Okay, I have gotten to page 11, and I feel a little better, a little wiser, and a little less agnostic.... there seems to be a little bit of intervention going on. But then sometimes I know there isn't (stories we'll never read) so I am back to where I started. Thanks to all, especially Charlie for starting the thread, Sabreman for copious contributions.
I will add my bonehead sequel now. The "move" was not making a thorough inspection of the 9.9 after the afore-reported close encounters of the bridge kind, perhaps submitting to a professional. Circumstance made that inconvenient at best and, hey, the motor, er... engine, worked.
The plan was to sail north from Jones Inlet, LI to New Bedford in 5 days including overnight sailing. We started on a reliable sea breeze, made Fire Island inlet buoy by dusk, switched to tacking into a NNE breeze, revisiting the FIE buoy a couple times. The decision by the captain to douse the sails and motor is approved by the crew. We motor through the night, clear skies, shooting stars, a little queasy as the seas are from the SE and when I don't control the yaw with the tiller one feels not so good...
6pm presents the option of Shinnecock Inlet for good night's rest. We enter, refuel, anchor an sleep, ready to leave at 6 a.m. planning to motor against a 15kn NE breeze and refuel at Montauk if necessary or simply sail north to Block Is. Exiting the inlet is a Galloping Gertie but we can see the waves and they ease up once in deeper water, we settle in.
Suddenly, it is curious how they do this very quickly without fanfare, it is very quiet, well, we can now hear the wind in the rigging, the white caps and the shore surf crashing. The Captain orders the sails raised, main with storm jib, and assigns his faithful son to take the helm.
I gather me tools, milady braces herself at the fuel well, tools in sweatshirt pouch, I incorporate myself into the stern rail, raise the engine, and proceed to investigate the situation.
Suddenly the jib sheet is flapping , the block having broken loose from its track mount. I return the tools, get out my well organized tray box of bits and install a screw and lock nut to resecure the block. While I am doing this the block that runs on the mainsheet track breaks through the track and is now teathered by the little skinny keeper lines stuck in the little cleats byt e little knots in the ends of the line. With jib sheet re-secured, I rig a secondary traveller line with shackle and secure the main sheet block to that and regain control.
Returning to the engine, I discover the cracked spark plug, but am frustrated that replacing the plugs draws no response from the engine... not even a thank you. I check for spark and get nothing, so I proceed to change the power pack (had two spares), but could not get adequate access to the lower bolt what with the pitching and rolling and not quite the right combination of tooling to do it effectively.
We turned back to Shinnecock Inlet and sailed her right back to the anchorage of the night before (down wind of the fishing vessels). My son crashed in the V Berth, milady got a book to read, ready to assist, and I spent three hours slowly backing out that bolt, replaced the power pack, the spark plug boots (learned how to make them up from the kit) and after three hours of careful methodical, not dropping anything into the bay, the engine started. After that it would not start hot, so refueling became nightmarish. Refilling a near empty tank was fine, but topping off left us unable to move off in tight quarters.
That night (11pm) we motored out at slack water, made Lake Montauk with a couple gals left, and then headed slowly to Block Island.
Our last day was classic, we caught the fair current all the way into New Bedford Harbor, under sail until we approached the hurricane barrier.
Now, with the right OE spark plugs and OE (as well as used) power pack, she starts up at our command and not only when it suits her.
We are looking forward to a less boneheaded season.... but I am afraid that may require a visit to the guillotine.
Irishskipper - I was thinking about just that sort of sounding method as I loaded my batteries on board.
ChucklesR - So that's why there's two boat hooks on the boat... my Dad was pretty smart.
Vivacity 24 twin keel
Johnson O/B 9.9