'Til the butter melts

Pursuing the cruising dream in 32' of sailing ketch

…In Exotic Locations


That’s a water pump.  More precisely, that’s a vane-type raw water pump from a Yanmar 3GM30F marine Diesel engine.

But we’ll just call it a water pump. A $511 little piece of gold is another way to describe it, but since the engine won’t work without it, and only Yanmar sells it, you don’t get to consider price in your buying decision.

Our old one – probably original 1994 equipment – started dripping a little water about a week ago, and since such things very rarely get better on their own, and since we are very much engine-dependent for much of this trip down the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW), we needed a pump.

We found a dealer online, ordered the pump shipped to our next port – which was Manhasset Bay on Long Island – and only after the pump was delivered did we discover that it came from our last major port, Pope Island in New Bedford, MA!  We were there for four days, and could actually have walked there in five minutes, had we known!  Small world syndrome strikes again.

But anyway, this brings me to a funny concept amongst cruisers, which is the cruiser definition of what Cruising is.  You’ve no doubt seen those funny pictures on Facebook, the ones that have captions like “What my friends think I do”, “What my mother thinks I do”, “What I think I do”, etc?

Well most of our friends, when they heard we were going to be on our boat for 8 months, and heading for Florida for the winter, immediately imagined sun-splashed water, balmy breezes, and rum beverages constantly at hands.  Our mothers pictured hurricanes and 30-foot waves smashing our tiny vessel to splintery bits.  Our friends who have cruised pictured us repairing the boat at every stop, because that’s the way of boats…

Which brings us back to that Cruiser definition of what cruising is:


Which is, far too frequently, exactly what it is.  Except that Port Washington NY is hardly exotic.

So there they are, the new and the old, side by next…  And that’s what my morning was on September 14th, while sitting in exotic Manhasset Bay. Buried up to my armpits in the rather warm confines of the engine room, replacing water pump and drive belt and succeeding – for the moment – in keeping mechanical entropy at bay.  A test run showed perfect function, and for once I completed a task with no significant injury to temper or knuckles.  We celebrated with a walk to “Coffeed” for iced coffee and cake – life is good.

For water pumps, anyway.  Now about that ITunes account that won’t load…

Author: s/v sionna

Living the dream in 32'. We left Maine on August 18th, 2016, and have gradually worked our way south until we felt warm enough. After spending the summer in Maine, working to replenish the cruising kitty, and rehabilitating an old house. we’re headed back on the boat, bringing Sionna back home to northern waters. Follow our blog here!

4 thoughts on “…In Exotic Locations

  1. Now I, of course, would disassemble the old pump and replace the packing around the shaft that caused the leak in the first-place, so I’d have a spare . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Already on the agenda. Seeking a new ‘exotic locale’ for that project.


    • Of course! But keep in mind the old pump is still functional as is, the seals are only obtainable from Yanmar and come in a $150 overhaul kit (unless you have a lot more time to track down seals and bearings than we have!)
      So for now I’ve pickled it in rust preventative and packed it away safely against the day when rebuild becomes more feasible.


  2. FWIW – I know internet access is a challenge for you guys, but if you can do the research (any Yanmar marine engine forums) and figure out which seals and bearings you need, I recommend you contact George Hardgrove at Bearing Depot & Supply in Middlesex, NJ. He was very helpful and communicative when I was sorting motorcycle wheel bearings, and I got high-quality bearings at a really good price from them, shipped very quickly. Worth a try, or file it away for future reference… Bearingdepot.com, 732-563-2225.


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