Grafton,IL day 4

29 September 2014

Monday in Grafton. We are recovering from our St. Louis visit. Even with us cutting the places to see and go down quite a bit, we didn’t get into the boat until around 9 PM.

We got up early and Susan took the car back to Enterprise. Our goal was to be off the dock about 9AM to head upriver on the Mississippi side to get the boat serviced.

(Tech stuff to follow)
The Quo Vadimus has a transmission that goes forward and reverse, but it needs some level of maintenance. It needs to have the fluid replaced every three hundred hours. You need to suck the fluid out, there is no drain underneath. This will be the first time on the trip that it’s been done.

It’s also time for an oil change. I’m running Amsoil, a top of the line synthetic oil. Normally the oil would be replaced every 150 hours. What I’m doing is replacing the filter (and adding oil) at 150 hours and then replacing the oil and new filter at 300 hours. With an expected run of 600-700 hours for the trip it means only one oil change and multiple filter changes. I’ve also drawn a sample of the oil to send out for testing. I sent one out with 10 hours on it as a baseline. The one that came back at 145 hours was very close to those numbers. We changed the oil today (300 hours), and I’ll send that sample out. If the oil numbers are good then I’ll do filter changes at 450 and 600 hours and a change at 750 hours. This is one longer cycle than I did this time, a total of 450 hours on the oil.

For trucks this has been the Amsoil suggestion. Filters at 5K, 10K, 15K, 20K and replace oil at 25K miles. So in theory I could do the entire loop on one set of oil and multiple oil changes. One of the problems I have is that the suction system does not pull that last amount of crud from the oil pan (about a quart). In theory if it circulates then the filter will catch it, so we will see.

Oil burn has been very low, about 1 quart per engine per 50 hours, so I’m happy with that.

(End tech stuff)

I called the service people at 8:45 AM to make sure we are good for us to come to their marina. They decided that Scott was coming here, he could ‘easily’ do our job at the same time. Bonus me, I can stay in my free slip and use the great wi-fi.

We met the crew of Potest Fieri (It can be done) They came over to say hi, they are from Canada. They didn’t have butter tarts, but liked that we had spent a great deal of time in Canada. They are Gold Loopers moving their boat down to transship it to the Northwest to start their Alaskan adventures. They had read my AGLCA blog posts, I said try the regular ones, I’m much nicer.

Scott arrived at the boat next to us around 10 and said, no problem on our boat at 1PM. About 12:30 Susan grabbed laundry and her swim suit to play in the pool, maybe bike, but have a relaxing day.

Scott came over at 2 PM and said he was jammed up, we would need to postpone. We talked about that I was a looper I had places to be. I had been here on Friday, and waited until Monday. IF I was off the dock by 11 on Tuesday, I’d be OK with that.

At 3 PM Scott came back and said he had a cancel, he could work on my boat until 4:30. Yay! So we rocked as much as we could. We got oil samples taken, old oil removed, new filters on and oil refilled. Transmissions were a little harder, two of the measurement knobs were stuck, but Scott soon wrangle them off, fluid pulled. He also sucked the fluid out of the one fuel filter that has about 2/3 of a cup of crap floating into the bottom.

The filters in the Hurth 630A are stainless coils formed into a mesh, so they needed to go back to get cleaned. Scott would take them back, clean them and be back at our dock by 9AM to put us back together. At 4:29 PM, I pushed Scott’s work boat off our dock and he headed away. I’m pleased, we got lots done in 1.5 hours and should be only an hour more on Tuesday and we can be off.

I’ll order new filters so I can swap the new for the old and then be able to send the old out to be cleaned for the next cycle.

Very pleased with Scott, he knew what he was doing and the process went very quickly.

Susan was back at 4. Part of her adventure day was going to the top of the bluff to the winery. The views were amazing and she wanted to go back for dinner.

I showered and changed and at 5:30 we were at the “Aerie Wineyard”. It is “230 feet above flood stage of the 1993 flood” overlooking a very pretty Mississippi and Illinois river. Dinner was very good, we had two small plates of appetizers, a sausage pizza and a mushroom pizza. All is right with the world, I’m back in the land of thin and crispy pizza. They also had a good beer selection, so it was a great night.

We had been taken up in a 4 seat Ute, we came back the same way. It was fun to be in an outdoor car skimming the landscape. They are building a tramway to take people up the mountain. I think we will pencil in a trip in 2016 to ride up again. Grafton is a place I would like to come back to again.

Off to bed about 8:30, I want to finish the St. Louis post and then help Scott do his last little bit. Then it’s down the river for another 9 day, 300 mile adventure!