How to replace the shaft while in the water…without sinking! Part 2

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Okay, this is going to be a quick, down and dirty article in an effort to respond to a post on Facebook’s Liveaboard Sailboat group and it’s also Part 2 of the original article about not sinking my boat when…

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This is a shot of my brand new, old-school, flax-packed stuffing box with my new prop shaft. As you can see, the locking bolt has been backed off and the packing nut has been backed off… New stuffing box on new shaft

 

An inside view of the packing nut (I think that’s what it’s called). When the flax is inserted, and when screwed down onto the stuffing box, it compresses and makes a “water-tight’ seal. By “water-tight” I mean that it should keep the ocean out when the propeller shaft isn’t spinning (either by engine power or by the flow of water making the propeller rotate while sailing and the engine is in neutral, et cetera). When is use, there should be a few drips of water. THIS IS NORMAL and a required part of it’s function — if it is packed with simply flax. The water is needed to both lubricate and cool the seal.View of where the stuffing goes

 

Here is a photo of the flax cut to length, which is the radius of the shaft. Going traditional, you would cut three or four of these to length and line them up so that their ends do not line up.Flax cut to size

 

For Sine Metu, I wanted a dryer bilge area and went with the Drip Less Moldable Packing Kit as shown. This green putty needs to be sandwiched between layers of old-school flax, and there is a special kind of grease that also gets added to the mix. Make sure you read the directions!

This shot doesn’t show the final strand of flax…which I forgot to add and thus, had to remove a little of the Drip Less packing to make room for. Again, read directions!

Flax and Drip less packing

 

Here is the packing nut all filled up and ready to go! A little trick I learned was to screw it on down and compress the packing material, remove it once more and then I was able to add more Drip Less packing material between the layers of flax. Obviously, as I was doing this in the comfort of my cockpit and not contorted over and around the engine, this is a best case example. But, with my 52 pound electric drive, I would have certainly removed the dozen odd bolts and pulled the engine anyway. Stuffed as best as possible

 

Keep in mind that my boat was in the water when I did this. It’s really easy with the shaft removed and a soft wood plug tapped into the underwater cutless bearing. And as you can see, there isnt a drop of water flowing in.

For what it’s worth, that’s the original, 50 year old stuffing box, which I had to use a hacksaw to split open to remove.

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Here is the brand new stuff in box in place. Fabio of WEST COAST DIVING SERVICES was coming by the next day to help me install the propeller shaft and prop. Everything went great and, well, you’ll have to wait and read about the eDrive’s performance with the new prop!
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Speaking of which, this is the new, over pitched prop from Deep Blue Yacht Supply, Inc.; a MP33B10B: 10 x 12 Bronze with 3/4 Bore, RH Rotation and No Cupping. This is the “before’ photo. I applied three coats of Petit Zinc Coat Barnacle Barrier as it works great over here in Southern California and Mexican waters.


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The “after” photo of the prop, along with the shaft’s zinc and bolts, key and cotter pin.IMG_1702

 

So, there you have it, a successful in-the-water shaft and stuffing box replacement. All in all, a little less than a gallon of water came in during the entire process, but I was prepared for a worst-case events with two electric bilge pumps freshly tested and ready to go, a manual, gallon-per-stroke monster in the cockpit and I had confirmed that the dock master had their massive, heavy-duty pump at the ready. Better to be prepared than to be blowing bubbles!

 

Reflections of dreams on a Sunday’s Morn.

I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.

~ Henry David Thoreau

As I’ve spent the last two days at the annual San Diego International Boat Show, dreaming dreams built in the air and floating on the water. With almost 100 boats catching my eye, I hop from boat to boat looking at things that shine, things that are meticulous in their build and things that are simply simple. There are over 150 vessels at the show, but those with Fiats on their decks, staterooms and crew’s quarters are castles I don’t care to climb aboard. Even if the if was no longer an if, such needs to impress have never been in me.

No, the lover that bewitched me was the Leopard 44 Catamaran…oh my! What a piece of work is this craft! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an Angel with her wings spread! in apprehension of the waves how like a god! The beauty of the world open to her! The paragon of sailing vessels! Sorry William, but your fine words were all that I could think of as I walked her decks and remembered where my castles were.

I went back again this morning, their last day, and took some photographs of her so you will know what I mean by this plagiaristic praise!

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My dreams of sailing started out when I was young, very young to my mind now. I was maybe eight or nine when I was infected with the ocean blue bug, and, admittedly, I will try to infect you, the reader, with it too.

