Engines don’t belong in living rooms. Yes, we treat this space in our boat just as anyone treats this room in their home. And let me tell you, diesel engines look rather out of place in this area. We spent a 10 hour day in small, incredibly awkward spaces with the local mechanic, Carvel. The hot, sweaty, basement of Louise, allows for little room to turn  wrenches and make any progress. It took some time to figure out how this transmission replacement was going to go down. The day before while chatting with my dad he said “The engine is going to have to come out.” I was slow to respond because in my mind I was thinking “Oh hell no it’s not.” Don’t you need like an entire fleet of engineers, mechanics, pulleys, and cranes to do something that outrageous?

You were right, Dad. The entire engine came out of its compartment where it once looked so lovely. Carvel, contacted his brother Avery who was in town for pleasure. Poor guy got his ass put to work in a sweat box full of noseums for an entire day. These guys did an amazing job. By dinner time Louise had a brand new transmission. It took some adjusting, and aligning for everything to work together again. Carvel knew we were on a strict budget, and kindly asked from us only what we could afford. I will never forget him for that. Job complete. So we thought.

The next morning by 8am, we are ready to throw off the dock lines and head for Nassau. We’ve spent two and half weeks on this island. You can imagine we were ready to move onwards. Last minute, both of us realize there is zero water coming out of the exhaust. Not a drip. Uh oh, that is not good. Engine off. Carvel came back that morning to inspect. He ended up having to take off the entire exhaust manifold, and re-seal/re-attach it to the engine. The water had all been spraying inside the basement, instead of making it to the backyard – due to the manifold not properly being hooked back up. And after one more mini-disaster, all was well.

Since arriving in Nassau, life has been the least bit charming. A lot has happened since we have been here. Too much for me to explain now. Let’s just say our limits have been tested. Sanity weakening. Bank accounts draining. Comfort and safety shrinking. But in an odd way, our friendship becoming stronger, which I didn’t know was possible. Sometimes what you sign up for is not what you expect. But even when it’s not what I expected, what we have been rewarded with is far more outstanding than I could imagine. Just gotta wait for it.

9 thoughts on “Engines don’t belong in living rooms.

  1. Ladies! Champions! Victors! Adventurers! Here’s more than a meager high-five in salute to your intrepid and dogged pursuit of every single next-step that this journey has placed before you. Remember: “COURAGE is FEAR that has said its PRAYERS.”

    Your Dad’s high school buddy…

  2. Ah!, The trial and tribulations of owning a boat. Your writings make me want to be where your at instead of northern Minnesota. You might want to look up Swing Set, I think he just left Nassau. If you have not already talked with him I think you would enjoy it. You could at least teach him how to fish!!!

  3. Okay – you guys are now officially my idols. Holy crap! I went back through your entire blog – and if anyone on earth is pulling off a BFS (Big Freakin’ Sail) it’s you guys. Keep at it – and really enjoy that blissfully slow movement of time. You’re both in a very special place in life. Drink it up.

    Your pal,


  4. No they don’t belong in living rooms. I gave the link to this blog to my best friend and the guy who got me into sailing about 30 yrs ago. He was a roommate in college who at the time was into racing cars. He had a small Lotus he would trailer to various races. We lived in a tiny 2 story house. One day I woke up and he had returned from a race and taken the entire car apart and set out the pieces in sequence all through the house. We awoke to a dis assembled Lotus spread the the entire house!
    When you work on a project, your organized boat turns into something that looked like a hurricane hit it!.
    Live and learn…

  5. Hi Girls!

    We are very proud of you for getting thru the transmission problems. Don’t let Nassau bring you down. Once you get to the Exumas life will start to look alot better. Watch the weather as there are not alot of places to hide. There is a pond at Normans that you can get into at high tide if you need a good place to hide… use the kayak to sound your way in. Keep smiling. We are with you in spirit.
    The gang on Copesetic now sitting at home on land in the rain.

  6. Hey ladies,
    I was looking over your website and have a situation you might address: I have a minor problem with a transmission linkage in Don’t Panic, my Cal 2-27, and the mechanics are wanting to pull out the cabinetry under the companionway to get to it. Was that a big deal for Louise? Did the cabinet go back together well? Did your mechanics charge more than $85/hour, the going rate here?

    1. Hi Joe! All of our cabinetry came out and went back in easily. Removing and re-installing those were probably the least of our issues. Just adds time of course, so it might be a good idea to do yourself so your not paying mechanic for his time! We had more issues actually hoisting the entire engine out with our badass bohemian mechanic and his brother ahhaha, but we got it done! The entire transmission was replaced, and we didn’t know until the day of that we were going to have to pull out to engine to do so. Our mechanic Karvel, and his brother, charged us 500 dollars for the entire job, and it was a full day 8-5 project. He was amazing, and gave us a great deal!

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