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2017-12-27

Getting a charge out of Christmas thanks to arch angles

A sort of star to guide a refitter in the very short days of December.

Another unconscionable gap between posts, but I have the excuse at least of plenty of paying work and plenty of work paid for. Behold welder/fabricator and fellow club member Andrew Barlow remedying an owner error of a solar arch with too little space to accommodate the backstays.
The scene of the scrim prior to the snows. My job, aside from design and disbursements, was to shield the welding from the wind gusts, which made the TIG job tricky.
Andrew, who is very good at what he does and, moreover, has access to equipment I do not, fabricated the engine hatch and the companionway door to my designs and has also reinforced the existing stainless steel solar panel arch with a couple of uprights and a cross-piece, again to my crude crayon-like drawings. I measure, he cuts (and then bends and welds). It's a good system, because he's far better at it than I am, having been a welder/millwright for decades.
The Cabin Boy is now a hairy, lofty teenager. My mission plan has long been adrift in time.
Speaking of decades, this refinement has been a long time coming. This shot was taken in 2009, when the arch was first constructed to the wrong design (mea culpa), but, to be fair, it would be a repower and a few more seasons before the error became obvious. The actual goal of a solar arch originated in 2008.
The idea was to have a bimini of silicon, not Sunbrella.
After the discovery that I had neglected to visualize the backstays' role in this scheme, refinement followed, necessitating both alterations and improvements in the form of reinforcement at the front and at the panel supports. 

What I lack in artistic ability I retain in measurement.
The two center panels stayed put. They were never "wrong"...the outer panels were.
The two uprights have oval ports underneath through which the solar panel conduit can be run.

The job started with me alarming myself by cutting two holes in the deck. "Alarming" because steel boat owners tend to avoid putting fresh holes in the plating: no good will come of it. In this case, however, it was unavoidable, because on one side, the new arch supporting pipes would route all the solar panel output wire runs, while on the other, the Morse cables for the second throttle/shifter would descend. Ah, yes, there's always more than meets the eye aboard Alchemy.
 
The two "doublers" which would form the base of the new support pipes and the means through which cables and wires would go below deck.
I needed a couple of dry days for this. The hole drilling I did after a round of measuring and taking out some insulation in the ceiling of the aft cabin.

The "reversed" traveller control lines have given no issues to date, by the way.
The welding of SS to the mild steel 10 gauge plate of the deck went quickly, although I was equally quick to lay down galvanizing paint on top and bottom to avoid rusting.

Yes, I know the binnacle box is beastly. It's heading for retirement in the spring once I migrate an instrument pod and other goodies up on deck.
The dry fitting of the forward support pipe, which, like all the other elements of the arch is not welded to the boat should it become necessary to remove all of it (it's held in with dimples and Allen bolts) revealed more bending was needed.
The cutting board made a good shield to keep welding bits from melting that beautiful Dyneema control line.
 So the correct bending was done.
The power of hydraulics compels you!
The man's a genius for freehand trimming.
This was about making the curving divots necessary to weld the top of the pipe to the existing arch.
Generally, because I'm paying for things I have insufficient skill to do, I try to be educated enough to anticipate what the job will need, so I can hand the right tools (F-clamps, vise-grips, spirit levels and rubber mallets for this job) or rig the right purchase when called upon to do so. In this case, rachet straps came in handy to keep the uprights under a bit of tension for the crosspiece, on which will be mounted plotters/displays/extension mics.
Behind is the big piece of panel I used to screen the welding from the wind-ing.
Almost all of this was done at twilight or later, as December closes down daylight too early in my opinion.
All the enlightment an ancient 75 W work lamp can cast.
The last fixes, done just before Christmas, were to extend the mounting plates and to reinforce them with welded in struts to take the outboard panels, which were stashed on the pilothouse roof for the operation.
The reason they wouldn't go here in the first place (for the curious) is that the boom and mainsail would shadow them too much.
Yep, welding in snow is a thing

Andrew got his Christmas tot for finishing this up under such trying conditions.

