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.