tiistai 30. syyskuuta 2014

It's been a while..

But yes, I am back with more progress on the boat.. The work never ended but as always, life got on the way and I had to have a small pause with this blog.

Here's a list of maintenance work you can expect to see reported here.
- propshaft overhaul
- stuffing box rebuild
- total wood surface refinish
- electrical work
- etc..

Stay tuned, reports and pictures follow..

torstai 7. marraskuuta 2013

Tough guys make their own tools. (The evolution of a propeller puller.)

I have some doubts that the port axle is slightly misaligned at the strut end, the reason for the doubt is that there is a shiny spot where the axle goes in to the hull and after visual inspection it seems that the strut  is slightly bent. So, off with the prop so that I can get a closer look at the cutless bearing and see how it looks like. 

I have five bladed props. Those of you who have them probably know the trouble off getting them off. I cant use any normal pullers and I wasn't even sure if commercial purpose made ones would fit. So, it's DIY time again. 

Inside there is a prop puller...

I decided to do a proof of concept and do fiberglass/balsa templates so that I can be sure it fits. Naturally I have epoxy, glass from my other boat renovation project and some balsa from my model building days. So I did what comes naturally and did models form 11 layers of glass and some two layers of 3mm thick balsa.

Baking some prop pullers, or templates 

Why did I make them so rugged, they are templates after all? I wanted to find out if the templates are correct and would work. I built them tough and even did the post cure baking in the oven so that they would be as tough as they can be. Wife was very pleased to find out that I used her cutting board as a level surface to laminate on and she especially valued my idea of using the kitchen oven for the post cure process. Well, ere's a tip for you all prop puller builders out there:

If you wrap the cutting board with some kitchen film the epoxy wont stick, in fact you can peel the film off unharmed after curing. So the cutting board was saved and yes, the sweet smell of epoxy faded away after some time and has not had any effect on our cookings...

Testing the templates

I was actually amazed how much force I can put on this balsa cored templates. Eventually they bent and that was enough, I had the templates done. Now I only needed to get them copied out of sufficiently strong material, in other words steel. I had the templates with me and got some quotes for them and as they approached and went beyond reasonable costs (nearly 200€) i ended up using the connections my father in law had. Five days later I had the templates back and the actual puller cut to dimensions and coated. This time the cost was reasonable. 

10 mm thick steel, this should work. 

Custom made to exact dimensions, the beauty of craftsmanship. 

It took me about six hours to get myself and the beefy puller to the boat, half an hour later the prop was off. The sound that a bronze prop makes as it gets free from years of being stuck is a very satisfying sound, or actually a pretty damn loud BANG. Depends on your view of the world, I guess.

Ready, steady go...
It fit perfectly and still took a significant amount of pull to get it off the axle. It was another rainy, dark and a cold night but I managed to keep warm. The important part is that the prop is off, it's all that matters.

Remember to keep the nut on the axle, if not the prop will fly away...

In the picture above you can see that there is actually a "spacer" (just right to the prop) between the axle and the hub, it has a slot for the key and so does the axle. It is a kind of double tapered design and would probably have held up fine even without the actual prop nut. 

The axle without the "spacer", key slot visible at 12'o clock. 

View of the cutless bearing, damn...

Finally I could see the shape of the cutless bearing and yes, it is worn on one side more than the other. I think I have some work to be done. The strut seems to be bent towards the center line of the boat, not much but enough for me to think that it a reason to be concerned. I will change the bearings anyway to both axles but probably need to this strut off and send it to be straightened. Well, we'll see I take on step at a time.

keskiviikko 6. marraskuuta 2013

Cover up time again.

It was once again time to cover up the old girl. This time it was again a new place and slightly tricky since the allocated space is slightly shorter than the place we had last year. Naturally I used the bushes in front of the boat and extended my structure on top of them. 

I had to transport all the timber and the boat stands from a nearby marina since now we have the luxury to haul her out in the same harbor where we have her in the summer. Last winter she was about ten minutes drive away, now only two minutes by bike. 

