You might have noticed that we haven’t been off the dock in while. Typically this time of year we cruise often to take advantage of the cool winter weather. Unfortunately, we’ve had some down time due to a few issues with Blue Turtle that Randy has been troubleshooting and resolving. One was with our 185hp Perkins engine and the other was with our steering.
During a previous trip, Randy noticed the oil pressure on the Perkins was decreasing as we were motoring. He checked the oil, expecting it to be low but it was actually high. He set about researching the issue and suspected that fuel was getting into the oil somehow. He later confirmed it by sending in an oil sample to a local lab.
In his research, Randy found that there’s 3 different scenarios for getting fuel in the oil:
(1) lift pump, (2) high pressure fuel pump or (3) the fuel injectors.
He started with replacing the lift pump since it was the least expensive option. After that, we had planned a short weekend trip to New Pass until he quickly realized the lift pump didn’t fix our issue. We ended up anchoring at Bunche Beach and staying closer to home that weekend. Randy said he had changed the oil prior to the trip and as we were cruising, the oil pressure was still decreasing. As fuel gets into the oil, it causes it to lose its viscosity which lowers oil pressure.
During this same weekend at Bunche Beach, we also noticed an issue with our steering. The wheel was difficult to turn ad when I took the helm I had a hard time keeping Blue Turtle on course. We weren’t sure what was going on but later that week I noticed some brown liquid leaking down the side of the boat from the bridge. It turns out that the hydraulic pump to the steering was leaking fluid. Randy removed the faulty pump and took it in to have it rebuilt. Once we received it back, he installed it and bled the lines and now it works exactly as it should.
At one point in time, we had no steering and the engine down…we weren’t going anywhere until we got these issues fixed.
Since the lift pump didn’t fix our low pressure issue, Randy’s next move was to pull out the high pressure fuel pump. He went ahead and pulled the injectors as well since they are all connected. He took both the fuel pump and injectors to a local Perkins dealer and had them rebuilt. After a couple weeks, we had them back and Randy spent the good part of a day reinstalling the fuel injectors and fuel pump, changing the engine the oil again and bleeding the lines.
We weren’t fully sure that our engine issue was fixed until this past week when we took Blue Turtle to Keewaydin. Thanks to Randy’s diligence and mechanical skills, we are once again CRUISING!