Saturday, December 26, 2015

Broken drive belt.

This morning we left Barra and headed north a short 15 miles to the popular anchorage of Tenacatita.  We first stopped in at the very northern anchorage which is along side "the aquarium", a well know diving/snorkeling spot.  We enjoyed some time in the 82 degree, clear water and then pulled the anchor to go around the corner to the main anchorage.  Just a mile or so out the high temperature alarm on the main engine began beeping.  Looking at the temp gage confirmed that we indeed had a problem.  I immediately shut down the engine and even though we had very little wind we threw up the genoa, put Tarren at the helm and poked along at 3 knots while I went below to see if I could fix the problem.

My first two thoughts were the raw water strainer being clogged with some sea vegetation or whatever and the second thought if the raw water strainer was ok is that maybe the impeller, although brand new at the beginning of the season, might be toast.  I pulled off the starboard and front engine covers to begin the research.  As a reached down to close the salt water through hull that feeds the two engines I noticed the shredded belt.  I was actually pumped.  3 minutes into the discovery phase I definitely knew what the problem was.  Now, do I have a belt?  A quick look into the parts locker and I had a brand new belt in hand ready to be put into service.

Fortunately the belt was an easy install and within 20 or 30 minutes and some help from my always willing first mate Marne we lit the diesel burner, checked the gages and were back under way.  Having a problem, discovering the real root of the problem and then fixing it is indeed gratifying.  Every time something breaks I get an opportunity to self educate, sometimes with, sometimes without a few cuss words and then have more knowledge stored away in the recesses of my brain that may be used at some later date.

Not all problems are this easy.  Some issues require hours to diagnose, hours to remove other things just to get to where the problem really is, hours to remove and/or replace parts and hours of cleanup.  Today was not that day.  Today was a great opportunity to learn and fix without the hours of frustration and headache.  Today was a good day.

After arriving, under water cooled power, to the main anchorage of Tenacatita we went ashore, had some chips and guacamole and cold drinks under a palapa and then went back to the boat to just chill.  A great day indeed.  Ciao for now.

SV Liahona
Bret, Marne and Tarren


  1. Glad to hear you had a quick fix. Great blog! -Brian

  2. Thank Brian. Good to hear from you my friend! Hope all is well back home with you and yours!