36. Why does everything take so long?

For my myriad of readers who have lived in anticipation of the next addition to the blog   ….   I assure you I have not been idle. 

Having returned from New Zealand in late March, I have been busy trying to get the gearbox rebuilt, trying to get the interior of the boat sanded and trying to source the bits and pieces of engineering that I will soon be needing!

Lets start with the gearbox.  I had originally asked my resident engineer Martin to rebuild the Borg Warner Velvet Drive box that I bough second hand about 18 months ago. He did very well but his workload was ridiculous and, although he managed to replace the oil pump with an American sourced one and replace the bearings he could not get it to stop throwing the oil seal out of the back of the new oil pump. The only way we could find out if it had worked was to attach it to the engine and fire it up. Result … oil everywhere, Martin and David very frustrated. So I finally took the box to Lancing Marine in Portsea, near Brighton, who said they could do what was necessary in a day. I set off from Long Crendon, 105 miles later arrived, having encountered the M25!!!!  They did almost all of what was necessary but for one widget that they did not have in stock, so two days later I said “please just send me the thing!!!”  So, with an attached bill of £1100, the gearbox is now attached to the bell housing/engine and is working perfectly, as far as I know because I have not yet put it under any load. But it goes round and round and sounds lovely!  Lesson of the month  …. What is cheap is dear!!!! This one has cost £1550, a new one £1850!

Finished sanding the interior, three weeks work at my speed. It really is hard work being scrunched up in the bowels of the hull sanding all the corners. I am sure a pro would do it differently but that is knowledge and youth do for you. Festool love me  …  I have used about 250 sanding discs! But I have now started to paint the bilges with an-epoxy based paint (see pictures) and it looks brilliant, so I am very happy once again, not to mention enthused. I used Jotun paint on the hull, I have had excellent help/advice from Ben Catchpole at Marine Industrial, thank you Ben.

I should be able to get the engine in within 2/3 weeks. Then I can make all the necessary holes in the hull, prop shaft, rudder shaft, engine room breathers, exhaust holes etc.

As for the engineering, prop shaft, rudder bearing steering gear etc, I have asked Lancing Marine to get it all for me. Mark understands what I am doing and it saves me so much anxiety. I have managed to adjust the gearbox mounts. 10mm steel was tough to cut but James (the landlord) welded them perfectly to the right size. They will be painted before the final fix to the stringers.

Sadly all this takes sooooo much time. Enjoy the pictures.

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