Update Friday through Monday
22 July 2019 | Marina Taina
William Ennis | Pleasant!
Blog 22 July 2019
17 34.91S:149 37.16W
Update Friday through Monday
It's been work for these days, some successful and satisfying and some not. Friday, Adrian finished some beautiful work on the angle steel that we'll use as mounts for the motor. The pieces are custom cut to fit each stringer's dimensions, and the work is superb. Adrian is a skilled craftsman with an angle grinder. When they fit to his satisfaction, he ran lag bolts through them and into the stringers, although when we're satisfied that alignment is possible, we'll use through-bolts in the stringers and lags where we must. The tops of the stringers will be epoxy-coated.
Since the steel is so much thicker than he had planned, we're still in peril for engine alignment, but we hope for the best. We had removed 30mm of wood and fiberglass, but the steel is 12.7mm by itself. Yikes! That leaves a bit over 17mm to play with. New epoxy will take some of that, but still we should be within the range, or so we hope.
Monday, we will place the engine on the stringers and try for that so-far-elusive alignment. If we are successful, we'll mark the angle steel where the holes for the motor mounts will be placed and remove the engine...again, but for the last time. We'll drill the holes and tap them for the motor mount bolts and replace the damned engine. Once it's in place, we can move on. At that point, it's a matter of attaching hoses and such, as I mentioned.
Saturday For reasons known only to themselves, some previous owner of Wings split the fuel return line into two lines. Conni and I, after great deliberation and effort, accompanied by a lot of 35-year-old grime, ran a single piece of new neoprene fuel line for a return hose and removed both of the old copper tubes. It was grimy, dirty, NASTY work!
In the cabinet where we keep the Racor primary filter, there's an electric fuel pump to help with priming (that is, removing all of the air in the fuel system), but someone installed a separate bypass hose around the pump and a selector valve, even though all fuel pumps like this are "pass through". With some effort, I removed all of that mess and streamlined the fuel system so fuel come from the tank, through the pump, and into the primary fuel filter. Our fuel system is now much more up-to-date and streamlined and we hope that Adrain thinks so, too. Streamlining the return fuel manifold was the last task to complete and the two fuel return lines meant the two return lines were joined at the manifold with a "T" fitting and that fitting needed to be removed so that only a single hose barb remained for our single return new return line. The manifold is original, 35-years old, and I couldn't disassemble it. I hope that Adrian can disassemble it, or that we can buy parts to replace it. 5/16" fuel line is 0.3125" and 8mm fuel line is 0.315": differing by 0.002", so it might be possible for us to simply buy replacement parts here. Second choice is to simply connect the fuel return line from the engine to the return line leading to the port tank and run off of that system for the season. I'll cart home the damned manifold and rebuild it there. Conni thinks that there might be a clogged fuel line from the starboard tank, so we've decided to run from port. It's an inelegant solution but it will work.
Yesterday, I figured out the bilge pump wiring and determined how to make our automatic function operate. I can't install the thing until I know where the engine will be and how the hoses will be run, but then I'll re-wire everything and get that pump working. The bilge pump manual operation has always worked but not the automatic. No doubt it was a wiring disfunction due to old wires somewhere, but I'll remove them and start anew.
Conni and I also measured the length of new exhaust hose that we'll need. I re-routed the engine ground as I could. We also found the route used to run the instrument panel wiring harness, so perhaps we can use it as a "messenger" to pull through the new one. We also figured out the hose routes for the hot coolant used for heating our pressure water and the little cabin heater. In Beta engine speak, that system (using engine heat to heat water and warm the cabin) is called a "calorifier" and we ordered taps from the engine coolant system to make sure that we could get hot water when the engine runs. We've got to buy that hose, too.
We had a nice meal out last night at the Pink Coconut. Conni had Poisson Cru, raw fish in coconut milk and the national dish. I had a rib eye steak and fries, a bit too rare for me, but tasty nonetheless. It was our anniversary so a true occasion.
So, tomorrow is the big reveal. With luck, we'll be ready to bolt the engine into place and be on the last few tasks. With no luck, we'll have to start over on the stringers, removing more material. I hope for the former!
Monday 22 July
I tried to upload yesterday's blog but the Wifi system at the office was down, a very common occurrance.
The Big Reveal revealed that we were still too high and need yet more destruction. Conni and I were almost in tears about it: another many days on this fucking stringer task!
After some consolation with Adrian, it may be that the problem is just in a few places and that we don't need to remove material from the entire stringer top. Gabriel and I are working on that idea, removing material from the aft ends of the two strings and the high points, only. We'll work until lunch and then have Adrian make a judgment. If...If it is sufficient, we'll move the engine onto the stringers...again and continue on.
That judgement was that we've got to remove more material. When Adrian returned, he told me that Gabriel and I had to remove ANOTHER 20mm. He said that the alignment looked the same as it did without our days of work! With the previous 30, that's 50mm or 2 inches! When he departed, Gabriel and I decided to do what we had decided not to do: use the grinder in the boat. It makes a holy mess, as you can well imagine, but it's fast and the disks cuts even old fiberglass as if it's butter. Lastly, it can make a horizontal cut, not something that's possible with the SawzAll because of its length. With small disks, we couldn't cut very deeply, but we could cut through a layer of fiberglass and some wood. When it's grinding, it makes clouds of extremely fine fiberglass dust and clouds of burning wood smoke. I am spraying water constantly to both cool things and try and control the dust, but it doesn't seem enough.
Conni stayed in the cockpit, reading, since she would have been crazed by the terrible mess that we're making I closed the door forward and stuffed cloth under it, as well as covered the vents. I did the same for the door into the aft berth, hoping to quarantine the mess in the main cabin.
The strong breeze today was blowing from the stern, so it blew directly into the cabin through the companionway. With the forward and aft berth closed, the wind blew in and then upward through the main hatch. Since that was fully open because the engine was hanging there, we had a nice flow-through that did reduce the mess somewhat. Still, there's sizable coating on everything in the main cabin. Conni and I decided that the cleanup was worth the faster work.
Gabriel keeps asking if it looks OK, if we've removed enough material. I keep replying, "No, 20mm more!" At this moment, it's like a bad dream that won't be solved.
We've done what we can for today. Conni and are cleaning as much mayhem as we can, realizing that whatever we do will have to be repeated later. Adrian will appear tomorrow morning and determine the next step. Gabriel and I carved down to the hull, so there's no more to be done. If the engine/prop alignment doesn't work, we'll have to go to Plan B, whatever that is.