Friday, July 13, 2012

Day 41-Sitka

One of the reasons why I want to get the engine all fixed up is because an uncle from Texas is arriving in Sitka today.  He’s staying at a local B&B, but we both hoped to do some day trips on the boat.  Without the engine, that wouldn’t be possible.
Interesting and loud work right next to where I'm docked
Anyway, I woke up early and started making some calls.  I first called Honda Marine in Georgia.  I got through to a customer service rep quickly, but the 15 minutes I spent on the phone with them were frustrating.  First, the CSR could not find any service bulletins regarding the thermostat on the BF90D.  Second, he told me that I’d have to go through a dealer for any help.  Third, he had no idea if the thermostat cover had indeed been reengineered out of metal, and he had no desire to help me find out.  All in all a total waste of 15 minutes.  I have loved Honda products in the past, put 100,000+ miles on a Pilot in college, and have had no previous problems with this Honda outboard.  But the attitude of this CSR was a real turn off.  He just couldn’t wrap his head around the idea that I couldn’t just get the part’s in question and see if they were correct.

My next call was to EQ Marine, a terrific Honda dealer in Oak Harbor.  They’ve done a lot of work on the boat and I trust their advice.  Kathy looked up all the service bulletins and found one regarding oil contamination because of a thermostat problem, but nothing regarding a leaky thermostat cover.  She also hadn’t seen problems on boats coming through her shop.  Hmmm…

Around 10:00 am Alaska Airlines called and said the part had arrived.  Since it wasn’t rainy, I set out for the 45-minute walk to the airport and picked up the part.  Alaska Airlines is great.  A real human called me two times, once to notify me of the 1 lb weight restriction and once to notify me that my package had arrived.  When I called to ask a question, I got a person on the line with just a couple of menus and no hold time.

A huge thank you to Randy and Bill at Twin Bridges and dad for helping to get the parts to SeaTac.

I called SeaPower Marine and told them the part arrived.  They were too busy to install it today, but said they’d call back with a time to install the part tomorrow morning.

I dropped the parts off at the boat and then headed to meet Uncle Jeff at his hotel.  It’s a couple mile walk from the dock I’m at, but it was nice to further stretch the legs.  After Jeff got checked in, we walked back through town and towards the boat.  We took a quick ride through the harbor, checked out some of the houses on islands nearby (really cool!), and headed back for the dock. 

By now it was nearly 4:00 and I hadn’t heard back from SeaPower Marine.  I called them and made arrangements for someone to come down at 9:00 the next morning to install the new part.  If I didn’t stay on top of this, I’d be lucky to get this work done by the end of summer!

We walked back to the hotel and made arrangements for dinner.  While waiting to get picked up we went to the Baranof Island Brewing Company, which was a neat little place with good beer.  Definitely worth a trip if you’re in Sitka.  Then off to the Channel Club for dinner.  Good food and a fabulous view, especially since the clouds had given way to blue sky!
Beautiful evening!
7.9 nm today and 1,621.2 total

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