Yamaha Outboard Maintenance-Water Pump Impellor Replacement

The two stroke Yamaha 15hp outboard. Ya gotta love the thing. There’s good a reason they’ve sold a gazillion of them worldwide. As long as you’ve got oil in the gas, it’s hard to kill them. Just about any place on the globe you want to cruise, you’ll find parts and someone to fix it if you can’t. They’re dead simple to repair and maintain. For example, to rebuild the carburetor takes me less then an hour from start to finish. The water pump impellor, which was the first time I replaced one on this motor, took about an hour and a half. Spark plugs, ten minutes. You get the idea. So anyway, here’s the pictorial of the impellor replacement.

The new impellor and the old one. The old one had been in there for at least 11 years! You can see it has taken a set..

The new impellor and the old one. The old one had been in there for at least 11 years! You can see it has taken a set..

These four bolts come out first. Two on this side and two on the other side.

These four bolts come out first. Two on this side and two on the other side.

After those four bolts are out you can start tapping on the lower unit to separate it. Once it's separated, it time to start loosening this coupling. This is the coupling that connects to the shift rod. After the coupling is unscrewed, you can remove the lower unit all the way.

After those four bolts are out you can start tapping on the lower unit to separate it. Once it’s separated just a little, it time to start loosening this coupling. This is the coupling that connects to the shift rod. After the coupling is unscrewed, you can remove the lower unit all the way.

With the lower unit off, this is what you see. That is the waterpump housing that holds the impellor. Be careful loosening these four bolts. They're likely to be corroded. Use lots of penetrant and go slow and easy.

With the lower unit off, this is what you see. That is the water pump housing that holds the impellor. Be careful loosening these four bolts. They’re likely to be corroded. Use lots of penetrant and go slow and easy.

Inside the impellor housing. Make sure it's not scored. If it is, replace the housing as well.

Inside the impellor housing. Make sure it’s not scored. If it is, replace the housing as well.

Take this cover plate off. Remember to remove the woodruff key first. It's on the other side of the shaft.

Take this cover plate off. Remember to remove the woodruff key first. It’s on the other side of the shaft.

Clean this area that's under the plate and then put the cover back on.

Clean this area that’s under the plate and then put the cover back on.

Re-assembly is basically the reverse order. Remember when sliding the lower unit back on, you may have to turn the prop to line up the splines on the shaft. When the lower unit is about a quarter inch from mating up, re-connect the shift coupler. You can move the shift lever back or forth if it helps to bring the shift rod closer to the coupling. When the coupling is tight, then you can tap the lower unit up until it mates. Tighten the four bolts up and you’re done. Easy, easy….

 

Until then….

 

Another Freezer Project…Oh Joy

Those that follow the blog regularly know that I have a love-hate relationship with our freezer. We love the fact that the freezer is really large. We regularly stock 3-4 months worth of food in there with plenty of room left over. What I don’t love is the amount of maintenance this thing demands. The compressor is water cooled, meaning sea water is pumped up to the compressor for use in the cooling and evaporation process. The sea water flows through a strainer in order to keep the lines and tubing clean. Here at Liberty Marina the water is pretty turbid and the strainer has to be cleaned at least once a week. Defrosting is usually done about every two months and is fairly easy to do. I picked up a few tricks to speed it up from watching my mother defrost our old fridge when we were kids.

The latest project involved the lift strut that holds the freezer lid up. It really boils down to a poor design at the attachment point at the lower end of the strut. When you open and close the lid, this lower attachment experiences shear forces that are too high for the small surface area that the two screws go through. This results in the screws pulling out of the freezer wall. The temporary solution was to use larger screws, but even those pulled out. I knew I had to somehow spread out the load on that attachment point. Here’s my solution…

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Here you can see where the attachment point normally screws in.

Here you can see where the attachment point normally screws in.

You see how small the surface area is on attachment point. Here I've welded it to a 6"x6"stainless steel plate to spread out the load.

You see how small the surface area is on attachment point. Here I’ve welded it to a 6″x6″stainless steel plate to spread out the load.

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Here is the plate attached to the wall of the freezer.

Here is the plate attached to the wall of the freezer.

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With the strut attached, now you can see how the load is spread across the whole plate, instead of just a small section of fiberglass freezer wall.

I want to add that not only does the strut hold the door open, it also holds it tightly closed. This reduces air leakage into and out of the box. All in all, the project wasn’t that hard and I believe offers a permanent solution to that attachment pulling out. Notice that the top attachment point is configured so that the forces are tension and compression. I haven’t had any problem with that one.

 

Until then….

Recent Happenings

Just a little catching up with the blog is in order. It’s tough keeping the blog updated when we’re in Annapolis for the summer. It seems, at least to me, that the things we have going on are not going to be of interest to the readers. I’m back at work doing the welding thing and Michele is volunteering all over the place it seems, so interesting subject matter is sparse. But, having said all that, we’re not completely boring and things do happen in the summer worth blogging about. Take the Fourth of July for example. It was our first chance to get off the dock and drop a hook somewhere for more then a couple of hours.

The whole weekend, after reviewing all our weather sources, was going to be dodgy with thunderstorms. We really didn’t care. If you’re in the Chesapeake in the summer and you wait until thunderstorms come out of the weather report you’ll have a long wait to get anywhere. The only day that concerned us was the Fourth of July itself, because we were picking up guests for dinner onboard on that day. We may not mind a little rain, but the guests, well…With that thought in mind, off the dock we pulled. The trip up to the Magothy River was a mixture of sailing, motorsailing and just plain motoring. It seems we’ve lost about a knot of boat speed due to the growth on the bottom. Ahh, life on the Chessie..

