Saturday, January 19, 2013

I Wanted A Project Boat, I Got A Project Boat!

Figure 13
Single battery system with no redundancy

Starting with the battery storage area.  There was one single large 12 volt battery (gel type).  I knew that I wanted to upgrade to a dual battery system.  I also knew that I  wanted to change the key switch out so that I could put in an automatic charging relay (ACR) switch that would manage the power from the alternator to distribution for the needs on the boat.  This project was scheduled for the summer.

Another area that I had initially exposed was the boat's bilge.  I had a rough schematic of the boat's design and saw that the bilge pump was located in the wrong place.  It was located toward the stern when it should have been located in the second position forward.  See Figure 14.
Figure 14
The bilge of the Constance Marie
How did I know this because I had previously pumped the bilge water that had collected and noticed that the first and second positions forward had the most water in it.  Want I did not take into consideration was how the Constance Marie was postioned on the boat stands.  When we subsequently launched her in late summer, the new bilge worked just fine.  The space for the bilge was a bit over 4 inches so I was limited in my selection and ended up getting one rated 750gph.  Not that it would really every pump that much.  I also chose one with an automatic selector because the float really did not have that much room either.  I decided not to hook up the automatic chord to the battery as the vertical length of the hose from the bilge to the thru-hull was about five feet and two of that was vertical.  I was advised against a check valve so the bilge was constantly pumping.
Anyhow, I took a 1/16 drill bit and drilled into each of the stringers.  The first and second position stringer found no wood.  i was not worried as the stringers were fiberglassed 1/2 thick and I felt that this was sufficent for the foreseeable future.

Turning to the engine, it was red, dirty, smelled a bit and all mine!  Look closely at the lower left corner of Figure 15 and you can even see evidence of a past fire.  Oh great!  I used to drop volkswagen engines when I was a teen, but this was a bit different, but not that different.

Figure 15
"The Beast" Westerbeke 10-2 Diesel 

It was a closed system, meaning that an impeller drove a raw water system that served to wrap around and help cool the anti-freeze radiator system that cooled the engine. The water looked like it discharged out the exhaust hose.  There was no raw water filter leading into the engine, there was a series of pumps, alternator, fuel injectors, generator, etc.  What I did not like was that it was difficult to get to many of these and that there was no spare parts kit. This was the original engine and considered experimental as most Hunter 27 in the Cherubini era had Yanmars or Renaults in them.  I was concerned about the burned areas of the bulkhead and whatever unseen damage it may indicate.  The engine would have to come out, Her motor mounts inspected and repaired, all the filters would be made available by hanging them on the starboard bulkhead and the engine well all painted a brilliant white.  I would create a project BOM for this to be done during the warmer days that lie ahead. 

Figure 16
The Stuffing Box of Mordor
But wait......the ugliest of a Mordor ORC raised its ugly head.  The stuffing box and shaft looked as if there were built using rust as the raw material.  For those of you with weak stomachs, I warn you that the Figure 16 is rated (MA) for mature audience.  I gasped as my eyes became fixed on something that I knew was broken.   I couldn't deal with it.  It was painful yet I knew it had worked well enough to get me from the mooring to the loading ramp during pullout.  I was dismayed but not beaten.  Another warm weather project!

Gee, January was really cold.  Needed to get some heat into the boat.  The boatyard has ruggedized power stations throughout and so a 100 foot yellow extension cord (see Figure 15 above) was run to one of them.  This provided power a 1500w portable heater when I was working on the boat. It would have been unfair to the club's expenses to run it otherwise.  It was unplugged when not in use.  I needed to focus on stuff that I could work on at home during these next couple of months until mid-March when days would begin to warm up.

Lesson Learned: Don't start too many projects at once.  They will overwhelm you and one can get burned out as I did between the months of March, April and May.  I barely got anything done between that time.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

To Work! To Work!

Well the holidays have past and the Constance Marie has been sitting on her boatstands for over three months. It was a hectic time around the boatyard as the cold weather began to move in.  All the boats had to be out of the mooring field by November 1st, docks had to be pulled in, the garage cleaned up to accommodate the tractors, the club house ready for the Holiday parties, firewood chopped - and anything that needed winterizing got soaked with pink piss. I had my plan, I knew what I had and what I needed to buy and I had my first six project BOMs developed.

It occurred to me that I needed to prep the boat for all this project work.  Let's get everything off the boat we don't need along with materials that I decided I could work on in the heated luxury of my basement. 
Figure 8
Looking Forward on January 12, 2013
I am six foot two and the 1980 Hunter Cherubini was built for a six footer.  I quickly learned to "duck" to survive as I moved around the galley going forward and aft. Remember, I bought the boat before I went on the boat!   

The very first thing I did was to rip all that beautiful tan carpet off the inside of the hull.  Why would I do that?  BLACK MOLD! 

Figure 9
Front berth with 35 gallon fresh water tank
You can see by the picture on the right the hairy mass of backing still stuck to the interior hull.  Once the carpet was out, I used an electric barber trimmer with a fine attachment to trim down the fibers left by the carpet.  Then I washed it down with Clorox to kill any mold remaining.  A lot of sanding by hand was done in the front berth area.  Just could not find a liquid alternative that would do the job as well. 
Figure 10
Looking Aft on January 12, 2013
Ok, for you hearty folks, its  January 12th in the mid-atlantic region - COLD - if you notice in the picture looking aft, no electric heater can be seen.  That surely was not going to stay that way very long.  I was storming through the boat, just unscrewing things, taking drawers out, taking off and out whatever teak wood I could remove.  I even opened up the electrical AC/DC combo panel and unscrewed all the connections thinking that I color coded them enought for later on.  I took the engine panels off, all the interior lights, lamps, and guages.

Lesson Learned - a famous king in Biblical times wrote on wisdom.  (Paraphrasing) He said that "it is wise to go and seek the counsel of experienced men before embarking on a great journey".   

Figure 11
Some of the Parts
I was dumber than dumb.  I had a beautiful plan and not the patience to approach it correctly.  As a result of this, the Constance Marie would not see a wet hull till September 2013.  I had stuff everywhere and it overwhelmed me.  Parts were in my car, my basement workbench, the garage, the garage workbench and on the boat.  The same with tools.  Today, I must have 50 straight-edge screw-drivers due to not being organized.  These replace / repair projects would eventually get me thinking right after many conversations with some of the more experienced sailors on the front porch of our club overlooking the northern headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay. 

Figure 12 - View from the porch of the Clubhouse
We cleaned the head using a small hand steamer loaded with 2 parts water, 1 part 409 and two caps of clorox.  Never noticed how clean everything was getting because the fumes had me visiting other places!  My intent was to rework all the teak wood veneer in my basement using a belt sander....LOL, I can hear some of you howling now!!!!! I still have not fully remedied that decision. 

Ok, so now I am ready to begin real projects.  Start placing your bets on what you think happens.