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Old 07-27-2017, 11:42 PM   #1
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Tinker Belle (formerly Sangria Nites) Heads Home!

In January of this year I purchased a 1973 Gulfstar 43 from a fellow Trawler Forum member (Thanks Victor!) in Galveston, TX. I live in Tennessee so I had some work to do to get her ready for the trip. I set about replacing every hose clamp (about $250 worth) and anything that contained rubber or a rubber seal on the boat. I added 2 Garmin chart plotters, radar and vesper AIS. Also repaired the windlass. All of this took a lot of time to study out and the logistics of commuting to Texas did not help my time line. Thanks to the knowledge on this forum, the work was fairly painless. I'm not new to boating but every new boat (new to me) has a learning curve.

During my first visit to the boat, I noticed both engines (Perkins 6.354 Turbo) were hard starting when they were cold. Once they started they ran great. I thought that maybe I would need to get the high pressure fuel pumps rebuilt at some point. As I was getting the boat ready for its journey back to Tennessee, I noticed that the port engine high pressure pump was leaking diesel into the bilge. Had the pump sent to a rebuilder in Houston (M&D Diesel) for diagnosis and eventual repair. Pump was in rough shape and needed rebuilt. Nothing appeared out of sorts with the starboard pump but considering I was getting ready to travel 1,500 miles in the boat, I sent the starboard pump to M&D Diesel for examination. That was a good decision since the starboard pump was in worse shape than the port pump. Getting the pumps rebuilt was about an 8 week process, but definitely worth the wait.
I'll be posting excerpts from my log of the trip in the next few days. I'm now in Mobile with limited bandwith so I'll need find a better connection in order to post pictures. Stay tuned....
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Old 07-28-2017, 05:49 AM   #2
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Looking forward to hear of the journey. Good luck.
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Old 07-28-2017, 06:37 AM   #3
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Welcome aboard and enjoy the trip!
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Old 07-28-2017, 07:40 AM   #4
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Best of luck to you, and also looking forward to hearing about your journey!
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Old 07-28-2017, 08:03 AM   #5
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Congratulations and welcome. We made the trip from Seabrook this spring. We're at Pickwick Lake now, headed to Nashville and Old Hickory Lake in a couple of weeks. Perhaps we can connect along the way.

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Old 07-28-2017, 08:35 AM   #6
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[QUOTE=Tink;577521]

During my first visit to the boat, I noticed both engines (Perkins 6.354 Turbo) were hard starting when they were cold. Once they started they ran great. I thought that maybe I would need to get the high pressure fuel pumps rebuilt at some point. As I was getting the boat ready for its journey back to Tennessee, I noticed that the port engine high pressure pump was leaking diesel into the bilge. Had the pump sent to a rebuilder in Houston (M&D Diesel) for diagnosis and eventual repair. Pump was in rough shape and needed rebuilt. Nothing appeared out of sorts with the starboard pump but considering I was getting ready to travel 1,500 miles in the boat, I sent the starboard pump to M&D Diesel for examination. That was a good decision since the starboard pump was in worse shape than the port pump. Getting the pumps rebuilt was about an 8 week process, but definitely worth the wait.
QUOTE]

