Kaimusailing

s/v Kaimu Wharram Catamaran

Vessel Name: Kaimu
Vessel Make/Model: Wharram Custom
Hailing Port: Norwalk, CT
Crew: Andy and the Kaimu Crew
About: Sailors in the Baltimore, Annapolis, DC area.
16 May 2019 | St Marys, GA
07 May 2019 | St Marys, GA
02 May 2019 | St Marys, GA
27 April 2019 | St Marys, GA
20 April 2019 | St Marys, GA
18 April 2019 | St Marys, GA
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30 March 2019 | St Marys, GA
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09 March 2019 | St Marys, GA
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23 February 2019 | St Marys, GA
20 February 2019 | St Marys, GA
15 February 2019 | St Marys, GA
12 February 2019 | St Marys, GA
08 February 2019 | St Marys, GA
02 February 2019 | St Marys, GA
Recent Blog Posts
16 May 2019 | St Marys, GA

I Fid You Not

I was using the Lehr propane outboard to commute back and forth from Kaimu anchored in the North River Marsh and the boatyard. It was not a long distance and one of my objectives is to break in the rebuilt outboard, so I take a longer route, zig zagging around anchored boats, varying the outboard’s [...]

07 May 2019 | St Marys, GA

Lehr 2.5 Propane Outboard Rebuild

Next up is the Lehr 2.5 HP propane fueled outboard. Email to Lehr was unanswered and comments online were that West Marine had dropped Lehr from its stores. Were they still in business? I found a comment that Lehr outboards were Chinese Parsun models that were modified to run on propane. A review [...]

02 May 2019 | St Marys, GA

8.6RIB with 6HP Hangkai

The deflatable dinghy was still leaking. I kept tipping it up so that the green slime inside would pool near the leak, then position it so that the slime would clog the leak. I could see where the slime was coming through the worn fabric of the dinghy. I painted over the green with some of the leftover [...]

27 April 2019 | St Marys, GA

Beef Tomato II

I was looking on Craigslist in Maryland to see if the deceased Capn Chris’ trawler was up for sale. Instead I saw a small sailboat, a San Juan 24, up for sale. Free to a good home. I did my research, comparing the San Juan to the C&C 24 I like so much, Trillium. They have remarkably similar specifications, [...]

20 April 2019 | St Marys, GA

Tempest in the Boatyard

The day after the Chinese motor came to life, really came to life, not just barely running, we were forecast to have a cold front come through complete with tornado warnings, high winds, 100 per cent rainfall, and in the morning the wind was already up. Maybe 15-20. I had no particular reason to go [...]

18 April 2019 | St Marys, GA

Hangkai 6HP 2 Stroke Repair

I was happy. The mast was complete. Rocky, the boatyard owner, general manager, and chief crane operator asked me how soon would I need to be hauled out. I said a few days at the the most a week. And I asked why he was filling up the area where catamarans were hauled out with a bunch of little boats. [...]

