23. Back to work.

Well, it has been an eventful summer, taken over for a few weeks by the rebuild of our bathroom at home, as mentioned in the last post. Well, it is now complete and looks very good and is a more workable size having been reduced from 8.2 metres to a more sensible 4 metres!   We also took a week off to go to Berlin for my birthday. Very interesting place!  Also the dog, Wagner, has not been well, arthritis is a terrible thing for us all but especially for a dog who cannot articulate which bit hurts. Anyway you are not here to read about my woes,  “what about the boat”? I hear you cry.

While the bathroom was ongoing the engine arrived and looks very good. It even sounds good. To recap, it is a 4.3 litre V6 Mercruiser engine that has been rebuilt. What I did not understand was that it does not come with bell housing, starter motor, water pump, manifolds and lots of other stuff, so this has been a couple of weeks on the aquisition trail. I have bought a bell housing and some clocks and dials from America, but, while the parts themselves are reasonable, the shipping and UK tax make it a folly. I spent $500 in the US but by the time all the payments had gone out I have spent nearly £800, so I will not be doing that again. Here is a picture.

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Pretty ain’t it. Then the next picture is with the new starter motor. It is on a jig that is on wheels so I can get it around the studio but also so that I can get it outside to run it for a few hours. It will also allow me to get all the parts I need so that when fitting time for the angle of the drive shaft hole and rudder comes I don’t have to estimate anything, I have it there is reality. (thank you Greg excellent idea) It also means that it will be complete when I have to get it into the boat.

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I have also bought the control levers and cables (see below) and a battery with cables. The manifolds I bought from the fellow that built the engine and I now need to get silencers, and exhausts as I want to get the whole thing run in. It is not going to be put in the boat for another year or so and needs to be run regularly. On the end of the jig is the water pump which is now fitted to the engine, driven by the crank shaft. Did you know that imperial size bolts have two thread sizes UNC and UNF. This engine has both. Come on America, it’s time to go metric! I have had to make a new bracket for it thus extending my metalworking skills. I have also made a box for the gauges with ignition key and battery cutout.

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So now it is back to fitting the last layer of ply to the bottom, which is nearly done, then I can start the final coat of mahogany (sapele) to the whole hull. Greg in NZ has given me some good advise on the spilling (the longitudinal strips of sapele will naturally incline to the top as they get to the front of the boat, and need to be cut and ‘redirected’) thank you for the help with that Greg.  It has been nice to get back to the woodwork after too long away and ther should be some serious activity over the coming weeks.

I am told that when using epoxy, the atmosphere should be quite dry and as my studio is on top of a hill and near woodlands it is quite wet/humid, so I have saved all the old timber from my bathroom rebuild to warm the studio. I now have nowhere to store anything! I had it up to 27 degrees last week.

So, there you have it for another post. Comments as always to david@greyfalcon.info.

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