Copyright (c) Marc Dacey/Dark Star Media 2006-2020. Above photo (c) Marc Dacey. Powered by Blogger.


From flipping lids to downing hatches

Today, as they say, was a good day. Beset by the need to make money to support my boat addiction, plus the fact that I have customarily shared the parenting duties with a formerly working and currently school-attending spouse, I have not always worked to a schedule when it comes to the boat, and have certainly not advanced as rapidly as I would have wished.

The fact that the URL of this blog starts with "alchemy2009" is mute testament to my molasses-like progress.

Part of this slowness is due to my own ignorance on how best to do boat jobs, or even how to do them at all. I find that it pains me to admit it now, but my high school years might have profited me more with less chasing skirt and more taking shop. I'm handy, or handier than I thought I was, but I simply lack the experience of doing jobs in an efficient manner. I don't have a "manner" to contrast it against.

Still, I learn and absorb and carry a stupid amount of information in my head. Bursts of activity occur (followed or preceded at times by bursting wallet contents). Today I finally got the new engine down the hole.

Said hole
Said hole required temporary clamping of 2 x 4s over the now-bare engine stringer mounting bits (the "motor mounts" will go in later). Easy peasy, this bit. Note freshly galvanized paint areas. More will be done in warmer weather.

You can see your face in it, but it's not that great a mirror

The engine, tarped, tarped and tarped again against the elements on the foredeck for too long, is still shiny. Ooh, shiny.

I am a jealous god.

Revealed, it's practically modern art. It exudes raw industrial-grade purposefulness. It squats like a barbaric deity, or a sort of mechanical toad, the sort capable of taking you on a memorable trip. Mmm, toad.

That pallet has a lot of salvageable wood it in, include long carriage bolts as mounts.And thus the noted cheapness of the prospective cruiser manifests in the same picture as a five-figure diesel toad god.

Jeff practising the oblong discus throw. Note the author's crappy bike trailer and feeble "don't kill me, SUV lady!" flag

An example of doing things the hard way is how I used to lift off the pilothouse roof only to stash it on the deck, "in case it rained". A better solution is to put it on the flippin' ground while you futz around with the load to be placed oh-so-gently below.

Whither a sawhorse, or lengths of lumber?

This is my friend and fellow boater Jeff Cooper doing his Superman routine. Actually, thanks to the expert manipulation of Henry Piersig, who is not only surgeon-like in his ability to work a crane, but is also my club's Commodore three years running, we clipped along quite efficiently. Everything was done in about one hour, and the weather, while usually warm for right after a snowfall, was calm in wind and bright in sun. Bit slippery on deck, is all. Thanks very much to Jeff and Henry for their skills, speed and helpful suggestions.

Something quite similar to my club's "Polecat Crane Truck", a Very Useful Piece of Equipment

My one bright idea of the day was to bring handheld radios so we could advise Henry on "one inch, one inch more...STOP!" Very handy, that was. Even given that if Henry can play darts like he can place a crane hook at full boom extension, and out of visible range, I'm going to owe him more pints than I already do.

Welcome to the Melanoma Deck, S/V Box o' Tools
As I said, not raining and 8C on January 31st. The sounds were "up, up", accompanied by the constant sluicing of meltwater, and the grumbling of a truck diesel that probably thought it was going to be recycled into Chinese cookware by now. Oh, blown ring, rust-speckled Polecat, I still think you're great!


The actual set-down was a little iffy as it looks as if that honking ZF25 hydraulic transmission wants to crunch a transverse support. So Jeff, who dove down the hole voluntarily, blocked up the engine to keep it from being damaged until I can raise it and get measuring. Which I will do anyway as there is welding to get down back there for the thrust bearing/Aquadrive/PSS/shorted shaft assembly.

Nonetheless, in general dimension, if not exact final Place of Great Functioning, the new diesel fits quite well. I think it's smaller than Ye Olde Westerbroke that it has replaced. It's certainly lighter, while being "eight horses" more lusty. I think I will call it "The Red Lusttoad". No, wait. That's an anagram for "The Led Rusttoad", and that sounds unchancy. Sailors and their superstitions!

I will be leaving these shackles on for the moment, Mr. Bond.
The engine will require a gantry of sorts to be built so that it can be raised and lowered easily in order to position the mounts, move it fore and aft as needed and to get a fellow and his welding gear down there, not to mention the new tanks.

The perhaps-overthought gantry started looking like this:

...and currently looks like this:

I need more stability or a second beam to keep those triangles from wobble or shift. I wanted something collapsable that I could stow and bring with me, but I may just have something welded. I judge that there is insufficient strength to run a beam across the pilothouse roof without possibly flexing the structure, which could break the windows, so I prefer to work entirely inside. More on this to come.

The restoration was straightforward. I updated the tarps (lots of rain is coming), cleaned up, disposed of disposables and admired the (fractionally) new view forward.

The engineless foredeck is a nice change, no?

Yes, a good day, indeed. Thanks for everything, Henry and Jeff, and to Mr. M. Bird for getting me the proper lifting eye, which, aye, lifted.


222 said...

I am so envious of your new engine.

Very nice engine housing or whatever you call it.
Nice and accessible.

Great pics.
I need to read your blog more.
I had to keep myself in denial about water world to get through this year but am waking up now.

Rhys said...

I am pleased that it's cleaner, more powerful and yet fractionally smaller than its predecessor.

I call it "the engine bay". Inside that space is enough room for engine, hot water tank, 4 x 50 gallon water tanks, assorted plumbing, oil and fuel filters, and a load of netting to confine light, bulky stuff like extra boathooks, fenders, lifevests and suchlike. I'm moving the batteries under the saloon stairs for ease of access and better weight distribution. This will mean a fair bit of carpentry and serious locking down of the battery boxes.

Congratulations. Very few women remark on the easy-access engine bay. Very few men fail to remark on it.

The downside is that it's a "pass-over", not a "walk around", so the boat's divided into aftcabin (downstairs), pilothouse (upstairs), saloon (downstairs) and forepeak workshop (downstairs behind a steel bulkhead). Throw in "more upstairs" to reach the aft sailing helm, and it's easy to get lost on this could be five feet away and completely out of sight.

Good luck with rehydrating in Water World.