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Today was a very productive day! I finally managed to get that 49 year old engine coupling off the shaft this afternoon… And the only reason it took 4 hours was due to the Dremel 8220 needing to be recharged halfway through the project. As I didn’t want to cut into the bronze shaft and risk there being a balance issue I choose to use a Dremel 8220 instead of a dedicated grinder: Too much muscle in such a confined space. With the Dremel, I was able to use one hand and have a better chance at being careful.

20120923-164133.jpg I won’t bore you to death the with blow by blows (literally, as I also pulled a ball peen hammer out of the tool box to help me persuade the rust to give up its death-grip), but I finally managed to get that damn thing off!

While grinding and tapping with the ball peen, the stuffing box began to drip excessively. This wasn’t unexpected, after all that drip was why I was able to buy the boat for $800 in the first place, I knew I had to repack the stuffing box anyway. So, after I removed the coupling, I backed the stuffing box off the lock-nut and removed it completely. Free for the first time in 49 years, I cleaned, carefully repacked and reinstalled it. Doing so, of course, let about a gallon of seawater in, but I had it taken apart and let it free-flow for about half an hour.

Okay, no problem, I knew that would be the case. After all of that grinding, of dropping small chunks of rusted metal, and repacking of the stuffing box, I knew that the cleanup of this little project would include cleaning the bilge.

Before:

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After:

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After cleaning up the shaft a little I also cleaned out the bilge with a couple of gallons of water and West Marine’s Pure Oceans Citrus Bilge Cleaner ($10). After dumping it in, pumping a little of it out through both bilge pumps (an electric and a Whale Gusher via the cockpit) I decided to give the deck a quick scrub down and let it slosh in the bilge for half an hour before pumping it out, flushing the bilge with fresh water, then using my wet/dry vac to suck every last drop out of the bilge.

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Okay, now that I had everything back to back to being nice and clean, I again dry-fitted all of the electric drive components and Lithium LifePo4 batteries, the Sevcom 48v to 12v converter, the BMS, and of couse, the Electric Yachts of Southern California’s 100ibl electric drive assembly (the single, heaviest piece of equipment, yet only about 50 pounds).

Here’s a picture of the entire electronic beast sans the charging system (to be continued, I promise). For comparison, I have also included a photo of the original single cylinder, 8HP Farymann diesel for a before and after comparison:
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Now, keep in mind that when everything gets mounted, secured down and/or removed from its packaging it will be a whole lot neater and better organized. The reason I did this was to get a better idea of the weight distribution. With no water in the tanks, lockers basically empty and no anchor chain in the bow I can confirm that everything is in trim, balanced, and bobbing high on her waterline like a happy little duck!

I also now know that I will have more room than before and can rebuild the stairs to give me a tad more standing room under an open hatch. I can even add a third step/trash can to the plan.

Anyway, today was a productive day. After everything was ground off (thanks, Mike Gunning from Electric Yachts of Southern California, for the obvious, but overlooked suggestion!) and hammered to within an inch of its life, scrubbed, washed, dried with a shop vac and mocked up to check weight distribution I now know what will be on next week’s To Do list: Battery mounts; 12v house battery location (I might move the outside Lithium batteries to under the settees and move the 12v house battery (I’m thinking about getting a single Mastervolt SlimLine 185AH, compressed AGM ($700 & 119 pounds) to a lower, more centered position for better weight distribution. And, it would be easy to make it accessible and secured under the lowest step.

Future thoughts and to be continued…

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