I Fid You Not

16 May 2019 | St Marys, GA
Capn Andy | Summer Like
I was using the Lehr propane outboard to commute back and forth from Kaimu anchored in the North River Marsh and the boatyard. It was not a long distance and one of my objectives is to break in the rebuilt outboard, so I take a longer route, zig zagging around anchored boats, varying the outboard’s speed. It is probably about half broken in and runs fine, although 2.5 HP is not very exciting.
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Meanwhile the Chinese Hangkai outboard is waiting to be put back in service after I’m done with the Lehr. The Boat/US inflatable that responded to green slime inside and inflatable top coating on the outside began to lose air more and more quickly. It was also on the dock and I began repairing it again.
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The Seaworthy inflatable that I had replaced a valve in was now being used, it was the boat propelled by the Lehr. After replacing the valve it still had an air leak and I did the soapy water method with a wide brush to find the two leaks. I thought about getting a patch kit to patch it but I was impatient. I had the Sika Construction Adhesive, Gray, on hand, left over from gluing the rub rail on the Boat/US dinghy. The gray color almost perfectly matches a gray hypalon dinghy. Would it work? I deflated the Seaworthy and applied the adhesive with a tongue depressor kind of like spreading cake frosting. The cure time is said to be 5-7 days, but I was impatient and inflated the dingy after only 2 days. It held air. I launched it with the Lehr and began using it.
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I went back to Lowe’s and bought another tube of the adhesive. A 10 oz. tube is about 8 1/2 dollars, while the 30 oz. tube is on clearance at about 6 1/2 dollars. I had to buy the larger caulking gun for the larger tube, so for about a total of $18 I got the equivalent of $25 worth of adhesive and now have the large caulking gun as well.
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The Boat/US inflatable was now pumped up and soapy water tested and all the leaks were marked with a white laundry marker. Then it was deflated and the Sika was applied to all the leaks. After 2 days it inflated and testing showed a few more leaks, so I have applied the Sika again. Eventually the dinghy will hold air.
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The hard dinghy was taken out of the water and brought to the breezeway where I am doing most of my work inside. The bottom was cleaned of a huge amount of grass. The damaged fore and aft transoms were cut off flush with the bow and stern seats. The edges of the cut out areas were prepared with the angle grinder with a flap disk. I went to Lowe’s and bought a 2 ft X 4 ft 3/4“ panel of lauan plywood. The idea was to build stronger transoms that could take the Hangkai outboard, also they would be more resistant to abuse.
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The original transoms were 10 mm thick and the new pieces were about twice as thick. To fit in the same space and match up against the original knees, the new pieces were rabbeted so that only 10 mm would go into where the original transom was, and the excess would overhang, so that there would be an edge right across the middle of the transoms outside, but inside the inner face would fit the boat just like the original transoms.
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The bare wood was primed with epoxy, then sanded, and given another coat. There were some delaminated spots in the old plywood and these were soaked with epoxy and clamped back together. Finally the new pieces were screwed and glued into place. Later some screws were removed but the screws into the knees were kept and all the screws in the aft transom were kept.
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After more sanding the new areas were given another coat of epoxy and the leftover epoxy was mixed up with fairing mix (50/50 glass microspheres/fumed silica) and used to fill screw holes and clean up some of the gaps and divots in the battered dinghy. At the same time there was a request by Capn Jane Morgan to replace her propane cylinder holder, which was rotting old plywood clamped to her stern rail. I used a leftover piece of the lauan plywood to quickly fashion a replacement, so I was epoxying a bunch of wooden parts along with the dinghy.
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I needed to put an eye in the end of the new topping lift so that I could pin it to the masthead. It then comes down to the end of the boom, goes through inside to the gooseneck where there is a rope clutch for it. I reviewed several of the videos on YouTube showing how to make an eye splice in double braided line. It looked like a very complicated and tedious operation. Plus I needed a fid, which I didn’t have. I asked the rigger and he didn’t have any fids for double braid. Chris of A to Zincs, the local mechanical contractors, had a fid and said he would bring it to the boatyard and maybe help me make the eye or just loan me the fid. Instead he was out sick and I found that West Marine in Jacksonville had fids in stock. We went there and got a fid meant for 5/16“ double braided line. I was using 3/8“ line and the 5/16 fid was the closest to that size. They didn’t have any fids for 3/8“ line. “We don’t sell many fids” said the guy in the store.
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When I was asking around about eye splices most people said they would pay someone to make their eyes and in one case it was Ron the carpenter who made the eyes. He didn’t have a fid for 3/8“ line and was using a Samson fid. The procedure using that fid was simpler and faster than what I had to do with the fid from West Marine.
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I won’t go into the procedure, but it was something I didn’t try to understand, just follow the instructions that came with the fid. It’s something like a 10 step process and you make a whole bunch of marks on the line and clip out little strands to taper the end of the line. Because I was using a 5/16 fid on 3/8 line I had to find out the length of a 3/8 fid and use those measurements to mark the line. Normally the fid is used to measure the marks. There is the full length of the fid and there is a mark on the fid that separates it into a long and a short measurement. The information was in a chart downloaded from the internet. I printed it out and kept it with the instructions.
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It took 3 tries before I finally had my eye splice on a thimble. The first attempt failed because I was using Gorilla tape that was thick and very sticky, but too thick, and wouldn’t allow the line to pass through the last reinsertion. Next I borrowed some Gorilla packing tape which is thinner and allowed the line to pass, but I must have made a mistake in the process, because I couldn’t form the eye. There is a warning to be careful and not snag any strands of the part of the line the fid is supposed to pass through. Maybe that’s what happened. The eye was finally formed around the thimble and it came out OK. The final step is to lock stitch the splice with sailmaker’s twine and a needle.
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The photo is of the eye-on-thimble pinned to the masthead with a 5/16“ bolt.

