Friday, June 7, 2013

June & July - Fixing the Iron Sail and Then Some!

I can not tell you how many times, as the weather warmed, that I visited the Constance Marie high and dry on her boatstands during April and May.  I would go there and just sit and look at the things I wanted to do.  I had spent more time during this past winter (November through June) organizing the maintenance garage at the club than working on my boat.  I think in a way, it was a way of achieving victory over projects that I did not want to tackle on the boat.  It was good for the club, as we cleaned up the clutter, organized the hardware and created work centers for the guys to drill, sand, cut metal, weld, cut wood and generally tinker with odds and ends.  I labeled everything I could so people would know where things were.  Sadly, the Constance Marie was experiencing loneliness.  Through improving the garage, I actually restored my motivation to take care of my boat projects and finally put others second.  Sometimes we serve and sometimes we need to be hunbled in being served.

Turning my attention to fixing the Westerbeke 10-2 diesel (The Beast), I realized I was in over my head.  By this time I had learned who in the club was good at things.  I also learned that there is a cadre of members who earn a few bucks assisting other members in the club with their boat projects. The guy I was looking for was named Andy.  Experienced, a straight shooter, great sense of humor and above all, a penny pincher.  I would come to like that last trait alot.  Andy believed if you can get the right part for pennies less, it's worth it.  I just wanted the engine to run reliably every time I turned on the ignition switch.  Problem was, the ignition switch wasn't working.  Then we got serious and I loved it.  I had a partner, a noble task, and the resources to ensure success.
I was remiss in taking photos of the pulling of the beast out of its cavity.  The Constance Marie was wedged too close to the adjacent relics that we could not get the club's frontloader close enough to lift The Beast out.  Andy rigged some block and tackle to the main boom and The Beast was hoisted out and laid on the ground beside her benefactor, propped on two 6 x 6's in the mud.  For some reason I started to feel like a enuch. 

Figure 22- The Beast
Figure 23 - Bloody mess
Remember I told you that I had spent most of the winter fixing up the garage.  Guess what, now were going to make use of some that extra space and the new work centers to fix the iron sail!  We used the front loader to move The Beast to the garage where she would sit for 2-3 weeks until we tackled some other projects that needed to be done before reuniting The Beast to its momma.  Look at the engine cavity (Figure 24)and all it entails and then look past the bulkhead and the prop shaft and try to envision all that lies behind there for a sailboat that has a wheel mounted helm.

Figure 24 - The gate to hell
Working from the stern, we found helm drainage hoses, wiring buses,  steering quadrants, steering pulleys and cables, the muffler, exhaust hose, missing nuts and bolts, wear and tear on the hull, the fuel tank, thru hull fittings and the need to clean up that part of the boat that I was sure has not been painted or cleaned for 33 years.

At this point, perhaps a series of pictures would serve best with commentary offered where helpful.  My intent for the Journey of the Constance Marie is to put my prime thoughts down and then go back and add the BOMs associated with each project so that this journey becomes more of a tool for the novice apprentice who wants to take on a project boat.