July 17, 2011
Sunday morning dawned bright and warm, with a nice breeze. I made a cup of coffee and started to get ready to cast off. I lifted up the floorboard to check the bilge, and to my surprise, all I saw was thick, black oil. Hmmm… not exactly what I wanted to see. I stuck my finger in the bilge, and it came back completely coated with nasty oil. Crap!!
Luckily, I have a friend of mine who is a great mechanic (which I am not) and owns a boat similar to mine. So, I called up Ron and explained the situation. He thought that it could be a spun bearing which resulted in oil blowing out the crankcase breather. Crap!
Well, the first order of business was to clean up the mess, so I took the launch into town and bought up a bunch of disposable diapers, paper towels, 409, and plastic trash bags.
I spent the afternoon cleaning up the mess, which was a bit of an endeavor. The disposable diapers worked great, and after 60 diapers, 3 rolls of paper towels, half a bottle of 409, a few hours, and about a gallon of sweat, I got all the bilges cleaned out and most of the accessible soot cleaned out of the engine compartment. What a friggin’ mess!! And it really was a lot less oil than I originally thought. Maybe 5 or 6 oz. Which, of course, coats everything, including the insides of the pipes that interconnect the 4 bilge compartments. I lined the bilge underneath the engine with diapers.
This pretty much killed the afternoon, and since I couldn’t get anywhere before dark, it was another night in Port Jeff.
After another phone consultation with Ron, I decided to motor out of the harbor in the morning, using no more than 2/3 power and check the bilges once I get a bit into the Sound. If there is as much oil as today, I’ll plan on heading back to Mamaroneck where I can get some maintenance support. If there is less oil, then I might continue out towards Guilford or Clinton, CT.
I figured I was lucky because I had all week to take care of this issue, and really had no schedule to keep, but I couldn’t help feeling cheated because the wind was perfect all day long.
After dinner in town and an ice cream cone, I was ready for bed and whatever tomorrow would hold.