Lehr 2.5 Propane Outboard Rebuild

07 May 2019 | St Marys, GA
Capn Andy | Hot and Humid
Next up is the Lehr 2.5 HP propane fueled outboard. Email to Lehr was unanswered and comments online were that West Marine had dropped Lehr from its stores. Were they still in business? I found a comment that Lehr outboards were Chinese Parsun models that were modified to run on propane. A review of the Lehr 2.5 outboard listed its specifications including bore and stroke, and displacement. Comparing Parsun models to those numbers resulted in identifying the Lehr 2.5 HP as the Parsun F2.6 4 stroke outboard. Although Parsun has a nice website with exploded views and parts lists, there are no dealers in the USA for Parsun. Parsun does have a source of parts in Canada.
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The problem with this particular outboard is that it feels worn out, like it has no compression. It has no power at low speed and is difficult to start. It was donated for free by the original owners who used it for 5 years. I ordered rings for the piston, a head gasket, and some small parts that were missing from the cowling. There was no service manual, but it is a simple one cylinder engine, much like a lawnmower engine.
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(later I found the service manual online at: https://www.michiganmotorz.com/pdf/LEHR-Service-Manual-2-5-hp.pdf
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I took it apart and removed the piston. The cylinder was glassy as expected. I honed it with a brake cylinder hone. The bore is just a little over 2" and I purchased the brake hone that ranges from 2" to 3". The rings were replaced and ID marks on the rings were installed facing upwards. The valves were ground by gripping the valve stems with a small pair of vice grips and grinding them into the valve seats. After cleaning the grinding compound off the engine was reassembled. It did not start and it felt like it still had no compression. There are a number of things that might cause this and now that I have the service manual I can redo the valve clearance with correct specs.
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For entertainment we have the Sailgp series that just finished its San Francisco event. You Tube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8Z3si9YuOzrJN-4dVpW5Jw
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The final, race 6, was a match race between Nathan Outterridge and Tom Slingsby, good friends who have raced against each other since they were 7 years old. Tom was skipper of the Australian boat and Nathan the skipper of the Japanese boat. The boats are one design, identical, and an upgrade of the Oracle America's Cup boat. The boats are hitting over 40 knots.
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The abandoned deflatable that I'm now using to commute is losing air faster now and I'm having to pump it up twice a day. The other inflatable that I replaced a valve in was found to have 2 leaks which were smeared with some leftover Sika construction adhesive, gray, which almost perfectly matches the dinghy's color. Full cure on the Sika is up to a week, so I can't switch over to that one until a few days go by.
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I returned to the Lehr propane outboard and decided to check the cylinder head and maybe the valve clearances. It felt like there was no compression at all and of course it didn't start. To get at the cylinder head without removing the motor from the lower unit I had to remove the lower cowling. I could see the head was properly seated on the block and it was unlikely the head gasket wasn't properly sealed. I removed the valve cover and checked the rocker arms. The intake valve was too tight and needed to be readjusted. This time I followed the instructions in the service manual and turned the engine two revolutions and checked the clearances again. I redid the adjustment without a feeler gauge, just guessing that I had the proper .15mm clearance. I would say just get some clearance.
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I put the spark plug back in, I had taken it out to find top dead center by putting a stiff wire against the piston as I turned the engine over. I did a test pull on the starter and I could feel the little bumps of compression as the engine turned over. I replaced the valve cover and screwed on a propane cylinder. The engine started right up.
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Prior to the rebuild the engine wouldn't respond to the idle adjustment. Now I adjusted it when it was warmed up and got it to idle. It was running properly now. Still two problems, the gasket sealer between the motor and the lower unit, in the rear on one side, was leaking water under pressure, the second problem is a small propane leak where the hose from the cylinder joins the metal fuel line. We might be able to find a replacement online, a used part.
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The photo is of the Lehr outboard naked without its cowlings and with the propane cylinder removed.

