Friday, March 09, 2007

The Repowering Project Day 15

Fort Pierce


We made good progress this morning. We finished hooking up and adjusting the control cables for the throttle and gear shift. Then I set about to finish the exhaust system.

Because we moved the muffler to a different location, the old exhaust hose didn’t fit any more. Rather than replace the whole thing I elected to put in a splice about 8 inches long. I first tried a slightly smaller hose to splice it but that didn’t work. I set out on a scavenging hunt around the marina. Soon I found a piece of 2 inch O.D. water pipe. I used the grinder to cut off an 8 inch length. (Yes, the grinder again.) I also used a hole saw to cut a passage into the lower compartment where the muffler would sit. It worked. The pipe splice piece stuck through the hole and mated the hoses.

The final step was to secure the muffler so that it wouldn’t rattle around and more important so that it would not touch the rotating propeller shaft. Libby suggested using a piece of webbing to make a strap. That was an excellent idea. I screwed down the ends of the strap and the muffler is made fast.

We also cut and fit on new fuel lines. One for the supply and one for the return. That went smoothly.

After lunch we diverted to a side project. When Bud Taplin was here he spotted a potentially serious flaw. A toggle used to secure the boomkin stay to the tang had half failed. If it failed all the way when we had strong following winds, we could have been demisted. I was mortified that I didn’t spot the fault myself. I can’t say how long it has been broken.

Below is a picture of the broken toggle after removal.

Anyhow we ordered two new toggles from West Marine (at $45 each, wow!) and now they arrived. After lunch we set out to install them. We were almost done when BANG, the head of a bolt fastening the tang to the mast popped of. It simply fractured.

Uh oh. That means that all the bolts and the tangs -- all the stainless structural pieces for the boomkin and rudder fastening were suspect. But that would be another major project because carpentry makes the inside of most of those bolts inaccessible. We have enough with projects this year. We’re not anxious to add any more weeks or months on to our boat yard stay this year. We bought new bolts and replaced the top bolt on the tangs both port and starboard. Those were the two we could reach. Some other time, before any ocean crossings, we’ll replace the others. Al Hatch claimed to have replaced all the standing rigging in 2001, so that should be good for a while. Also, last year we replaced one of the chain plates and inspected the old one with a penetrating dye test. It showed no cracks.

The picture below shows the new toggle.

I remarked to a passer by captain in the boat yard at how shocked I was that such a substantial toggle and bolts should just fail that way. “Ha,” he said, “No surprise. 15 years is all you can expect for the lifetime of stainless steel parts that are under tension. Bronze, on the other hand, lasts a lifetime.” Whoops. I didn’t know that. Add that piece of knowledge to my boat owner’s library.

By now it was 1600, nearly the end of the day. I used the remaining time to fill the engine coolant, and lube oil and the transmission lubricant.

Tomorrow, we tackle the one remaining step before starting the engine. That is to reconnect all the wiring.

Repowering day 16

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