Meeting with a Marine Insultant

Halifax was unable to solve all my problems. I found there neither a spare alternator nor a spare starter motor, and the engine fuel line hose I wanted could not be got locally nor, in a timely manner, from the manufacturer.

The first two issues have since been sorted, but what to do about Mo’s old, rubber fuel lines and their specialty fittings plagued me until yesterday, when I met Jerry.

At the time I was canvassing the yard for a local shop that could fill my order. Jerry was my third interviewee. He stood by the travel lift as a boat made its way into the water.

“What kind of engine have we?” he asked. Jerry wore a tweed flat cap. His accent was Irish.

“A Bukh,” I said. “Made in Denmark.”

“Ah, yes,” he said, knowingly. “Good little engine. Designed for lifeboats. Runs under all conditions, even inverted.”

“That, at least, I’ve not tried.”

“Nor recommended,” said Jerry. “But she’ll do it.”

Having found a knowledgeable source, I pressed on to my desire for new fuel lines and the issue of how to replicate the custom crimped ends on the engine’s difficult-to-jury-rig banjo fittings.

“Not hard at all,” said Jerry, “You just cut the f—kers off. Do it all the time. I presume you have a hack saw aboard that fine yacht of yours.”

I nodded.

Good.” he said. “I’ll be to your boat tomorrow at nine. I’ve got the hose. We’ll be done by noon.”

Close-up of Mo’s 1989 Bukh DV48 RME. Note the curved, cloth-covered fuel return lines. The vulnerability presented by these lines was not just that they were old, worn, and weeping; I had no spare hose of this size nor a strategy for attaching it.

At the appointed hour Jerry arrived. He handed me a business card, which I examined while he donned orange coveralls. His title, “Marine Insultant,” he explained as “awarded by a long line of satisfied customers.”

And then we dived right in.

Jerry sawing the crimped end from the fuel line’s banjo fitting. Care was needed to keep from cutting into the soft brass under the crimp.

I explained that I like to do my own work, but Jerry would have none of it. For one thing, I was too slow. “And you hold the hacksaw like a girl,” said Jerry.

The banjo fitting revealed. Finding the long, barbed tube below the crimped end was a relief as it provided lots of grab for the new hose.

Mo’s engine access is quite good, but that doesn’t mean everything is easily got at, and Jerry spent the better part of two hours achieving yoga poses difficult even for the limberest of Newfoundlanders.

Jerry attaching a hose to the injection pump.
New hoses in place. Not just the return lines, but the main leads too.

Jerry had another job calling him, so he wrapped up Mo’ project quickly. But when we stuck our heads out the companionway hatch, we found a cold rain had set in; so, we retired to the club for a quick lunch and hot coffee.

Jerry in his tweed cap with Alister, another club member. “In all the years I’ve known Jerry, I’ve never found a mechanical issue that stumped him,” says Alister.

9 Comments on “Meeting with a Marine Insultant

  1. Randall, Stephen Marshall Aboard OCEAN COWBUOY who is from St Johns knows Jerry and Alister. Say hello from
    Stephen who is in the Bra D’Or waiting to head for St Johns after the predicted southerly gale passes by this weekend July 14!! Small world!!

  2. Glad you connected with Jerry. Quite possibly the finest marine insultant you’ll ever meet.

  3. Go, JERRY! Hacksaw the suckers, yeah! Lovely outside the box thinking.

  4. We have the 42 foot version of Mo, a Ted Brewer one off. The engine is completely accessible, just not while you’re upright.

    The blood has to be rushing to your head!!!

  5. Reading caption in my in-box, spotted typo immediately, shrugged it off as such. enjoyed the humor as my smile widened as I read on. Thanks for the post.

  6. Is the Jerry fella from Ireland or does he just have that unique Newfoundland New World accent that’s laced with an Irish twang? I’d the pleasure of visiting St John’s in 2007 with the Irish Naval’s service and couldn’t get over the similarities.

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