8.6RIB with 6HP Hangkai

02 May 2019 | St Marys, GA
Capn Andy | Hot and Humid
The deflatable dinghy was still leaking. I kept tipping it up so that the green slime inside would pool near the leak, then position it so that the slime would clog the leak. I could see where the slime was coming through the worn fabric of the dinghy. I painted over the green with some of the leftover top coating.
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I showed the dinghy to the original owners who had sold it to the person who abandoned it. They said, “That doesn’t look right”. I didn’t know what they meant. Later I ran into them while shopping and they said it wasn’t their dinghy, their dinghy was under “Unicorn”, a yacht on the other side of the boatyard. Now I had to take a look at their dinghy.
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Their dinghy was in much better shape than the one I was working on. Its problem was a bad valve, compounded by the new owner incorrectly trying to install a new valve. There was what appeared to be contact cement all around the hole where the valve should go, plus the new valve was all covered with contact cement. We took the dinghy to a hiding place and I began to work on it. The people working on Unicorn are having some kind of war over it and valuable pieces of the boat are disappearing. It is a shame. Neither of the two parties have paid any money to the boatyard and each says the other has to pay. I thought it best to get that dinghy away from that boat before it too disappears.
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Fortunately I had advised Capn Jane Morgan to use Xylene to clean contact cement off her companionway aluminum. I borrowed the solvent and cleaned the contact cement off the inflatable and off its new valve. The procedure for this type of valve is to somehow force the lower part of the valve, which is kind of like a cylinder with a flange on one end and threading on its inside surface, in through the valve hole inside the inflatable. Then the top part of the valve, which is also like a cylinder with a flange and threading on its outside surface, is screwed into the bottom piece and the two flanges compress the inflatable’s skin between them and thus seal the valve hole. I used the valve’s stopper to turn the upper part until I felt like I would break it, it’s just plastic. I used one of the boatyard’s big pipe wrenches to grip the flange of the upper part and get it really tight. Soapy water was spread around the valve to check for leaks and the valve tightened until there were no leaks.
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I decided to test out the Chinese Hangkai 6HP 2 stroke motor, so I launched the first dinghy I had worked on and mounted the engine on it. I took along oars and a foot pump. I wondered how the engine would run and how the combination of a small rigid bottom inflatable and the 6HP motor would perform.
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The engine seemed eager and pushed the dinghy along very strongly, even at idle. When I got clear of the dinghy dock and opened the throttle the dinghy took off and soon was on a plane. I was surprised at how well the engine ran and how fast I could go, also I knew it was dangerous to fly along like that, so I only ran at full throttle a short time. I could take my little hand held GPS along and get an actual speed number.
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So, for $150 I got a good running outboard motor although it took a lot of work to get it going. For about $50 I reconditioned an abandoned inflatable boat and now have a way to commute to the boatyard while the D4 hard dinghy gets repaired.
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The picture is of the dinghy and Hangkai motor after its first outing.

Beef Tomato II

27 April 2019 | St Marys, GA
Capn Andy | Summer Like
I was looking on Craigslist in Maryland to see if the deceased Capn Chris’ trawler was up for sale. Instead I saw a small sailboat, a San Juan 24, up for sale. Free to a good home. I did my research, comparing the San Juan to the C&C 24 I like so much, Trillium. They have remarkably similar specifications, both derived from an IORC 1/4 ton racer, but the C&C had a ballast/displacement ratio about 1/3, and the San Juan about 1/2. It means both boats have to shove aside the same amount of water, but the San Juan has more ballast, it can carry more sail, it would outsail the C&C. I was excited. But what condition was this boat?
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I needed someone to find out what condition the San Juan sailboat was in, so I contacted my friend and sailing buddy, Capn Ed, up in Pennsylvania. He said he would look at the sailboat for me. Later it turned out the boat had been taken by someone else who got there more quickly. Darn.
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The old deflatable dinghy that I had been trying to reinflate was losing pressure right through its worn out fabric. I put a 2 coats of “inflatable boat top coating” on the topside areas I could access with the dinghy deflated. This paint is made by MDR and it cost me $38 for a quart. The dinghy is model 8.6RIB by Severn Marine, but was sold by the old Boat/US stores and has Boat/US decals on it.
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The next day I inflated the dinghy and it held air somewhat. I prepared the newly exposed lower areas that had yet to be painted and put two coats on them. While the dinghy isn’t perfectly air
tight at this point, I’m confident that applying an internal sealant will finish the job and then we’ll have a test boat for the Chinese outboard motor.
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The boatyard has been hauling boats 2 and 3 at a time and space is now short. Rocky, the owner, general manager, and chief crane operator said he probably wouldn’t have room to haul me out and could I step the mast and replace the crossbeam while docked. I have done that before and that was without a crane helping me out. I agreed to to that. I have to finish the mast step and the rigger has to put swage eyes on one end of both my running backstays.
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I made another batch of Chinese Beef Tomato, a Hawaiian dish of Korean or Manchurian cuisine. I had bought a 4 lb. chuck roast at Aldi’s when we went to Jacksonville and my initial idea was to make beef bourguignon so I also bought celery, onion, and carrots. I ended up making a double batch of the Beef Tomato and after serving it up to anyone who cared to eat it, I still had about 6 quarts of the stuff. The next day I invited the whole boatyard to join in. I’m afraid people will bring their own concoctions and I still won’t have disposed of the Beef Tomato.
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I used green slime, an inner tube sealant, to try to seal the deflatable boat. I put 10 oz. in each chamber and inflated the boat, then moved it around to spread the sealant inside. It was tiring to keep tilting the boat, lifting it and holding it. It was difficult to get supports to hold it in position. Finally I stopped trying to coat the entire interior of the dinghy, I would put soapy water on the outside and just position the dinghy to allow the sealant to settle where I knew there was a leak.
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It kept getting better and better as the leaks were sealed one by one. Another product I ordered was E6100 sealant, which is a urethane product, clear, similar in consistency to silicone sealant, but much stronger. I will use it to reattach the dinghy’s rub rail, also to glue up a couple of areas where the transom meets the tubes.
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The photo is of the food preparation for the Chinese Beef Tomato.

