Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Repowering Project Day 14

Fort Pierce,


The morning hours were consumed with non boat yard errands. I went to the WiFi hot spot at the city marina to post a blog, and to check with the FCC on my HAM license (it is not posted yet), to pay our boat insurance bill, and to post an ad on Craig‘s List for our gel cell batteries. Then I drove to the machine shop and dropped off the shaft, the hub, the nut and the pin. I explained to the machinist what was needed. He said, “tomorrow.”

I also bought a piece of lexan to complete the customization of our engine panel. The lexan will extend the panel to cover up the hole cut for the old engine’s panel. I wanted black plastic, 1/4 inch thick but I had to settle for 1/8 inch transparent. I also bought a can of black spray paint to make it black.

Libby stayed behind at the apartment. She wrapped birthday presents for grandkids, and then she did our federal and state income tax declarations.

I picked Libby up and drove her to the post office. When we were returning from the post office, I got a call from the machine shop. “Surprise,” he said, “it’s ready.” I drove back to the shop and picked it up. He bored out the face of the hub a little bit rather than taper the shaft more. Then he cut too far so he gave me a flat washer to put under the nut as a shim. The fit is very tight but it fits.

Finally, we stopped at West Marine to pick up a part I ordered. By that time it was 1200 and time for lunch already.

After lunch Libby and I tackled the propeller project straight away. We got the shaft back in. The fit was very very tight. I wish that the cutout in the rudder was a little bigger. Then I attached the coupling, and bolted it to the engine. Then we put on the key, the hub, the nut and tightened it down enough to drive the pin in. It took a lot of force to drive the pin in, but it’s done.

To complete the job, we reassembled the propeller, packed it with grease, set the pitch for 18 degrees, greased it through the grease fittings, and secured all the screws with cotter pins. The job was done by 1630.

Libby is tired, but I am beginning to feel deeply fatigued. I’m too old for to work so hard 7 days a week. If we push hard, and there are no more setbacks, then we need two more long days of hard work to be ready. That means launch on Saturday. Allowing an extra day for contingencies, and that means Monday (the boat yard doesn’t launch on Sundays). As anxious as we are to get this project done, I’m afraid of mistakes when working while fatigued. I may have to force myself to go slower even if it means several more days here. Dean Chapman emailed me advising patience with this project too. Good advice but hard to accept.

For several weeks I have been entertaining myself by visualizing the Elitzur-Vaidman double slit experiment that they call “quantum imaging in the dark.” I read about it in Scientific American. For decades I have been using Scientific American to help me fall asleep. I settle on some difficult concept and try to understand. Sometimes I can spend months going to sleep contemplating the opening few paragraphs of a single article. Once I spent more than two years falling asleep trying to grok supernova collapse and never did get it. Last night I had a breakthrough. I think that I now grok quantum double slit behavior of photons. Very cool and very weird. Now I’ll have to find a fresh sleep aid. Tonight I’ll try to explain it to Libby.

Repowering day 15

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