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.
08 July 2024 | Somers Cove Marina, Crisfield, MD
25 June 2024 | Somers Cove, Crisfield, MD
12 June 2024 | Somers Cove, Crisfield, MD
03 June 2024 | Somers Cove, Crisfield, MD
25 May 2024 | Somers Cove, Crisfield, MD
21 May 2024 | Somers Cove, Crisfield, MD
12 May 2024 | Somers Cove, Crisfield, MD
09 May 2024 | Somers Cove, Crisfield, MD
01 May 2024 | St. Marys, GA
23 April 2024 | St Marys, GA
17 April 2024 | St Marys, GA
07 April 2024 | St. Marys, GA
02 April 2024 | St. Marys, GA
21 March 2024 | St. Marys, GA
01 March 2024 | St. Marys, GA
23 February 2024 | St. Marys, GA
15 February 2024 | St. Marys, GA
11 February 2024 | St. Marys, GA
06 February 2024 | St. Marys, GA
26 January 2024 | St. Marys, GA
Recent Blog Posts
08 July 2024 | Somers Cove Marina, Crisfield, MD


I was out of cheese and ham. This meant a grocery trip and then of course, visit the American Legion. Cuddily said she would be there after baking fresh fish that she got from her neighbor fisherman.

25 June 2024 | Somers Cove, Crisfield, MD

June is Too Soon

It is Juneteenth, election day for the City of Crisfield, twenty four hundred voters. Up for election are two city council seats for three candidates. The mayor wants to keep her current city council team.

12 June 2024 | Somers Cove, Crisfield, MD

Raindrops and Rainbows

You can take the Mediterranean diet too far, especially with the wine consumption. The noodles are OK if you are burning up the calories, but otherwise they will put on the pounds. So you are left with antipasto, not much else, salad? Chicken Parm? Yes, the chicken parm is probably in itself pretty [...]

03 June 2024 | Somers Cove, Crisfield, MD

Prejudicial Treatment

The excitement of a new baby in the family had me receiving phone calls from all over. The common denominator is that we talked about the weather and food. That makes me hungry and start planning to cook. Cuddily suggested we go to Sysco in Pocomoke to see what wine selection they had there and also [...]

25 May 2024 | Somers Cove, Crisfield, MD

Cap'n Granpa

The Memorial Day weekend was coming up and it is a big deal in Crisfield as well as most of the rest of the Chesapeake. It is the traditional beginning of the summer season. All the boats are launched or commissioned, lots of activity in the marina, motors started up for the first time in a long time, [...]

21 May 2024 | Somers Cove, Crisfield, MD

Cap'n Overboard

The awful jobs get done last. The Atomic Four was waiting for me to pull off the cylinder head, but there was an emergency job, sort of, the mainsail cover was torn and exposing the sail to U/V, very bad.

