Departure and Return

On the launch pad for a go…

We departed Rock Hall, MD, 30 minutes early (!) on Thursday June 26, 2014. bound for New England with Bill of IP-380 Tamarack and Herb of IP37 Still Crazy and their crews. Then 6 miles out, we had an engine issue like none before. The motor sounded different with an odd tapping noise possibly coming from cylinder #1 of our Yanmar 3JH2E diesel motor. Then we noticed the engine was heating up which I proved with our laser temperature gun. The oil was 255 degrees F. Next our temperature alarms started going off but we already knew we had a problem because in the first 1 hour of running I had done three engine room checks. On the third check, I thought something was wrong before the alarms alerted us. We could only run the motor at 1500 to 2000 RPMs without over heating and there was still a very odd tapping sound, like a valve or piston issue.

Island Spirit at home waiting for a fix.

So, we sadly decided to return to our home dock where we have a car and mechanics that we know and trust. We stopped at one marina whose mechanic told us.”YUP, that sounds BAD!” Thank you, I know that. What do you think it is? “I don’t know, let me go get some tools!” Oh, no, you don’t. Tell me where to start, and I will. So, he wanted the injectors first. A call to a Mack Boring tech also suggested starting with the fuel injectors and then working through the cooling system as these items can cause a tapping if the injectors are misfiring or if the engine is too hot. Our friend, Don Bergen of Bergen Yacht Services and owner of IP420 Hallelujah, is very busy but kindly stopped by to listen to our engine and confirmed these steps as a good way to start.

Yacht was
 polished and waxed and varnished

Back at the dock we began taking items apart for testing. First we pulled the injectors and had them “POP TESTED” ….all proved to be fine. Next we looked into the cooling system, trying to find out why she over heated. Sure enough, one impeller blade was broken off! (I had inspected my impeller before departure and it was fine.)   I had already ordered all the parts, hoses, gaskets and o-rings to rebuild the cooling system, planning to do that job in August. So, I took this opportunity to do the job now. We pulled the heat exchanger, cleaned it and added new coolant and all new cooling hoses. We changed the oil since it had over heated and we changed the fuel filters since the engine had surged very slightly two or three times.

The new black cooling hoses 

We put this all back together after about 25 hours of work over two days and turned the key. (Amazing she always starts up after I tear the engine apart! That is a great feeling.)  As she heated up, she made a louder and louder tapping noise near cylinder #1. So we now have a great diesel mechanic arriving Tuesday, Chris Oliver from Kent Island, MD. He will probably diagnose the problem in 30 seconds, and we will follow his lead or hire him to fix it.

So…we still have a problem. Time for a sip

The problem has to be:

  1. Valve issue, push rod issue, rocker arm issue
  2. High Pressure fuel pump not firing the injectors at the right time
  3. Lower engine crankshaft bearing issue
What we have ruled out is:
  1. Thermostat
  2. Heat Exchanger
  3. Coolant and coolant hoses
  4. Impeller
  5. Fuel filter clogs
  6. Oil levels and filter
  7. Propeller fouled
WE HAVE HOPE, that it will be an easy fix
Maybe we should have called the mechanic sooner, but I had to do the cooling system at some point, so now was the time. 
Let’s hope it is a simple push rod or rocker arm or high pressure fuel pump adjustment, because the other items could run in the thousands of dollars.

Here are more photos…
We had the trip to NYC all figured out
We had the currents all figured out
We did our homework

When our daylilies bloom at home, it is time for a summer sail 

6 weeks of provisions to be stowed!

We hired a diver the day before leaving to clean the bottom and propeller

I bet the problem will be this high pressure fuel pump. $$$$$

AM coffee with our fuel injectors removed. That was fun, try it on your boat!

Valve cover removed, engine spun by hand, checked each rocker arm and push rod
Remove the thermostat and replace with new
Pull the heat exchanger, inspect and clean, then re-assemble
Day two, coffee with my heat exchanger and my BLOCK ISLAND mug

New impeller installed
New fuel filters, this one had 77 hours on it. Look, it’s not dirty.
Our well used Yanmar Service and Parts manuals

Took apart the Heat Exchanger
Took apart the coolant loop
Took apart the seawater cooling loop
Island Spirit at home waiting for a fix.