Today, my dream is to get this damn little boat untied from the dock and get this thing called life started! To get this done, I need to find a person who will, in exchange for my time, sweat, intelligence or whatever they find of value provide me with enough of an income to pay for these stalled repairs. In between the endless résumé and cover letter rewrites I have been polishing up an old manuscript that I hope to finish within the next 30 days and self-publish as an ebook here on this website and various outlets like Amazon, Apple and so on.

Finishing the book is more about finishing it and moving on to other writing projects than allowing myself the vanity of hope that it will be a best seller and the tonic for all my troubles. Life doesn’t work that way, but I have to finish it to just be able to move on. It has been a guilt on my conscious, leaving it unfinished for all these years. A victim of a weakness of character on my part, that if something cannot be done perfectly it shouldn’t even be attempted… I know that such perfectionism is so off target as to be laughable, and that’s the joke: I have been and will always be, my own worst enemy!

Sailing alone through the water is, for me, a wondrous and spiritual moment in my life. Every time. With only the music of the wind in the sails and rhythm of the water flowing over the hull I am home and I find contentment. But, through writing, I find myself; I get to meet and converse with my better and lesser angels and get lost in thoughts both deep and whimsical. After days on the sea, I find my inner-self so relaxed that I wake myself up from dreams laughing. Oh, what a great way to wake!

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…but for now, Sine Metu will carry me and my dreams across that horizon!

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Java time!

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Today on Facebook, Practical Sailor posted a question about what’s the best way to enjoy coffee in the morning. Well, here is my system:
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I start with whole beans from Starbucks, with Italian Roast being my current favorite.
•Then, I store all of that in a stainless steel, 64 fl. oz. AirScape canister. It holds just shy of a full pound of coffee beans.
•When I want coffee, I hand grind those perfectly stored beans using a Kyocera Ceramic Conical Burr Coffee Grinder. While I’ve never timed how long it takes me to grind enough beans for a press of coffee, my routine is to start 7 cups of water boiling on my Forespar Mini-Galley stove (4 cups for the French Press and the rest for either oatmeal or a freeze-dried breakfast and a little left over for washing up), set everything up, then start grinding. I’m done grinding before the water has boiled.
•Then I add the grounds and just-boiled water to a 34 oz. Thermos Nissan French Press. Wait about 3 minutes, give it a couple of little taps to help settle the grinds, wait 1 more minute and press.

The Thermos Nissan Press keeps the coffee very hot for over three hours. But, if I were to improve upon it at all, I’d look for a lid that locks down. Boats rock, accidents happen and spilled coffee burns! If that’s a threat, in other words, anytime I am not docked or in a quiet anchorage, I transfer the contents over to my pre-heated, Thermos Nissan 48-Ounce Wide Mouth Stainless-Steel Bottle and clip it to a leash. Hey, Sine Metu is only a 24′ sailboat and it can get a little sporting out there some days. I may not cry over spilt milk, but freshly brewed coffee is a whole other story!

As with all things galley related, I have to thank The Boat Galley, for all the great advice on everything I use for my morning coffee. Their website and book have earned them the title of being my Galley Guru!

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How to replace the shaft while in the water—without sinking! Part 1

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How to replace the shaft while in the water…without sinking! Part 1

So, it’s the end of July and the diver who cleans my hull monthly mentions that the prop is loose. Turns out, the threaded area has been eaten away by electrolysis after being submerged for 50 years…go figure. So, we pull pull the shaft (it took 45 minutes!) and discover that the 3/4″ bronze shaft has been eaten away too much to be re-machined.

What to do?

Well, I ordered a new Aqualoy 22 stainless steel shaft from Deep Blue Yacht Supply (http://www.deepblueyachtsupply.com) along with an aggressive 10×12 Michigan MP3 prop to compliment the electric drive’s high torque curve. It should be here by the end of August, so I will let you know how it works out!

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As of October 28, 2013, the prop project is complete! And to top everything off we only let in about a cup of water to boot!

Aqualoy Stainless Propeller Shaft A_22 – 29″ x 3/4″ – Single Taper – –
New vs. original shaft.

New vs. original shaft.

Here is a photo of the new Aqualoy stainless propeller shaft from Deep Blue Yacht Supply (http://www.deepblueyachtsupply.com/prop-shafts) lined up with the original bronze shaft. I have no idea what the original shaft’s composition was, if it was bronze or silicon bronze or melted down pennies with a little tin added. All i know about it is what you can deduce from the photos: It was old, severely eaten away through electrolysis, but not from wear.

