Pacific Crossing Day 8: Engine Blower Failure

With 0-3kn of wind, we found ourselves motoring through the night again. We got a taste of the good life early this morning when the wind picked up. Ray turned the engine off, using the jib for a while in the dark before bringing out the gennaker at sunrise. Our SOG jumped to 8kn, and it felt like we were flying! 

We watched the sunrise, smiles plastered on our faces. Unfortunately, it was short-lived. We switched back over to the jib as the wind began to die. We saw another vessel appear on AIS a few miles ahead of us. They hailed us on the radio, and it turns out it was the family I had shared a taxi with from the marina a couple of weeks prior! They had left the day before us and shared our frustration with the lack of wind. It’s nice to see another boat on the horizon; this is the first one we’ve seen in days.

We had to turn the engine back on after breakfast. Ray was sitting on the sugar scoop and I at the helm when he realized the blower for our starboard engine wasn’t working. We switched over to our port engine while he investigated. Supposedly, this is not a serious problem. As long as the raw water is flowing, the engine should stay plenty cool. If necessary, we could even run the engine with the compartment open for ventilation, sea state permitting. However, if something is busted on Sabado, it’s just in our nature to try and fix it. So, Ray took it apart at our cockpit table while I fetched whatever tools he needed and kept an eye on the helm. We still had our main and jib up in hopes the wind would return. 

Ray cleaned out the carbon buildup and put it back together several times, but the spacers had disintegrated and the bushings were shot, so there wasn’t much else he could do. We’re running the engines at low RPMs to conserve fuel for this trip, so we aren’t anticipating further issues… We also have a fuel polishing system we could use to transfer the fuel to the other tank if we found we needed to rely solely on our port engine. Still, we’re working out the logistics of sending a replacement to French Polynesia. 

We were able to sail again for an hour or so before lunch. We were moving incredibly slow… but we were sailing nonetheless! I used up the rest of our ripe bananas in a batch of banana oat muffins, and Ray scrubbed the deck. We were happy to have clear skies and sunshine after these past few gray days. 

The wind disappeared again later in the afternoon, and the sea fell flat. Our starboard engine pushed us forward while we kept a close eye on its temperature. So far, so good. 

Ray cleared the cockpit of the remnants of his blower dissection, and I filled out some paperwork to inquire about shipping options for the replacement. We had a delicious bowl of stir-fried chicken and veggies for dinner and managed to get the gennaker up and turn the engine off as I post this! We’re ending the day the same way we started it. How long do you think it will last? 😂 

6 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Hi – well the boat ahead of you should be your wind scouts. shocked you did not have a replacement ready for that Part! LOL

  2. Always try to fix it yourself, a good way to save money and get to know your boat. Enjoy your day.

Leave a Reply

Discover more from S/V Sabado

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading