We knew the day would come when something would go wrong and cause us to stop.  It was unrealistic to think it would never happen.  One of the definitions of "Cruising" is " Going to exotic places and fixing your boat." 

It all started with an innocent fuel transfer.  We have 4 different fuel tanks.  Which is a great thing!!.  Each fuel tank has enough fuel to run the boat for over 24 hours non stop.  We only pull fuel out of the starboard tank, which when full, can run the boat for 48 hours non stop (About 65 gallons).  Although we rarely run for more than 10 hours a day, so that is 4 days of non stop travel, which at a low estimate of 6 knots, is a long way.

Anyhow, we only pull out of one tank to the engine, so when we move fuel from any of the other three tanks into our "Use" tank, it goes through a fuel filter and water separator.  Dirty fuel and water in your fuel are probably responsible for 90% of all desiel engine problems.  So our fuel gets multiple filter runs before it ever gets to the engine.

So we were transferring fuel from the port to the starboard tank.  When we were done, the Chief Engineer forgot to switch the valve back to the "Use" tank.  So we motored off using the little bits that were left in the port tank.  we made it to our anchorage, which was only an hour away.  That night the Generator stopped working.  At the time, we didn't realize it was out of fuel.  They usually don't run when there was no fuel.  It did flash a fault code, that when looked up said"Shut down reason Unknown".  Thanks for that.  

So the next morning we were motoring a short distance to get out of some strong winds that were building and coming from a bad direction for the current anchorage.  We got the anchor up and 5 minutes later the main engine shut down.

This is when the adrenaline kicks in and everything seems to happen in slow motion.  Drop anchor or put up sail???  I decided anchor, could always sail later if need be.

I checked out the engine and quickly realized it was out of fuel, so I tried to bead the engine (get air bubbles out of the fuel lines).  The engines don't like that.  I was thinking that maybe the transferring process had gotten air into the lines.  

But nothing was happening.  No fuel was getting through.  So I followed fuel lines to look for a break and then found my switch in the wrong place.  Easy fix!!!!  A relief.  Switch the valve, bleed out the air, and presto, back in business.

Then the fun really began.  As I started to bleed out the system, I turned a nut and had that supper sinking feeling as I turned the nut that it was not right.  It didn't turn right as I loosened it.  The threads were stripped.  Now I wouldn't be able to tighten it back on, so the engine was now down for the count, unless I could get the stripped part fixed.  It was a compression fitting for a copper line that ran from the secondary fuel filter (yes, filtering fuel is important) to the high pressure pump.  I did NOT have another compression fitting that fit this line.  Not the adrenaline really was kicking in.  Mind going 100 miles per hour.  Do I give up and sail to a safe harbor and look for a mechanic?  We are in a part of the world were there are no hardware stores, not parts stores, etc...  I couldn't use the copper wire that was there, so I removed that and looked for a replacement hose.  I had spare fuel hose and lots of adapters, I was able to connect one end of the hose for the copper, but the end of the pipe that fit into the high pressure fuel pump is a unique thread of some kind that I did not have.  However, the hose fit over the threads of the old compression fitting that was stripped, and with an O clamp, is tight as can be, and does not leak!!!  engine fixed.   Just had to hope there was enough juice in the battery to bead out the engine and start it up.  All is now good. 

I went to bed early that night and slept really well.  Felt like I had just completed final exams and played in a championship game of some sort.  Totally exhausted.

In the left picture, the arrow on the right shows where the "O" clamp is on the compression threaded barb, and the left arrow shows the new fuel line.  The two orange round things are the secondary fuel filters.

Picture on the right is how it use to look, with the curly copper pipe.  It curls around because the in and out for the pipe do not line up nicely and you can't do tight bends in the copper pipe.

Generator also fired right up as well. 

P.S. The chief engineer has been fired.  The position is now available.