Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Alaska 2016 | Day 10 | Shearwater

Today was a rest day. Actually, “rest” isn’t really the right word. We didn’t go anywhere, but we did a lot of work!

Two boats had problems that needed to be addressed. One had a non-functioning macerator pump and a full holding tank. There’s no working pumpout for several hundred miles, so this was a critical issue. The other boat had a fuel supply hose that was leaking pretty severely.

The macerator pump was easy to deal with. Although the store didn't stock the same pump, I did. I leant my pump to the cause, and a Shearwater mechanic did the wrenching. The owner ordered a new pump that will be waiting for me in Ketchikan.

The fuel hose was a bigger problem. Shearwater doesn't have the equipment to crimp fittings on hydraulic hose. More problematically, the fittings didn't appear to be standard types. The boat owner spent most of the day working with the Shearwater repair people trying to figure out how to get a new hose.

I got involved about 3:30 in the afternoon, after the owner hit a wall. I grabbed the engine serial number, punched it into Cummins QuickServe, and pulled up the relevant parts diagram.

Side note to those with Cummins engines: QuickServe is brilliant. Set up an account, enter your serial number(s), and you get all the parts diagrams for the engine(s), complete with part numbers and compatible replacement parts. And Cummins Northwest is awesome...they're open until midnight and are super helpful.

I called Cummins Northwest in Renton and asked if they had the hose in stock. They didn't. The Cummins parts distribution center in Memphis had one (just one) in stock. I asked if they could ship to Vancouver. They couldn't, but referred me to Cummins Northwest in Surrey.

Around 5:00 in the evening I called Cummins Northwest in Surrey and ordered the part. It'll arrive in Surrey by 11:00 a.m. tomorrow. Then a courier will pick it up, take it to the Vancouver Airport, and put it on the next Pacific Coastal flight to Bella Bella where Shearwater will pick it up. Best case is it arrives in 24 hours, worst case 48. From Memphis. To middle-of-nowhere British Columbia. Across an international border.

Sorry, no pictures, all work!

Tomorrow we're off to Ocean Falls.

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