I have been having a water leak in my port engine compartment for a while now. As soon as it happened I figured it was the seal on raw water pump, since that has happened in the past. Nope it was good. I knew it was not the fresh water system (there is one hose going in that compartment and it did leak once), because it would only get water in it when the engine was running. I thought maybe there was water from the swim shower under the stairs and it was over flowing into the engine compartment. Well there was water and I cleaned it up, but that did not stop the water from getting in the engine area.
I was fed up with this and pulled both mattresses off the bunk (the engines are under the aft bunks) and opened both wooden board once again so I could inspect it yet again. This time I realized the foam insulation on one side of the compartment was damp and that told me it was on that side. I figured the exhaust hose sprung a leak so I un attached it and inspected it to find the hole, but it was fine even when the boat was running. I finally decided to rev the motor up to 2000 RPMs while in neutral. Whoa nilly, did I find the leak quick that way. 🙂 Turns out it was the other exhaust hose than the one I was looking at. Now that I found the problem, I needed a new hose and of course it was the one size I did not have on hand. Off to Red Hook I went to get the hose, which cost $10 a foot!!!!! Luckily I only needed 2 feet of the stuff. Once I had the hose it only took me 20 minutes to get it one, tightened down, and cleaned up. Easy pesy.
Now that I had that fixed I could head toward the North Sound in the BVI, which is where I was jumping off from to sail to Dominica. It was blowing 20 knots and I was making painfully slow progress (3 knots) heading right into it, when all of a sudden my bilge went off. I pumped it dry and moved on, but it went off again. That did not seem right so I looked under the floor board and water was streaming from the back of the boat. I opened the engine compartment, on the starboard side this time, and it was full of water. Whoa, not good. What do I do?
This time it was obvious where the water was leaking, because there was a stream squirting in from the back of the raw water pump (it pulls sea water in to help cool the engine). I checked where I was and realized I could be in Sea Cow Bay in 10 minutes, but I needed both engines. Not a problem since the engine was still getting water to cool and the bilge pump was getting rid of the excess. Once I pulled into the bay everything was calm, so I could work. I picked up a mooring ball, shut down the engines, and…….had lunch. That is right. I knew the problem and with the engines off there was no water coming in, so I relaxed.
As soon as I pulled the pump off the engine I noticed it was not the pump itself, but the end of the hose going to the engine (not another hose!!!) had chafed through, so I cut and inch or so off, reclamped it down, reattached the pump, turned on the engine, and check everything. Perfect! Of course I still had to clean up all the water in the compartment and that actually took longer than fixing the problem, but I will take that any day of the week.
Now can I please not have any more issues with engines (I have worked on both engines and the dinghy engine this week) or anything else on the boat? Oh yea, cruising is just boat repairs in exotic locations!!!! Haha