Well the boat is put up for the winter, all her gear is being overhauled and it’s time to share some of the things discovered or re-remembered this past sailing season.
The most significant item discovered was that the oil dip stick on my Perkins 4-108 diesel was lying! Actually I was reading it incorrectly. On my engine the dip stick touches the inside wall of the oil pan when fully inserted. When you remove it to test the oil level the area that was touching the sidewall will always be wet, NO MATTER HOW HIGH/LOW THE OIL LEVEL ACTUALLY IS. To get an accurate reading you need to look at the surface of the dip stick that is facing the centerline of the engine. You may want to modify the way you check the oil level in your engine to avoid a false reading.
Among the re-remembered facts is this gem; the dry chemical fire extinguishers that I use on board were all out of date. I had forgotten that by law these extinguishers are only good for 12 years after their manufacture date, even if they still hold pressure and the agent hasn’t turned into a solid cake in the bottom. Check the date near the neck of the extinguisher. If it’s more than 12 old go get a new one, your insurance company will be happy. Mine will be ecstatic! The dates on my extinguishers were 1984, 1992 and 1996.
Bill Whitney is Commodore of the Friendship Sloop Society and master and owner of GAIVOTA, FSS #214