This was our 2013 Jayco Flight Swift 198 RD


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.


Monday 11 July 2022

The long awaited engine finally arrived

If you are interested in the ongoing saga of the boat engine we had ordered back last fall, it finally has come.

The spring delivery of the Beta Kubota Diesel Engine for our pocket trawler finally materialized. Last Thursday we were notified that the engine had arrived at the Toronto Pearson Airport. As we learned later, it had been here already a few days but paperwork had not been processed until then. Of course we sprang into action, because of the looming weekend traffic to Toronto and extra storage fees if not picked up hurried us up. Benno had wanted to rent an open utility trailer to pick it up and to bring it into his workshop, but on this short notice all rental places were out of them, so we went with our pickup truck early Friday morning to Toronto. The 401 Highway (a road like the interstate highways in the US) is always busy and on weekends people head out of town on to the 401 which could turn into a parking lot, so to speak. By golly, we were lucky to slip through in good time.


The distributor through which we are purchasing this engine gave us instructions where to go to pick up the shipment and we found it no problem. Actually it was good that we took the truck because the engine was packed well in a wooden box and mounted onto a pallet, was brought by a forklift from the warehouse and dropped onto our truck bed.  A utility trailer would have maybe not worked out so well.


Because we were underway just around noontime to head back home, we were avoiding most of the weekend traffic and encountered no delays. However the other direction of the highway was not so lucky and had long lines of congestion because there were reduced lanes because of road works and experienced a fair amount of some stop and go.


We were pulling off the highway in Tilbury for our homestretch to Leamington; and swung by a U-Haul rental place to inquire if they had a utility trailer. As luck would have it, they just got one and the people who just dropped it off were still standing in the office right in front of me. They were Americans and the utility trailer had a Texas license plate. It had come a long way here, but it was the right trailer just for us.


Beta Engines usually come in red & dark green color,
but a boat show special offered white paint at no extra cost
(we like white as any oil or diesel leak will be immediately spotted)

Back at home Benno opened the box to inspect our engine and then parked the truck and utility trailer for the night. Next morning Benno drove over to Paul, a friend in the neighborhood, who has an industrial type gantry at his large garage/workshop. No problem using that hoist to lift the just 364 pound engine off the truck. We then positioned the utility trailer under the hoist and positioned our moving dolly (a US Harbor Freight special) on the utility bed. Once the engine was lowered Benno secured it to the tie hooks of the trailer. 


Back at home Benno used our lawn tractor to maneuver the utility trailer in front of his workshop so the trailer gate lined up with the shop doorsill. It was then an easy job to roll the engine into the shop. Voila!


In the meantime Benno modified the wooden crate to a smaller configuration to fit through the boat’s door but a few parts have to be disconnected for the move. It will be a little while until the engine will see the inside of the boat, as there are few other jobs ahead of it.

Thanks for taking an interest in this endeavour and dropping in!

Tuesday 5 July 2022

The month of June catch-up

Has anyone been wondering what we have been doing during the month of June? Well, let me tell you the weather had been fantastic in my opinion. Blue sky every day, sunny and hot throughout with no rain, or I must have forgotten a light sprinkle because our lawn is brown and looks dead but I am sure it will eventually recover. So here is a little recap. The dogs and I have been on several walks every day around the neighborhood enjoying the outdoors.

Staying by the bridge

On one of our walks I pointed out the Heron further down the creek while Elsa and Reggy were looking down into the water from the bridge as they often do.


I told them to look for the bird at the far end

Zoomed in at the Heron

We visited the beach every so often and I watch for interesting ship or boat traffic on Lake Erie.


Always fun at the beach

Boats traffic

Most of our local bird population finished their breeding and we enjoyed the fledglings hopping around our yard following their moms for some morsels. 


One of the many chicks

I thought this butterfly was gorgeous

The neighboring Hike Metal has been fabricating more Coast Guard and other aluminum vessels and we can see them in various stages sitting outside in the yard when we drive by.


New Coast Guard boat and catamaran

Another Coast Guard vessel ready for sandblasting and paint

The town of Wheatley, which is adjacent to Leamington, held a town wide yard sale. We are a bit on the outskirts but thought we would participate anyway and put out some tables with our stuff at a crossroad close to Wheatley. Right early as we set up we had some customers and sold several items. Then it got a bit slow and that is when I took this photo and posted it in Facebook. Later on a few more things found new homes but we packed up in the afternoon. There will be for sure more opportunities so lighten our accumulation of treasures.


Some stuff found new owners

My sister and husband came for a weekend stay. They live in Mississauga, a good 3-1/2 hour drive each way and so we hosted them and they got to experience the camping life while overnighting in our travel trailer.  No photos as we were way too busy talking and forgot to take any.


The dog days of summer

Benno has been working in the engine compartment of the boat. That is, he is modifying the engine room/compartment and updating it for better serviceability. When it came to painting the lower area under the engine, I helped him out and did the job for him because I know how much he loves paining and the cramped position. It took three coats of white epoxy paint to cover the space. 


I am really not ready for photos!!

When you don't know your picture is being taken

Later Benno made aluminum channels that will house the wiring and cables so they will be neatly run and hidden from view and protected from fuel and oil spray during mishaps in the engine compartment. That job required also a trip to get the materials and lots of sawing, drilling and filing etc. The new diesel engine is still in a spring delivery timetable, but the promised May delivery is now slipping in to a July date. It can happen any day now Jwhen all is done there will be more photos. 


Benno is in his element

Oh, and the annual fish flies, or May flies as they are called came visiting. They come when the weather is hot and rise out of Lake Erie at night flying to any light source. The surprise is in the morning as they all sit in huge swarms all over the place, especially at lit windows etc. Thankfully they only live one day, don’t sting or do anything, and drop dead the next to be swept up and disposed of. Just a bit of a nuisance.


For comparison a quarter to show how big these fish flies are

On Canada Day our son, daughter-in-law, our three grandkids and their little dog “Dot” came for the weekend. They live in Grimsby, a 4+ hour drive with pitstops. The parents and our youngest grandkid got to enjoy the travel trailer while our two granddaughters stayed in the guestroom. What a wonderful visit we had and although I wasn’t sure about how the dogs would get along, they were good together, so in the future I needn’t worry.


Wheatley had a three day Fish Fest at the harbor with lots of activities and on Saturday we decided to visit the Market and watch the Tug of War across the harbor entrance. I took Elsa and Reggy to walk over. Hans, our youngest grandson, his mom and dad and Dot decided to take the car but had a bit of a walk from the parking lot to the site. That was a fun event and I took a video, but it’s too long for the blog. On Facebook I saw a video someone took of the Tug of War. Our son and I am can be seen on it as well as we were sitting at the edge of the quay wall. The team on our side won!


View of the other side of the harbour channel

Hans in the foreground and the guys are getting ready

Waiting for the start signal

The fun of tug of war
Look at those muscles. The other side had no chance!

Meanwhile the teenage girls decided they wanted to stay in the air-conditioned house playing with their electronic devices and skip the local festivities but I showed them my photos and video of the event just to rub in what they missed. 


I popped in unannounced

We are happy to got to host our family here in our house and hope everyone enjoyed it as much as we did. Now Benno and I have to eat up all the leftover food!


Thanks for dropping by again.