Mechanical Inspection!!!

This afternoon was the Mechanical Inspection for our potential new (to us) boat. The mechanical inspection is an evaluation of the motor (and motor-attached) things such as the transmission.

It should be said that any used (and even new) sailboat there’s going to be problems. There’s no such thing as a pristine and perfect sailboat. That’s just the nature of the beast. You take something made of metal and fiberglass and gears and electricity and you put it into one of the most hostile environments, there’s going to be problems.

Nevertheless, the mechanical inspection is giving me a bit of pause. You see diesel engines don’t like water. They really don’t like salt water. They especially don’t like salt water inside of them, thank you very much.

Unfortunately, during mechanical inspection, it was discovered that there was water in the primary fuel filter. A lot of water. Following along, we again found water in the secondary fuel filter, which is the last guardian before the engine itself. So, did water pass through the secondary filter and get into the engine? If so, how much? The engine can tolerate a bit of water as it simply turns it into steam and expels it, but more than trace amounts is Not Goodtm.

We (don’t you like how I’m taking part of the credit even though I was simply a passive recording device) found that there is a fair amount of blow-by on at least one cylinder. In an engine, there are the pistons that go up and down in the piston shaft. These pistons need to make a seal with the shaft so that the stuff it’s compressing (fuel and air mixed together) don’t just go around the piston and refise to be compressed. if the piston does not make a seal, then fuel and air leak around the piston. This leakage is “blow by”.

There were other things too, but those are the ones that cause me the most concern as they indicate problems inside the engine. Still, we’ll have to wait for the official report before making any decisions. At the least, though, it’s likely we’ll have to negotiate the price on the boat again. Argh!