Once we entered the Magothy I promptly lost yet another hat. Tried to spin around and retrieve it, but it had sank already. Oh well, we continued on to the anchorage only to find it pretty full. Not wanting to trust the anchoring skills of strangers, especially knowing a storm was coming, we decided to go just a little further up. Turns out this was just as good, if not better, then our normal spot here. Only one other boat was there and the water was quite. Perfect. Later on that evening we found out why the other anchorage was full. The locals put on a fantastic fireworks show that rivaled most of the shows that nearby cities put on! And we had front row seats. Yeah baby…

The next day I put in a little boat work and finally cleaned the ICW moustache off the water line. After that, we rewarded ourselves with a little dinghy ride across the Magothy River to another popular spot to anchor. Turns out this spot, which is in front of Gibson Island, was a little too shallow and a little too young for us. Young, as in we looked like chaperones, so back across the river to El Camino. On Monday, the weather really looked dicey for dinner and a little cruise for our guests who we still had to go and retrieve. As it turned out, the system blew through and we picked up everyone at the fuel dock back at the marina and had a wonderful cruise and dinner.

The last little mini cruise was this Wednesday evening with friends from our cell group from church. It was another one of those days where thunderstorms were in the forecast and from the look of the radar, it was going to be a close call in regards to the storm clearing out before we left. We waited until the last minute to make the decision to go for it. As it turned out, the storm blew through and we had another beautiful cruise. We dropped the hook in Harness Creek, another favorite anchorage of ours, and enjoyed some delicious finger foods and dips before heading back to Liberty Marina.

And that brings us up to date. I’ve finished a few boat projects and I’ll report on those in another post. All in all, it’s been a good summer so far. Now that it’s the middle of July that means one thing, we’re halfway to leaving for the south again!

From the 4th of July..

P1060601The Thomas Shoal Lighthouse. The light was built and placed in service in 1875! Google it and read some interesting history…

The Sandy Point Lighthouse was placed into service in 1883

The Sandy Point Lighthouse was placed into service in 1883

I thought this was a cool view of the Bay Bridge. Notice the left tower has clouds dropping down on it.

I thought this was a cool view of the Bay Bridge. Notice the left tower has clouds dropping down on it.

Our anchorage at Magothy River..

Our anchorage at Magothy River..

One of the houses we spotted on our dinghy tour...

One of the houses we spotted on our dinghy tour…

We love how this horse farm looks. It's right by the anchorage..

We love how this horse farm looks. It’s right by the anchorage..

Pics from the cell group mini cruise….

Michelle, Amber and Paul

Michelle, Amber and Paul

Bob, Madeline and Donna our cell group hostess..

Bob, Madeline and Donna our cell group hostess..

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From around the marina…

Crab feast at Sail Away Catamaran's office!

Crab feast at Sail Away Catamaran’s office!

Catamaran row at dusk...

Catamaran row at dusk…

Rainbow after the storm...

Rainbow after the storm…

 

Until then..

 

 

That Dirty Four Letter Word

The word? WORK, what word were you thinking?? After arriving back in Annapolis we sat on the hook for a couple of weeks mellowing out and trying to decide where to stay for the summer. We really like staying at the Maryland Yacht Club, but since we’re not members, they have limited our stay to two months a year. So, with that information in hand, we are staying at Liberty Marina in Edgewater for most of the summer and then two months before we head south again, we’ll move to the Yacht Club. The good thing about Liberty is the location. Everything is close by and easy to get to. The bad part is the marina is not protected from the wakes of passing boats. At times you can really get tossed around by inconsiderate boaters leaving large wakes. The good thing about the Yacht Club is the water is perfectly still and quite. Bad part is it’s a little out of the way to get to anywhere.

Back to that word, work. Yep, since we’re not independently wealthy we do have to work and earn money to keep doing what we’re doing. I’ve gone back to work for the summer doing the welding thing and also brokering catamarans with Sail Away Catamarans here in Edgewater. Michele is taking continuing education classes that support her degree in Recreational Therapy. The big news is that I took the Coast Guard’s Captain’s license course and passed. As part of the application process I also had to take a Red Cross first aid and CPR course, I took an Assistance Towing course to add to the license, had to get a Transportation Workers Identification Card, do a DOT physical and be DOT drug tested. It was a lot of work, but I’ll end up with a 100 Ton Near Coastal license.

And, of course, there’s always boat projects to keep us busy. The list is always changing but never ending. The latest semi-major project was refinishing the cockpit table and the teak grates that lead into the salon as well as the grates we stand on at the helm. Why has it taken four years to get around to this? I may be a whiz with metal, but when it comes to anything wood, I get a little lost. So, I just put it off until the “timing” was right. Michele “let” me know that the timing was perfect right now, so below are pics of the finished table and grates. I think they came out ok for a rookie.

P1060537 P1060536 P1060535You can see that there was a lot of old varnish on the table and it looked pretty bad.

P1060538All sanded and ready for new varnish.

P1060542 P1060541I still have a few more coats to go, but the improvement is dramatic. Best part is I get to add some Brownie points up with Michele. I’m almost out of the hole…:)

P1060540The before pic of the grate at the helm…

P1060543And the after picture. Much better…

Until then……….