The second major job of the recent refittery involves the replacement of the Xantrex RS 2000 charger/inverter with a new Victron Multiplus 3000 charger/inverter, obtained from the capable staff of Ontario Battery Service. This was necessitated last summer by the failure of the Xantrex unit, which otherwise has continued to both charge and invert, to talk to its own control panel, which I tested at another installation and which worked properly. Basically, the network light on the Xantrex front is off and it's well out of warranty, meaning I can't get it fixed.

In addition, the size of the battery bank I actually ended up installing was nearly twice the size of the bank I anticipated having when I bought the Xantrex many boat shows ago. So, the loss of the network interface meant that while I could charge and invert, I couldn't tell if I was doing so to the factory defaults or to the last defaults I input from the control panel...well, short of clapping voltage meter leads on the batteries. I also could not equalize the batteries and this is an important part of getting maximum lifetime and charge cycles out of them, both of which are important for my wallet and my back, given the weight of the things.

So a new inverter was called for. After a fair bit of research, I chose the Victron. Those interested in why can peruse the link above, but it is considerably more flexible a device than the Xantrex was, and, as an inverter, can handle greater loads which my battery bank can supply. For instance, we can have heating and airconditioning at anchor, assuming a nice, full charge. Another aspect I like is that I can hook in a small genset (such as my Honda 2000) and the Victron can integrate it as a shorepower-like feed to ease the battery drawdown of typical inversion.

Lastly, it was considerably cheaper in 2017 and about 15 kilos lighter than the Xantrex of 2008, which was appealing to the skipper who does most of the lifting aboard. Now, being a prudent (read: cheap) sailor, I will open up the Xantrex and attempt to fix it; the network "card" could simply be loose or corroded or otherwise amenable to repair. If I can fix it, it can go forward to act as a charger/inverter there and to keep the windlass battery full. It's good to have options.
Hey, kids, it's Cap'n Sparkwell.

Removing the old charger involved some disconnection, of course, and some improv on the safety front to avoid bridging the fearsome 4/0 ga. battery leads. One does what one must to avoid accidental welding.
Holey moly.
I have several mounting holes to fill and cover in the head bulkhead, but I decided to improve the mounting with the use of nylon shoulder washers, aka "flanged bushings". I got a load from McMaster-Carr last year, and I like them for dissimilar metals or just better anti-chafe and load-distribution tasks.
The previous holes will need filling

The Victron, while not a featherweight, mounted perfectly on attempt number one, and through-bolting at its base it went easily. It is monitored in two ways and (mostly) controlled by one. The first is via a remote panel connected by a CAT 5 cable to the charger. There's a further refinement involving a shunt I will complete a little later.
Just the basics of how the charge is going and whether the inverter's needed.

The second way is via a network cable to USB "dongle". This allows, after the downloading of the appropriate software, to review a bewildering array of configuration and reporting options for the charger. Yes, I have downloaded the manual! This thing was designed by Dutch engineers and it shows in the documentation. Good thing I'm from the distant past.
Still life of dongle and Bluetooth speaker.
The reporting can be saved to a file or even broadcast via Wi-Fi to the net, allowing Victron service people to diagnose issues "live". I will never again need to wonder "are my batteries charged?" As long as I have a smartphone, that is.
Only some of the information the unit conveys to my little netbook. Gosh, I'd best be careful.
So, a busy time and much accomplished. The Toronto boat show approaches: more on that next post.
Damn right it's bulk.

















2017-11-09

A very moving process

Our agent, besides being an excellent dancer, is also a sailor.
I haven't posted in some time, as for some time, it's been a very busy time. Haulout happened, and with a dodgy repair on a cracked pipe stub, I was fairly cautious about driving the boat even the short distance from our dock to the sea wall for its bi-annual appointment with the concept of flight.
The stick is keeping the boat off the wall . The human is awaiting instructions as to the sling positioning.
Boats are supposed to have "sling marks", bits of tape or paint that indicate where the sling straps (as seen above) ideally go so that the boat is hoisted skyward in a more or less level attitude. The problem with the good ship Alchemy is that I am frequently in the course of our refitting moving fairly significant weigh forward, aft or , as was the case with about 200 kilos of lead shot in bags serving as "trim ballast" in the forepeak workshop, off.
The first attempt suggested my old sling marks had migrated. Photo (c) Frederick Peters
The effect as seen from the water seemed, at best, "bow down".

So we tried again.
The "level best" was eventually located
The reason for the migration of the sling marks was that, despite moving a large number of tools and line to the workshop, I also removed several surplus anchors stowed forward and took off the new 30 kilo SPADE anchor, as there's no persuasive reason why it should remain in place while the boat's cradled on the hard for the winter. The net effect was to raise the bow about seven centimetres, or about a finger's width above its waterline stripe. My old bits of tape were no longer in full effect. Any new bits of tape may also not be correct, if I get the windlass on deck sorted this winter.
An added wrinkle was that Alchemy, having a full keel, requires a "cinch belt" to keep the slings from sliding on the angled leading edge of the keel. But all (eventually) went more or less well, save that the full keel interfered with the sling belt removal more than usual...
Padding about the cradle in this case isn't sinister
...and involved some extra chunks of wood to both support the cradle's keel board and to make a space to draw through the sling. Some crunching of 4 x 4 meeting 16 tons of steel was heard, but she settled nicely.
Done. Onto the next one.
As can be seen, the weather was calm and bordering on warm, which was nice as I had spent the previous day on the club work boat with other stalwart members of the Mooring Committee doing tows and other haulout-related tasks.
Tight to get a ladder and a man of substance up here, but perfefect for those needed to walk to the next boat.
As can also be seen, it's a bit snug to get the boarding ladder up, but on the other hand, I can wedge mystelf most of the way to the top, at which point I can tie up before I tip over. Such is the life of the land-bound sailor.
I always like this angle. It looks...purposeful.
Three days after haulout, I learned from my nephews that my younger sister, Dany Dacey, had died in her sleep at age 54. While this was not unexpected as she had been on the decline from liver disease (and not the self-created kind, either), it still came as a blow, although her two sons, Sean and Ryan, both in their 20s, have been coping well, or as well as can be expected.
She was 19 here, in happier days.
She was very supportive of our plans, although she doubted she would live to see them realized. I am missing her very much. When we started this journey to journey, althought my mother had died, my father (the original sailor in the family) and sister were still alive. I'm now the last one. Certainly, the "do it now" notion is top of mind.

Which brings us back to the enigmatic "For Sale" sign that doesn't actually say that. It's for our Toronto house, in which we've lived for just over 19 years. It's a semi-detached, three-storey "Vic-brick built in 1900 and sits on a typically narrow (19 feet) lot that, thanks to the park directly behind it, has an unusually long (165 feet) lot for the middle of a city. There's also a large (18 by 22 feet and 12 feet high at the double doors) former brick stable being used as a garage, but as we don't own a car, it's full of boats, bikes and mancave appliance, including a radar I'm trying to fix.
 
Which is not the radar I think I'll be buying this winter. This one is.


The house has a great location. The park behind us has been a huge plus and even allows cooling breezes (thanks to dozens of transpiring trees) in the summer. An enclosed porch at the front keeps most of the traffic noise out of the house; we rarely hear the streetcars passing. If we weren't doing this trip, I'd probably live out my days here, but we are, and to be blunt, selling up, even if we buy a place elsewhere in Canada (save Vancouver) could convert a "five-year passage" to "just keep sailing". It will give us options simply renting it out while we are off sailing in search of the edges would not.

"Exclusive", as the sign says, means we're not having an open house and will instead attempt to sell it to a person or person(s) who will meet our (slightly discounted compared to the surrounding market) price with the intention of doing a full renovation, like every other house in our vicinity has undergone, the curious fashion in which one buys a Victorian style townhouse, guts it and turns it into a skylit, pot-lighted, vaguely Scandinavian art gallery. Putting on the open market, or "listing it", in the real estate jargon, would require about $20K of scraping, painting and plastering/drywalling to get it to a faux version of vaguely current. Also, cheap by chic furniture would have to be brought in to "stage it". Then 200 people tromp in. We and our tatty inherited glum furniture would have to be out...you can't live in a house that's been staged, because it must look as if the next owners already tastefully live there, not the grubby peasants selling up. There's no use in doing a cheap paintjob if the walls are getting replaced, particularly if we are still in residence and it's winter, so we're seeking someone who can picture the place gutted and who has the coin to redo it to her taste.

