The “big” task this weekend (aside from continuing to clean up the boat before Mom and Dad fly in this week) was giving the engine some much-needed attention and changing the oil, the oil filter, and the fuel filters. Somehow that’d seemed like a daunting task, but of course it only ended up taking about an hour or two altogether.
- I have two primary fuel filters, one a backup. For some reason the valves to both had been opened and I’d only recently noticed this. So, I replaced both filters (I had no idea anyway when they were last replaced), primed both new filters, and then closed one of the valves.
- The filters include a water separator, and in the bottom you screw in a little plug with a float sensor, wired to the instrument panel, that’s supposed to tell you when the water needs to be drained. There wasn’t even a little water in either filter, and both filters seemed fairly clean. Possibly they didn’t need to be replaced yet. Oh well, I replaced them anyway.
- The primary filter assembly appears to be a custom job. It’s a bit complicated and I don’t really understand the whole thing. It even appears to include an electric priming pump, which seems like overkill. I am considering just ripping it out and replacing it with a Racor 75/500, which would be nice and simple. But it’s not very urgent, as the existing assembly does appear to work quite well, despite all its complications.
- I didn’t replace the final fuel filter (on the engine) yet.
- I ran the engine for about 10 mins before changing the oil. That might have been 3 mins too many as the oil was pretty hot.
- I pumped the old oil out through the dipstick shaft with an oil pump. I later noticed a hose with a barbed fitting poking up a bit farther aft, which I bet is attached at the other end to the sump drain, but I can’t easily get down below the engine to see.
- Replacing the oil filter was a huge mess. Luckily I thought to wrap the whole thing in a plastic bag and drape a bunch of absorbent pads around before I removed the old filter. Next time I’ll use two bags. Maybe three.
- Latex gloves are great.
- I ran the engine at a variety of RPMs (all the way up to 2.5k) for an hour and a half after I finished. I may be imagining things but it seemed like it felt a heck of a lot smoother than usual. No knocking whatsoever. Also noted that (mild) vibration was happening only at low RPMs and not higher ones, although I didn’t think to induce any lateral swing, which is where we noticed the most vibration before. I think we’ll go ahead and take the boat out for a cruise sometime in the next couple weeks and see how it does.
- Didn’t take any photos: oil and cameras don’t play well together.
I also noticed a few more issues with the main freshwater pump yesterday: it is struggling to keep up the required pressure. Took some notes — it’s a Shurflo Aqua King 2095-423-343 diaphragm pump, 30 psi. Found a company that sells Shurflo pumps here, so maybe I’ll try to get a new diaphragm assembly. This lends more credence to the “I better hook up my (currently unused) foot pump as backup” philosophy.
Lastly, I dug out the manual for my outboard, which is in need of some service. Most importantly, it leaks gas; also some occasional starting difficulty. It’s a Mercury Quicksilver 3.3HP. I considered trying to take it apart and service it myself but it looks like there is a service center here; they’ll probably do a better job than me, be way faster, and for not all that much.