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Author Topic: Hull 233 is home (very long)...  (Read 1414 times)

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Tom P, IMPULSE #233, '86

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Hull 233 is home (very long)...
« on: November 16, 2001, 08:27:18 AM »

Just wanted to let you guys know that hull 233 has successfully made the passage from Annapolis, Md to Hampton (Norfolk area) Va; although not as planned...
 
 What was suppose to be a liesurely 3 day sail down the bay (about 140nm), stopping at Solomons and Deltaville for nightly layovers, turned into a 36 hour marathon trip...
 
 We left Annapolis 8 am Friday, Nov 2...Motored about 30 minutes out of the harbor and found a nice 12 knot SSW breeze...Not perfect for heading south, but we'd take it...
 
 About 4 hours later, the wind built to about 18 to 20 knots and clocked around to dead South...My navigator (Dad) informs me that it will be 7pm (and dark) pulling into Solomons due to the wind shift...We opt to fire up the iron genny and get into port---we wanted showers and a nice meal at the restuarant...
 
 After approx 30 minutes of motoring, the engine losses RPM's and dies...It starts right back up but dies again...Good sense says she ain't get'n fuel...One look at the Racor bowl says the filter is clogged...No problem, had the foresight to bring an extra Racor filter and a filter for the engine...We unrolled the sails to start sailing again; wind now in the 25 knot range, waves 3 to 4 feet...So in these conditions I commence to changing filters and cleaning the bowl...After getting bruised from rough seas and sniffing enitrely too much diesel fuel, I bled the engine and it started right up...Yea, I'M THE MAN, and now I will crack open the victory Coronas...
 
 About 1.5 hours later the engine losses RPM's and dies again...The look on the crews' faces was unforgetable...I'm no longer "the man", but scum of the earth...Out come the sails again, with a reef in the main and partial genoa...We're burying the bow every third wave...Crew retreats to the cabin...Moments later, 3 of 5 crew returns to cockpit and says they ain't feeling well; the diesel fumes and rough seas got'em...Navagator returns to the cockpit and informs me that it will now be closer to midnight before making Solomons...Dad and I agree that it's probably too risky and not worth the trouble to pull in; strange harbor, dark, and too much wind for close quarters sailing with a new/strange boat...So the command decision is to continue on through the night...And with any luck, we can make Deltaville (our second scheduled stop) 12 hours ahead of schedule and have their mechanic to empty the  diesel tank and sell us filters...
 
 So onward we go...Luckily over the next couple hours the wind dropped a little and we unfurled the genoa all the way as to point better, left the reef in the main in case it got bad again---didn't want to send anyone forward in rough seas, and in the darkness...Aside from the southerly breeze, we had a great sail...Had a nice full moon and no clouds; visiability was great...Passed about 6 merchant ships and 5 tugs w/tows, made radio contact with each one to ensure they saw us early on (note: it took many attempts to make contact with some and none of them saw us until we told them exactly where we were or hit them with a spotlight!!!)...During this time some of the crew gets some sleep get ready for their watch...
 
 About 1 am, I could no longer see straight and turned the wheel over to another crew member...After 3 hours of sleep, I return to the cockpit to find moral was kinda low...Seems we had been sailing for over 2 hours and only made it about 4 miles further south---the crew was a little green on pointing the boat well and also had trouble seeing the tell-tails at night...I took the wheel again and tried to make up for lost time...By 6 am the wind was still southerly but down into the low teens, so we shook the reef out and settled back...For breakfast, we boiled water on the stove and made coffee and oatmeal---lucky for me, crew moral starts to rise a little...
 
 Navigator's latest update is that we can lay Deltaville by 10 am; crew's moral raises even more...At 8 am we call the marina in Deltaville on the cell phone to have mechanic and filters standing by---we were looking forward to relaxing some, getting cleanied up, and eating at the restuarant...The marina owner reports his mechanic doesn't work weeekends and is booked up until Tuesday...He also highly recommends we do not try to sail into the harbor; too narrow, etc...Dad and I opt to cancel our slip reservations; heck, we're only about 40 miles from home...Crew moral hits rock bottom once again...
 
 During our Saturday sail, we managed to get about 15 minutes out of the engine as to charge the batteries in case we had to stay out another night...Winds we diminishing and shifting to the West...For about an hour we were only making 0.3 knots over ground, but at least we were headed dead South!!!  The wind finally fills in again at around 10-12 knots but is now from the North...We continued on, tacking down wind to make the best speed we could without going too far out of our way...
 
 At 6 pm, we rounded an all too familiar sight--Thimble Shoals Light---crew moral is on the rise...And by 7 pm we were at the mouth of Mill Creek, where our marina is...
 
 My plan was to sail to the fuel docks, tie up and install a new set a filters which I had a friend stage there for us...That should give us at least 5 minutes of motoring which is more than enough to get her into the slip...
 
 Unfortunely with the Northerly breeze and the wind shadows of the buildings, we didn't make it in the first try...we came to a stop in a dead zone and the current was ripping in, which was setting us towards the bridge tunnel rocks...Luckily, we were able to get the boat turned around and out of there before getting too close to the tunnel...On the second try, I headed out a little further to get more speed to get throught the wind shadows; it didn't work...But luckily a fisherman was headed in and gave us a tow to the T-head of our pier...Gladly gave him a 12 pack of corona for that help...
 
 We walked the boat down a few slips to her new home and set the dock lines...I believe the entire crew, except my girlfriend were gone in a matter of minutes...
 
 After 36 hours and covering 192nm to go 140nm south, captain and crew are still talking to one another; and "Impulse" (hull 233) is in her new slip...
 
 Would have posted this earlier but was too exhausted from the trip and also from flushing the fuel system...I also just recently learned of the filter screen in the transfer pump, which upon inspection was completely jammed up, the other filters didn't look bad...The transfer pump filter was probably the only thing keeping us from runnning the engine; for a little while anyway...Chalk another boat outting up to experience and lessons learned...
 
 Tom P.
 sailfast_1999@yahoo.com
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Tom P, IMPULSE #233, '86

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Thanks Ron...
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2001, 05:54:54 AM »

Yea, a fellow Catalina owner (C-30) at my marina warned me about the cracked fuel cap thing; he had that problem last year...
 
 I replaced the fuel cap this week...I'm not sure if it was cracked or not...Truth be told, during my filtering process, the lanyard on the cap broke and it went over the side :-(...For a plastic cap, it sure went down FAST!!!!!
 
 Anyway, I ordered a new cap and had it overnighted to me...
 
 Thanks for your filter recommendation...Although the area under the head sink is getting crowded, an extra filter could be worth the trouble of installation...
 
 Thanks Again,
 Tom
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SteveLyle

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Great story, Tom P.
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2001, 06:38:57 AM »

Ok, one more thing to check out on my recently purchased hull #75.  What did I expect to find, given that the alt bracket and harness upgrades had not yet been done?  Sure enough, the fuel line goes from the tank to the pump to the filter.
 
 One more thing to put on the list.  
 
 Steve
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