It took me a while to figure out where all the bits and pieces belong even though I spent a good amount of time marking them in the spring. It always amazes me how much I can forget in such a short while. 

The covers have been already on for nearly a month and I'm glad about it since it has rained nearly constantly. So far they have also withstood the wind test, top gusts at the harbor peaked at 19,5 m/s, no effect on our covers. 

Looking for the summer.. 

sunnuntai 13. lokakuuta 2013

Season has ended, another one has just begun...

The saddest day of season is always the haul out, for us it happened on 28.9. Mr. Karttunen was once again the truck/crane operator and I was anxious to see the condition of the bottom.

Last time when we hauled out there were some issues with the bottom. So I spent about 350 hours under the boat doing it right. Scraping and sanding, four Light Primer barrier coats, one layer of Hempel's Hard Racing and one layer of Mille Extra ablative. Now was the time to see if all that work had paid off or did we have a "blister boat" as some of the "pro's" had already declared.

Up she comes...

I had promised to the truck/crane operator that if there are bubbles I will buy him a bottle of sparkling, Well, I saved my money on that. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the bottom, nothing. As the pictures show there really wasn't much of slime either, this kind of surprised me since the boat had sat and seen only infrequent use.

Luckily we have the bottom washers around, it makes life so much easier to have someone with proper tools and a powerful power washer to do the work in 15 minutes. It would probably take me an hour and I would get very wet... For 40€ it just isn't worth it.

There she goes... 44 years and still going strong...

It seems that my idea of using ablative over hard seems to be working. The power washer took some of it away and where brush was used there was a clear blue color showing through, just as it should. I chose to use ablative in order to avoid the build up of many layers, in the long run it will make life easier...

Almost done, few adjustments left.. 

maanantai 9. syyskuuta 2013

Raw water pump, weep hole weeping and almost a rebuild..

Some time ago I noticed that the raw water pump in our port engine developed a leak, not much but enough so that I could see the water dripping from the weep holes just behind the impeller housing. I could have used the boat but the idea of saltwater dripping to the belts and spraying around the engine room was too much for me. So a repair was due.

TAMD 40B raw water pump. The water was dripping from the weep hole just behind the impeller housing.
This is what we started with. It was an easy task to get the piping and hoses off from the pump after I shut the sea cock and used a hand pump to empty the sea strainer and the pumps feed hose (I didn't want to get any water to the bilge). After the hoses were out the pump is attached with two bolts, be careful not to loose the key that connects the pumps axle to the gears in the engine. I dropped mine to the bilge but managed to fish it out with a "grabber".

After I had read the great article Rebuilding A Raw Water Pump by Compass marine, I decided that this is a job I can pull through myself without getting Volvo mechanics involved. I followed the instructions in the article and although the build of the pump is different than in the article the same principles apply. 

After tapping the axle and the bearings away from the housing, this is what I got. By looking at the bearings I noticed some rust on the pump side of the first bearing and some wear marks also in the shaft. So when the boat gets out of water I will do full rebuilds to both pumps (bearings, shaft and seals). At least I have something to tinker with in those long winter nights. 

Internal parts
At this phase I realized that there are few types of pumps used in these engines and naturally I have the ones with the most expensive parts, at least when looking at the prices from the local Volvo dealer. Well, anyway the process had begun so I needed to remove the water seal.

Source of leak, nearly totally worn lip seal. 
The water seal is best seen after removing the insert and the wear plate, the screw for the insert was tight as hell but broke loose with a good screwdriver and fury.

Broken lip seal seen from the bearing end of the pump. 
The seal itself just popped out of its place with minimum force and once I saw what remained of it it was clear that this was the source. It had lost its "lip" and there were some sand particles lodged between the rubber and and the seals metal base.

Original lip seal, or whats left of it anyway. 
As this was one of my kitchen table projects I needed to use the tools that I had handy. It would be better to this in a shop but while not having such luxury it can be done neatly in domestic settings.

New seal and some precision instruments. 
After looking for a new seal I found a place where I could get one with reasonable costs. 8 euros versus 50 something what I would have paid for at the dealer, plus the waiting time of at least four days. It really is a standard lip seal with 25x52x7 dimensions. I also got the stainless springs to replace the ones that were in place in the new seal. Changing the springs was something that even my daughters would know how to do.

