So we have come of age 😉 21 today. Not too bad, we are still a month away from owning Vida for a year and we were unable to visit for nearly 4 months due to the lockdown.
We arrived late last night (slightly delayed by a poorly signposted diversion). We had to sneak in quietly, as another couple from the NWVYC were asleep in their motorcaravan, in the carpark 🙂 So just the essentials to carry to and up onto the boat at 10:45pm.
This time that included one of our Natures Head Composting Toilets. We took it home last time as it was getting full and we decided to continue to avoid using any shared facilities, so took it home to empty. Again Composting Toilets prove to be by far the best toilet during a Pandemic. No capacity limit. No need to use anyone else’s facilities.
Anyway, after a good sleep we got stuck into our first task. Removing the Cutlass Bearing. Really the last key piece that needs to be removed (so it can be replaced with a new one) in order to progress with the electric motor installation. This is the part closest to the propeller, it is a bronze sleeve with rubber insert that slips inside the stern tube that is built into the boat.
So I had bought these bits.
A 1m long 24mm diameter threaded rod. To go on the inside end a lock nut then two washers, one with a 24mm hole to fit snugly and then one with the right outside diameter to fit inside the stern tube but not inside the cutlass bearing. So this gets pushed in from inside the boat until the threaded rod appears and the washer is snug against the inside end of the cutlass bearing.
On the outside I have a 63.5mm stainless steel tube that goes around the end of the stern tube to push against the keel. Then a huge 70mm diameter washer and another nut.
On site I used a hole saw so that I had a piece of wood to protect the keep from the stainless tube.
Here you can see the outside nearly ready to go.
It proved to be a really hard task, we tried tightening the outside nut (had to file flats onto the threaded rod so we could use a spanner to stop it moving). Got it really tight but no movement.
Tried using our short section of propeller shaft and a hammer from the inside to knock it out. No movement.
Tried to cut the cutlass bearing lengthways with the Dremmel. Managed to cut a lot out but still it didn’t move.
Then rather than hit the propeller shaft with a hammer I used the shaft itself as a sliding hammer down the stern tube. It worked!!! Took until about 2:30pm but finally we managed to get it out.
This is the sterntube without a cutlass bearing.
This is the Cutlass Bearing, you can see where I had cut it and trimmed it with the Dremmel to try to free it.
With that done we could get on with other jobs.
First up was more cleaning of the old cockpit locker and diesel engine bay. After several hours it is now mostly clean enough for sanding and painting.
After working on part of the cleaning together I moved onto the glass windows of the wheelhouse. We have noticed a few leaks and wanted to fix those and check their condition.
The corrosion wasn’t too bad. The seals were pretty rubbish though and several of the screws rather loose. I cleaned and refitted using a neoprene strip 6mm thick. We can plan something better for the future now we know what is there.
Last job of the day was to fit the first two uprights that will become the sides of the motor and battery compartment. We wanted to add some additional strength to support the cockpit, particularly on the port side where there is a footwell for when you are steering. Plus we need uprights to fasten the sides that separate the motor space from the cockpit locker on one side and the corridor on the other.
These will be epoxy coated and fixed in place, more will added when we are sure where the motor mounts will go.
The new space for the motor and batteries is going to be a lot narrower than the old. So we can extra space in the cockpit locker and in the corridor to the aft cabin.
I’ve set them both vertical which turns out to nearly perfectly line up from the engine bearers to the flange that the cockpit floor bolts to. Now these are in place I’ll be able to remove the old corridor side which is going to make access much easier.
It is now horrible outside, the wind has got up and it has been raining hard for 3 hours. Yet we have left the cockpit floor and cockpit locker lid off to continue to air them out (yet again a significant improvement in the smell). So good that we have a wheelhouse above). You can see how much cleaner they look. Once they are painted it will make such a difference!
Eventually the cockpit floor is going to be bolted down more permanently (because we don’t need to take it out to fit an electric motor) with two new, bigger, drains fitted in the rear corners. Until then it does provide lots of light and makes it easier to get the larger timber in.
As we move to boxing in the cockpit locker we will need to build a ladder, probably on the aft bulkhead in order to get in and out.
Next a good sleep, a lie in and then back home to work.
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