Impeller Victory

So…unlike Andrew I’m still not sure what I think about this whole blogging thing. But I do believe in full transparency for the future owners of my new baby.  They better love her as much as I do, and keeping track this stuff should help. And my laptop just got back from repairs so I no longer have an excuse.


Today I won.  Today the manual lost to my magnificence.  Today I installed a new impeller. I fit in the engine compartment better than Andrew and my hands are tiny but tough.  The engine manual said that we would have to remove the whole raw/sea water pump to get to that space. But like I said, tiny but tough and I got that back plate off and with less than a cm of space slid the other one in. An action on some boats that takes thirty minutes took close to three hours between finding the correct parts, finding the dropped screws (very tight space!) getting in and out of the compartment while having stitches on the back of my thigh from surgery last week, and the gentle dance of tiny little pulls the space allowed on the broken impeller currently residing the in the space.  I needle nosed all the pieces out and puzzled them together to make sure we had all the pieces. And I got them all, cause fuck yeah, I allow no vagrant floaters to infect my engine.


So, the important part.

Dear future owners,

The impeller has to be changed out yearly.  It was done today September 8th 2018.

You will need:

  1. Metric wrenches, size 10. None of those cheaty side angle things will work, so you will need a whole set, which we will probably leave you because we aren’t monsters.
  2. Tiny hands, and a tiny body if possible.
  3. Spare part set.  Yanmar Parts Number 129470 – 42532 (and not the 1296… one we found in the spare parts box found on the boat when we moved in)  You should verify with the manufacturer anyway (for basically everything) and Mastry has that info that phone number is (727) 522-9471. The set should include the four rubbery bits, the impeller the o ring for the outside and two middle bits, they fit where they look like, and YouTube is helpful.  We also bought two extra spares, which is one year more than we planned on sailing. It will be in a labeled Target plastic bin, cause we love our boat and want you to, too.
  4. Angled needle nose pliers. Short handled unless you are into rewiring.  
  5. Silicone Grease Spray (I used a straw from a WD-40 bottle to actually get it into the space). Probably could use other silicone grease, non spray but that’s what I had
  6. Patience.  That back panel will come off, just lots of tiny turns, you can do it! And the old impeller will come out, just a little bit on each side in circles until you can get your hands around it. Don’t get over excited as it finally starts to pull out and put something (rag?) over the hole directly beneath the panel. This will save you from bruises as you use salad tongs and hang upside down trying to coax the parts back toward you.  Really beginning to hope Andrew doesn’t read these.
  7. A good flashlight.

Broken and sad old impeller    

Dirty but empty (pre-grease)

Fixed and all greased up impeller


  1. Close the sea cock first, and remember to open it after!  

Back to the important part.  I won and am presently happily drinking a victors glass of wine.  I rather like working on the engine and think that I will try to finagle all the engine work (we shall see if Andrew reads these, I’m not reading his, I’m living it and I got lots of good books).  I would like to say that I also got the grocery shopping done, and am still spending hours unpacking and cleaning, but they are far less interesting.


  1. Amazing work, you are far more technical than I could ever be! Talk about tight spaces – did you ever fully unfurl????

  2. Jazz, you are a great writer. I hold the flashlight while my neighbor fixes 1970’s Mercedes cars. Rust rains down on us. I love your impeller story. I ride a KTM off-road motorcycle so I know what it’s like to be trapped in tight spaces, when I crash in brush. Usually it’s when I fall over sideways because I stop, afraid to go over the next rock or wet root. Andrew told me about your trip during the Lib Buttenheim memorial service in Avon, CT. He told me what deep water experience you have. I have a 17 ft runabout and I stay close to shore, Boston Harbor, &c. I’ve been scared even in Buzzards Bay and Narraganset Bay. My fiberglass boat Shorty is, well, not too sea kindly in rough water. That 90 HP motor is a bit heavy in the back, bow up too high. — Doug Swain, Lincoln, MA

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