I bought the Anita Mae this past Spring, she’s now called the Merryman. She had been used lightly for the past 10 years down in the Rapahannock. I brought her up the Bay to Baltimore and have used her a lot. If the former owner put 700 hours on her in 10 years, I’ve put 250-300 hours on her this Summer. The increased usage of the boat every day caused a few things to happen and the Cat 3208 began run badly to the point that it could not run reliably.

This became a real problem when I was taking a trip to Annapolis and the engine quit as I left the Patapsco and entered the Bay.  It restarted, ran for about 30 seconds, and quit. The former owner had backups of everything, so I changed the fuel water filter and the fuel filter. I cracked the nuts on the head and primed the engine. It ran again for 30 seconds and quit. Big problem.

Merryman off Tilghman Island, August 4, 2018.

I’m now a huge a fan of my BoatUS insurance that includes unlimited towing. TowBoat arrived, and an hour and a half later I was back to Baltimore.  Being on the the Anita Mae at 7 knots in total silence was a very strange experience.

So of course I did my research and figured the fuel injected was toast. This is like having shortness of breath and using the internet to diagnose the need for new lungs. I was wrong.  I put out a request on Facebook and was referred to Ryan Earls. Over the phone, I suggested the engine had a big problem, and Ryan basically said – it’s usually a bunch of simple things and not to worry.

He’s a busy guy, however Ryan fit me into his schedule on a Sunday morning, and arrived at 8am from the Eastern Shore. Ryan is a CAT expert. This is what he found and did:

  • Belts were all loose. He took the backup belts (that came with the boat), replaced the old ones and tightened up the belts overall.
  • The fuel water separator had a vacuum caused by a blockage, that when combined with a missing bolt on my primer pump had air leaking into the system. This was the primary issue with the engine failing after 30 seconds.
  • He replaced the bolt on the primer and tightened it up.
  • He cleaned and resolved the blockage in the fuel water separator.
  • He lowered my idle to a better level
  • Checked the alternator and batteries
  • Went over the engine with me

Basically, he tuned it up and it’s running very well. He was more than fair with his time and overall a great guy. I’d highly recommend Ryan Earls to anyone needed CAT Diesel work.

Ryan Earls
419-829-1176 call or text
Mid Shore Diesel

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