28 August 2015

Whaler Resto - pt xii - shakedown v.2

As I've gotten older,
one thing that makes me cringe is heights.
If there's a choice to cruise the boat down to South Bay,
or drive over the 200ft high Coronado Bridge...
The 50 hp Johnson is still on probation.
This would be the first ride over a couple miles.
At least I'm smiling!
Here's Jason's reaction to my decision,
while he was having fun building hot rods in the heat.
There were two weird clinking sounds midway.
Was it a reed valve getting sucked through,
or the lower unit grenading?
Maybe I ran over a tin can,
or possibly tools bumping around.
Whatever the case,
I kept it in the 2/3 cruising speed,
about 18-20 mph.
Not bad for the bottom end 
of the horsepower rating for this hull.
After a couple hours getting sweaty on this thing...
The 17 ft Boston Whaler is the perfect bay boat,
comfortable when it was glassy 
as well as the earlier wind and boat chop.
Tons of random boat action on the way back.
I was escorted around a Navy diving exercise,
some RIBs were running around without running lights,
and a couple booze cruisers and party boats just burning gas.
Even though our navigation lights work,
the bare legal minimum,
a couple spot lights would be helpful.
Both to be more visible,
as well as locating buoys and debris.
The 20+/- mile round trip was exactly what I needed,
more of a shakedown than the shorter hauls.
First the minor issue.
The whaler was kissing the dock the entire time waiting for me.
The rope rub rail did it's job for sacrificial protection.
The 3M 5200 glue is strong,
but it didn't win the battle.
I sanded the paint down for better grip.
Screws may be needed if it happens more often.
I'll get a couple inflatable bumpers for sure.
The major issue was a bit more serious.
The 10+/- mile ride back 
from Coronado Cays to Shelter Island
used up almost the entire small fuel tank,
about 2 gallons.
Less than 30 feet from the trailer,
the boat crapped out,
and wouldn't start.
No biggie,
a quick paddle.
The problem was the starter wouldn't even spin.
Electrical troubleshooting is tedious,
I hoped it wasn't the panel wiring.
At least the pop-out fuses did their job.
I chased the problem to the starter.
A quick tap with jumper cables would solve the problem,
than it would seize up.
The greasy middles of the two bolts 
were a telltale sign the brushes would look the same.
The perfect excuse for the dead donor 50,
justifying it's spot in the yard.
No rebuilding,
just a quick swap.
Even though the 4 hp kicker is ready to go,
I'll compile an emergency tool kit for sure.
Jumper cables would have got me home.
This story needed an update!
The problem wasn't the starter
It did fix the problem temporarily,
but after a few test starts,
back to the dreaded clicks.
Dang it.
I'll admit that part of the day 
I considered swapping to the clean yamaha 90 hp.
But who would buy this 50 that won't start?
I had popped open the original starter,
and was surprised to see this brush layout.
Way easier to clean and put together.
Why don't all starters and generators look like this?
After jiggling most all the wires,
I decided to change the solenoid,
since that was the clicking sound.
Also giving me the chance to clean underneath.
It gave me two starts,
then click...click...
Time for the 34-watt bulb.
Jake helped flick the console switch,
while I diagnosed back by the motor.
Guess what?
In two bumps,
he noticed an arc,
on of all things the battery ground.
If you look closely,
you'll see I had shined up the cable connection,
but somehow the main connection had glitched.
Holey chit...
I did remove the ground when replacing the solenoid.
At least I fixed some possible future problems!

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