This was our 2013 Jayco Flight Swift 198 RD


Thursday 25 November 2021

Dreaming of someplace warm

With today’s overcast sky and drizzle rain we are having the hitch itch. Some friends are already at their destinations either in the southwest or southern places for the winter season, which makes us a little bit jealous.  

The last fire of the season, reducing the scrap pile

What is holding us back, you ask? Well, yesterday I got my second shingles vaccination shot that I though was important to get. Our two dachshunds Reggy and Elsa had their rabies shots on Tuesday. Those are repeated every three years and this was their renewal date and the vaccinations are required to cross into the USA. The crew that is supposed to shrink-wrap our boat for the winter time is pretty well working overtime with all their bookings, but promised us to come this Sunday, fingers crossed.


For all the people that head south and are not full-timers, they know that packing the RV for travel is somewhat of a chore. Many things that go into the RV we still use on a daily base so that eliminates pre-packing until the last day or so. And then there is the food planning. Some food items are not allowed to cross the border and our fridge/freezer in the travel trailer is much smaller than the one we have in the house, so we have been cutting down on new food purchases and eating up what we can’t take or what doesn’t fit. Benno is a good sport by helping to reduce the contents of those unopened ice-cream containers from the freezer that I had been hoarding for special occasions ;-)


The now empty engine bay

The old engine in its bay

That brings me to the boat activities he has been involved in since my last posting. Since the old engine came out, he had to strip and take out much of the interior and wiring, because things will be a bit different once the new engine goes in. And yes, if you were wondering if we made a decision on the new replacement engine, we have. Last week the rep for southern Ontario, Mr. Craig Morley of Beta Marine Canada, a marine diesel engine supplier, came by and left later with an order and down payment for a "Beta 38" diesel engine, which will go into “Albatross’s“ engine bay when delivered coming spring next year. The “Beta 38“ base diesel is a 38 hp 4 cylinders Kubota diesel, which is marinized at Beta Marine Ltd in the UK. 


Until next spring time the boat will just hibernate here on our property before Benno will get to work on her again. In the meantime Benno greased the wheel bearings and suspension on the travel trailer to make sure it is in good travel order. He also turned the travel trailer around for easy hookup (we could leave in a hurry without a sweat ;-) 


So I leave you here with a couple of photos of Reggy and Elsa, who have been brave in this miserable weather staying indoors because Mommy didn’t want to go out with them for their walk!


 Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends and readers from the USA. Thanks for dropping by and hopefully the next update will be from the road!

Saturday 6 November 2021

It got done!

For all the readers that have followed thus far the progression of the removal of the engine from our boat and that are curious how it went, this morning it got lifted off. Following I am posting photos of the process. It was really an easy-peasy procedure.


In the meantime we had a couple of nights with freezing temperatures so our travel trailer got winterized. It is always sad when this happens, but I am hopeful that we will travel south before winter arrives here in our region and the pink stuff will be flushed out shortly after we leave.

The engine got lifted out of its hole, hanging from the hoist and attached to an engine load leveller.

Benno slid the track and engine platform underneath and dropped the engine onto it.

This is the underside of the engine platform. The two wooden pieces will guide the platform on the rail so it will not slide off. The polyethylene strips on the sidebar are very slippery and are sitting on the greased wooden rail. (For the polyethylene pieces I had to sacrifice my IKEA cutting mat. I guess I have to buy a new one)

The upper side of the engine platform.

The rail is greased underneath the engine platform.

I am greasing the rail bit by bit and Benno is using the leaver hoist to pull the engine through the cabin.

The engine is halfway out though the cabin.

The view from outside looking in as the engine slides out.

The engine sits at the doorway. Benno had removed the door, piano hinges and a small strip of wood on the other side of the entrance way.

The engine is through the door and now outside on the deck.

All wrapped up, ready for pickup the next day.

In case you are wondering what kind of grease we used, it is "Lucas Red 'N Tacky" and the engine moved with ease. It was just yucky to clean off afterwards!

Saturday morning Benno and Greg, the new owner of the engine are waiting for the frontend loader.

Jim Ciliska from Ciliska Excavating has arrived and he positions his backhoe for the lift.

Benno is attaching the slings onto the engine and backhoe.

Ready to hoist the engine off the deck.

No problem the engine is hanging on the backhoe.

Jim is taking the engine to the utility trailer that is parked at the roadside.

Jim is such an expert in handling his frontend loader with backhoe.

Gently the engine gets positioned onto 4x4 wooden blocks on the trailer.

Jim is all concentration as the engine is put into position.

All done!

 So this job came to an end and Benno is looking forward to modifying the engine room and other tasks. Perhaps we will make plans to head south soon. Thanks for dropping by again.

Tuesday 2 November 2021

What a job this is turning out to be

So in my last blog post I was telling you of how Benno has been planning to get the motor removed out of our boat and the steps to make that happen.


Now here is a recap of what happened so far. Our friend Paul had been busy, so after a week long delay he and Benno went to purchase the material at a metal supplier in Tilbury, Ont. to build the gantry to lift the motor out of the hole. The steel to manufacture this framework came to 250 pounds and the dollars for it were more then we expected to pay. The gantry consists of two stands with a crossbar. Paul used his plasma cutter to cut the correct lengths and then welded the pieces to the specifications he and Benno had figured out. When the pieces were finished Benno picked them up in our truck. Lifting the pieces up to the boat while climbing the stepladder seemed not feasible so Benno backed up the truck to the boat so Paul could stand on the truck bed and hand the pieces over to the boat where Benno could grab them. That went fine, but this was not the end of the story.


The three pieces of the gantry

The gantry erected inside the wheelhouse

Benno gave the engine a test pull before he removed the engine mounts

It turned out we now had another problem. You see we had a couple of days with heavy rain and the ground was totally soaked with standing water around the boat. Our truck would not move. It got stuck and I mean it was really stuck in the mud. No matter how many pieces of cardboard or wood we shoved under the tires, they just spun and threw muck all over the place. After a couple of hours of trying, even winching our truck as close to the boat to get a better angle, we had to give up. 


Thankfully our neighbor Will, who owns a car repair shop in town came to the rescue. He happened to be working on his house across the road that day and he used one of his pickup trucks, which used to be a tow truck in its former capacity, to pull our truck out of its mud hole. 


The aftermath!

We had purchased a sheet of ¾” plywood that was cut into various sizes, two pieces went on the floor under the gantry, and a long piece onto the floor in the main cabin to stiffen up the floor and some left over pieces were used for support brackets.  In addition we got five 4x4 posts in various lengths and a 2x4 for the support brackets for the track. The supports Benno made in various heights as they are placed throughout the cabin and outside on the deck to support the track where the motor, sitting on a platform, will slide through the boat. This all took some sweet time for Benno to construct. The track itself is made out of two 12 ft. lengths of 4x4 posts. The upper side on each post Benno planed with an electric hand planer to smoothen the surface for the platform to slide easier.


This is one of the support brackets

The track where the engine will slide on to the outside of the boat

Two pieces of plywood glued together will be the engine platform

Now hang on, the big moment will be imminent and we are watching the weather as well to get the big frontend loader with backhoe next to the boat to lift the engine down from the deck. Hopefully the lawn will survive. 


Thanks for dropping by and make sure to check in again to find out if everything went as planned.