After getting to work extra early and taking some time in lieu after working at the weekend, I managed to get off work at 2, and headed over to the boat.
First things first, I contacted Delta Marine and asked them about realigning the prop shaft (the engine has sagged slightly, causing the shaft to get close to rubbing). Jay wandered over and gave me an estimate, which was acceptable to me, so I signed a work order. You can see the misaligned shaft in the pictures below.
The shaft realignment was the one thing on the boat that I really didn’t think I could do myself. Of note is that the main reason I chose this marina is because of several shops/yards in the marina, meaning I would not have to go far to find parts/services.
Next up – making it safer and easier to get onto the boat. The boat is currently ‘on blocks’, mean that to get on the boat I have to climb a 20′ ladder – which is terrifying high. The boat still had the side safety wires up, which meant to get onto the boat you have to clamber over them. This is really really scary. One of the ways to make it easier to get onboard (short of putting soft stuff all around the bottom of the ladder like some kind of Giant Bouncy Castle for Scared Adults) was to remove the wires, meaning I wouldn’t have to climb so high to get onto the boat. This is halfway through the process, with the top wire removed.
After that, it was time to tackle a leak. The boat had had a grounding plate for a HF radio put on, and one of the screws was leaking, leading water to get inside the boat. As I was never probably going to use a HF radio, I decided to remove the entire plate. You can see the plate in the photo below
First up would be two unscrew the two screws holding it in. Unsurprisingly they were COMPLETELY corroded. What makes it worse is that the largest screwdiver I had was still only about half as big, which meant i didn’t want to put too much strain on it in case I stripped the head. I squirted a ton of WD40 on it, and left it to soak in. I’ll be back with a proper sized screwdriver/bit and a manual impact driver (like this one )
One of the other major things on ‘the list’ was to replace the exhaust mixing elbow on the engine. The old one is leaking and corroded and leaking Horrible Stuff everywhere. Now, they don’t make these anymore, but if I could remove it I could take it to a machine shop and get a new one made, probably of stainless steel instead of the original iron. (There is a machine shop RIGHT THERE at the marina. Hooray!)
Here is a picture of it, it’s that large chunk of metal in the middle with the hoses attached to it.
I removed the hose clamps, and pulled. And nothing. The hoses had been on there so long they had become completely stiff! After poking around with a screw driver I got the small one off, but the large one refused to budge, even with the other end removed. Defeated, I resolved to attack it again soon, armed with the knowledge I’d get from googling ‘had to remove old rubber hoses’ or somesuch. While I was there I noticed a ton of gross oil water under the engine, so I will have to clean that all out.
After that, I poked around a lot, flushed the bilge as much as I could, and opened ALMOST all the seacocks (not the ones connected to the head. That… is going to be it’s own project). I also traced a bunch of pipes and wiring, but a lot of it still makes NO SENSE. I’m really going to have to get in there with a torch sometime soon. Maybe I’ll find that mystical second battery. I also cleared a lot of the rubbish out (long overdue). There is still a huge amount of clutter, but I don’t fancy lugging tons of stuff up and down the Ladder Of Doom so it’ll wait till the boat is back in the water.
Finally, as I was getting ready to leave I watched another (huge) boat get re-masted. Very cool!
So what did I actually managed to accomplish today? Well, sod all really. But I feel I’m in a lot better position and have a clearer idea of where to go next.