Initially, Miami wasn’t on the schedule. After all, we need to head North to Boston, not South. When I had my survey done, before I bought the boat, my surveyor highly recommended that I get new exhaust risers. He and Sonny explained that the old risers could potentially back-flow water into the engine at some point and cause a lot of damage. That was a risk that I did not want to take as a new owner, so I factored in the installation of new risers. This was a fairly large job and I really wanted to get it done before heading to Boston. I figured that I would get a better price in Florida. I also didn’t want to run the boat over 1500 miles with the risk of engine destruction. After pricing new exhaust risers, the decision to head South to Miami upon exiting the St. Lucie Inlet on the East coast was made.
I decided to purchase new turbos as the old ones had some corrosion when my riser guy, Marvin, removed the old risers. Marvin, gave me an unbelievable price to do the work. He was also very pleasant to deal with; brought us Cuban treats and gave me a tour of his shop.
While we waited for the risers and turbos in Miami I began working on the To-Do List. First task, washing the boat. We had to wait until about 7 pm to begin washing because the Miami heat is very oppressive. I couldn’t do anything outdoors( besides the beach) while I was in Miami, during the day, except when it rained. It’s a good thing that I have so many helpers. It really makes light work of things. The kids had fun washing the boat. Half way through cleaning the bridge I realized that I probably should have believed the kid at West Marine who said that you only need a cap full of soap to a 5 gallon bucket of water. The kids were slipping and sliding all over the place. I had to make them all put on shoes, and that helped with traction; a lot. They had fun with this job, and finished quickly. We washed until about 8pm, when we could no longer see. It was a good thing we had come from the beach and they were still in bathing suits.
My sea strainers and bilge were both ready for a good cleaning. They looked like a science project. The bilge water was black with sludge and floaty things and they smelled like a sour swamp. I don’t know when was the last time that they had a thorough cleaning, but it took me about 6 hours of scrubbing and continuous flushing and pumping with the hose to get them to the point were the water was clean enough that I could see the bottom of the bilge.
As I sliced up my thumb scraping barnacles from the plastic viewing housing of the sea strainer with a spoon, I didn’t realize that the entire strainer housing can be dismantled. After breaking the stem and rod of the housing on a leaky strainer, I not only learned that the strainers should have rubber gaskets to prevent leakage, and that you should not ever over tighten the bolts or wing nuts, but that it is monumentally easier to clean the plastic if you remove it first. It took me 5 hours to repair the damaged sea strainer, because the access was near impossible. I met Jeremy at Sam’s marine in Fort Lauderdale as I had to make a few trips for parts. He was very knowledgeable and had the replacements parts that I needed to fix the sea strainer. It was very challenging because the access to the lower pin was killing me, but I managed to complete the repair.
I had to replace the upper right rod and lower wing nut pin that I had broken.
After 2 days of cleaning, breaking and fixing, I finally had a very clean bilge and crystal clear sea strainers. Next time that I do these jobs it should be much easier now that I have a good clean base and have gotten rid of years of build up. And, the sour smell is gone.
I also used my time to get some little things done like changing all of the blown bulbs on the boat, installing new windshield wipers and replacing the starter on one of my a/c condensers. The crew on the boat next door helped me with the last one, but showed me how to do it, so next time I can do it myself.
My sister-in-law brought my niece down to join us for a few weeks. It was fun having them both aboard.
The kids had fun at South Beach in the evening playing volleyball on the beach. They also enjoyed what they called “pool jumping”, which meant: sneaking into the condo pool next door when the marina office closed.
My exhaust job was completed about a week later than expected due to the new turbos. That puts a bit of strain on my time-frame for heading North; kids start school at the beginning of September. But, I was very pleased with the end result.
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