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.

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