It has been a while since we posted. We’ve been doing a bit of cruising in Central Florida over the past few months. Our friends on Indigo from South Carolina have been visiting with their boat, and we took a few trips with them to Fort Pierce and Saint Augustine.
Back in April, we were headed up to Fernandina Beach for the MTOA meet, took it a bit wide around a dredge, and touched bottom. Our Starboard rudder came loose, and we started taking on about 35 gallons a minute! This happened on a Saturday, and we could not get hauled out until Tuesday, so it was a couple of days watching 4 pumps to make sure that they kept up with the inflow of water.
We were hauled out at Saint Augustine Marine Center and found out that the issue was due to a manufacturing defect! Beneteau had never fully tightened down the nut on the rudder sleeve because it had been cross-threaded. The only thing that’s been holding it in place since the boat was new was the 5200 caulking!
Because it was cross-threaded, we had to cut it off. We didn’t want to cut it until we had a new one in hand, and that took a month to come in from France. We now have the part, but need to get a bit of fiberglass repair done. When the boat was built, they didn’t fully fiberglass in the sleeve, and with the rudder lose, it cracked the fiberglass. We’ve been waiting for three weeks now for the fiberglass guy to get to our boat. It’s the busy season at the yard, and we are not scheduled so have to wait to come up on the list.
With all that time on the hard, I’ve had lots of opportunities to do a bunch of maintenance items! First, I replaced all of the bilge pumps and added two new high-volume pumps. I hope to never need them, but we got lucky that the marina we went to after the rudder started leaking had a high-volume electric pump! Our pumps ran continuously for around 72 hours, one failed completely, and the other two have earned their retirement. I wouldn’t want to rely on them for another 72-hour run, so replaced them.
I’ve also done an oil and filter change on the engines and generator, as well as replacing all of the zincs on the engine and running gear. The rails needed varnishing, so I took care of that as well as stripping and sealing the teak on the cockpit floor.
I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos while I’ve had not much else to do and saw a DIY Fuel Polishing system that someone built. When we bought the boat, the fuel was filthy, so I had wondered if it had gotten dirty over time. I ordered the parts from Amazon and built a polishing system.
While I was doing other stuff on the boat, I let it run and passed just about 750 gallons through the filter from each tank. I used a 2-micron filter, which I replaced between tanks. There is a balancing hose right at the lowest point of the tanks that allows the tanks to self-level, and that is where I drew the fuel into the filter from. I spliced it into the return line from the engines for the output of the filtered fuel back into the tank. After running 750 gallons from each tank, there was no water, and while the 2-micron filtered showed signs of dirt, they were by no means clogged, so I’m happy that the fuel in the tanks seems to be in pretty good shape.
Our original plan was to be in the Chesapeake with our friends at this time. They are just south of Norfolk, and we hope that catch up with them as soon as the boat is fixed. As of today (June 14th), the boat yard is protecting that we might be back in the water for the 24th. We will see!
As soon as we are underway, we will try to post more frequently.