37. So you think I have been idle?

Think again, I have been hard at work.

  1. Painted the entire interior of the boat in epoxy bilge/primer paint.
  2. Planed and sanded the chine/deck and installed mahogany timber on edge. Took forever to get it accurate and steam the timbers.
  3.  Installed deck clamp/chine timbers. This is where the nice timber goes down the deck edge and finishes at the ‘barrel’ at the stern. It has to be a bit accurate as it is the timber that gives the boat it’s iconic shape. Had to steam the Douglas fir at the bow and of course one snapped, so the next one I steamed for an hour until it was very soft! The result is a very nice line down the whole boat.
  4. Suspended the boat, stern up, on a block and tackle to the roof of my studio, and, yes the landlord said I could!  Thank you James.
  5. Drilled the hole for the water intake and installed the raw water filter and the plumbing. I have not ‘final fixed’ it yet as I want to get the engine finalised first. Drilled some holes for electric cables.
  6. Drilled the prop shaft hole. I have been dreading this but decided the only way was to ‘bite the bullet’ and start with a small hole that I could correct if necessary. I had a 1200mm x 1″ piece of steel drilled so that I could insert a Forsner bit in the end and lock it off. The other end I had machined to fit a 1/2″ standard drill chuck. I positioned the P bracket where I knew it would have to be (with reference to rudder/prop etc.) and drilled through the bearing in the P bracket. It worked very well, but the first angle I cut was far too shallow. I measured several times but eventually if you don’t go the intensely mathematical route then this is the only other way.  So I readjusted the angle of the P bracket and drilled again with a slightly bigger bit and I am now within a ‘nats’ of the centre of the gearbox flange. I can fine tune the angle on the engine mounts. So deeply satisfying success. There will be a GRP tube resined into the hole eventually and the foot of the P bracket will be epoxied completely.
  7. Finished anchoring the engine mounts, fitted the fuel filter, raw water filter mount. The engine mounts are standard things with a compressed rubber base. At the front of the engine I have mounted them on agricultural farm gate hangers. They are 32mm steel and slide into one another such that they are fully adjustable and very strong. See pictures.
  8. Ordered the steering gear, hydraulic steering hub, actuator ram, and all the bearings/seals etc. The bearings will take 6 weeks as they are being specially made. The shaft log seal is on the way and I will have to supply that with raw water to cool it. Fuel tank is probably going to have to be made but they are not expensive. I have learned that it should be stainless steel (plastic not allowed for petrol).

The biggest problem I have had is that I called Mercury to get a dip stick and tube to fit to the engine. I eventually found out that the fool I bought this engine from had removed the engine plate and therefore I don’t know exactly what age/model this thing is. But a very helpful man at Repower Marine said that he thinks it is a 1998 engine but that the exhaust manifolds are wrong. He told me that these manifolds we made only for a short time as it was discovered that they induct water into the engine, so that was helpful   …  £750 for the new ones!

The last two pictures are the ‘long boarding’ of the chine before fitting deck edge mahogany.

The boat looks a bit of a mess from the epoxy until it is sanded or covered/hidden, but at least I know it is covered and very very very strong!

So apologies for delay in your monthly drip feed of entertainment but I have been quite busy! Enjoy the pictures.

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