Atomic Bomb

25 July 2020 | Crisfield, MD
Cap'n Andy | Humid, Thunderstorms
Unfortunately when I threw away the spoiled contents of my little cooler, I left myself with no ingredients for breakfast, or anything else, except for some Ritz crackers and some Ramen noodle soup. I had coffee and a new stove to try. I had used the Origo 3000 alcohol stove on the Catalina 30, original, like everything else on this boat, much like the Origo stove on Kaimu. On Kaimu I had been using a propane cooktop from Harbor Freight that they don’t sell anymore. Propane cooks more quickly than alcohol, and the control of the alcohol stove is beyond me. I picked up a Coleman grill stove at Walmart for $82. It’s not like a regular cook top, it is two grills, one I would call a tiny grill that you could grill a couple of steaks on, the other tiny, room for a kettle or a small fry pan. The stove has a pizeo lighter and the propane gas comes out very strong, I had to put it almost closed to make boiling water for coffee on the tiny grill. I used it later to make a ham and cheese sandwich and also had to reduce the control to almost nothing. Maybe it needs a regulator. Otherwise it works fine.
I was running back and forth stowing things or more correctly bringing things to the boat and piling them up. The recent travel and the humid weather make me revert to my hockey style work ethic, do about 5 minutes of work, then rest for about 15 minutes, if you can manage that. The heat index in Maryland was now matching Georgia, but it isn’t as bad, the humidity is awful but not as bad as Georgia. Also, the insects up here are not as evolved, or devolved, as what comes at you in the North River Marsh. I still find myself at war with a mud dauber wasp up here.
The cabin top of the Catalina is covered over with a tarp. It thunderstormed. The one corner of a tiny window that was not covered with the tarp was gushing water. It looked like someone had redone the window with new seals, etc., and the repairs looked fresh. I hate to think what would happen if I took the tarps off.
I’m afraid to start the Atomic Four engine after reviewing online reports and also the reports of the previous owner Husband. He is a bright and thorough guy and worked on this engine, then went out and bought a new boat. It must be pretty bad. I hate to give up, but sometimes I hate to begin.
The problem with the engine is described as, it runs fine, then won’t start because the valves are sticking. The exhaust valves. Most of the information about these engines is located at the Moyer Marine website. This problem with the valves sticking is usually due to water coming from the exhaust system that gets into the exhaust ports and then causes the exhaust valves to stick. The remedy is to build the exhaust system in a way that exhaust water won’t come back into the engine. Moyers Marine says that the Catalina 30 is the worst boat model for this type of problem. They have designed exhaust systems that are less likely to allow exhaust water backflowing into the engine. To do this they take the hot exhaust gases out of the exhaust manifold and pipe it up as high as is allowed inside the galley cabinet where the engine is in a Catalina 30. Then the piping moves horizontally a short distance, then turns downward and a spigot is inserted into the piping. Water is pumped into the pipes, cooling the exhaust gases, and accumulates in a small tank called a water lift muffler. It is a box with a pipe coming in and a pipe coming out. Exhaust gases build up pressure and force the water out of the box and down the exhaust pipe to the transom where it burbles out, exhaust with a pulse of water every few seconds.
In Sunsplash they built a very well designed exhaust piping system. I could not imagine building a better one and thought that it probably wasn’t the cause of the sticking valve problem, but first things first, first get compression readings. The spark plugs were removed and my cheap compression gauge was put in cylinder #1, no reading, #2, no reading, #3, no reading. I began to suspect my gauge was bad. I tested it with the tire compressor and got a pressure reading. Then I put it into cylinder #4 and got compression there.
I decided to pull the head to see what I could see. When I got it off I saw that the cylinders were fouled, #1 was the worst and #4 was the least, and they graded down like that with 2 being worse than 3. I knew I would need a new head gasket and wanted the Moyers Marine Atomic 4 rebuilding manual. When I went on their site to order there was a phone number and a note that if an order is called in, shipping can be organized for the best service at the best cost.
When I called I got Ken in the parts department. Ken has a lifetime of experience with these engines and told me that 99 percent of the time it is exhaust water intrusion that causes the type of problem I had. He also said I would need a lot more parts, gaskets, valve springs, etc. Also the service manual and the head gasket would have to be specially shipped, so no bargains there. I sent him photos of the head and the exhaust system. It was late in the day and he didn’t reply.
To get at the valve springs and to remove the valves Ken told me to remove the manifold and valve cover. When I removed the manifold I found that of the 3 bolts that hold it to the block, the one near cylinder #1 intake valve had pulled out of the block. Here was the probable cause of the problem. The stud screws into the block and there is a water jacket behind it, so if it pulls out, that water from the water jacket can flow into the exhaust ports of the block. It fits perfectly with the evidence, the worst damage was at #1, whereas if it were exhaust muffler water it would have affected #4 the worst. So, I think I’ve found the problem. Now to fix or replace.
The photo is of Sunsplash at the dock.

About & Links

SailBlogs Groups