We are living, again, in interesting times. Next, a fresh round of welding things.

2017-09-21

Get lost

I can navigate like a pirate, you know.
Where in the world am I? There's only one correct answer, or, at least, one approximate answer, but the means to hand are varied. When I got a new plotter this spring with an internal GPS, one that seems to have no difficulty acquiring satellite data through the aluminum pilothouse roof (it's got no problem upgrading its own firmware as well once I pointed out the club's WiFi), I started to tally all the GPSes I had aboard.

I listed six at first:
  1. B&G chart plotter
  2. SH GX 2200 base VHF
  3. SH HX850 handheld VHF
  4. SH HX870 handheld VHF
  5. Elderly Magellen 315 handheld GPS
  6. Even more elderly Magellan Pioneer (the last two are devoted to the ditch bag)

Then I realized I wasn't adding properly.

I have two "puck" receivers for my OpenCPN-equipped netbook that, of course, makes it into a functional plotter. I also have a retired, but functional Raymarine 420 monochrome plotter and a GPS mount I could hook back up quickly.

I have a well-swung Ritchie Globemaster compass I use for steering at the pilothouse helm because it's more reactive than the GPS. I have an old but working fluxgate compass, a KVH AC103, that gives good heading.

Lastly, I have a Suunto Ambit 2.5 wrist-top computer equipped with GPS. Plus an old Windows phone (disabled at present because of my sad data plan) I could, in a pinch, activate.

Did I mention my lead line, hand-bearing compass (requires current charts and at least some confidence that one is sailing near the shoreline the chart encompasses). Not to mention three sextants? With current almanacs and a means to know the time in Greenwich, naturally. And I have a fairly good handle on steering by the stars, should the stars be visible.

So getting lost would require some effort. Nonetheless, it's one of my sailing goals.

2017-09-14

Well, that was an eventful month

Warning: This post is both multi-topical and heavy with photos.

Well, I haven't posted for a month, which is historically unusual. This was due to a series of events both fortunate and unfortunate. We went in mid-August twice for a few days away, which in this case involved visiting both friends in Frenchman's Bay and a trip across the lake to visit for the first time the scenic, if tourist-ridden town, of Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Frenchman's Bay was fun, if blustery. As seen above, we aren't usually subject to heel at dock, and a fender sacrificed itself on behalf of our paintjob. Crewman Lucas experienced warm if near-oceanic waves, and the lake ate his foolishly-taken-swimming sunglasses.
The next one ate his shades.
The trip back was fine, if (typical of Lake Ontario) the motor was needed were we to get back in time for dinner. I noticed I had passed the 25 hour engine run time mark, and realized I was supposed to change the transmission fluid for the first time. This wasn't recorded photographically, as it was mucky and I needed a third arm. About a litre of ATF (which looked brand-new) missed the bucket and ended up in the aft bilge. This will become important information later.
To the east of Toronto is a long artificial "spit" that's become quite a nature refuge. Also, it means a long diversion to the SW to get back into the harbour.
The high water May-end of July has receded from the club, but that hasn't discourged some unusual visitors. As I am frequently on the boat at odd times, like "middle of the weekdays" depending on my workflow, I see quite a bit of local wildlife not present at busier times. I think this fellow was a witness to the day I put in the new anchor.
Egrets, I've had a few.
A recent mid-week job was the addition of a keyed lock to the companionway door. Yes, I can see the slight gap between frame and lid. It's an easy fix that will happen over the winter. The point is that this door is now somewhat harder to break through.

I mean, a crowbar and a chain clipper will still do the job, but this is meant to discourage, not prevent.

Another trip on the weekend of the recently solar eclipse (70% partial over Lake Ontario) brought us to Niagara-on-the-Lake. We were told we were very lucky in our timing to get a spot on their wall as they were still in "recovery mode" from extensive flooding that had delayed their launch until late July. Their boatyard was still pretty full, suggesting that some people had just given up on the year, which was sad.

