Field Repairs In Hot Springs Cove

By john

In early July, we performed our first siginificant field repairs to Rhythm's engine.

A few days earlier we had been motoring our way North to get to Hesquiat Harbor, and we noticed the engine was running pretty hot. The Pearson 424 came stock with a Westerbeke 60, but somewhere along the line ours had been repowered with an Isuzu C240. Hesquiat was a little too remote a location to disable the engine in search of the problem, so we waited until a few days later when we'd be in Hot Springs Cove. Besides, odds were good that we'd sail most of that leg anyway.

We had a spare thermostat on board, so we replaced the faulty one on our first morning in Hot Springs Cove. We had a little trouble getting the gasket for the housing to seal, so it took a couple test runs of the engine before we were confident we had 'er all sealed up again. On our final test run, we suddenly started pumping diesel smoke into the engine compartment.

On investigating that situation, we found the only thing holding the water neck to the manifold was it's fiberglass insulation wrap. It looked like there had been a bad weld on the water neck coming off the exhaust manifold. In wrestling with the thermostat housing, we probably just bumped the water neck a few too many times and finally broke the weld.

The solution was to splint the stainless steel pipe where the weld had been. We cut the bottoms out of a couple refried bean cans, and cut up the side of each one, and trimmed them to a length that would fit between the manifold and the first bend. Then, we formed those the best we could around the break. We secured them with a few heavy duty stainless steel hose clamps on each end of the splint.

Getting at the broken water neck:

Engine Repairs

The Repair Job In Action:

The repair in action

Holding strong, 250nm later in Bellingham:

Bean Can Repair Job

The Break:

The Break

Re-welded and ready to reattach: