Friday, September 23, 2011

Getting ready to head south

It seemed that it was summer one day and a front blew through and it has been cool, pleasant and fall like. A nice change but a reminder that colder weather is coming and best to enjoy this seasonal change while it is still here and we get really serious about heading south.

Doing things around the house had us focused on things non-nautical but our departure time is near.  We have started our provisioning by getting the non-perishable things on-board. We have enough laundry detergent to last for quite a while, stamps envelopes and the like. Early in the summer I had turned off the freezer in the lazerette, defrosted and cleaned it. I have recently turned it back on as we have begun to add frozen entrees for times when we are tired and want a quick dinner or frozen individually wrapped  portions of meat/chicken. We will continue this process until next week when fresh food will be bought.

Changing the oil becomes front and center for the next big chore. We need about 20 gal of Shell Rotella Heavy duty motor oil. We buy sixteen gal for the main engines and the rest for the gens and some to spare. The transmissions take about 2 gal each of a different grade of the same oil. We always get funny looks at the local auto shop when we clean out their supply of oil (used to car needs, not boat needs).  

A good portion of the work is just getting the oil from the store to the boat and into the engine room. The other is moving the old oil from the boat back onto the dock and then disposal to a used oil recycling facility.

We have two different types of oil, Shell Rotella 15-40w for the main engines and Shell Rotella 30W for the transmissions. The black 5g containers with red lids are for the old oil.

We have a Reverso oil change system which is in the right side of this picture. This will pump oil to and from the mains, transmissions and genset making oil changing much easier. The old oil is pumped into the 5g container.

For the main engines which hold a bit under 8g I have two 5g containers set up. These larger containers make it easy to transport off the boat, dock and to the oil recycling facility. I like to store the old oil in these larger containers and while I can buy new oil in the same size I like it in the 1 gal sized. In part if I were to use for the new oil in the larger 5g containers then judging how much oil to pump in is a bit of a challenge, but using the 1g containers I can be very precise.  Additionally reversing the pump puts a slug of old oil back into the engine because it is in the length of hose between the pump and engine.

For each engine,  transmission and generator there is a valve to control the flow of oil to the Reverso pump as you can see here.

Here is the new oil filter ready to go for the John Deere main engines

Looking down on the on the oil filter house on the port engine. Need to remove this cap and replace with a new one.

The old oil and empty containers accumulating to be disposed of. I carry a folding hand truck just for this purpose. 

When we depart next week I will carry enough oil for another change somewhere along the trip so I will not have to find a place to go and transport it back to a marina. One time we had some one bring it to us from an auto parts shop but we cannot always count on such helpfulness.

I will also carry the oil with us until I can find a recycling facility that is easy to use. AYB in Chesapeake VA, for instance, takes your oil and uses it as a fuel for heating but a number of marinas will take your old oil and recycle it for you.

We will continue to work the list of maintenance items but this was the heavy lifting one that I am happy to have completed. We hope to depart in less than a week.

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