Once again, we are so lucky that his did not happen in NYC, or Long Island Sound, or Block Island, RI because it would have cost far more. Here we know people and we have good mechanics that we trust. Plus our car is here and this is our home dock. So, if she had to break down, then Island Spirit did us a BIG favor and said…“HEY…I need some attention NOW.” So, her Diesel Motor is getting plenty of attention. Thank you, Island Spirit….

Block Island Plan 2014

We will be sailing back to Block Island and going the route of New York Harbor and Long Island Sound. This is a “return & review” trip to see if sailing New England is as wonderful as we remember it to be.

We have not been north (NY, CT, RI, MA) since 2011, so it is time for a review. We know of other Island Packet Yacht Owners that are planning to run north as well, so we may have a FLEET, and an Island Packet mini-vous / rendezvous as we travel. Join in anywhere you can find us, to share an anchorage or sail along.

Here is our plan: (Note: This is via NYC and LIS and return to NJ via the ocean)

  1. Thur, June 26 Rock Hall MD to CD Canal Engineer Cove, anchor or dock
  2. Fri, June 27 CD Canal to Cape May NJ, anchor or dock at Utsch’s Marina, a good fuel stop
  3. Sat, June 28 Cape May NJ layday, explore the town
  4. Sun, June 29 Cape May NJ to Atlantic City NJ, anchor or dock
  5. Mon June 30, Atlantic City NJ to Sandy Hook, long day 12-15 hrs, anchor or dock
  6. Tue July 1, Sandy Hook / Atlantic Highlands layday
  7. Wed July 2, Sandy Hook  (through Hell Gate) to Long Island Sound, Port Washington, mooring balls, anchor or dock
  8. Thur-Mon July 3-7 Port Washington Laydays to ride Long Island Railroad into NYC for days exploring The City. Return to boat each night, relax, enjoy Port Washington.
  9. Tue July 8 Port Washington heading East to Duck Island, anchor
  10. Wed, July 9 Duck Island heading East towards New London CT
  11. Wed or Thur July 9-10 New London CT, drop anchor or take a mooring ball or dock
  12. Thur to Sun July 10-13 New London CT, SAILFEST, fireworks, festival weekend
  13. Mon July  14 Sail to Block Island, or stop in at Watch Hill RI for a beach day
  14. July 14 to July 28 Block Island RI based with trips out from there.
  15. July 28 – 30 Looking for a weather window to sail offshore back to Cape May NJ
  16. Aug 1-3 Cape May NJ, anchor or dock
  17. Aug 4 Cape May to CD or Chesapeake Bay
  18. Aug 5 Return to Rock Hall, MD
All of the above will be actively managed on our BLOG CALENDAR here. We try to manage our travels via this online calendar. 
Please NOTE: We have days for weather lay-days if we need them because our first date is New London, CT. Our primary goals are this:
  1. Re-explore NYC from mooring balls in Port Washington, NY, riding the train to the city.
  2. Arrive at New London CT early to be anchored down for SailFest event.
  3. See the fireworks display Sat night on the river in New London CT. Largest ever!
  4. Return to Block Island for life on the hook and Block Island fun.

Note: We have been to all of these places several times and we have anchored at all of them. We rarely take a dock and we rarely take a mooring. We like to anchor and this is our plan once again. If you prefer to dock or take moorings, then here are the Google Map links to show you the locations.
  • Cape May NJ
1121 New Jersey 109
Cape May, NJ 08204
Anchor off the Coast Guard Station
  • Atlantic City NJ
600 Huron Ave
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
Anchor before the bridge
Anchor inside of RUM POINT, check your charts

  • Atlantic Highlands, NJ, near Sandy Hook

Atlantic Highlands Marina
40.418296N, -74.025584W

Anchor behind the breakwater

  • Port Washington, Long Island, NY
15 Orchard Beach Blvd.
Port Washington, NY 11050
(516) 883-7800
VHF Channel 9

Port Washington City Moorings

  • New London, CT
56 Howard St
New London, CT 06320
In Shaw Cove
  • Watch Hill, RI
1 Fort Rd
Westerly, RI 02891

  • Block Island, RI
80 Westside road
Block Island, RI 02807
Moorings, first come first served
Anchor out