July 31. Alrighty, a little recap. We’re broken down in Westbrook Connecticut at the Pilots Point Marina.
Saturday night Christy wanted to go out for dinner and we’re fairly well out in the sticks. We take the dinghy and head on up the river looking for a place recommended by another boater here at the marina. After a short ride we arrive at Bill’s Seafood Restaurant. We tie up to their floating dock and head on in. The place was borderline diveish but the food was good and served on a riverfront deck. Adjacent to the restaurant is a bridge with a deck made of a metal grid, you know, a singing bridge. It was a little weird eating and having your conversation interrupted continuously by vehicular traffic crossing the bridge.
On Monday morning we meet our mechanic, Dave. I guess he drew the short straw as this job is going to be no party. I had already removed the cabinet so Dave got right to work. He was able to remove the generator and take it up to the shop for service. It was in the way and had to come out anyway.
A quick word about our generator. It’s a Fischer Panda 4.5 KW model that the previous owner had installed... It’s pretty much a piece of shit. I’ve had to do 2 major repairs in the last 9 months. 600 dollars in parts for a 5 year old generator with less than 300 hours on it is a little ridiculous. Trying to get one serviced is a joke. We called all six authorized service centers in the Annapolis area when we were there and not one was interested in doing the job. When we got to the Sound we called 3 different service centers on the north shore of Long Island and were told by all 3 that they could look at it in 2 or 3 weeks. Yeah, let me just hang around here for 3 weeks. So hopefully they will be able to fix it while we’re here anyway. So the bottom line is that if somebody puts a gun to your head, take the bullet, don’t buy a Fischer Panda, if you do you’ll wish you were dead anyway.
But there is good news from the bilge. Once the generator was cleared out of the way the shaft coupling came into view. All 4 bolts that hold the shaft coupling together were sheared off. This means that there’s probably no damage to the transmission. The grumbling noise we all heard was the 2 coupling plates rubbing against each other as the apparently healthy transmission tried to turn the propeller shaft.
This is excellent news as this means internal moving parts of the transmission are probably not damaged. However since Dave is so far into the disassembly we’ve decided to have him continue to remove the transmission so we can replace the 22 year old clutch plates. While we’re at it we’re also going to replace the 22 year old shaft log which is pretty much just a rubber hose that keeps the ocean on the outside of the boat. So the bottom line is that we’re still spending money but with the improvements we’re making we shouldn’t have to get this deep into the boat again for10 years. Half full, half full.
Tonight we had dinner with Pat & Eddie. They were the couple that we had met in Snead’s Ferry, N.C. when we broke our damper plate on our way south. Since then we’ve also run into them in Marathon, Miami and Saint Augustine. The odd part is that they’ve been on the road in their van and have been in our vicinity by chance…….or they could be stalkers, hmmm. Actually, they’re just awesome folks who make the effort to include running into us as part of their road trips. We hope to hook up with them on our way south this fall as they should have vanquished all of their boat gremlins by then and will be headed south themselves.
So tonight we hang suspended above the ground in the travel lift and should have our new shaft log installed in the morning. After that we’ll be back in the water and as soon as the transmission is ready it will be reinstalled as well.