This was our 2013 Jayco Flight Swift 198 RD


Tuesday, 13 September 2022


Finally we have removed the heavy-duty metal gantry that helped us to lift out the old engine and drop in the new engine into its engine compartment. That means the new Beta 38 engine is now permanently installed. Everything is brand spanking new down there and looking good. There was some more painting involved and of course all the connecting tasks etc. 

A before photo of the old engine and a photo of the new engine in the compartment will speak volumes, I think.


For all of the non-boater readers out there that are not familiar with boatbuilding, you must be wondering why it took so long to come to this point. There are a lot of little pieces to complete this puzzle. There are numerous brass hose barb fittings, and nipples, street elbows, lag screws, electrical wires, various screws and so many more items needed to hook up and connect the pumps, tanks, batteries, new muffler system and more. And, none of these things are at our fingertips which means they have to be ordered, shipped or picked up in Windsor, or surrounding towns.


The pre cut, drilled and deburred metal brackets, flat bar, angle pieces and other items were powder coated by Chris from County Coating in Merlin, Ont. and we were really pleased with the job. The last bunch we had powder coated had 28 pieces. I counted them to make sure we had all of them back in the bin. I’m sure it was a joy for Benno to install them one by one as the compartment all of a sudden looked so much more finished.


There are more wires to run throughout the rebuilding process and the channels located on top of the engine compartment will hold them neatly. When all wires are in, the holes will be covered with small powder coated plates as well.


So Benno is moving on to other tasks on the boat and I will post more photos of the coming jobs.


And in case you are asking, yes, the fence was fixed. However, the work was a little more than just replacing what was broken. By hand Benno dug out and around the broken posts. They were quite deep, so a big hole. We purchased new 4x4 posts and some fence boards. The new posts were surrounded with concrete post mix and for good measure we added some quick concrete to the old still standing ones as well.

It was decided to lower the replacement fence and also the other two end sections to 4-1/2 feet for more stability should we get another storm blowing through. The new fence also is built a little different with the fence boards offset to both sides. It looks good now, don’t you think?


Today I noticed some critters in my garden and before they could move on I took some photos. Those will be in my next post.


Thanks for dropping in again.

Thursday, 1 September 2022

Extra work we hadn’t counted on doing

Well, we knew we were in for some rain last Monday evening as it was in the forecast. Actually, there had been some showers the night before but nothing much so to speak of. I had just cleared away our dinner dishes when Benno called me to come outside. Immediately I knew why as I saw the pitch-black sky to the Northwest. A storm was imminent and we heard the wind howling and whistling as it started blowing like crazy, and we guess it must have been at least somewhere at 100 miles per hour. First my big, 2 feet tall flowerpots took off landing several feet away on the lawn joining ripped off branches and leaves from trees from the neighborhood. Within seconds all hell had broken loose and during the downpour we grabbed what we could.


The travel trailer had been pulled back into position

Our concern was the travel trailer as the storm was so powerful that the trailer was almost pushed off the front stand. It is parked on the concrete driveway and took the full brunt of the wind as it moved a foot. The ground next to it is much lower toward the property fence. Benno installed the towing hitch to our pickup truck in record time, turned the truck around and then hooked it up to the trailer all while it poured by the bucket full and pulled the trailer back. I was busy picking up things that had become airborne. By the time the travel trailer was secure, Benno was soaked and the wind had eased up.


We couldn't believe the damage

To our dismay we discovered that three sections of our perfectly good wooden fence were lying on the ground. The wind had been so forceful blowing over the cornfield that it had snapped off two of the 4x4 posts at ground level and ripping the panels off the sides. 


Just imagine the force of wind to break those posts

Later on I found a vent cover from our boat’s shrink-wrap cover two properties over in the grass where it had landed after it was blown out. So, cleanup is done, but the fence will take some time to repair. 


Benno took the fence apart to be reinstalled with new posts

 I am sure that the tomato farmers were scrambling as well to get the harvest into their trailers and to the processing plants before they were all rained out. The sun is out again and there are still plenty of tomatoes on the fields.


There are trailers heaped with tomatoes all over town

This trailer is waiting for unloading at the Weil's processing plant

This "oops" was parked just about half a mile before the processing plant

As to Benno’s ongoing work-hobby, we are waiting for the powder-coated pieces to be reinstalled. But here are a few photos of the engine compartment as it is right now. Soon, we hope, this part of the boat will be completed, so stay tuned.


Here is a peak into the engine compartment

Grouping of diesel fuel polishing pump, filter & engine supply filter

Carter P4601HP Electric Vane Fuel Pump 100gal/hr
that will pump cleaned diesel fuel into the day tank

Thanks for stopping by again.

Wednesday, 17 August 2022

Here is an update of our doings and some boat stuff!

My goodness it’s the middle of August already and the weather is still hot, sunny and just being perfect in my opinion. Here in our neighborhood we have many Airbnb cottages and they have all been booked solid all summer long, so we are not the only ones that enjoy being here at Lake Erie by the looks of all the folks coming here to relax.


An Eastern tiger swallowtail feeding on my
Pugster Amethyst (dwarf butterfly bush)

We only got one good soaker rain and that was enough to have the dead lawn come alive once more and yes, I need to get the John Deere out again for duty. When you own a house the work never seems to end and here in our area we appear to have more birds than anywhere else so that adds to more clean up. 


Of course Benno has been busy and the many small things that need doing nobody ever notices or appreciates at the finished product. He spent lots of time in his workshop making fittings from raw material and they look like items you’d purchase from a store. It still amazes me what he can do. 