Evidence of damage was all over the place, as was evidence of circa four-knot current in the Niagara River. I made good use of our new sounder, and better use of the throttle. I wish I had been clearer on the "don't enter the docks area" warning, however, as it was a very tight turn or three to get out after I learned I was meant to go on the wall (bow to current). But we docked easily and had a good time in town and at the beach.
I'm just guessing here that the bottom drops off like a cliff right behind him. Just to the left are about three sailboats that were rafted up on an anchor, evidence of a big counter-current as they were pointed to the north shore.
The Monday of the eclipse was nearly calm and dead useless for sailing, but quite good for sextant work. The general effect of a partial eclipse (I've been under a few) is like high cirrus cloud: a generalized dimming, but there's no evidence of the moon's "bite" if you glance at it. That takes binoculars!

It begins!
What I choose to call "total partiality".
Lucas, after most reluctantly taking the wheel, because we have yet to install an autopilot and he is even less keen on helming than Mrs. Alchemy, took a break from that "torture" to wield his mother's sextant and check out the progress of the moon.
Sure, welder's glass is cheaper, but not nearly as seamanlike.
Now, during the voyage, the galley drains were acting up a bit and, well, not draining. We weren't sailing and therefore couldn't heel, and I wasn't sure if there was debris in there. In addition, there was a stuck inline valve of this type under the sink as well that wouldn't close. We got back and figuring it out went on the list of "things to check out and/or repair."
Like this and, upon reflection, not great for below-the-waterline use.
The next day, my club's Commodore, Don Weston, and myself went to check out the "Blue Barge" for a failure to start. Well, we got it going, all right, but discovered it either has a cracked block or a failed gasket between the manifold and the block. The first one is a lot worse than the second, which I could fix.
This old motor both propels the Blue Barge, which is used to shift the railcar wheel mooring bases in the mooring field, and, via a power take-off, pumps the hydraulics that work the crane (top of photo). It's a beast, but a useful one.

Hey, foreshadowing! No, seriously, this was bad. It's either an annoying fix or a "do we buy a diesel" fix.
I then had a nice lunch and debated going back to the boat for its 50 hour oil change. When I stepped aboard and opened the engine bay hatch. I was pretty shocked to see it largely filled with water. I was equally shocked to see about a foot of water in the salon.

Alchemy was sinking.

You'll have to excuse my lack of interest in recording photographically either the depth of the water or my robotic response to the crisis. The bilge pump was off, because I had spilled some ATF during the process of changing that fluid and didn't want to pollute my club's basin until I could swab it up by hand.

Well, I got over that instantly. The Rule 3700 worked (it was powered off a subpanel still above water I installed earlier in the year) and, despite being about a metre down gamely pump water up the new hose I had installed recently (I don't post every improvement I made, actually) threw it off the boat. I ran to the club office to get an AC powered "crash pump", a residential-grade sump pump and a length of hose we use for boats that have single, non-SS hose clamps in the head. It took about 20 minutes to get the water out of the engine bay sufficiently to reveal the problem: the galley drain through-hull pipe was weeping vigorously.

As the "crack" was below the seacock, turning it off was of limited use. Self-amalgamating tape was.

I was able to get down onto the slick stringers and hull and stop the leak with plumber's helper tape, or at least reduce it to a drip. Only then could I survey the damage. That's what's kept us busy since the 21st of August, frankly.
Another shot of Groundwater Zero. Yeah, that's all getting repainted shortly.
Firstly was discerning the cause or causes of the nearly fatal leak. The short answer is I can't tell untill we haul out. I arranged to have that done at Toronto Island Marina and to have a new section of pipe welded on at least this side via Andrew Barton, my fabricator and a fellow member at NYC. But that would have involved a tow as the engine suffered damage and the diesel supply was perhaps compromised. Andrew agreed to do the work (he has a day job on the Island and it would have been convenient for him) but suggested that if the tape was working and haulout was seven (now five) weeks away, I could bung a plug into the thru-hull opening and that and the tape should flood proof the boat until haulout and doing a series of weld jobs with Alchemy cradled.
Secondly, because I cannot at this point remove the seacock, I can't confirm what I suspect is the problem: that the pipe threads supporting the seacock seen above have fractured or otherwise cracked. I am not sure if the mechanical forces of attempting to turn the inline valve imparted a shearing force on the pipe stub; or, after 29 years, there was corrosion and it was just "its time"; or (my initial thought) there might have been galvanic corrosion as the boat next to me had had a jury-rigged garden-grade extension cord going to his race boat that I've found more than once in the water on my port side where this outlet is. I have yet to mount flat zincs directly on the hull and all the anodes are on the prop or the rudder. Clearly, that's moving up the list now.

