Add another thing to the list of things I’ve learned on this trip – check the engine over closer to your arrival in port than your departure. I’ve needed to top off engine coolant and oil after the long motors between legs, but on the last leg we didn’t run the motor very much, so I wasn’t as concerned about the fluid levels. But I still did my due diligence this afternoon with a late night departure looming. The coolant was significantly lower than it should have been, disconcertingly so.
Since we still have the pressure tester from the overheating issue at our departure, I put some pressure on the cooling system, and sure enough, we could here coolant running out of the engine. Some work with the flashlight and feeling around led us to find a significant hole in the hose carrying the coolant from the heat exchanger back to the engine block. I managed to remove it without too many adult words, but unfortunately it was not just a straight hose.
After some calling determined there was no Westerbeke dealer in Monterey, we took another approach. A little over a mile of walking led us to the closest NAPA auto parts store, and a helpful employee took our hose and went on a search. It took him about 10 minutes, but he produced a couple matches that looked workable. The one that looked closest was also luckily about $12 cheaper. We purchased it, a gallon of antifreeze, an emergency hose repair kit just in case, and set out on our hike back to the boat. The whole trip took about an hour and 15 minutes, a bit less then I expected.
The new hose went in with a minimum of drama, in about 10 minutes. I tightened up the hose clamps, and started pouring in coolant. Finaly topped off, I finished off my fluid check, and discovered the one downside of my fix is the new hose runs a bit more in the way of the oil dipstick. I can live with that for now, and maybe for a long time depending on the availability and cost of the Westerbeke hose.
With everything topped off, I started up the engine, and we both watched for leaks. Nothing was visible to either of us, so we did a test run over to the fuel dock, arriving just ahead of Deep Playa. We filled the tank, and three jerry cans, then licked our wounds over a large fuel bill. Hopefully we won’t burn all of it on the run to San Diego. We had been worried when we found the leak that we wouldn’t be able to fix it in time to reach the fuel dock by 5:00 pm when they closed, but we made it with plenty of time to spare.
We are now back on the dock getting ready to nap before our late night departure, happy that our first breakdown on the trip had such an easy (and inexpensive) resolution!