Tempest in the Boatyard

20 April 2019 | St Marys, GA
Capn Andy | 45 MPH Cold Front
The day after the Chinese motor came to life, really came to life, not just barely running, we were forecast to have a cold front come through complete with tornado warnings, high winds, 100 per cent rainfall, and in the morning the wind was already up. Maybe 15-20. I had no particular reason to go ashore, the mast was ready, the crossbeam was ready, the Chinese outboard was running, I could stay on board and not brave the rowing exercise in the stiff breeze.
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But I went anyway, after bailing the water out of the dinghy, and soon wondered if I had made a bad decision. The wind took me not toward the boatyard, but toward the North shore of the North River, a marsh. I ended up in the reeds. The dinghy was almost swamped. The wind didn’t have any lulls but kept increasing. I bailed out the dingy while the wind drove it into the reeds. Could I ever get out. Meanwhile Ken who had just returned from a sojourn in the Bahamas flew past on his inflatable planing on the water pretending not to notice me.
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I could use one of the oars to pole the dinghy toward the wind and row with the other oar to keep heading for the safety of the boatyard’s floating dock. It was hard going and I ended up in the reeds again and again had to bail out the dinghy. A power yacht was coming to the boatyard and they were having trouble with the wind. It was blowing like stink and I was getting hit with spray.
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I continued working my way to the dock and finally got there and tied the dinghy up. I wondered why I ever left Kaimu. The floating dock I was standing on was attached to the travel lift well, a sort of slip where boats could come in and get lifted out by the travel lift. The power yacht I had seen earlier was Stylist, a boat that used the boatyard many times before, but now they were pinned against the piling at the entrance to the well. The wind was howling. The boatyard workers, the yardbirds, had concerned looks and they jumped around with boathooks, grabbed lines, and somehow got the Stylist into the well and hoisted her.
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I put my things in the woodshop and then went to the Barn on the other side of the boatyard where Doc’s Chop Shop is located and I started the Chinese outboard again. Cold engine. Second pull. I really didn’t have any tasks to do, I went back to the woodshop and got on the computer to look at the weather report.
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Everybody was talking about tornado warnings and when it would hit, the cold front. I could see online weather radar and the front was at Tallahassee and coming our way. Someone asked what time it was and I said eleven thirty four. They said the front would hit at one. I wanted to make a lunch of beef ramen noodles before any of this happened. As I organized ramen noodle lunch people came into the woodshop and didn’t do any woodwork, they talked about this weather phenomenon. Then everyone was gone. I was alone with the wind outside increasing. I could hear a boat grinding on its jackstands. Big dust clouds were billowing up from the boatyard.
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I began working on Lynn’s printer which was in the woodshop to be checked out and finally installed on her computer. She had an installation disk but no disk drive for it on her Toughbook CF-19 laptop. I downloaded the same software from Epson and installed it. After all the usual Windows BS there was no new printer on her laptop, but a new scanner. I did this twice and it took a bit of time.
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There was the sound, in the rising wind, of a sail filling and barking, filling and barking, someones genoa was coming out of the rollerfurler. It was now raining and it was at least gale conditions. I couldn’t see what boat the noisy sail was on, but I could see the sail up in the array of masts, barking as it flapped full and then collapsed only to do it again and again. I wondered about Kaimu out at anchor, also I had new solar panels that might become airborne in enough wind.
