I’ve been in Orillia on the public dock since I got towed in Sunday from the top of the lake.
I haven’t posted recently because I wasn’t moving. Escapade lived quite happily at anchor in Wiarton while I roared around the countryside on my scooter and caught up a bit with friends and family.
I wanted to solve my engine problem, and thought I had a Deere tech lined up to visit from the local ag dealer. The sudden shut down had returned, and I had pretty much done everything I could on my own to try to solve the problem.
My original plan had been to have a relaxed September cruise down the Trent Severn, hang around in eastern Lake Ontario for a week or two, then either winter in Toronto or head south via the Erie Canal. I confirmed that there was dockage available in Toronto.
That plan became tenuous when there was a major failure at Kirkfield Lift Lock in early September. It looked like the waterway would be closed to through traffic for the rest of the season. But I was happy to hang in Wiarton, waiting for service and the off chance that they’d reopen the waterway. I was assuming at that point that I’d leave Georgian Bay in October and head for Toronto via Lake Erie, or maybe Chicago and south.
Service was elusive. I didn’t hear back from the ag dealer. I was reading up on the engine technology and troubleshooting and considering my options.
Then on Monday Sept 26, Parks Canada announced limited locking for through traffic available by arrangement. That was 14 days before the last day of the season.
The next day a tech called from the road, but I wasn’t at the boat, so missed that opportunity.
It was blowing hard from the north, but the forecast looked great for Thursday to cross over to Port Severn. I made arrangements to go through Kirkfield Monday morning. The waterway closes the following Monday. Nice relaxed pace.
I stocked up with food and supplies and went through more items on my diagnostic check list. Installed clear lines on fuel return and ran a feed straight from one tank through a single filter. I was still getting air through the return. Discovered that the replacement on-engine filters that I’d bought and installed in Toronto were not seating correctly, and fixed that.
By Thursday morning I’d been poking and prodding and testing and roaring around Colpoy Bay for a few hours. Weather was perfect as forecast, so I set off across the lake.
All went well. Got to Port Severn Thursday night, and was above Big Chute Friday early afternoon when the motor stopped. I anchored, started again in ten minutes, carried on another 30 minutes, and it stopped again. After a few hours it still wouldn’t go. I put a fuel pump in line, as I was still getting some bubbles.
The ECM finally came alive again Saturday morning, and I tentatively carried on with the fuel pump running. The motor stopped just above the Couchiching railroad bridge early Saturday afternoon. When it didn’t start Sunday morning I was towed here.
Whew! All caught up. I had another extremely unpleasant encounter with the bridge tender at the railroad bridge, but that deserves its own post.
It’s now Friday night. I had a local marine mechanic aboard on Monday, thanks to Trevor at Bridge Port Marina. They towed me in. Motor wasn’t running.
Tuesday the motor decided to run. Mechanic came back Wednesday, and with motor running determined the fuel pump was bad. I concurred.
It’s now Friday night. I arrived back here earlier today with a new fuel pump. Was really hoping the mechanic could swap it out, but that’s not going to happen in the next few days.
The Trent Severn closes Monday. My only way out is down to Georgian Bay, and to make that I need to leave Sunday. Otherwise Escapade will stay ashore here for the winter.
I’ve been disassembling and am ready to remove the old pump, but don’t have a puller aboard. I think I have everything else I need, and have reviewed the process carefully and even watched some YouTube videos.
Saturday morning I’ll get a puller, and the rest will be easy, it’ll start and run like new, and I’ll be able to hit the lakes in October with confidence and assurance.
Or not. Stay tuned…