Baggy Wrinkles

Baggy Wrinkles
S/V Nautica, Hull #614, Built at Whitby Boatworks Ltd., Ontario, Canada 1977, one of the most recognizeable Carl Alberg designs. A masthead sloop displacing 9000 lbs, keel hull, Yanmar 15 hp diesel, LOA 30.27 Beam 8.75, Draft 4.29, roller furling headsail, tiller, berths for 4, interior teak bulkheads, teak cap rail and cockpit teak coamings, 12 volt lighting, aluminum mast support, Harken self tailing winches, in its day was designed for customers as a Cruiser-Racer, the Alberg 30 remains a Classic design of the large Alberg inventory.

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Breathing easier now...

It's just not right to match a humanities guy with an engine.  The only upside, I guess, is that the engine becomes a journey to the skipper with a humanities degree while for the engineer it is simply a problem.  For me, this, like many other things aboard the Alberg, was more than a problem, it was mechanical harassment!

But, in the kindness of time and patience, I did manage to prevail, and, drawing on every bit of mechanical history I'd ever been privileged to to collect, was able to fix both the blown muffler problem and the tachometer calibration issue.  


The alternator is the now the second shiniest part on this 40 year old diesel.  After viewing the engine mounts, I think it propitious to secure another angle iron for the rear starboard foot, as that iron has suffered from salt water.  I will be proactive about replacing that after I get over my sore chest and arms.

After doing a bit of work on the front side of the Yanmar where everything is served up and easily accessible, the flip side is much more of a challenge....


Taken from my cockpit access hatch, this view is from stern to the forward doors of the v-berth area.  And the copper gasket looking this way is where the "elbow," or muffler (as I call it) will bolt on.  Viewed last Fall, this is the miserable workplace from the same viewpoint, the rusty elbow amidst the entry and exit of necessary pipes and control lines:

While on the hard, replacement of a thru-hull on the starboard side and see the rusty elbow looking downward to link up with the larger muffler box, here pulled back out of the way for viewing.
It's very "therapeutic" to relook these old photos to remind oneself of the enormous leap in progress over the past 9 months!  I think the most difficult thing about the work is the physical punishment of this yacht yoga. After finishing this installation I felt like I'd been in a wrestling match with a gorilla.  Sore and bruised, I felt I had won the match if only it would not leak upon installation!

Someone in engineering decided to put an upward angle to the tip of the elbow, as if doing so would make the transition for the exhaust tube easier for the installation.  That "Good Idea Fairy" should be tied to the yard-arm and held there for several seasons in order to learn the fact that if you re-engineer something you must take into account that nothing else on the boat is going to move to accommodate your idea! 

Had the "smart person" who re-engineered this elbow left things alone, the tubing would never had had such an obstacle to overcome. 

It looks "purtty" doesn't it?  But note carefully the "near-miss" as the 2 inch exhaust pipe only clears the thru-hull on starboard by the increased turn clockwise of the elbow itself.  I muscled it about 3/16ths of an inch in order to clear that obstacle.  As the tube fits, it has to carefully wrap on the end of the elbow--something I will continue to monitor because I do not trust time, heat, and vibration, to leave it alone!  And yes, I will put a second clamp on that location.

Easy fix right?  Just reach down and slap it in.  Not so fast 'Bosun, try that now with one arm reaching through the cockpit hatch and see how that works again?  After several hours of wrestling I did manage to conquer this problem but have paid the price of a slow physical recovery to install just several essential pieces.
So, I checked it after installation and again the next day, running the engine both slow and fast, to see if that dreaded thing, called a leak, would appear.  Up until now, there are no leaks.

This seems like a benign posting but it highlights the small issues which can potentially become large problems.  Had that muffler blown while out on the water and without wind, I'd have been calling Boat US for a tow.  Glad I have that coverage!  I've used it before and it's great.  But I prefer to be able to sidestep that and know that my gear and components are sound and capable.  Yet, the rusty elbow was on my long term fix because of it's very high price ($ 209 bucks) which I think is robbery, and because if something is evidently working I don't run to fix it.  Yet.