This isn’t anything new. We limped into Palm Beach…err came into Palm Beach entirely under sail, with an engine that wasn’t running. I’ve definitely procrastinated a little bit over the last few months, partially because I didn’t think we were going to have to move again, because I thought I would have found a job by now.
We’re about to head back south, and it’s pretty safe to say that the engine is dying. It’s time to bite the bullet and convert to an outboard.
Consulting The Oracle
For a very long time, even before I started having trouble with the Westerbeke, I had planned on eventually converting the boat to an outboard. Even with the problems we’re having, though, I still had a small glimmer of hope that I’d be able to get the engine running again…at least long enough to get me back down to the Keys.
My friend Stu came by and looked at the engine a few weeks ago, and we made a little progress. The engine sort of starts now but it’s far from actually running.
I’m No Mechanic
Stu determined that part of the problem was to due to an air leak. I bypassed the valve where the leak was coming from and the engine did start, but it wasn’t pumping water. Then I put a new impeller in, cleaned the heat exchanger, and cleaned the exhaust elbow.
When I restarted the engine did start pumping water, but it took a some time and only when it was running at really high RPM. As soon as I dropped the RPM the engine stalled, and was once again wasn’t pumping water when I restarted.
Not Much Confidence
Even if I can get it going again there’s this really rough clicking type sound it makes when it’s running. As the really bad mechanic that I am, I can only describe it as the sound effect from a movie for an engine that’s about to die. The engine has been overheated more times than I can count from running it without water, while trying to fix it.
Also I did have that really bad oil pan leak a few months back. At this point if I can get it going I don’t know if I even trust it to get me too far
My New Plan
The bracket to mount the new engine has been ordered. Tomorrow I’m going to a dealer to get the wiring harness and the ends for the control cables. I also found someone close by who’s selling almost the exact same Honda 15 HP that I was looking at. All it needs is a shaft extension, and I save on half the cost of a new engine.
This week’s project is now going to be removing the outdrive and transom plate, patching the holes, and installing a new engine. I’ll be sure to write a post later in the week with photos and details on the outboard conversion.