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Ron the carpenter seemed worried. Earlier I had helped him by taking his vacuum off a boat project and used it to try to inflate an old deflatable dinghy, then I put it away under cover, out of the way for the inevitable rain. But now he had to take off and take care of something. Just a bit later, Paul, the owner of the trawler Ron was working on, came in looking for Ron. I don’t know he just ran out of here to do something. Everyone was jittery. It seems to happen when the weather changes like this.
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Jane the English professor and captain of Integrity II came around and we talked about the bedding job on her companionway. She was worried about the tornado warnings and thought the building with the woodshop would be a safe place to be. I said that her boat with its lead keel and supported by a cradle with integral jackstands would be safer. Just then the first gust hit. More dust flew up. A few raindrops. Jane ran back to her boat to get aboard for safety and check out those leaks.
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This wind was as severe as hurricane winds that have hit this boatyard. I saw Rocky’s partner and mother of Clayton, Missy, in the metal shop trying to open the door. It turned out she had been blown right across the boatyard and ran into the shop and the wind had closed the door. She had been working on a yacht and it was the one with the flapping genoa, and she was on the phone with them about what to do.
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Meanwhile I was totally frustrated with Epson’s installation package for the printer. I deleted it all and downloaded and installed individually all the drivers needed for Lynn’s printer. Outside there was rain and I had concern for Kaimu, but couldn’t go out to see if everything was OK, too rainy. The individual drivers and utilities worked out well and I printed the Windows Koala picture that comes with the Windows software. The printer was slow but the picture was perfect.
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Missy came to the woodshop to tell us about rolling up a genoa in a gale. OK. We know about that. She was excited and said she would never go out on a sailboat. The owner of the boat was trying to help her, but he was on crutches with a broken ankle and the high winds it must have been an adventure. The look on her face was of high satisfaction. She should go out on a sailboat.
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Meanwhile it was only about mid afternoon but rain was still falling, but then there was a lull, and I realized I better get going arowing out to Kaimu before the second part of the front hit, the kicker. I got stuff sorted out and took a bike ride around the yard. It was early to leave the yard, but it was the right time.
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Down at the floating dock, which was not floating, aground, and my dingy also aground, the guy that sold me the Chinese outboard for $40 was looking up at the stormy sky. I hailed him and said I got it running. He was enthusiastic about it. I then had to drag the dinghy after I bailed it out again around the dock and then jumped in with my backpack on my back and my heavy wooden clunky oars and tried to move it. We were stuck in the muck. By using the oars as poles I could put all my weight on them and nudge the dinghy forward a bit. Bit by bit I got it into shallow water. The tide was very low.
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The wind hadn’t abated from earlier. I knew it would be a struggle to work this homemade dingy into the wind which was now right on the nose. I rowed and sometimes had to lift the oars from their sockets and push, we were in shallow waters. We rowed into the chop and the boat felt heavier as the broken bow of the dinghy allowed more of the wave tops to topple in. But we made it. I tied up to Kaimu and climbed aboard and let the dinghy lie on her painter. The strong winds hadn’t sent anything overboard. A short while later the second whammy of the cold front came through and a steady rain began to fall.
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The image was taken of the wind gusts stirring up the dust when the storm started in the boatyard.
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Hangkai 6HP 2 Stroke Repair

