24. Return to New Zealand, but first …

It seems an age since I have written on the blog, but that is not because there is nothing to report. No no no.

On the woodwork side, the bottom is now completely covered in mahogany (sapele) and looks excellent. Of course that is the bit that you will never see as it is (a) underneath the boat and (b) is going to be painted/fibreglassed. Below are some pictures of my old friend Jamie Daniell suitably dressed in teddy bear suit (for health and safety of course) after a two day marathon of gluing. Amazingly he is coming back for another two days of gluing to finish the sides. A huge thank you to him. I finished the bottom a couple of days later. I’ll post better pictures of the bottom next week.

I have started to sand the surface epoxy from the hull before starting the fine sanding and ‘longboarding’ to get it to a ‘perfect’ finish. Feeling sure that I would need some help with the fibreglassing, I contacted a man whom I met at a local craft show. Mark Bestford runs Boatwork (http://www.boatwork.co.uk). He came and had a look and left me with some excellent information that I would never have known unless I had read several tomes on the subject.  This will now happen when I get back from the annual jaunt to New Zealand, which, this year is a mere 12 weeks. It would be longer but Wagner is not in the best of health and we would like to be near him. It is also because the engine ….  I hate the engineering side of this build. Give me wood, I understand wood but this cold lump of metal is so ….

So what have I done? Firstly I have had to learn what does what and why. So, there is a new oil cooler for the gearbox together with the raw water pipework, new hydraulic hoses as well. New raw water pump, hoses etc. I bought from America new rubber boots and elbows for the exhaust and rubber exhaust pipes. 4 metres of 100mm pipe to be exact. Jessica and Taylor of Michigan Motors deserve a mention, they were both very helpful (http://www.michiganmotorz.com) thank you to them. They also got me the cable that runs from distributor to the coil. I have not yet decided on the silencers I will use as I don’t know how noisy this engine is giong to be, but I have found two options of an in line exaust or one that is inserted into the pipe that does a half decent job. Some marinas here will not let you in if you are too noisy.

I have had an electrical engineer over to wire up the gauges etc and whilst the starter worked, it did not throw the Bendix pinion far enough to reach the flywheel, so we now have another design that fits under the engine and will be almost completely inaccessible when in the boat. The last pictures show the new starter and a gearbox mounting bracket that I designed. It looks like it will work once I have drilled the holes and joined it all together. It is only 3mm mild steel but I think it should be strong enough. If not, and fault will show up while it is set up on my jig. I spent half a day getting two bolts into the gearbox from the bell housing. There is no room to go from gearbox to bell housing so I had to take the gearbox off, then the bell housing, insert the bolt from the back and somehow hold it in place to be able to tighten it. Added to that I could not find any UNC bolts that were long enough  …  like I said, I hate the engineering part of this thing!

So, I have not been idle! The bathroom is finished and looking good, the dog is as well as he will ever be but there is life in the old dog yet even if he did just turn 12!

Comments as usual to david@greyfalcon.info

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