Good to hear Tink.
Exactly the same when it came to fuel pumps on the Bad Monkey. Very expensive to do full rebuilds - but I hate fuel and oil leaks It is money well spent!
Surprised to hear your engines have turbo's. What hull number is the Tinker Bell?
If you are planning on an Exuma trip some day let us know ahead of time what your schedule is and we will hook up!
Hope the trip goes well. Sounds like you are prepared!
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Old 07-28-2017, 08:41 AM   #7
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Welcome to TF . We are also in Tennessee on Tn River at Paris Landing . Stop by if you have the time .
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Old 07-28-2017, 09:54 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone. I hope to see some of you along the way. Capstan, you are definitely an inspiration with all you have done with Bad Monkey. Hull number is GFS04354M73C.
The problem with the High Pressure Pumps is that when they go bad they can fill your crankcase with fuel. Can't be good for the engines. All is good now. Engines start with the click of the starter, first time, every time (so far anyway).
In an effort to eliminate bad fuel as a source of the high pressure pump issues, I drained the remaining 60 gallons of fuel that remained in the tank. The old fuel didnít look bad but I was not taking chances with my newly rebuilt pumps. Filled the boat with 300 gallons of fresh diesel from Pier 19 in Galveston ($2.10 per gallon on 6/20/2017).
On the way back from fueling I ran the boat up to 1,800 RPMís which is where the previous owner said he ran the boat at cruise. Starboard engine temp started to creep above 200 degrees. Debated taking the coolers off for cleaning but I knew that taking the coolers off the engine would add another week to my time in Galveston. Read on Trawler Forum about Barnacle Buster. Bought 2 gallons of concentrated barnacle buster, sucked it into the engines and let it sit 12 hours (overnight). Flushed it out and went for another cruise. Engines did not get above 165 degrees no matter the rpm. I love it when things work as advertised!
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Old 08-06-2017, 12:47 AM   #9
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Beginning to run out of excuses for not leaving Galveston. Really love the people on A dock at Galveston Yacht Basin. They treated me like family every time I was there. Those Texans are really great people!!! Thanks Ray and Witney, Richard and Vickie, John and Gayla, James and Becky, Victor, Gerald, Ben and last but not least, the Irb Superb, Irby.

6/25/2017 Left Galveston around 10:30 a.m. bound for Shell Island anchorage. Arrived Shell Island at 7 p.m. Dropped the hook just before a storm. Boat ran fantastic. Not a hiccup. Engines used no oil or coolant. Ran at 1,800 RPM all day. Very thankful to have my friend Richard on this first leg. Richard is a fellow boater and very knowledgeable about boat things and especially Garmin navigation. Cruised 75 miles. Photo of us passing Stingaree Marina on the Bolivar Peninsula Taken by my friends John and Gayla, owners of Rolling Stone. Another photo coming to Shell Island.
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Old 08-06-2017, 01:03 AM   #10
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6/26/2017 Left Shell Island at 6:30 a.m. Cruising to Shell Morgan today. 105 miles. Arrived at 6:30p.m. Purchased 120 Gallons of fuel @ $1.70. Using more fuel than I thought I would. Been running at 1800 rpm. Mt Friend Ray from Rhino calls Shell Morgan a resort. I can't quite agree but they did have a place to tie up and had CHEAP fuel... Judge for yourself if you think its resort material.
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Old 08-06-2017, 01:07 AM   #11
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6/27/2017 Left Shell Morgan headed to Houma, LA. Arrived Houma at 6:00 p.m. Richardís wife, Vickie was there to greet us. She drove over to Houma from Galveston to pick up Richard. Thank you Richard and Vickie.


6/28/2017-7/2/2017 Home to Tennessee
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Old 08-06-2017, 01:14 AM   #12
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7/3/2017 Left Houma with my friend Danny to get closer to Harvey Lock, find an anchorage and get an early start through New Orleans tomorrow. Arrived at Harvey at 4:00 p.m. Could not get into recommended anchorages because of depth/draft issues. Made decision to go on through New Orleans. Harvey Lock went smooth. 5 miles of Mississippi River went smooth. Industrial Lock was 2 hour wait and it was getting to be dusk. So we tied to the outside of the short wall of the Industrial lock for the night. A little noisy but at least we were safely tied. Itís amazing to think of the size and number of vessel traffic through the Industrial Lock. BTW, when you go through New Orleans you had better know and remember the bridge and lock names. Otherwise the bridge tenders will ignore you even if you are sitting 20 yards from their window. They are all business. They have to be considering what they deal with daily. Photo of where we tied up.
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Old 08-06-2017, 01:27 AM   #13
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This is a photo of the Florida Street Bridge in New Orleans. When you leave the Industrial Lock headed east, you will come to the Claiborne Street Bridge first, which my boat will clear closed. Can't clear the Florida Street bridge (obviously). I got these bridges mixed up when I exited the lock and had to wait about an hour to figure out that I was hailing the wrong bridge! Felt like an idiot. Fortunately I got over it...
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Old 08-06-2017, 01:35 AM   #14
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7/4/2017 Locked through Industrial Lock at 6:30 a.m. headed to Gulfport, MS. Mississippi Sound was a little rough, well a lot rough. Arrived at the small craft basin in Gulfport around 5:00 p.m.