Some foam cuttings and showing the inserted vinyl strip

The engine compartment/room is taking on shape. We ordered sound insulation material from Soundown Corp. in Massachusetts that comes in large sheets. It has a vinyl layer in-between the foam pad. This insulation material, once installed on the walls will be finished off with sheets of white powder coated perforated aluminum cladding, also from the same firm.  To save on shipping and custom broker charges we had it shipped to Detroit to a “Packing and Shipping” address from where we picked it up and brought it over the border to Canada ourselves. The GST/HST we had to pay regardless, but it still saved us a bundle. 


The easiest way of cutting the foam to size
Benno used the Kreg cutting system

That brings me to the subject of where and how to get what we need for all the installation projects. When you live in a Vacation and Lake Cottages Region, there are just not many stores that carry boatbuilding supplies. Many hours are spent sourcing products and suppliers and unfortunately also some time is spent in the truck driving to get what is needed which takes time away where you could be productive working on the boat. But, progress was made. The starter battery and one of the house batteries were installed and wired up. Also a diesel “day tank” that feeds the engine was purchased and the fittings Benno made himself. It is mounted under the steering seat in the wheelhouse. More photos will be coming when the projects are done.


View of the port side engine compartment where the foam was installed
 with aluminum cladding

View forward with only foam installed

Same view with partial aluminum cladding and water strainer holder

Same view with three sides finished
except the angle and flat bars will be white powder coated 

Aluminum Diesel Day Tank

Starter Battery installation

As for me, I have been busy with many household and garden chores not worth mentioning and of course I come along when Benno wants my company to pick up items for the boat. For your entertainment, here a few garden observations and the local Heron keep posing for me at various locations. ;-)

Giving the Pompom tree a much needed trim
(had to wear a coat because of the prickly needles)

Afterwards, all done

Grasshoppers come in various colours

Rabbit baby hides in the bushes of my berm

A Katydids (Long-Horned Meadow Grasshopper)
I disturbed while trimming the Pompom tree

The local Heron looking for breakfast

Here he is waiting for lunch

Still hungry at dinnertime

Thanks everyone for dropping in. Lets see what we can accomplish until my next update.

Saturday, 30 July 2022

This update is mostly about dropping the diesel engine into the boat!

The days just seem to fly by for us but that is probably because we are always busy. So before I dive into Benno’s hobby project I’d like to mention that we had a very special visitor this month. Victor, our long time friend from Toronto came for a visit. We met way back when we were berthed with our sailboats at the same dock in the Port Credit Marina many years ago. He chose to come by Via-Rail into Windsor, which unfortunately took over 5 hours travel time as the train went into a snail pace for a stretch of the trip.  He stayed at the Best Western Hotel in Windsor and said that the view over the Detroit River was fantastic. There is a lot to see in Windsor, Leamington and the surrounding area. His time here was way too short to show him all that there is to see but we hope he got a good glimpse of our lives here in the country. Of course we talked a lot and I totally forgot to take photos, but I borrowed one of him on his sailboat from an email. I hope he doesn’t mind. He took us out for lunch here in Leamington and we hope to meet again sometime soon.


So, there has been some progress on the boat. The engine got worked on and parts were removed in Benno’s shop, like air filter and gear box so it would fit through the boat door and has less weight. We tested that it could be lifted just halfway outside the shop door by the backhoe by rolling it onto the entrance step while it was securely mounted with threated studs to the wooden shipping box resting on the moving dolly. With flexible mounts attached it would have been too wide to fit through the boat door.


Jim from Ciliska Excavating came again with his loader backhoe to do the lift. We must be special customers, because he spared an hour for us even though his business is very busy at this time of year. The lifting of the engine and moving it into the boat is exactly a reversal of the November 6 last year update. Jim had no problem picking up the engine by the door and lifting it easily and expertly with the sling already attached and moved a few feet over to the boat where he set the engine onto the rail platform that Benno had built to take out the old engine.  Benno had even removed the aft railings of the boat so the lift would not have to be as high. After Jim had left, we simply pulled the engine on the track through the doorway with muscle power and the come-along  (the boat door was taken out) I guess we had less than an 1/8 inch to spare on both sides. Once the engine was above the engine compartment it was easy to bring the engine into position and to lower it down with a hoist. However, all the taken off parts were reassembled beforehand.

The engine will have to be lifted up again once we get the sound insulation for the engine compartment. 


Because we changed from a dry exhaust (chimney on the rooftop) to a wet exhaust system, which is extremely quiet, there had to be another hole cut for the exhaust outlet. 


For a while there were a lot of deliveries here at our house since we don’t have local marine stores that carry what we need. This boat, just like our “Diesel Duck” is going to have a fuel polishing system. That means that if the fuel that is taken on is dirty or somehow got condensate water in it, it will be cleaned before going into the engine. 

On the photos you can see the polishing unit’s large Racor fuel and water separator temporarily mounted and next to it the extra engine fuel filter with a hose attached.

Of course there were other projects involved as well as some more painting where I gave my time and hand. Building, renovating, or overhauling a boat takes time and money so it is a slow process for us. This hobby project will be a while yet.


After we had the engine in the boat, there was no more use of the rail system we had built and it was disassembled and cut up for disposal. One of the offcuts I snagged up and made another garden art. Benno drilled the hole on the bottom for the metal rod to plant the 4x4” post. Then he helped with a couple of screws on top to hold the recycled part from the old gazebo and metal bird from an old birdbath. 


One day we had a bit of a rainstorm passing through and this photo I took the next day as the system had moved on.  I enjoy my outdoor activities even though it is a bit of work and the veggie plants produce bountiful so I am happy about that.


Thanks for dropping by again and I hope everyone enjoys the summer as much as I do.