Even though my fingers and toes are crossed that all is well, we did start the engine and run it just a little late today. It sounds good, ( no knocking, no mechanical banging and crunching, and so far we have only one small oil weep. Normal for a 30 year old engine although I would love to have zero leaks!

Sure is pretty, don’t you agree? We will see how long that lasts.

Here is what we have done during the last two weeks.

Engine – pulled the transmission, bell housing, damper plate, four motor mounts, heat exchanger, oil cooler, fresh and salt water pumps, valve cover, injectors and lines, fuel filter, oil cooler hoses, oil pan.

All these were degreased and cleaned with wire brush in a drill, then washed, primed and painted. Gaskets, prongs and seals were replaced as needed. Then it was all reassembled with new filters, oil for the transmission and engine and coolant.


Then while that was going on, Shelly added coats of varnish to the starboard toe rail, deck trim and removed the entrance hatch and trim to strip, sand and varnish. It looks great!

We have had some small very annoying water leaks, so to find the one aft we pulled the trim, pulled out the port (window for you landlubbers), and removed the wall panelling. It didn’t take long to find the leak when you could see it!

Kinda scary having a big old hole in your boat!

So that got sealed up, and we cut new paneling, varnished that and the trim, reinstalled the port and tested. No leaks!

For fun, she wrapped rope around the legs of the salon table as the chrome long ago began to rust…

The table top is teak veneer and has been refinished too many times so that the veneer has been sanded through and needed something. We tried to cut a piece of the paneling, seal and varnish and just glue and clamp it right over the old table, then pour an epoxy like on a restaurant table. The jury is still out on that project…

Goose thinks it is so funny that we work so hard while he just lays around and sleeps.

So now we are talking about what next. Tomorrow we run the engine at the dock to flush the engine coolant through a couple of times and bring it up to temperature. We need to check for leaks, and work the transmission at the dock before we take off.

Update… Since I didn’t get this post finished yesterday…

We had leaks. Coolant, fuel and oil. The coolant and fuel were relatively easy to stop, but the oil pan leaks are not. Gotta love a challenge!

Tinkered with it all day. Rode the bike 5 miles to walmart for broiler pans to slide under the engine to catch any oil and keep the bilge clean. By 4 pm most everything looked pretty good. Tested the engine at the dock in reverse for a while and I think we are ready to go.

Next .. The old town of Wilmington NC – 20 miles up the river from Southport and 50 miles from here.

Take off time it is. Very soon. Maybe even in the morning. Our friends from Marathon on Luck Of a Fool are already there and waiting to show us where the happy hours are.

Easy peasy. (With a running engine and working transmission!)