C'est la Vie is a 1966 Charlie Morgan 34.

Her home port is Everglades City, FL. Our typical cruising area is Southwest Florida, the Florida Keys, the Southeastern Atlantic Seaboard, and the Bahamas. We are C'est la Vie's third owners and purchased her in 2005. We continue to maintain and update this classic vessel. Please post any questions or comments about C'est la Vie or our travels via the comment links below.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

"You take the good. You take the bad. You take them both and there you have..."

Well the good news is midday on Saturday, I completed the engine installation.  Yup everything re-installed, re-wired, re-plumbed...

Here is a before image...
the starting point.
And the current image...
re-installation complete!
Feeling very satisfied with myself for completing the project and pleased with the results, I began to wipe down the area before moving on to re-installing the forward engine room  wall.

And this is when I discovered the bad news...
The oil spot on the right is from a 90 minute lunch break.  The spot under the engine is from overnight.  
The engine is leaking oil from the drain plug or hose connection under the oil pan.  It was not leaking outside the boat so  my best guess is that it was damaged during the re-install or alignment process.  The only way to access this area is to lift the engine off the beds.  AARRRGGGHHH!

It is difficult to express my frustration when I discovered the leak.  I've managed to calm down now, 32 hours after discovering the leak.  Other than drain the oil from the engine, I have yet to begin to address the issue.  Mike the mechanic is going to meet me at the boat first thing Monday morning.  My hope is that he has some way other than lifting the engine to address the leak.

Unable to bring myself to begin uninstalling the engine, I spent the day today re-fabricating the supports for the forward engine compartment cabinetry.  I discarded the old wood.  I am modifying the design and using starboard for the support members.  

Lower panel in place.  Upper panel hinged upward to expose sound proofing. Upper side panels have yet to be installed.

As the pieces fall back into place I am also adding sound proofing material to the inner surfaces.

More images from the project are available in the photo album - Haul Engine - fall 2012


  1. I know how that feels! It seems like right at the end of a big project you always have some bugs to work out. I hope the oil leak is easy to deduce and you get it fixed easily. Try to keep your head up, you're almost there.

  2. This is heartbreaking.

    It sure doesn't take much to cause a leak, and engine installations are fraught with opportunities for a large, very heavy object to bump into something. Because of the weight/inertia, even the slightest bump is almost certain to cause damage of some kind... I've never pulled/installed an engine in a boat, but I've done it plenty of times in cars. It's never easy.

    Good luck on the repair...


  3. Oh geesh! How frustrating. On the bright side your engine and engine room are looking great:D