doing routine maintenance and making modifications to the boat, all of which have been simplified, improved and made less expensive due to the information shared in the forum.  I've especially appriciated being able to ask questions and have "conversations" about points of particular interest or confusion.  I also just replaced my filters, and also checked that the intake pipe (in the fuel tank) did not have a strainer on it. I put a label that it had been done on the bulkhead. The engine filter went pretty easily, although I had to buy a bottom-fitting oil filter wrench (the kind with three prongs.  $9 at Sears) to get it off.  I bled it at the injector block.  Speaking about filters, I had a third filter, in the electric fuel pump.  Do you also?
« Last Edit: July 12, 2011, 08:46:08 AM by scotty »
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Scotty

Ted Pounds

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Re: More Kudos to the Forum
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2011, 06:23:38 PM »

Kevin, from reading your post it sounds like you have the most important tool for working on boats - a good attitude.   :thumb:  It should serve you well.  :D
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Ted Pounds
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