This one comes with a FREE PHYSICS LESSON!  YIPPEE and LUCKY YOU!

Today was a great day – the first day to take the boat out with me as captain, and no one else on the boat fully responsible.  Members of the group “Champagne Boating on a Beer Budget” Jim Beerstecher (the author of the book by the same name) and Tim came out to see the boat.

I decided to offer up a quick cruise, so we set out for a quick ride down the intercoastal.  She handled great, but the port engine got hot again (not to an alarm state this time, since I noticed it).  This time, I looked carefully in the engine compartment and freaked out because there was liquid accumulating under the port engine.

Note: I’m guessing here, but I think the stringers under the engine are built to intentionally not drain into the bilge, so if oil leaks you can see it and it won’t pump out straight into the ocean.  It’s either that or the opening to the bilge is clogged.

Anyway, I have Jim take the helm, then I hop down into the engine compartment, the liquid isn’t sloshing very much, could be water, but I’m not sure.  I stick my finger in it and feel of it – it feels like oil.  Uh oh.

Shit.  “Jim, kill that port engine!”


So now we’re cruising on just the starboard engine, I have Tim take the helm on the fly bridge and spin us around to head back to the dock.

Now, before I tell you what happened let me say that we still had a great little cruise, and here are some pics.


Me, Tim, and Jim



Tim at the helm


In my happy place


It was neat to have Tim and Jim get on board and go “WOW” what an awesome boat.  My favorite was after I disclosed what I paid for the boat and Jim says, “Wow, this really is champagne boating on a beer budget!”

Here’s Jim’s book, by the way

So – ready for your physics lesson?

Here’s what happened.

Step 1: Last night I checked the fridge again, it hadn’t gotten cold enough to freeze ice yet.  I had purchased an infrared heat gun to be able to check the engine temp but I could use it on the fridge.  Verdict: 44 degrees in the freezer, 58 in the fridge.  Not good.  At this point I had purchased groceries, but at 1am this morning I decided to get the yeti cooler out of my trailer, load it up with ice, and move all perishables to it before I went to sleep.

I’m worried about buying a new fridge (somewhere around $2000 new), but I’ll have to deal with that in the morning.

Step 2: I woke up groggy at 6am after 4 hours of sleep and noticed water on the salon floor.  Ugh…I’d left the little drain valve open on the yeti, so as the ice melted it drained out right onto the teak.  I cleaned that up and didn’t worry about it since it had drained into the engine compartment.

Step 2a: The water drained into the engine compartment on top of the port engine and pooled in the port stringer.

Now, remember yesterday’s run?  A small amount of oil had dripped from the oil filter.  Well, that small amount of oil was still in that port stringer area.  Here’s the physics lesson:

Oil floats on top of water.

Yup – so, if you’re a newby and you find liquid under an engine, feeling of the top of the liquid and finding oil does NOT mean that ALL the liquid is oil.  You don’t need to freak out.


I love learning.