Difference Between Man-Tight and Woman-Tight!

LILI’s most important system when on anchor is the genny.  It is what produces energy to keep her batteries charged, run the watermaker, keep the refrigerator cold, etc.  Therefore, before heading offshore to the Turks & Caicos, we want to make sure it is running properly.  All the gauges on the Northern Lights panel at the helm are now jumping around like jumping beans and the temp gauge  is sometimes even pegged at 250 degrees, which may mean in addition to a faulty heat sensor, we may have a loose wiring harness, too.  The good news is that genny will automatically shut down if the temp goes too high or the oil pressure too low (so far that has NOT happened), but the bad news is that to check the temps, we have to manually do it with the heat gun to the sensor on top of the genny while it is running (hot and noisy) .

As we head out of Nassau, our first stop is Shroud Cay for the night.  Betty and I reminisce  about our first trip down the Exuma chain four years ago – we were in a panic to get a mooring ball and all were full at Shroud.  This year, we didn’t even look for a mooring ball, as we have become much more proficient at anchoring.


Now to the difference between “man-tight and woman-tight” – first there is space issues.  Once anchored, Betty shimmy’s in behind the helm to check the wiring harness for a loose wire. The space is greatly restricted with lots of wiring to the electronics, two PC’s for navigation, an air-handler for the pilothouse air-conditioning, hydraulic reservoir for the throttle and transmission controls, plastic file boxes full of operating manuals and other odd items.  This space is extremely “man-tight”, but a woman can easily make her way back in there.  Betty looks at the wiring behind the genny panel and there doesn’t seem to be any loose connections.

On Wednesday morning, we continue on to Big Major Spot and anchor behind our friends, Pam & John on Compass Rose, a Krogen 42′.  It seems that there are not many other Krogen’s cruising in our area this spring.

Betty receives an email from Gregg, encouraging us to change out the impeller on the genny, just in case there is something wrong with it that we can’t see.   OK, on Thursday morning, the time has come for us to learn a new skill and neither one of us are excited about it.   The genny is working, once we start messing with this impeller, we reach a point of no return, where we have to complete the task or we have no working genny.


Now the difference between “man-tight and woman-tight” – second issue is force, meaning the force it takes to open a jar lid, radiator cap or in this case pull off an impeller.  This round hard rubber thingy is what pushes the sea water thru the heat exchanger to keep the genny from overheating.  In LILI’s case the main engine muffler is about 3″ from the genny impeller housing.  They make a tool called an impeller puller, but 3″ is not a large enough space to use it.  Betty purchased two electrical screwdrivers on George’s advice to do the job.  Both of us are back playing Twister in the engine room, trying to pull off the old impeller.  In addition to the screwdrivers, we also try using needle nose pliers, grabbing onto one of  vanes.  We are both pulling, tugging, sweating and swearing for over 45 minutes and we have it moved ⅛”.  Time to call in the “man-tight” reinforcements, John from Compass Rose.  In a matter of two to three minutes, he has impeller off!  Examining the old impeller, there seems to be nothing wrong with it other than the damage we did trying to get it out.  Arghh…  John helps us get the new impeller back on before he leaves.  God bless John!  We start the genny back up again and it seems to be running a bit cooler, but we continue to monitor it frequently!

Waking up Friday morning, both Betty and I can feel the muscles that we strained trying to get that damned impeller out!  There is something to be said for keeping a man around the boat.



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