Fourth of July in Marina Taina
04 July 2019 | Marina Taina
William Ennis | Not bad, actually
Happy Forth of July, America! Regardless of other issues with which we disagree, America is our country and we love and respect what we have because of our citizenship. We encourage everyone to raise a glass to the United States of America on her 243rd birthday.
We've been chipping away at boat projects since poor weather has prevented removing the engine from the boat and dropping the Beta aboard. Let me re-phrase that...gently setting the Beta aboard. Sheesh!
Conni's cleaned most of what's above and below decks and other than the mess that her mechanic/electrician husband makes, it's lovely below. She lubricated every moving object above decks yesterday and I replaced a missing teak plug from our teak deck. The deck boards are drilled with holes into which screws are placed and then a teak plug is glued into place to waterproof the screw. Those plugs loosen in time and I replace 4-5 each season. It's somewhat tedious, but not difficult.
Somehow, on our crossing from Raiatea to Tahiti, the dinghy lashed to our foredeck struck and loosened from the deck a dorade vent and I had to repair the damage to the fiberglass and replace the dorado ring and vent. Neither of us can imagine how it happened, but we've decided to simply remove the dorado during crossings: simple to do and will remove the problem completely.
The big event on Wednesday was the arrival, two days early, of our propane regulator! We can cook! We can have hot food! Hurray! Our friend, Joe Earsley, sent the regulator via FedEx and it flew from Eagle River, AK, to Hawai'i, to Australia, to New Zealand, to Papeete, and to the marina. The harbormaster, Philippe, hopped on his bicycle and delivered it himself. Philippe handed it to Conni at 1430 and, after puzzling over how to get the system configured with odd parts, we were cooking with gas by 1600. THANK YOU, JOE!
In celebration during our nightly cocktail hour, Conni fixed "Poor Man's Piña Coladas": local rum and Zuko (a Mexican "Koolaid"-type product) Piña Colada mix. I've paid for lesser Piña Coladas, so it's pretty good, but something of a treat, and gaining the ability to cook, well, that's a treat.
Today, Adrian arrived with his diver friend at 0930 and we began the job of removing the old Nanni, or what's left of it. To push back the propeller shaft for needed clearance, the diver (Tommy) went under the boat to remove our two anodes on the prop shaft that had prevented that movement.
We placed some wood blocks around the overhead hatch and set some 2x4s on edge across the hatch opening on top of the blocks. From system, we rigged a small chain hoist. With no remaining lift points on the engine, we rigged some lines under it. We also rigged an interesting but effective pulley system to prevent the engine from swinging forward since the lift point was not vertically above the engine.
And up it came! By 1230, we had removed the bell housing and transmission, and lifted the engine onto the floor, resting on pads. Amazing! It worked very smoothly, and was totally under control. There were small irritations, of course, but overall it was a seamless operation. Adrian knows what he's doing.
The remaining plan is to have the boat pulled close to a dock where we can get a side tie so that a HUGE forklift can lift the engine from the boat and set the new engine aboard. We'll strip the Beta (undesirable but necessary) and move it into place with the exact system we just used. Since Adrian is the factory-installer, he'll take responsibility for ensuring that the Beta is properly reconstructed. He also promised to repaint any parts that get scuffed. All of that will happen on Monday since we think that it'll require until then for Conni and me to clean the bilge and repaint it. What a terrible, oily mess it is.
Have a fine Fourth of July, wherever you are.