Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sea Strainer Gasket

July, 2009

Uuuuuuuuugh. On our way back from DC, we anchored overnight in an area with lots of weeds on the surface. Before getting underway, I opened the sea strainer to clean it out. When I closed it back down, I apparently crushed the old (and brittle) gasket, which broke into a couple pieces. The result was that the sea water intake was drawing air through the lid, rather than drawing water from the thru-hull. The engine overheated, and we were towed in to Colonial Beach. One symptom here worth noting: We were running fine for several hours at low RPMs (7-8 knots), as it seemed there was enough water flow like that. Overheat occurred within a minute or two of cranking up to 10 knots.

I was disappointed in myself for not having a spare gasket. A package of gasket material from Napa took care of it. I used the strainer lid as a template, and cut a new gasket out of cork material. A little waterproof grease (Morey's Red) also helps keep the gasket in place, and helps seal it down.

The gasket kit stays on board all the time, now. A hole punch also comes in handy, for punching holes in the gasket where screws pass through.

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