S/V Grizabella

Brain droppings of the boatstruck

Don't Call me Ishmael

Who: Anyone I can convince to come along with me
Port: Mathews, VA
01 March 2011
01 March 2011
01 March 2011
01 March 2011
01 March 2011
01 March 2011 | Henrico County, VA
26 January 2011 | Deltaville, VA
26 January 2011 | Richmond, VA
09 January 2011 | Deltaville, VA
14 December 2010
28 November 2010 | Mouth of the Piankatank River
21 October 2010
21 October 2010 | Mouth of the Piankatank River
12 October 2010 | Antipoison Creek/Little Bay, VA
16 September 2010 | Kinsale, VA to Mathews, VA
19 August 2010 | Western Henrico, Virginia

All Within Tolerances

01 March 2011
Good news on the crankshaft and cylinder bores.

I had an acquaintance with machinist tools and experience come over with his bore gauges and micrometers and we measured the cylinders and crank journals.

Everything is exactly on spec. So although the exterior of the engine looks pretty crappy, the inside is really in excellent condition. I believe the boat sat on the hard for a few years and even when it was in the water, I don't think it really got all that much use, except in more recent years. So although the engine is 27 years old and looked pretty crusty, inside it's quite clean.

A Little Exhausting Work

01 March 2011
The bolt that goes in this hole snapped off, so I had to drill it out (carefully!)

And here is the $64,000 question: is it supposed to go all the way through?

If not, it does now.

I later made a phone call to Moyer Marine and learned that, in fact, that hole is not supposed to go all the way through, but it shouldn't be the end of the world if I JB Weld a stud in there.

Let's Get Cranky!

01 March 2011
The work on the engine continued a week later on February 6.

I started in that section of the Moyer Manual that says you will end up with the crankshaft in your hands. Which I did.

First I pulled out the camshaft and lifters. Then came the pistons.

Then out came the crank main bearings:

It really was just that quick and easy.

Leaving me with a mostly nekkid block:

Everything looked to be in excellent condition. The only damage of any kind that I found was this small area in one of the crank main bearings:

Which evidently is caused by the engine lugging due to having too much propeller. I have purchased the Indigo 3-blade prop, which has gotten rave reviews.

The exhaust valves all had a big goiter of crud hanging off the heads:

A little brass wire wheel action took care of that.

I had to start somewhere with cleaning for repainting, so I figured I would just grab the starter motor. In order to properly clean and paint it, I had to separate the solenoid from the motor. Which is off the map, as far as the Moyer Manual goes. Here there be monsters!


01 March 2011
I call this picture "Four Singing Frogs."

Several of the water passages were completely plugged. And certain areas of the jacket (particularly behind cylinders 3 and 4) were packed with a stinky, greasy, gritty, cruddy gunk. YEcccchh.. I'm amazed any water at all could flow through the engine. This really makes the case for fresh water cooling, I think.

I poked a long, skinny screwdriver through the small holes and dug around to try to scrape out some of the gunk, and blew compressed air in there to blow it out.

I opened up those holes and it started to look slightly better. A lot of crud came out.

All in all, an extremely productive weekend...


01 March 2011
Sunday, January 30 - the work of disassembling the engine continued...
First I figured I'd lighten the load up a bit by removing the reversing gear housing and the reversing gear.

Once the cover is off, the whole reversing gear assembly lifts right out, leaving a big empty space at the back end of the oil pan.

I set the assembly aside in a box for safe keeping.

I borrowed one of my neighbor's engine stands and he helped me get the block mounted on the stand.

That made it much easier to remove the oil pan (that's a big heavy sucker, too!).

Which left the engine with a naked bottom!

The really nice thing about the engine stand is how it allows you to easily flip the engine over.

Which made it easy to remove the valves.

I ran out to WalMart and bought a bunch of cheap Glad containers to keep everything organized.

I'm also putting small parts (like all the nuts and bolts and stuff) into Ziploc bags and writing on them with a Sharpie to identify where they go.

Off with its head!

01 March 2011 | Henrico County, VA
So I'm finally getting around to updating the blog after pulling out Grizabella's Atomic 4.
After driving around with the engine in the back of my truck for two days, on the morning of January 29, I whacked together a quick little dolly for the engine to sit on and slid it down two 2x10s out of the truck and onto the dolly.

I previously had broken off one of the thermostat housing studs, so I started with getting that out. The other one had come out without too much fuss, but the broken one was being recalcitrant. I used my MAPP torch, applied copious quantities of Kroil (magic stuff, that), heated it again, etc., then grabbed the broken stud with vise grips, started twisting and ... it cracked and crumbled.

I finally managed to work the head loose enough that I could wiggle it slightly back and forth and gradually got it high enough that I could pivot it on that one remaining stud past the valves and spun it around until the stud came loose.

With the head finally removed, I took off the starter:

Took off the flywheel and flywheel housing, water jacket side cover, valve cover, distributor and water pump.

I scraped off the gasket remains and dug around in the various water passages, which were pretty full of crud. I was dismayed to find a couple passages completely blocked.

But overall, everything actually looks to be in excellent condition, considering it's a 27 year-old, raw water-cooled engine. But I think it spent several years on the hard and actually has not had a whole lot of use, relatively speaking.

Thankfully, the cylinders look to be in very good condition - no holes or anything!

Here's how it looked after a couple hours of disassembly:

And that's where the work stopped for the day...

Vessel Name: Grizabella
Vessel Make/Model: Pearson Wanderer 30
Hailing Port: Mathews, VA
Crew: Anyone I can convince to come along with me
About: Family, friends, acquaintances. No sailing experience necessary! (It hasn't stopped me).
Extra: I am a hard-core do-it-yourselfer. Woodworking, metalworking, carpentry, sheetrock, trim and finish work, plumbing, wiring, roofing. I've got more tools than brains. And unlike my brains sometimes, I actually know how to use the tools!
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Grizabella's Photos -

Don't Call me Ishmael

Who: Anyone I can convince to come along with me
Port: Mathews, VA