And, just like that (poof!), goodbye $14,000 …

Yep. You read that right. Today, we spent $14,000.

On what, you might ask? Well …. we’re going to be putting a new engine into Mosaic!

Sadly, $14,000 is only the downpayment. HA! The grand total for the project is expected to run us about twice that.

Soooo, yeah. If you’ve been following along for a bit, you know that we spent a good $50,000+ last year and this spring on the boat getting her ready to leave Portland and move up here to the Puget Sound to start cruising. That being the case, we were REALLY hoping that the existing, original, diesel engine would last us a while. Unfortunately, we had a professional give us the news in August that it seemed the engine was on it’s last leg. We also have been starting to notice that the engine just sounds weaker lately, definitely not instilling a ton of confidence for us.

So, knowing that we would need to replace the engine, we are opting to bite that bullet and just get it over with.

We didn’t want to struggle forward with a tired engine and have it potentially die on us next summer and lose a good chunk (or all of) the cruising season. Also, we didn’t want to wait and potentially be looking at putting in a new engine shortly before leaving for international cruising. We want to replace the engine and then have some time to break it in and really get to know the new engine before we go offshore and international.

Considerations When Choosing a New Engine for Our Boat

It would be impossible to list everything that crossed our minds when discussing what type, size, and brand of engine we wanted to put into Mosaic. But, here are the big points:

  • Horsepower: The existing engine in Mosaic is a 40 horsepower Pisces diesel engine. It’s a marinized Isuzu forklift engine block. We discussed whether we should or needed to increase our horsepower in the new engine. We’ve never felt underpowered with the existing engine, but, to be fair, we’ve never been out in really adverse conditions fighting a heavy wind on the bow or anything like that. We considered increasing to a mid-40s, possibly 50 or even 60HP engine but, ultimately, after discussing the options with the yard that will be doing the work (whom we trust based on our research and discussion with them), we’ve decided to stick with the 40 horsepower size.
  • Type: We briefly considered converting to an electric engine. There’s a lot that intrigues us about the possibility of an electric engine on a sailboat, but we ultimately dismissed the idea as not best for us at this point. We’ll be sticking with diesel.
  • Brand: Brenden was enamored with the idea of getting a Betamarine. He doesn’t even really know why, but he really thought we’d be going with a Betamarine. Something about the shiny red engine was pulling at his heartstrings. But, again after discussing the options with the yard, and looking at delivery times, etc. on the different options, we’ve chosen to purchase a Yanmar engine.

So, there you have it. The new engine that we’ll be putting into Mosaic will be a 40HP Yanmar diesel engine. We’re scheduled back into Port Townsend on November 4th to begin the engine replacement. We’ll be having the work done by the Port Townsend Shipwright’s Co-Op based out of the Port of Port Townsend’s Boat Haven marina. We’ve heard LOTS of great reviews of this organization and are excited and hopeful about working with them. They tell us the project will take 3 weeks.

Looking for Housing Options in Port Townsend for November 😉

Fisherman Bay on Lopez Island

Fisherman Bay on Lopez Island

So, update on our plans. We’re paid up here at the Islander Resort & Marina in Fisherman Bay on Lopez Island in the San Juans through the end of September. Most likely, we will keep this slip for all of October, as well. We’re into the winter season for marinas and resorts in the Puget Sound and our liveaboard slip here at this marina is just $500 for the whole month (as opposed to an average of $40-$60 per night if moving around and paying for a marina on a nightly basis).

Brenden’s parents will be coming up to visit us in the San Juans in early October. Then, toward the end of October, we’ll need to be watching for a good weather window to jump back across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to get back into Port Townsend for the engine work.

Looking forward to November 4th and the subsequent 3 weeks while the boat is in the yard being worked on, we will NOT be able to stay on the boat in that time. I don’t know if it would have been allowed by the yard, but having the kids in that environment and having to be able to work as well, it is simply not feasible to even ask about living on the boat during that time.

I’ve been putting the word out and trying to find somebody that might need a petsit or a housesit during that period in Port Townsend or nearby. We want to be able to stay in the area in order for Brenden to be able to help with some of the work (saving money and earning more knowledge of the new engine systems), plus we just want to be nearby to be able to keep an eye on the project as a whole. In our experience, boatyards do not stick to the promised timeline, so we would like to be present to help ensure things keep moving along in a timely fashion.

If we can’t find somewhere to stay for free (housesit or petsit would be a win-win for both parties! Come on, what’s not to love about that!?), we could, of course, head back down to the Vancouver area and stay with family during that time, but that would be less than ideal because, again, we really want to be here to monitor the project. We could also see about renting some place for the month of November, but couldn’t afford the regular vacation-type pricing of most hotels or airbnb’s or whatnot at $100+ per night. That’s just not gonna fly with our budget.

Do you have any ideas that I haven’t considered for housing for our family in November? Or leads for house or pet sitting in Port Townsend in that time? I would LOVE to hear from you! I have years and years of pet- and house-sitting experience, and in fact, even owned my own pet sitting business before moving onto Mosaic.

Well, that’s about it for the update on our current plans. We’d love to hear from you if you’ve got suggestions, advice, or comments on any of this! Thanks and cheers!! ~Rachel

Sunset at Fisherman Bay on Lopez Island

Sunset at Fisherman Bay on Lopez Island

5 thoughts on “And, just like that (poof!), goodbye $14,000 …

  1. We just stayed in Port Townsend for 3 weeks on the hard with our 5 kids. It wasn’t easy but possible. Using the bathroom and cooking were the hardest thing since you can’t use water on the hard. Plus, going up and down the ladder just to go potty was really tiresome.
    Showers, Safeway and McDonalds are within walking distance. I just made sure I got the kids out of the boat and yard everyday. Rain or shine. Good luck!


    • Well, that is encouraging. We’re not so much worried about the living on the hard part, though I’m sure that would be difficult, but that they’ll be ripping out the old engine and putting the new one in, etc. and that’s all located under our companionway which is our only means in and out of the boat. Plus Brenden and I both work from the boat and having that noise in the background during work hours wouldn’t work. 😦 What kind of boat do you guys have? What work did you get done recently in PT? 🙂 ~Rachel


  2. Pingback: Heading to Port Townsend 3 Weeks Ahead of Schedule | Mosaic Voyage

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