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Melissa & Dave - Adventures at Sea

How many starters is that?

Anyone who follows this blog religiously (yeah, I know, that's Dave and my Dad when he was still with us), knows that Apsaras loves to destroy starters.  A few weeks ago we were going to head over to the fuel dock and fill up.  Alas we couldn't get the boat started.  Now we knew this was coming as Dave had to futz with the starter a fair bit when we were up in Canada last fall.  The starter would crank, but only slowly, and only on a full battery voltage.  Dave has been avoiding changing out the starter because its a giant pain.  The first time he replaced it - it took two days in Vancouver and involved a set of keys dropped in the ocean, a blow torch, and cutting a hole in the master bathroom tub.  And MacGuyver still had to call a mechanic for help (this was the worst day of Dave's life!).  Then a mere 4 months later the starter went out again and Dave had to replace it - again.  Though later we determined that probably that starter hadn't gone bad but we were fighting a bad installation that was causing a voltage drop between the cockpit starter switch and the starter itself. 

So understandably MacGuyver had been avoiding this job as long as possible because well, he just didn't want to spend a day sitting in the tiny tub with his arms through the small access port on the back side of the engine compartment trying to get the starter bolts off yet again.  But since the boat is now disabled completely - he's got little choice.

It took a day to get the bolts to turn and get the starter to come lose.  And about two hours the next day to get the new starter installed.  Yes, Melissa had one already in the spares inventory.  And yes, that depleted inventory has now been replaced.

Here is what the starter looked like when Dave finally got it out:

No wonder it was not working.  It was horribly corroded.  Turns out that the exhaust system anti-siphon valve sometimes burps some water onto the starter.  Well, now that doesn't explain why Apsaras chews up starters!  Dave plans to build a catch basin of some kind to prevent sea water from getting on the starter going forward.  Another project for the project list.

And for those of you who are counting... this is starter number 4 since we owned the boat.

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