18 April 2019 | St Marys, GA
Capn Andy | summer like
I was happy. The mast was complete. Rocky, the boatyard owner, general manager, and chief crane operator asked me how soon would I need to be hauled out. I said a few days at the the most a week. And I asked why he was filling up the area where catamarans were hauled out with a bunch of little boats. Oh, he said, those are boats on cradles and I will be moving them here, that is, the spot where we were talking. There had been a bunch of junk there and some live oak trees but now the area was being graded, covered with a mixture of sand, gravel, soil, and then wet down and rolled and graded some more until it was hard packed. Boats are heavy and when the crane or the travel lift come through, the surface they are riding over has to be able to support tons of weight without mushing up like beach sand. Since this land is part of the North River Marsh, it is not intrinsically capable of supporting anything, but here we are rolling 20 tons of boat on 4 tires. There are some concrete paved areas. They are all broken up by the extreme weights.
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One more thing I needed was to complete the running backstays. These are almost like shrouds, cables that support the mast, but on the lower end there is no turnbuckle, there is a purchase, a system of blocks that can be tensed up. Maybe 7:1 purchase where you pull 7 feet of line to move the blocks 1 foot. Thus they are not as difficult as the other shrouds to predict length, just add more line, but don’t make them too long and the blocks are clanging together. My problem was that I had bought some swageless fittings where the running backstays attach to the mast. These are called toggle jaws. Toggle means they can move to adjust to the direction of the load. The other end is near the deck and it’s where we attach a triple block, then there is another triple block shackled to the chainplate. The toggle jaws are $78 apiece. This is another case of highway robbery. You have a sailboat, you need a fitting that no one else in this world needs, so they’ve got you, you have to pay. So I paid. But now it seems I must pay again to terminate the other end of the cable. What can I attach the triple block to? A toggle jaw would be OK, but I had hoped to put a simple, cheap, nicopress eye loop there.
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I have to say that with all my crashing and burning with this boat, the nicopress eyes have never given a problem. They are on the two parts of the headstay bridle and on the original headstay, that I put aside when I went to the roller furling headstay, and they were on the lower ends of the old running backstays. The stays are 5/16“ 1X19 stainless, which means, they are 5/16“ in diameter and are made up of 19 individual strands of stainless wire which is described as stiff wire rope suitable for sailboat standing rigging. The individual strands are quite stiff and can be used as Cotter pins in some cases. To work with them to make a splice is one of the first things I learned from an old salt, don’t work with them. You end up with lacerations from the wire and that with an exhausting effort to do anything else with the wire. But, $78 to terminate a wire? Plus I needed some internet fodder for my blog, let’s go ahead and try to splice this stuff.
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I found a simple splice called a Flemish Eye and I would need cable clamps and thimbles to make these splices, so I ordered on Amazon and got free shipping by buying more stuff to make their minimum. The splices are made by unraveling a group of strands from the 1X19 and then bending the two groups of strands toward each other and wrapping them together, then putting cable clamps on the standing part of the cable.
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I helped Capn Jane Morgan with her companion way water leaks. She started to take it all apart, then found a single screw on either side of the hatch slide that was directly under her main traveler which is mounted on her cabin top. I went with her to the hardware store and she got a right angle ratcheting screwdriver kit and I got a 1/2“ stainless shackle for my inner forestay. We came back and finished removing her hatch slider rails, which was where we thought the leak was coming from. The bedding compound was stuck on the fiberglass gel coat so I started to try to scrape it off. Tedious. Tom Chawkley showed up and gave me a razor blade holder that worked pretty well while he discussed installing a windlass on Jane’s boat. I just finished my work when they were through with their discussion. I left her with the job of trying to remove the little bit of the remaining compound with a rag and paint thinner. She was cooking pot roast with vegetables and I returned to have dinner complete with a cabernet.
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The next day my Yamaha pulser coils arrived from Singapore and I compared them with the innards of the Hangkai 6 HP 2 stroke motor. It is a Yamaha clone, but not quite identical. There was no obvious mounting point for the second pulser coil. The original pulser coil was mounted where Yamaha puts its “low speed pulsar coil”, which is where a cut out in the flywheel passes by at top dead center or thereabouts. The second pulser coil, “high speed pulsar coil”, is mounted about 80 degrees further on as the flywheel flies. There are a pair of mounting posts similar to the charge coil mounting posts but 180 degrees from them. In most Yamaha engines this is where a lighting coil is mounted to provide electricity to charge a battery, for instance. I made a simple adapter, maybe like a triangle that the high speed coil could mount on with two holes for little 4mm bolts and the corner was drilled for a 5mm bolt to mount it to one of the mounting posts. While out shopping for the little metric bolts I forgot to get the nuts needed to clamp the coil to the adapter. I felt pretty stupid. Then I found, amazingly, a pair of little bolts on a table near where I was working the nuts on those bolts fit the little metric bolts perfectly.