IMG_1644 I also replaced the original 10×8 prop (ten inches in diameter with an eight inch pitch) with a 10×12 over pitched prop to take advantage of the electric drives massive torque at low RPMs (you don’t have to rev the engine up to someplace like 900-1,100 RPMs to keep it from stalling). As of this writing I have not tested its theoretical performance so I don’t have any real world numbers, yet…

IMG_1647 Here is a side by side comparison of the old 10×8 and the new 10×12 prop and you can clearly see the change in pitch.  The new prop is a custom made MP3 Michigan Prop in bronze (http://www.deepblueyachtsupply.com/propellers/mp3-propeller). Along with the prop they also sent a machinist’s report. I am not versed in what everything means, but I can deduce that it is in balance.   IMG_1651

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Oaky, so now it’s time to also replace the stuffing box! I have to admit, this is what caused me the most sleeplessness with nightmare scenario dreams of water gushing into the boat and me being the little Dutch boy with his finger in the dike.

 

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Acquiesce? It isn’t a choice.

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Problems are as inevitable and expected as knowing that rain is wet. How you handle those problems is the only thing that matters. Will you use them as bricks, adding to the breadth and weight of the wall before you, or will you use them as stepping stones to line your path? 

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As Bob Bitchin says, “The difference between an ordeal and an adventure is attitude!”

Being a good citizen of the snot green sea.

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“The snotgreen sea. The scrotum tightening sea.” ~James Joyce, 1882–1941.

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When that was originally inked, I am sure that James Joyce wasn’t thinking about Coke and Pepsi bottles floating in the surf, plastic bottle caps killing seaborne birds by the nesting site, nor do I think he envisioned oceanic gyres—the giant, mid-ocean swirls of trash of our time. No. When I read his words, I know he was expressing the awesome beauty of the stormy sea: Of stomach-churning, monstrous waves; of roaring, sail-shredding tempests; and the sudden calmness and grandeur found in the eye of the hurricane.

While working this morning on the novel, a couple of couples in their dinghies motored by. From my vantage point a couple of floors above I watched in both amazement and joy at what they were doing — picking up what trash they could reach along the shore. And judging by the already full bags of trash in their inflatables, they were being very successful at cleaning up what the inconsiderate tossed aside.

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There is always something that I (and you) can do to help make our oceans healthier, cleaner and better than what we inherited from past generations. And the first step is to stop being indifferent to it. Instead of stepping over a piece of plastic that I know will eventually blow into the water, I need — and promise — to take three seconds out of my day and throw it away.

There are organizations that, while not a joiner, I can emulate. There are things I can do, even when I am 1,000 miles from the nearest dirt, to help those who are tabulating and trying to diagnose the state of today’s oceans. I have downloaded the Secchi App and have built a Secchi Disk to help them monitor the phytoplankton levels in the Pacific Ocean.

From their website:

“The marine phytoplankton account for approximately 50% of all photosynthesis on Earth and, through the plankton food web that they support, they both underpin the marine food chain and play a central role in the global carbon cycle strongly influencing the Earth’s climate.

Living at the surface of the sea the phytoplankton are particularly sensitive to changes in sea surface temperature. A recent study of global phytoplankton abundance over the last century concluded that global phytoplankton concentrations have declined due to rising sea surface temperatures as a consequence of current climate change.

We need to know much more about these changes and you can help by making a simple piece of scientific equipment called a Secchi Disk and using the Secchi App.”

<a href="http://www1.plymouth.ac.uk/marine/secchidisk/Pages/default.aspx“>
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(http://www1.plymouth.ac.uk/marine/secchidisk/Pages/default.aspx)

A final, sad little note that’s sums up the state of our oceans was this scene I saw this morning: A seagull had become entangled in fishing line, landed atop a light pole here on Shelter Island, which then became entangled to the light. I am sure the ensuring cacophony of clarion shrieks didn’t last long before it died where you see it, just as thousands of other creatures needlessly die every week.

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Please take three seconds out of your day and throw it away.

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Still sitting on the shore

It has been a while since I’ve updated the blog, but it has nothing to do with the dream, which, by the way, is alive and well! Yes, I’m still sitting on the beach looking out onto the water instead of spending the weekends being anchored out in Mariner’s Cove (32°46.089 N, 117°14.959 W)

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Instead of working on the boat, I have been busy trying to make and save money, replying to an IRS Tax audit from back when I was unemployed for 1,000 days. Wells Fargo, it seems, discharged my debt after two years of harassing phone calls, threats of lawsuits, thrashing and trashing my credit score…

OKAY! Enough of that bad juju. Anyway, I survived the audit and I am moving on.

