Hercules Down; Hercules Restored

July 30, 2016 – August 13, 2016


It never fails.  Today was the last day of the toughest and most intense two weeks of the year for me, our Summer Bridge program.  It was also the start of my vacation, during which I had planned to sail as much as possible, and even try a little cruising across the bay.  This was not to be.


I took out Ilya from the slip on July 30, first being annoyed that the battery had died because the lights had been on since the last outing.  Using the pull rope, I motored slowly around the west basin to raise the main.  Unfortunately I also inadvertently pulled out the fuel line, which is why the engine stopped.  After a while and several pulls, I got the engine going again and headed out to the river.  The wind wasn’t bad, but at some time I decided to lower the engine to move closer to the bay and I couldn’t get it started, no matter how hard I tried.  I could tell the wind was going to be great, and Bay Break even shouted at me to go out, but I had to shout my dilemma back to him.  My alternative was to sail back to the marina, which I did as the wind died and I was caught in the breakwater.  Many minutes (probably well over a half hour) later, I paddled my way back to the fairway and began the truly arduous task of getting a 2,000 lb. boat down a wide fairway and finally backed into the slip and secured.  With every pull I made on the engine, nothing happened.


I was convinced that perhaps I had damaged something when I pulled out the fuel line, but I also noticed that whenever I pressed the priming bulb I didn’t hear the squishing sound that indicated the fuel was flowing.  This necessitated calling up Spring Cove Marina to schedule service and calling BoatUS for a tow.  Thankfully, I have the unlimited gold towing package and I spent an hour and a half or so with a delightful couple who had moved to this area from Brooklyn and had recently taken over much of the BoatUS towing for our area.


The service department indicated that the fuel line was really shot because of ethanol in the fuel, so they had to replace it.  Four hundred dollars later (mostly labor, of course) and we were back in business.  The entire way from Spring Cove to West Basin I was nervous that we wouldn’t make it, but Hercules is truly restored.  Now I understand why boaters/ sailors are so dead set against adding additional ethanol to gasoline.


Engine hours:              2



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