Met fellow Trawler forum member Steve. Steve and his crew entertained us and allowed us eat dinner at their July 4th celebration. Fantastic people and great facilities. I was getting tired of ham sandwiches! Thank you Steve!
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Old 08-06-2017, 01:45 AM   #15
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7/5/2017 Headed for Dog River Marina in Mobile, Alabama. Mississippi Sound is still rough. Mobile bay is even worse. Made it to Dog River where I will take a little break, go home and go to the cardiologist for my yearly checkup. Iíll also lose my crew member Danny as he has to get back and tend to his business. Thanks Danny! Been running the boat at 1600 rpm. 1600 seems to be the sweet spot. Not gulping fuel any more. Still need to test a little more in the river system where there is not as much wind and current (hopefully). Arrived at Dog River Marina at 5:30 p.m. Took on 139 gallons of fuel at $2.37 per gallon. Fuel is getting more expensive but Iím burning less. Boat is safely tied and under cover. Learned that Sonny Middleton, who owned Dog River Marina, passed away in April. He was a good man and it was an honor to have known him. He will be missed.
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Old 08-09-2017, 07:56 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tink View Post
7/5/2017 Headed for Dog River Marina in Mobile, Alabama. Mississippi Sound is still rough. Mobile bay is even worse. Made it to Dog River where I will take a little break, go home and go to the cardiologist for my yearly checkup. Iíll also lose my crew member Danny as he has to get back and tend to his business. Thanks Danny! Been running the boat at 1600 rpm. 1600 seems to be the sweet spot. Not gulping fuel any more. Still need to test a little more in the river system where there is not as much wind and current (hopefully). Arrived at Dog River Marina at 5:30 p.m. Took on 139 gallons of fuel at $2.37 per gallon. Fuel is getting more expensive but Iím burning less. Boat is safely tied and under cover. Learned that Sonny Middleton, who owned Dog River Marina, passed away in April. He was a good man and it was an honor to have known him. He will be missed.
Hi Tink,
Just getting back to the forum and catching up. Looks like things have been going well. Thanks for the photos and updates.
1600rpm is where I run the old girl and she seems happy. 8 knots is what we seem to get on those revs. You have the 4 blade, the same as our props so you should get around that with clean props etc.
Sorry to hear about your friend.
Hope that checkup was a "all good" diagnosis and that you will be back to the boat soon.
Regards
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:01 AM   #17
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Tink: Ditto what Stan said, hope you're happily back behind the wheel again and please keep the updates coming. Interesting trip.

Tinkerbelle looks good, especially in that photo your friends took of you passing Stingaree Marina. She does appear to be digging-in a little. You were running at 1800 then, I guess, and your daily runs (assuming nautical miles traveled) indicate that 1800 pushes the 'Belle at around 8.75 knots - have I got that right? What do you think 1600 RPM delivers?
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Old 08-10-2017, 10:52 AM   #18
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Capstan, yes I have 4 blade props. Going in hospital for more stents tomorrow. If all goes well I'm planning to get back to the boat in a week or so. Hopefully get back to the boat and up the Tom Bigbee a ways before I have to deal with a hurricane.

Blissboat, I think you are correct about her digging in a little. I was at 1800 rpm @ 9 knots (according to GPS) when the photo was taken at Stingaree. 1600 gets me to 8 knots and she just feels better at that rpm. I know its subjective. I'm going to play around with engine speed more when I get to the river system.
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Old 08-11-2017, 06:00 AM   #19
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Great to see her enjoying the ride, as well as you! We're glad she's getting a great owner and new home. Love the updates!
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Old 08-12-2017, 02:10 PM   #20
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[QUOTE=Tink;581918]Capstan, yes I have 4 blade props. Going in hospital for more stents tomorrow. If all goes well I'm planning to get back to the boat in a week or so. Hopefully get back to the boat and up the Tom Bigbee a ways before I have to deal with a hurricane.

Tink, hope the procedure went well and you get to enjoy the boat again soon.
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