Generator Problems (and back to David with Ariana)

We took most of Friday off, putzing around the boat and in general recovering from our hard long day getting checked in on Thursday. On Saturday morning, we did another regular monthly boat task, cleaning all of the raw water strainers and exercising all of the valves on the boat and noticed some oil in the bildge.

The first thing I checked was the main engine. I was relieved to see there was no oil leaking from it, and so moved on to checking the generator. When I opened the generator compartment, it was apparent that the problem was with it as there was a pool of oil under the generator. Quickly ripping up the floorboards revealed that about a quart and a half of oil had leaked out of the bottom of the generator into the compartments under it. Yech and Yikes! I opened up the generator's soundproof case and saw that there was oil all over the front of the motor. A slow but steady leak of oil was coming out of the front of the motor, behind the pulley on the main crankshaft.

What had happened was that when the fan belt had broken and wrapped around the crankshaft, as previously described, it had destroyed the front main seal on the motor. Sheesh! Now I would have to replace the front main seal. So, I got out the tool set and dug into the generator. After taking the front pulley off, it was a simple matter to pull out the front main seal. Sure enough, the seal was worn completely thru into two separate, inside and outside, pieces. I then spent several hours then cleaning up the oil from all of the compartments under the genset, the bilge, the generator compartment and from within the housing of the generator itself. I also carefully measured the seal to determine the replacement size.

On Sunday we went into shore to Bill and Ariana's. Sheepishly I explained our generator problem to Bill and asked if it would be possible for Ariana to take us into David again on Monday morning. Bless their hearts, they said yes!

So, Monday morning we got up and did the whole water-taxi and car ride thing into David with Ariana again. When we got there, we dropped off some laundry to be done at a Lavanderia. Then we drove around for several hours, visiting nearly every auto-parts store in David. Finally, in the 5th store we went to we got lucky and they had a replacement seal that would fit! Oh happy boy! The girls were laughing at me as I was so happy! On the way home, as well as retrieving our laundry, buying two more empty 5 gallon jerry cans, and picking up more needed provisions (you can NEVER have too much beer on a sailboat), we stopped at a gas station and filled up six 5 gallon jerry cans with diesel fuel for Rhapsody!

The next morning, Monday, I put the seal on and reassembled the generator. I ran it with the cover off for an hour to make sure that it was not leaking any oil. Once I was satisfied that wasn't leaking oil anymore, I closed it up. By the time we went to bed on Monday night, I had the feeling that all was well in the world once again. The generator was fixed, we had plenty of diesel fuel, we were stocked up with provisions, had new friends, were legal in the country, and perhaps most importantly, we had about 12 six packs of beer on board!

On Tuesday afternoon, we went over to Cala Mia again for lunch and took advantage of their free Wi-Fi service to upload some webpages and check the weather. That night Bill had invited us over for a fish fry at which he and Ariana cooked a bunch of lobsters and crabs as well as frying up a snapper that they had caught from the beach near their house. It was delicious!