Frankly, I can't point fingers. It could be a combination. I might not even know when we fix it (and its possibly suspect starboard side drain for the head) after haulout. But I'm paranoid now (and the bilge pump is permanently on "auto", the carp be damned, although most of the goo is out of the bilges now), and I'm down there most days. There's no new ingress of water. In fact, once the mopping up was done, the boat's really dry. Still, I bought one of these for myself and it and 25 feet of hose are at the ready should something of the same nature present itself to me again:
It's merely supplemental. The Rule 3700 can throw three times the amoutn overboard, but it will give me time to think and I can run it off the inverter if I must.
The Commodore is also keen on not seeing members' boats sink: apparently, the paperwork is horrendous, so as he had a few dive jobs scheduled, I offered to crew and he graciously offered to bung the offending pipe. The hope is that "bung plus tape plus vigilance" will keep us afloat until more permanent and presumably stronger steps can be taken.
Note the ramp and the diving ladder. The Commodore picked these attributes and they are damned handy.
The club's able workboat, Storm King, was lashed aside in the late morning (best light for this job). I  gave directions as to which hole to bung. I had purchased a special foam bung as seen on the right. Id clipped the end as I knew the interior diameter was 1.5 inches, but Don reported that too much of it would protrude to guarantee it would stay put. So that was put aside and a more traditional "tapered softwood bung" (on the left) was given to him. This was smacked into place and, I hope, will do the trick.
A tale of two bungs. Really, I think the one on the right is better pushing into a hole from the inside than the other way around.
Diving for bungs is less romantic than diving for pearls, and there's no use wearing nice shoes on a greasy boat.

The list of what was damaged is sort of good news, bad news: The new depthsounder is fine, but the starter motor was fried and gave only the "click/hum of death" when keyed. More on that below. Mercifully, the battery boxes worked as designed and the house bank was untouched by water. The interior carpet was wrecked (except for the head sole, which never got wet) and is gone. And the Nova Kool refrigeration compressor, a Danfoss BF35 unit, got wet and is non-functional. But really, these problems are dozens of hours and hundreds of dollars, not "fetch the salvage barge". It could have been much worse. Like "hurricane hole" worse.

What worse looks like.
As I had mentioned, I was on a mission when I discovered the flooding to change the oil as I had surpassed by six hours the recommended initial change interval of 50 hours. Well, I expected to find a 'grey milkshake' of watery oil and perhaps a need to do several kerosene flushes, as I had been done this road, sadly, before with a duff waterlift with the old Westerbeke W-52 engine pre-2011. But it appears that my new diesel's gaskets are still tight, because the "used" 50 hour crankcase oill was the colour of night, as it should have been. There was zero evidence of water. Same for the transmission fluid. In these respects, we got very lucky.
Healthy and black. The next oil change isn't until 350 hours on the clock. That's probably going to be in Halifax.
Back to the starter. The corrosion seen here was also evident on the starter battery and its associated cabling and fuses, some of which I can likely salvage. The battery was fully submerged, yet when I took it off the boat yesterday (we are going for a full paint job down there before water tanks go in), it still read 12.75 VDC. It's old (about six years) and I'm going to scrap it anyway in favour of a different setup; more on that later, but it's still impressive to me that it didn't completely discharge.


 
Yeah, not great. The good news was that I cut back that cable and the interior was perfect, suggesting that my power lug crimping and heatshrinking technique is pretty waterproof.
Back at the block, I took the starter off and figured out my next steps. As I found with July's farcical filter fiasco, it pays to do one's research. I learned a great deal about this starter: it's a common 12 VDC, 2KW nine-toothed CW starter used in a variety of Beta Marine diesels, namely the 43, 50 and 60 HP models. Meaning also that it's used in a variety of Kubota backhoes, diggers and tractors.