So, anyway, I didn’t mean to go off on a rant as this was meant to be a quick post about sitting on the shore and looking out onto my favorite anchorage. If I ever needed motivation to sail Sine Metu across the Pacific then this is the place to come. A morning walk along the shore, watching the rays and fish swim by, feeling the warmth of the sun and the coolness of the morning breeze as I walk along the shore. My pants legs rolled up, shoes in my hand and splash the still-brisk water as I stroll along, sipping a cup of coffee.

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The project is about over, extended another eight weeks until mid-July, and my budget is pretty sound, but tight. Pride aside, if you can Donate to the Dream and help me make this writing hiatus a reality, please do — and thank you in advance!

Calmness

If eyes are the mirror to our souls, then what we see in tranquil, mirror-calm waters must surely reflect our soul.

Just a quick photo from this morning’s walk along Shelter Island, San Diego. The calm water, occasionally rippled by pelicans and grebes going after the baitfish, caught my eye in the morning light.

Best wishes to everyone for a Happy, Safe and Productive New Year!

JB

Eating Water

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An excerpt from my journal dated January, 2010.

“I know so many people out there right now that are struggling to make ends meet, struggling to put food on the table, struggling to keep a roof over their heads. Struggling just to struggle…” JB

Never underestimate the value of a $3 cigar.


Even when everything else in the world seems to be rotting on the vine, holding onto a single, small treasure like a cigar can give you at least a moment to look forward to at the end of a long, long week of sending out resumes, trying to scratch a living off of the internet, eBay, or Craigslist. With benefits having ran out, they take on an even greater meaning that I could not quantify. To me, it felt like hope wrapped with fond memories and when lit, turned into a moment – a timeout – from all of my troubles.

When all you can afford is one drink, make sure you drink on an empty stomach.

I am a realist. I see things as they are and not with labels. The glass is neither half full nor half empty, it’s simply a glass of water that doesn’t look like it will slosh out and splash all over me if I walk with it. Splurging on Happy Hour one day, I sat there with my one, $2 beer and pondered things for a few minutes. I came to this conclusion, “I can only afford this one beer. But, since I haven’t eaten, this is turning out to be one great beer!” Obviously already buzzed, I slowly nursed that single amber pint and relaxed more than I have in a long time.

Stress manifests itself in many ways and with me, it was a weight that bent my back. Hunched over, it seemed like that weight crushed my gaze inevitably downward. But, that one beer on an empty stomach seemed to give me just enough of a buzz that it made me relax; I could feel my shoulders loosen, my posture shift and I lifted my eyes up from the ground and found myself watching people walk by. Being able to sit at a restaurant amongst people once every eight or nine days, enjoying something as simple as a beer, seemed to matter more to me than the cheap, enjoyable buzz. It meant, for a few sips anyway, I was able to be part of society instead of being quasi-homeless…

White on White: Mayo packets stolen from the corner sandwich shop and mixed with rice and salt.

When you can only afford a scoop of rice per meal and not much else, anything edible that you can add to it, to somehow make it different from the last twenty meals, makes a world of difference. And while everyone says they crave stability, I don’t think anyone would apply that word to their diet. Eating basically the same thing, everyday, is what Jimmy Buffet sang about in Cheeseburger in Paradise, “Warm beer and bread they say could raise the dead…” But, when you are living on $3 a day, variety is usually something you shake out of a spice jar.

Back in our college days, where most of us learned how to be Top Ramen gourmets, we quickly learned how to make the most of our beer budget by adding other ingredients to those golden noodles. Me? I loved cracking an egg or two into the kettle after the noodles were done. They soaked up the spices and became little floating entrees amongst the noodles. But, when you are on the unemployment insurance diet, loosing weight isn’t a problem. After almost two years on it, you are guaranteed to fit into those “skinny jeans” of your younger years. Around day 750, just over 2 years of unemployment, I had a chance to step on a scale and found that I had dropped over 30 pounds, almost 6 inches off my waistline, and every ounce of baby fat I ever had in my face. In fact, looking at photos taken of me three years ago, to looking at myself in the mirror today I can see how my facial features have sunk. My jawline is more pronounced, checks seem thin— I can see muscles under my skin as if I’m eating something crunchy—and my eyes seem bigger somehow…

One day, while walking through the food court at the local mall I pilfered condiment packets off a hotdog stand. Like a pickpocket eyeing a target, I casually drifted towards the table with the napkins and condiment packets, pulled a napkin from the dispenser and made a show of wiping something off my hand, all the while looking casually around to see if anyone was watching… Obviously, it bothered me what I was contemplating (equally obvious, I suck at poker). Pulling out a couple more napkins, I grabbed a few mayonnaise and spicy brown mustard packets, covered them with the napkin, shoved them into my pocket and walked away.