Axle in and rest of the parts still remaining. 
When pressing in the axle and the bearings I put the shaft and the bearings to the freezer for a few hours in order to shrink them ever so slightly, maybe they shrunk a bit since it was easy to tap them into the housing, certainly easier than getting them out.

In hindsight, it would have been easier to press the new sealing in before the axle and bearings so I would have had better access to the seal without the axle being in the way. Anyway it worked like a charm like this as well but no I know how to do it for future references.

Insert the wear plate
After the seal was in place it was just a matter of putting it all together. After inserting the wear plate I put some silicone sealant to the bottom of the cam and to the cam screw in order to minimize chances of leaking from the screw hole. 

If you look closely I had the odd side job of gluing the diamonds back to the kids tiara. I think this was the second time around, so I think that I need to use epoxy if they fail again.

Just insert the circle clip and its nearly done.
After the pump was put back together I put in the impeller, making sure I used enough of glycerin based hand creme (nicked from the wife), in order to avoid any dry running. I intentionally left the cover plate off because as you see above the axle slot and the key (in the engine) need to align and you need to align them while installing the pump. 

It is much easier to use a good size screwdriver to align them while the coverplate is off. Another good reason for leaving it off is the fact that in Volvo's world the cover plate screws also double as clamps for the retainers (see the very first pic) and you need to attach them while the pump is in and all the hoses are attached and secured. 

After installing the pump and priming the sea strainer (filling it and the hoses with water) it was time to run the engine (with the sea cock opened). Sadly  I noticed that the top pipe (pump to engine) leaked. The fix was simple, it just needed to be pressed harder into the pump housing by using some force. Somehow I did not get the pipe and the o-ring pressed deep enough the first time around even though the retainer was in perfect position. After some adjustments there were no leaks anymore. 

The next day we took the boat out and I was watching the temp gauge every few seconds to see if all was well. The temperature rose in perfect harmony with the other engine and at cruise speeds it stayed at 80 Celsius, just where it is supposed to be. So, job done for now but when the winter kicks in I will rebuild both pumps and make sure that I don't need to worry about them for the next ten years. 

maanantai 5. elokuuta 2013

Snakes and birds...

After we returned from our vacation and the boat sat a few days in its dock I noticed that the seagulls were thinking that our classic boat is a nice place to have a snack and crap all over it.. Time to take counter measures.

I thought about getting some bright strands of fabric or something similar, but instead remembered that birds are naturally afraid of snakes. So I got myself a snake.

So far it has worked, the boat is clean and no seagulls are hanging around there no more. Make sure that you attach the snake so that it doesn't runaway. Or rather, fly away...

Snap davits and how to install them totally against the manuals recommendations.

I ordered my parts that you are supposed to glue to the inflatable but sadly they were not delivered before the start of my summer vacation, even after that TNT messed the delivery so my package was delayed for one whole week. Because of the delay I was forced to do the gluing in water and naturally near sunset. 

Below is a snap of the stands that attach to small brackets in the main boat and in the dinghy. They are extremely handy and easy to use. 

Here we have the view from the top. The hinges are attached to the transom and the pads and stainless parts work nicely together. Unfortunately I needed to move the "horns" closer to each other, thus making excess holes to the transom. The larger rope is my lowering and raising rope. It extremely easy to maneuver the dinghy, one hand is enough.

On the lower left corner you can see that there is enough clearance for my anchor winch to work perfectly, so far I have used the dinghy once to re-position my anchor. Picked up the anchor roved to a better spot and dropped it, after small wait I used my anchor winch remote to pull the excess line and make my anchor nice and tight.. nice..

The added bonus of having the dinghy stationary when my daughters are climbing in and out of it is also nice. All it takes is a "snap" and you are secured.

The downside is below. It's not exactly pretty nor is it the most convenient when your buoy line goes from the cleat and rubs against the dinghy. So far I have I have just lowered the dinghy to the water after we have moored the boat, not that big of a job, but still...