Boat Maintenance05 Apr 2008
This is our first boat, and we've only had it for one boating season (we bought it in Nov 2006), but we've fallen in love with boating.
Of course as our first boat, we purchased something older (1974) and cheaper and well, 'needing maintenance' :). When we first bought the boat, one of the engines was not running, so we got a great deal. I managed to tune up that engine and with the help and advice of a few people managed to get it to run well enough, but it was hard to get started. A bit annoying, but not too big of a deal.
Last year (before our first boating season), I replaced the whole exhaust manfold systems on both engines with a new, more modern configuration. It was a ton of work and required a bunch of replumbing of the cooling system, but overall it was a fun job and rewarding to see the improved engines up and running.
This year, we took the boat out of the water to get it's bottom professionally painted - I'm sure it had been 4-5 years since it had last been done. When preparing to fire up the engines for the first time this season, it became apparent that the 'hard starting' engine had become the 'no starting' engine. 🙂 So about three weeks ago, once again with the advice of some experienced people ringing in my ears, I took the carburator off the engine, took it apart, cleaned it, and put it back together. Well the engine started and ran fine, but it was still pretty hard to start.
Today, I decided to do some more generic maintenance - changing the oil & oil filters, finding and sealing the source of an annoying oil leak that was making the bilges pretty grungy, cleaning the bilges, etc. Well, I decided to change the fuel line filters, and I found that they were both filled with WATER! Because one of the engines had been running flawlessly, I never suspected that I had water in the fuel. Both filters had a lot of water, but the one on the 'hard starting' engine was completely full. With the new fuel filters in place, that engine started up as easily as the other - what a relief!
As with most any older boat, there's still a list of things that need attention - Shelley wants to redo the upholstery in the interior, one of the engines seems to run hotter than the other, the hot water heater needs repair, and I'm sure by the time we get through that list, there will be more we'll want to do. But that's part of the fun of boating - at least in the class of boats that I can afford. 🙂