Replacing a Volvo Penta raw water pump on our sailboat

Posted By on November 25, 2015


As mentioned last week, the Volvo raw water pump (840557) aboard Encore was beginning to drip. This usually indicate a little corrosion (cough, cough) and leakage around the seal closest to the impeller. Instead of sending the pump out to be re-built for $165, decided to purchase a new Johnson “direct replacement” (10-24707-01) pump ($350) from a guy wanting to reduce his new pump inventory – $225 shipped. I’m thinking about ordering seals and rebuilding mine myself for a spare? Hopefully with a little careful learning, I’ll be able to clean things up and replace the seals at home on the workbench without damaging the shaft (most common “home” re-builder issue). This will make for two spares in my inventory … maybe I should sell one? So far so good … now to find the best price for the seals.

VolvoPenta_corrosion  VolvoPentaRawWaterPumpDisassembled

Finally added the corner desk area to my workbench

Posted By on November 24, 2015


After cleaning out the garage workshop to prepare for my woodstove addition, I removed the drawing table/desk area that I added when I was building the Sonex airplane (no longer needed since selling my project). The desktop was almost a perfect fit for the corner area in my basement workshop so I put it in this past Sunday while cleaning up the shop. Nice … now it is both functional and added that finished corner look that use to be just dead space.


Item two … was a new tool … well actually a Kreg jig. I’ve wanted the full kit for years but they are just too expensive. The single little bit and guide though was only $19 AND I needed it wanted it for a project (there are always ways around). It is a great timesaving system … next time I might even buy their special fasteners! This time I just used 3” drywall screws.

Received this after TWO changes to our Liberty Mutual policy

Posted By on November 23, 2015


As I mentioned to my Liberty Mutual agent … “at least I know what my premiums are paying for – mailings!” It is hard to believe that removing Taylor’s car from our policy and adding the X5 could generate 14 multipage envelopes of policy information?

That said, our annual auto policy renews in November… so that may have been part of it. Unfortunately Liberty Mutual is inching up rates again too (see 2013); the mailing included an eye-opening 8% premium increase over the exactly the same cars and coverage two weeks earlier in October when I added the new car (BTW, no claims since a “glass” breakage 2 years ago). I’m beginning to wonder why I loyally stay with this company … it doesn’t seem to matter.


Boat tool failure–checking with SeaDog to see about support

Posted By on November 22, 2015

SeaDog_IMG_5965The first time I tried to use my relatively new Sea-Dog Impeller Puller and it FAILED. Really bumming that the threads seized at first use and I had to resort to the needlenose pliers again. As soon as I applied a little torque to the T-handle, it froze in place. No amount of heat or “penetrant” would release the bind (zero corrosion). Even removing the thumb screw and placing in a bench vice with an extender bar on the T-handle would not encourage the threads to release. What could have bound this up so tight?

So after this post I’m going to contact the company and see if they will replace the tool … stay tuned below to see just what kind of support Sea-Dog Line offers to buyers of their tools? (FYI: purchased in December 2013)

From my personal perspective, the TSA is did their job well

Posted By on November 21, 2015

What a duffus! I don’t want to admit, but I made a MAJOR airport security mistake on Friday morning … and am thankfully a free man to tell the tale. KUDOS to the much maligned Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for doing their job and doing it well. Neglectful Rich left an extended round full 9mm magazine buried in an inner pocket of in his carry-on bagkahrpm9OR as I refer to it, my “battle bag” … BOB … or just mini-briefcase. Brenda is probably more accurate and calls it my “man purse.”  
Sad smile 
I couldn’t believe how foolish I was to leave the ammunition and magazine slip my mind, although the TSA personnel at FLL in Fort Lauderdale were extremely polite and understanding (commenting that it happens more often than you would think). I of course wasn’t a complete idiot as at least I wasn’t carrying my Kahr PM9 (right) or even my normal Swiss Army Knife (whoops, questionable link) or Victorinox Leatherman like multifunction tool. Still, it was a heart stopping moment to watch the TSA agent dig into my bag and pull out something that was not suppose to be going through security or onto an airplane … and doing it just days after security was elevated (November 2015 Paris attacks).


Encore is having water pump woes … drip, drip, drip

Posted By on November 20, 2015

Yet another part to be serviced, rebuilt or replace on Encore's Volvo diesel. This time it's the raw water pump dripping from the weep hole … and indication the seal is no longer keeping the water in the pump. This is a normal wear item and most cruisers not only carry a spare impeller and possibly seals (requiring bench work) but often a spare raw water pump. In my case, the previous owner left behind the old water pump … frozen and in need of a rebuild.


Tania Aebi’s semi-famous Varuna sailboat in the marina

Posted By on November 19, 2015

I know semi-famous boats can end up anywhere, but ever since I saw Robert Mandry’s Tinkerbelle (Ohio) when I was a young boy dreaming of sailing … and Robin Lee Graham‘s Dove on our honeymoon after idolizing his adventure as a teenager … I keep my eyes open. Low and behold, Tania Aebi‘s Contessa 26 Varuna (different owner) is tied up one dock over from Encore. I couldn’t resist taking a photo to send my daughter Katelyn since I had Tania sign her book Maiden Voyage as a “reach for the stars” role model when I met her many years ago. The boat still looks great, although needs a mast!

“Follow your dreams, know no boundries!” — Tania Aebi, Jan 24, 1996

Cheesy Bacon Egg Cups are simple and tasty

Posted By on November 17, 2015

Appreciation for the hospitaliy of friends is something that is hard to quantify, but having friends like Mark and Dar Jones makes living so very enjoyable.  They always go over and above whenever I stop to visit … and the yesterday mornings’ extras were definitely an “over and above” delishes. I can’t wait to make these at home … thanks guys!

Fixing a skylight leak leads to replacing the roof on our home

Posted By on November 16, 2015


Several of the homes in our neighborhood had some hail damage this summer … ours included. We had damage to the sky light area of our mud room and water has been seeping in when the wind is just right. Unfortunately our insurance would not pay the entire roof OR the entire repairs that we are having done, but a little bit will help offset replacing our older “slopes.”  flashing_stepped_151114The front (north facing) part of our roof is 20 years old and showing signs of age as were the areas over our first floor master bathroom and closet (we’re replacing that skylight too before it leaks).

Josh Tirey Roofing is doing our repairs and I’ve very please with the work they are doing so far. I particularly like the way they do the step flashing … fully soldered and cut into the mortar of the brick rather than gunked with silicone caulk (as was done by the builder). If there is one tip that you pick up from this post … try to find a really good roofer who pays attention to detail even if it costs a few dollars more. Not all roofers are the same!

Finished the tricky modification for the woodstove chimney

Posted By on November 15, 2015

Fluemod151114I’m continuing to make progress on the woodstove project for my “man space” in the workshop/poolhouse. Since I’m overloaded with firewood, it will be great to be able to add a little heat to the workshop area when it is cold … and have a place to hangout where a man can keep his boots on. I guess you would have to be part of our family to understand “the rules” about shoe coming off in the house.
Anyway, one step closer to adding a little free heat … although considering I already had the woodstove from our Hudson, Ohio house, it is still costing a few dollars – mostly the insulated chimney pipe.

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.