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I reassembled the motor with the flywheel and recoil starter and fed the new wires to the CDI box where the color codes of the wires matched up just right. Doc, the boat cutter upper, came in on his vehicle and came over and immediately advised me how to complete the work, but it was not an annoying intrusion, he knew how to do this work and he was right, I was getting the assembly of the wires and rubber grommet all wrong. We got it back together, clamped the spark plug to the engine chassis, and while I pulled the starter cord he reported, “You have spark."
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I didn’t do any more till the next day when I rowed into the boatyard with hopes to fuel up the outboard and run it in a tank of water. Doc loaned me some 2 stroke fuel that has oil mixed with the gasoline and I had the motor all put back together and sitting in the water tank. I had a can of “ether”, or more properly, starting fluid, which has things like ether and some lubricants as well. After several attempts to start the engine and one attempt that produced a kick back when the cylinder fired, I gave up. Maybe I was depressed. I was elated when Doc said I had spark, but now I had the spark plug out and I couldn’t see any spark. I got my reading glasses to look and I knew it should be very apparent if there was a spark, but I didn’t see any.
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I ended up wandering around the boatyard doing little jobs, cycling back and forth to pick up a tool or bring a part to the workshop to grind or wirebrush it. Capn Jane was up on her deck and asked if I could help her test the bedding job we did on her companionway, so I climbed up and she blasted the cabin top with a hose. I was inside and I saw some peculiar leaks. Water was running off the hatch cover and then kind of sticking to the surface and whipping back inside, then raining down. I have similar problems on Kaimu, but there are bigger problems, so I don’t worry about the leaks so much, it’s only water. I discussed with her some tests and temporary remedies that would indicate what permanent changes should be made.
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Each time I would wander away and do something, I would return to the Chinese outboard and give a few tugs on the starting lanyard. Nothing happened.
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I expected that Rocky, the owner, general manager, and chief crane operator, would be asking me about when to haul out. He had said he had to move 3 “cradle boats” to clear out the place where he would hoist Kaimu out with a crane. It looked like he needed more cradles.
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The smaller boats can be set down on a cradle which is a metal framework with jackstands built into it, and then the boat and cradle can be moved around the boatyard and parked relatively close together. Boats that are too large for the cradle have to be moved with the travel lift which needs more space, plus the jackstands have to be individually placed to support the hull.
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The last time Rocky moved Kaimu it was a big affair, he had to move a bunch of other boats first, then use the crane to pick Kaimu up and set her down where his tugboat usually moors, which means he had to fire up and move his tugboat. I think he doesn’t really want to do all that, plus he has new arrivals that need boat cradles, so the metal workshop looks like WWII welding shop, lot’s of metal, sparks, acrid smoke, and the boat cradles will be coming out to meet the need.
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Geoff the British chemist came by on his bicycle, as usual, and had been following my progress with the Chinese outboat and offered to look at it one more time with me. We went to it and he said “you have plenty of spark” when I pulled the recoil starter and he placed the spark plug against the motor. We put the plug back in and the motor ran for a few seconds after several pulls. It did not run again until we sprayed starter fluid into the carburettor. The carburettor must be gummed up.
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The next day I brought a small cheap tool chest, from Harbor Freight for about $30, from Kaimu when I rowed in. The tool chest has lots of tools organized in individual snap in pockets and it is very handy for working on mechanical jobs.
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I removed the carburettor by removing 2 10mm bolts that hold the carburettor to the engine, loosening the throttle cable, and pulling off the fuel line. The choke control came apart on its own, I hadn’t even thought about unhooking it. The carburettor disassembles easily by removing the float bowl and a small plate on top of the carburettor. This provides access to all the jets and the inside of the float bowl. The carb was fouled with crystallized deposits that looked like salt and I cleaned all the jets and passages with sea foam. After reassembly the carb was mounted on the engine and when it was started with the starting fluid it kept running. I ran about a pint of fuel through the engine and exercised it in forward gear. It ran pretty well, was kind of rough at idle but smoothed out at higher speeds.
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This motor is 103 cubic centimeters displacement which is exactly the displacement of the 1997 Yamaha 4 and 5 horsepower 2 stroke outboards. A video on YouTube showing the tear down of a Yamaha 4 horsepower motor looked exactly like the Chinese motor I have. I paid $40 for the motor and about $110 in Yamaha ignition parts, in fact the entire ignition system of a 1997 Yamaha 4 or 5 horsepower 2 stroke.
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The image is an exploded view of the motor from Yamaha's website.
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