Fluffy Halyard

All the rope on the boat has now been through the washing machine and is transformed from the green slimy mess it was into something quite presentable – except that is for the main halyard …WP_20150607_007 n600x337

The outer sheath has broken apart and then started to fray badly. It looks like a fluffy fashion accessory now!

Running Engine

The engine is running! See it here.

Some of the issues that had to be resolved:

  • The truck engine sump was a different shape and would not have fitted in the space available so we have used the old sump, but the oil pickup was then in the wrong place and a new one has been fabricated to fit.
  • The truck engine had a balanced crankshaft – none of that will fit so the old crank has been used.
  • Even for apparently similar items the studs were sometimes different lengths and needed swapping round.

The injector pump was sent away to be checked as were the starter motors and alternators. Both starter motors and both alternators were in good condition so we have useful spares.

The next step will be to get it painted – most of the hoses are masked off ready then the alternator has to go on and then back in the boat.

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Boom or Bust

I hadn’t looked closely at the end of the boom before.

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At first sight the gooseneck looks like a very sturdy construction just needing the surface rust cleaning off and painting or galvanizing. But look again, there is a pin running through at the bottom and if you look really closely its only held in place with a bit of seizing wire. I got hold of the boom at lifted thinking to check just how tight the joint was and found that the whole end of the boom swings up exposing a set of gears inside. I suppose with the boom sheeted down and the vang tightened there isn’t really a problem, but it doesn’t feel well engineered.

The problem is of course that the boom was originally a roller furling boom, hence the gears.

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Plate Thickness

A surveyor went over the hull measuring plate thickness today. This showed a pretty consistent 4mm deck, 4.5mm on the hull and 8mm on the keel and hull sole. The one spot that gives an concern is a patch about 0.5m square around the inlet and outlet for the heads. Given the amount of scale on this patch on the inside it suggests there has been some leaking. Given we aim to move the heads aft in the long term, I think we will re-plate this are and get rid of the through hulls. It does mean that moving the heads will have to be done before launch. Looking on the bright side, the hull is every bit as good as I thought – that’s one more potential major cost that can be crossed off.

Grinding

With the bare hull clear and washed (again) it was time to clean off the whole surface with a flap wheel grinders. This takes off the surface rust and scale without polishing the surface too much. Along the welds and under the frames I used a wire brush, again on the grinders. The dust was pretty dire, particularly where lumps of mud remained, but the end finish is nearly clean enough to paint.

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Dropping the Floor

Under the old cabin sole there was a space of about 250mm, while there was standing headroom only in the centre of the boat. The sole was held up by a steel frame and my initial plan was to rip out the steel frame and replace it with a new wooden frame that sits much lower. This is the frame in place:

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Using the two timbers lengthways down the centre was a good way of getting a level floor as low as possible but is unlikely to be the final solution’ Small steel risers from the cross beams of the hull will give me rigidity, and using cross beams made of wood will be easy to attach the sole to. My thought at present is to use planking lengthwise rather than plywood.

Cleansing the Sole

The boards were originally covered in peeling stained cork tiles, stripping these off left a layer of old glue and bits of tile on top of a layer of Ronseal’s best varnish.

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However a quick run over with the belt sander left a clean surface. I used 40 grit so the surface is not too smooth, then I hope a layer of clear matt varnish will seal the surface without making it slippery. Next year we can paint the floor or put a complete new floor down.

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Bilge Washing

Joss partially sank on her mooring in Dartmouth in 2006 and earlier in her life she lived in a mud berth for 18 months. Somewhere in this she acquired a thick layer of mud in the bilge. On the basis of doing the least possible before re-launch we tried a bit of scrubbing with a brush and hose pipe in the portside aft cabin and under the engine. The trouble is that there was a reserve of mud under parts of the sole we had not lifted and however much we washed it stayed muddy. We kept removing another part of the fittings an taking up another section of floor and we ended up with an almost bare shell.

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On the basis of doing the least possible before re-launch we tried a bit of scrubbing with a brush and hose pipe in the portside aft cabin and under the engine. The trouble is that there was a reserve of mud under parts of the sole we had not lifted and however much we washed it stayed muddy. We kept removing another part of the fittings an taking up another section of floor and we ended up with an almost bare shell.

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A virtue of this was realising how much space was going to waste in the bilge. In the centre of the main cabin there was over six feet of headroom, but moving aft toward the galley headroom decreased to a point where it wasn’t possible to comfortably stand at the sink. With the sole up, it became clear we can drop the level by about six or eight inches.

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More Engine Progress

The combined engine parts have all come together and we are just waiting for some hoses and the refurbished starter motor and alternator. Since there were two to choose from we might get them both done so there are spares for when they are needed. Overall the process has gone smoothly, some studs had to be moved across to cope with different thickness of fittings, and the oil pickup pipe for the sump had to be made up to fit. The old engine had a flat bottomed sump to accommodate a balanced crankshaft whereas the new engine had a step half way along. The new oil pickup had to fit the old sump and had to be modified to fit correctly.WP_20150306_001 600x549

Engine Out

The engine was lifted out today. Taking the Perspex off the top of the dog house revealed that the bottom edge of the opening is partly rusted away. That adds to the view that the doghouse will have to go in the long term. For this year a blast with the grinder to get back to solid metal and then fitting a wooden fame should be sufficient.

 

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The engine looks better now it’s outDSC_0050 Engine Out 600x593

The floor beneath is pretty mucky. A priority will be to clean that up and get it painted before the engine has to go back in.

 

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