The engine continued...

Step by loving step...


The aforementioned distractions included building a couple of support bases for two of Lisa's show cases. Plywood, epoxy, primer, paint. A few hours at a time. Phase after phase after phase until they were done. Delivered yesterday. "Oou'ed and Ah'ed" over appreciatively, much to my relief.
Meanwhile, I've been doping out the engine placement.


After lowering the engine for the umpteenth time, I began to see that it could be installed a lot lower than I'd originally anticipated. This is a good thing. It brings the weight down lower, obviously; more forward, another good result; and most importantly, it puts the prop down into "cleaner" water, since the transom is very much thinner down below. The unintended result is that the cutout I put into the transom last month is all but entirely useless. I'll patch that back up at a later date.

The process was started by laying a good, solid, seperate glass bed for the engine bilge to collect the inevitable drips and oil spills. Then I hacked away at the last frame. I knocked it down six inches.

Recently I was reading some fussbudget's loving description about appropriate care for chisels. It turns out I follow each and very one of his precautions and admonitions. What struck me though was what he left out of the story. Where are your bullshit chisels? You know the ones I mean. The paint-can-opener chisels, the epoxy-glob-on-the-concrete-floor chisels, the screwdriver chisels. These are the ones you want to use to chop through fiberglass and Cabosil(silica). If you happen to chop through a screw, you don't immediately get a case of agida. They get sharpened on a 220 wheel, and they're made in China. Make sure you have a set and you won't be tempted fo ruin one of your American, English, German or Japanese chisels.



The shape of this bilge is so unusual that it's been the most challenging bit of layout that I've encountered in a long time. The only practical solution I could devise was to build a solid slab of wood to start from, an inch-and-a-half thick and successively take away the parts that were in the way of the engine. You see the aft two motor mount pillows in place. All this was gooped up yesterday. And yes, the pillows are centered. The slight difference in size is due to a "hulliular discrepency" which I can only attribute to novice boatbuilding.
The odd Magik Marker marks don't mean that the slab is out of place. These marks indicate where generous heaps of thickened epoxy are to be placed for structural joints. The "piece", whatever it happens to be, gets plumbed, leveled and/or squared off as needed. The marks reduce wasting goop where it isn't needed.



More of what you saw in the previous picture was removed so that the bare minimum is left. The forward mounts were glued in place, then copious quantities of thickened epoxy was slathered around. I took parts of the sole back up to allow more room to work. These bolts are buried about 5". The aft pair were installed parallel to the hull to get the maximum depth, then hickied over to make them upright.

I'll break with a short-standing tradition I've developed which is to not explain things too much.
There are primers on epoxied holes. They state that the hole should be oversized, filled full of epoxy, allowed to setup, then redrilled. While this is efficatious in some instances, it's a complete waste of time in the present situation.
What I have here is 1/2" holes for 3/8" bolts. OK, that's the oversize part. After blowing the holes clean with my air compressor, I filled them with epoxy, full to overfilled. Then I went off and did something else for a little while. I came back to the holes and filled them some more. (Liberal amounts of epoxy seep into the layers of plywood while it's still runny.) After a while I dropped the bolts into place and propped them upright with tiny bits of plastic squeegy shims. The next day the epoxy had set and there was about 3/4" of hollow at the tops of the bolt holes. I pulled out the shims. (They're plastic and won't stick to epoxy.) Then as I was applying more epoxy and glass to the mounts, I slopped enough epoxy into the holes to fill them flush. (Since the edges of the holes were now sealed, it couldn't weep away into the wood any more.)


Here's another view. After the filleting was finished I layered 6 layers of 6oz. glass in small pieces, all over the mounts. The 6oz. glass is a pleasure to use. It's so thin compared to the 1708 that it can be layed on dry and wetout right in place. It flattens right out, curves very easilly and hugs inside corners with a minimum of fuss.


I guess I've left out the part where the engine gets lowered, raised, lowered, raised... All the bolts were exactly where they should be, so it's all worth the effort. Once I was absolutely satisfied that it was correct fore and aft, side to side, and up and down, I marked the stern tube opening.
Now let me tell you, that was a job-an-a-half! The bore is 2" but 7" deep. My bit would only penetrate about 1" at a time. So I drilled then chiseled until I got on through to the other side.


This is what happens when you don't know what you're doing. I don't know what I was thinking about. It seemed like such a good idea at the time.

So... Since the engine is in place there's no more fooling around with the height. The prop center is now 25" below the waterline.



In a couple of recent emails I've mentioned the prop mockup. According to the prop calculators I've seen it's supposed to be an 16"x8". This is a pretty fair approximation. I didn't get around to putting it place, as you see here, until today after I'd completed the more important stuff; building and installing the "doughnut" to thicken the hull at the raw-water intake seacock, and laying a floor down in the next bilge compartment for the battery beds. As it turns out the batteries (3) will take up one-and-a-half compartments, not one as I'd hoped.



Here's what a very proper doughnut looks like. It's meant to provide a smooth, flat surface for the through-hull seacock. The bolt holes were filed and redrilled. It's covered with 4 layers of 6oz. glass.