My little larceny was for a cooking experiment: White on White. Since I’m limited to just a microwave to cook with, rice is the bulk of my daily diet. Rice for breakfast and rice for dinner. I can’t afford lunch. White on White is cooked rice, salted to taste, then I mixed in a few of those mayo packets and, voilà, I got something new to eat!

(This was when my food budget was $3.00 per day and the bulk of my diet consisted of a scoop of rice around mid-morning and a scoop for dinner. A scoop was 1 cup.)

Friendships are rented.

Friends and family seem to vanish either because we push them away or because we drift apart. But sometimes, we lock ourselves away into a self-imposed exile because of pride. We are embarrassed by our circumstances. We are no longer who we were, at least from our depressed point of view.

Showing up at Happy Hour is uncomfortable at best, often painful, or simply draining of what energy I had left to simply just to show up. There are so many people out there that have no clue that the person standing next to them (1 in 10 here in California (circa 01/10)) might be unemployed… It’s at those times that you realize that the term “friend” has meaning. It becomes a word that is used to describe those people in your life you can actually talk to and escape your personal exile with for a few moments. They are the ones that will float you $20 until your next Unemployment check so that you can buy 10 days worth of groceries (5lbs rice-$5, fresh veggies-$7, chicken bouillon cubes-$4, special entree of the week (4 cans of chili-$4, pasta sauce, 2 for $4, et cetera)…

Other people in your life will, hopefully, never know or realize that you are (were?) unemployed. These are the people whose “friendship” was rented. They were friends as long as you bought a round from time to time. They were friends when you joined them for Happy Hour once in a while. They were friends that were there only socially.

You know they are rented friends if they never ask, “Hey buddy, what’s up? Haven’t seen you for awhile… Everything okay?”

But, these are the social networking friends that we must ply in our search for employment. These are the old colleagues we bump into from our long lost paycheck days, and lie to, telling them that “oh yeah, things are great now that I’m not with…”

It’s a lie we, the unemployed, tell ourselves, too. We have to. Pride is also rented.

Looking for work is harder than work.

Being unemployed is such a misnomer. Those of us who’ve been unemployed for double-digit months, let alone years, know all too well that we have jobs: Our work is looking for work; our job is getting out of bed every day and trying to remember what day it is (think Groundhog’s Day to the tenth power); our job is trying to force ourselves to get out of bed and tell ourselves that, “Today will be productive.”
Sending resumes to every job opening that you want morphs into sending them to anything that you feel you might possibly be qualified for—even those jobs that you have to dumb-down your resume for by cutting out all references to graduate level education (i.e., a Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology when you’re applying for a job at Subway), redacting all accomplishments (i.e., 10 years of experience as a Technical Field Trainer), and turning past employment into plain vanilla bullet points (i.e., 14 years of management experience morphs into “People Skills”).

I have about 20 different resumes that I send out not to mention rewriting and editing each one to match the job opening I am applying for because I know that they will run a keyword search on the resume to see if it has the correct buzzwords long before anyone will take the time to even bother to read it.

(Jump to today, December, 2012)

I have decided to post this journal entry so that you will know what the low-water mark of my life was as nothing in my life was as bad as those days. Having no hope left was like a weight on my chest making every breath an effort. Yet, having no dreams was even worse. It was then that I prayed for more weight to keep the air from entering my lungs. It is then that I gave up…

When my unemployed odyssey ended on January 1, 2011, when I started the temp job I’ve had for almost two years now, I had been unemployed for about 1,000 days. In that time I wrote, I walked, and I met Jules; who showed me that I didn’t loose my dreams and that they were still inside of me. She taught me breath once more. To take deep breaths. To gently blow on the embers that were still glowing deep inside and she helped me reignite and resurrect them.

This voyage that I am planing is not a mid-life crisis. Been there, done that already; Gulf War, closing my mother’s eyes when she died of cancer, and two divorces that ripped my heart out don’t even compare to being unemployed for 1,000 days, trying to grasp at any and every straw to keep from drowning in despair, to finally giving into it only to realize that there are worse things. Things that make you remember despair with fond memories.

Oh yeah, one piece of advice if you know someone who is or has been unemployed for a long time; don’t try to prod them into sending out more resumes? It’s like offering a drowning victim a glass of water.

Productive Day in the engine compartment.

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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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