In retrospect, I suppose this should have bothered me more. On the other hand, the boat seemed like a bargain and I suppose that I thought that a few non-trivial issues were to be expected.
When we launched a couple weeks back, I had a marine diesel guy come to give things a good once-over prior to departing Riverside, as I wanted a specialist to confirm prior to our departure that we were in good enough condition to make the short hop to Harbortown. Tim the diesel guy noted that the engine seemed to move around more than he'd expect to see it do and that when I stepped on the heat exchanger in entering and exiting the companionway that it settled down and was a lot quieter.
When I had him come take a further look last weekend he brought a large pry bar along and placed it against the fiberglass piece the engine is mounted to and applied pressure and it did in fact appear to be relatively soft and moveable. His conclusion: the engine should be removed, the old components cut away and rebuilt, and the engine reinstalled. I asked him if we were talking about a 4-hour job or a 40-hour job, and he said that it was more like 40 than 4. At $84 an hour. Bummer.
Worse: Tim was talking to me about rotten stringers. Oh man. That could conceivably condemn the whole boat.
On advice of our mentor and instructor, Cap'n Jack, I sought a second opinion from the guys in the yard at the marina. Howie's worst case estimate: 120 hours at $80 per. Whoa! Tim's $3360 sounds like a bargain now!
In the meantime, are we questioning yet what in world we are doing with all our friends back in Colorado and ourselves here trying to move onto a boat as old as we are with about 80 square feet per person and wobbly engine beds? You bet! What in the world are we doing?
But we remind ourselves of one of our guiding principles: if we are going to have regrets, we want to regret what we have done, not what we haven't. Well, if the boat sinks to the bottom and explodes like a scene from a B movie tomorrow, we've won on that one already. And really, what do we have at stake? Just money and stuff. And not much of either. It's not like we have any real problems. That's the joy of living with so little: so little to lose!
What to do? We'll let you know when we do. It will all be fine whatever happens, and we're looking forward to seeing what that is.