Here's the floor?, sole?, platform! for 2 of the batteries. Additional glass was laid below where I missed bits before. There's 1708 on top of this plywood. "1708", in case you've forgotten or never knew, is a 25oz. bi-axial cloth. It has 17oz. of strand laid bi-axially and 8oz. of matt woven onto the back side. It is very strong.

I started the patch for the transom screw-up and I installed the lid to the cooler box, finally.
And... took this really cool side trip. (06/24 - glue failed - See page for update)


I began fleshing out the cockpit today. I cut and installed some small (1") cant strips to keep the first plywood panels from wandering around when I glue them into the boat tomorrow. I also bored the countersunk holes for the bronze bolts that hold the seacock in place. That's what I'd really like to tell you about.

Countersunk holes are fairly simple if the hole is small and you can drill the hole and countersink at the same time. But some holes are more complicated. For instance, the bronze bolts are 5/16" and the holes had to be bored from the inside using the seacock for a template, to be exact. The outsides of these holes are 1/2" and countersunk 1/2" so the bolt heads are buried in the hull, filled and sanded smooth. There are no, that is to say, I don't have a 1/2" countersink with 5/6" arbor, so here's what I do...


Once the pilot hole is drilled, be it 1/4" typically, or 5/16" in this case, I drill a hole the size of the countersink I want through a piece of scrap wood and screw that on center over the pilot hole. This keeps the bit from skipping around, and drills a perfectly smooth, round hole as deep as I need.

This is specially important and safe if the hole is 2" or 3" and there is no "center", like here for the bronze thru-hull to be installed when all this preparation is "said and done."


The 2&1/4" hole seen here was drilled with a 1/2" drill, not the Makita you see lying here.
1/2" drills are wrist breakers under a lot of circumstances. They can be absolutely freightening with large hole bits, (3" and 4")
So here's what to do...

Naturally, you'd clamp down the piece if it wasn't part of some large immobile structure. I didn't have to tell you that, of course. The way to tame these beasts is to rig an "Old Man" on them. With a respectable amount of duct tape, tape a stick, rod or pipe completely around the handle, (perpendicular to the drill bit.) It should be no less than 36" long, 24" on the operator side (that's you), and 12" out past the drill. To drill, brace the "Old Man" under your armpit, work the trigger with one hand, and use your off hand to hold the other end of the stick. Drill gingerly and you should have no problems. Maybe I can come up with a picture of how to "drill hubungous holes and live to tell the tale."


The airbed turned out great! Meanwhile I've been preglassing large panels that will eventually, like in a couple of days, become the cockpit.


Sunday - Mongo came by and together we glassed several more panels. It was so hot and himid we were able able to glass both sides of most of them in only a couple of hours.

Monday/Thrusday - Slowly closing in on the cockpit. Started by building the starboard running rigging locker, then proceeded with the port propane bottle locker. Intermittantly adding bits to the erstwhile prop cutout.

Well... All good things must come to an end.

I've been pretty happy just working on the boat for these last 53 weeks. I'd told myself that after the last few years of knocking down over 2000 hours a year I was going to do nothing but the boat until I either ran out of money, or got a call to go back to work. Thursday morning at quarter to seven, I got the call. I'll be starting next Tuesday. New company, same work; stairs and handrails mostly. "Light Iron." Sometimes I think the Big Iron Boys have it easy. "We" get to manhandle all the stuff that goes into a building after the cranes leave. Some of it can be pretty gruelling.

Friday - Dissassembled the overhead crane. Bored a hole through the back of the icebox so that the propane hose can meander over to the cooker. The hole is 1" in diameter and 29" long. The initial 1" bore through the plywood below the locker was child's play, but the bore through the foam meant making a bit out of a piece of aluminum tubing, boring 3 to 4 inches at a time, clearing the bit hole and continuing until I reached the plywood on the other side of the icebox. Then, in order to drill only one hole to finish up neatly, I devised an 1/8" bit nearly 30" long consisting of bits of aluminum pipe, dowels and drill bits epoxied together. Once this monster bit was placed in the foam hole I attached the drill to it and made the 1/8" pilot hole for the 1" bore at the far side of the icebox. Very neat but tedious.

Saturday - "Tall Ships Day." We had a small fleet of tall ships in harbor here in Philly this weekend. She-Who-Puts-Up-Me wanted to go see them and take the ferry ride across the Delaware too. Don't ask me why but she's goofy for ferries. Before the festivities got under way, I was able to make a daring dawn raid on the shop and judiciously apply a small batch of goop to the three areas that plod along, the two lockers and the prop patch. Then it was off to get sunburnt. The ferry ride to Camden was fun but much too short. We enjoyed the long lines immensely as we cooked under the noon day sun.

Of the several ships we toured, the 65' schooner Serenity was the most impressive. It was the smallest of all the visiting ships and the Captains, Greg and Laura Lohse, were the most congenial. I was just about flabbergasted that they'd managed to do the complete restoration in only four years. They had a construction album on board, and believe me, it was a mess when they bought her. She was simply beautiful, specially knowing that these two stalwarts had done most of the work themsleves.

That's all Folks!
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Written 2004/06/13
Expanded 2004/07/04