Now, I checked out the prices for this item from the English Beta Marine site. It goes for £164.95, or about $270 Canadian. Ouch. Still, she doesn't spin without it, which is a case for decompression levers, I suppose.
As above, so blown: That wire and plug is a 40 amp circuit going to the wiring harness and then to the key on the panel

So my first and somewhat cynical stop was the nearest Beta Marine parts dealer, Craig Morley, who advised me that as he would just have to order the thing from the main Beta parts dealer in Canada, out in British Columbia, I would do better to source it locally via a Kubota dealer. Thanks, Craig. You could have just sold me one and cost me a lot of money. You just went to first place in my "surveyor" list.

Just to cover my bases, however, I phoned B.C. and got a price for this Beta starter, which is actually a Kubota starter, which is actually a Denso starter. I was quoted a price of $1,700 Canadian. Plus shipping and this is a fairly chunky item. Yikes.
Before opening this up, I realized someone had been a touch lazy with the "Betatastic" paint job.

I called a Kubota dealer out by the airport. I was quoted $701 Canadian. Well, a grand better. Let's keep it up. Meanwhile, I poured out the water and dried off the guts. Craig had suggested the sooner I did that, the more likely I would be able to have it repaired.
The coils and brushes inside were cruddy, but the rest was easily cleaned.


So I did two things: 1) I ordered a new starter, minus the key circuit, which is a small mod, from the States. Cost to me? $264.32 U.S., including shipping. It arrives tomorrow. It will be, once modified, the spare starter and will be bagged and tagged to avoid this in the future. I was going to do that anyway...2) I took the drowned starter to a reputable local starter rebuilder place.

Unusually for my life, this was downtown and not in south Etobicoke or Mississauga. Most convenient!

They turned it around over the weekend, although with a new look; evidently, they paint everything they rebuild. Cost to me? $160 Canadian. Well, well.
NICE!
Being careful, I tried to tighten all the bolts. They were all tight. I am well-pleased.
About 20 minutes of reinstallation later, the engine started. Yay! Of course, because I don't yet know whether there's water in the keel tanks, I stopped the engine right away. But we're back, baby!

As a side task, and because I was swabbing out the forepeak workshop which took on some water via a limber hole I will keep plugged on passage, I emptied much of the forepeak, dried it out, and removed two surplus anchors and about 250 kilos of "trim ballast" in the form of lead shot in thick, taped-up plastic bags. This was orignally in place to keep the bow on its proper lines with a) different engine and b) two 100 gallon water tanks aft of the mast and c) a couple of Trojan T-105s as the house bank. Now there's a new 30 kilo anchor out in front, six L-16s under the mast, loads more tools and stores and the tanks, when they go in, will be smaller (probably about 400 litres over two tanks) plus the weight of a watermaker system. The effect was noticeable. And now my garage has a lot of scrap metal potential.

Having that bobstay/snubber plate proud of the water hasn't happened for some time. I like it.
Now, there is still a lot of trim ballast left in the form of several 50 kilo lead ingots on either side of the collision bulkhead. Plenty to move around as and if needed, but as I move gear/spares forward and stores lower, they may need further shifting.

The last significant damage was the fridge compressor. I have it disconnected at the moment as I have to replace some wires before I can determine if it just shorted (and I can find the fuse on the PDF I found of its wiring) or is shot.

You can see where the water went: that rusty four-screw terminal is the DC power hookup.
The "muffin fan" is easily replaced, but I have to do yoga to get two hands in here to finish the job. Fingers crossed, because it's a pretty effective unit and if we ran it at more than 2 out of 7, stuff in the fridge section would freeze, even on hot days. Also, they aren't cheap. So we'll see. I think I will reroute the DC supply above the base up that back wall (which is actually part of the bench seating over lockers) and put in an inline fuse suited to the 10 ga. that's supplying the compressor.
Worth saving, I hope.

Thanks for reading this tale of woe mitigated by less woe. This was bad, but not voyage-endangering.