Friday progress #18

So we came to the boat late last night to spend time off with plenty of Social Distance. Didn’t come within 50 metres of anyone last night (apart from those in other cars). Today we spoke to Richard working on the boat next to us in a howling gale from at least 5 meters distance. I did buy one thing from the chandlery but at an appropriate distance from the staff. Now it seems we have the boatyard to ourselves. Will return home tomorrow.

It feels like slow progress today. More clearing out of the diesel engine remains (fuel pipes, exhaust, wiring) and cleaning of the space. We have managed to get the very heavy steel engine bearers out (not sure yet if we will reuse them at half the length or not need them).

The slowest part has been trying to sort out the Stuffing Box. This provides a seal around the propeller shaft. We want to replace it for 3 reasons

  • It needed a fair bit of work doing a) the “stuffing” replacing anyway as it was apparently leaking consistently b) the grease gun needed servicing c) there is a pressured water supply from the engine cooling which we won’t be able to maintain.
  • We want a modern leak free alternative to keep the area around the electric motor as dry and salt free as possible.
  • We want to keep reducing maintenance and the newer dripless seals go for years without any servicing (and without needing to take the boat out of the water to do that servicing).

We haven’t managed to do this yet. We can’t undo the last of 4 bolts holding the stuffing box outer casing in place. Thanks to the Rival Association Facebook page we think we have a couple of potential solutions to look at.

So some photos. All looking a lot cleaner and more empty but not finished yet.

Most of the fuel pipes plus assorted other engine bits
Fighting the stubborn bolt (it is still winning)
What remains of the outer shell of the stuffing box.
That last bolt, always the least accessible one is the one that won’t undo (a stainless steel bolt in a bronze shell is a recipe for getting stuck due to galvanic reaction between dissimilar metals)
Aft wall of the engine compartment looking very empty. Note also the “missing”, heavy, metal engine bearers, they are not needed for a 40 kg engine that runs smoothly compared to a 180kg engine that tries to shake loose all the time.
The cockpit locker, looking from across the engine bay. The dark stain is where the port side diesel tank was. The batteries were on the left between the engine bearer (foreground) and the fuel tank. On the right was the hot water, the fuel for the heater, the water pump and the fridge condenser.

The whole space should now be free of diesel and we have vacuumed all the worst mess out. Won’t smell properly clean until the last bits have been removed, it has been cleaned, sanded and painted. But at least until then we have 6 big holes (from seacocks, propeller, exhaust, bilge pump) for ventilation.

We didn’t get to eat until 9:30pm, so am feeling very tired now. Not sure what if anything we will manage tomorrow before heading home.

Navigation progress

How about this!?

A Raspberry Pi 4 running OpenCPN on a Cello 12 volt TV. With a wireless keyboard/trackpad.

Obviously lots more to do as I haven’t loaded any charts yet. Nor have I connected a GPS, so it doesn’t know where we are yet. Also not yet got AIS (which automatically shows ships positions, courses and speeds as well as telling them yours so you don’t collide).

Going to be able to add a touchscreen that we can put in the cockpit. All for a tiny fraction of the cost of “proper” chart plotters. Plus it gives me essentially a full power desktop computer running on 12 volts as well as a TV.

Quick Saturday update

Just a quick update. We got the 2nd fuel tank out today. Here are a few pictures. Didn’t think we would manage it. Included two trips to shops for more fuel containers and more cutting discs for the grinder. Now packing up to head home having had a delicious meal (multi-cooker curry with black eyed beans, green lentils, spinach, cabbage, red pepper and onion).

Friday progress #17

We arrived last night to find two good bits of news, things that are being done for us 🙂

First, work has started on replacing the toe rail which was agreed as part of the original purchase. So far the joint between the deck and hull has had old filler that was loose. Turns out some of it wasn’t original and some of that had never fully cured (too cold when made or not enough hardener). So we now have most of that joint filler replaced with a modern slow cure epoxy (suitable for Beaumaris temperatures). Later the new rail (which is like a black rubber escalator handrail).

Second, our new boom has arrived. Will look at that in detail when we get the masts back up, maybe next month, maybe not.

Anyway today we started on the diesel tanks. First job was to empty them. So we siphoned out the diesel and offered it around the yard. People turned up with containers which was handy as we must have drained out over 100 litres in total.

Here are some pictures of the dismantling of the starboard casing around the tank between siphoning sessions.

The tank was very firmly held in so there were a lot of bits to unbolt and cut.

That shelf on the left was a beast to remove. Turned out there were some beefy bits welded into the tank that went into grooves in the wood. Completely invisible so I couldn’t work out why the beam wouldn’t come out even after cutting it on all sides.

Once the tank was free it essentially just fell into the corridor where it got wedged. It was obvious that it still had diesel in (without an inspection hatch it was impossible to look in and see). Also that it wasn’t going to fit through any of the possible ways out of the boat. So we would need to cut it up first.

There turned out to be another 20 litres of very dirty diesel which we pumped out into buckets and filtered into fuel cans.

This is what the new space looked like before cleaning. Huge!

Last bit of the tank going out of the boat.

Job done.

Tomorrow, we will hopefully get the 2nd tank done. At least we know we we are doing but lots more work to clear access to the tank and it will need to be cut into smaller pieces.

Friday afternoon #16 progress

This afternoon didn’t seem as productive. However, we managed to remove the seacocks for both cockpit drains and also the engine water cooling (this was the one that the survey had condemned).

Despite “easier” access, because we have already taken the engine out, this wasn’t very easy. While the two original bronze cockpit drain seacocks were themselves in better condition than most of the others, the wood pads between them and the hull were rather soft and wet.

The engine water inlet seacock just had to be cut off but it has left the bronze tube in the hull because it seems to have been stuck into a larger hole with epoxy.

We have decided to fit new, larger, composite Trudesign seacocks and position them where there is easier access. More on that in the future.

Meanwhile, just had dinner and now doing some cleaning and packing up to head home.

Friday morning #16 progress

Been busy in the engine compartment. Have removed the old engine mounts and cut the coupling off the propeller shaft.

Have managed to get the propeller off and the shaft out (was able to borrow a propeller pull tool).

Still need to get the stuffing box off (makes a waterproof seal around the propeller shaft) and the cutlass bearing out.

Also cut away the oil sump that was blocking access to the bilge. Used our workshop vac to get the last water out.

Now got bilge cleaner fluid in there to hopefully make it look and smell better.

Had to buy a grab tool to reach the bottom and get all this junk out.

Ice outside, 4°C inside

Arrived just before midnight. With our 2 electric wall heaters set to 5°C it was actually 4°C in the cabin despite ice on the deck. Bone dry. Electric cost for 2 weeks £5 very happy.

But sadly much of the insulation in the aft cabin has not stayed stuck in place 😕

Will try again with this spray adhesive before thinking again.