Monday, August 31, 2009
Spent the day with Sam at our "engine shop" putting together what will be our main engine for the boat. Sue and I picked up the gearbox in Oxnard, along with a water cooled exhaust manifold, turbo, marine bellhousing and flywheel, and some other odds and ends. I had stripped the engine down to the bare block last week. I also pulled the oil pan and timing cover, and gave everything the once over. All looked good, so today we started putting things back together. We replaced the front and rear main oil seals (just in case), new gaskets all around, and started prepping for a fresh coat of Cummins white engine paint to match the clean new gearbox.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Last week Peter & I drove down to Oxnard, located about 60 miles north of LA, to pick up the gearbox and some extra parts. We knew it would not fit in our Honda Civic so we switched cars with our neighbor Tad Thompson who has a Toyota minivan. Thanks to Tad we were able to cruise down the 101 & I-5 in air-conditioned comfort.
It was nice to get out of town if only for a couple of days. The drive down the 101 was nice, especially where it parallels the ocean. We got to Oxnard around 3:30 and went straight to the shop. Tony was helpful & knowledgeable and threw a lot of information at us. His staff was easily able to load the gearbox into the van (with the help of a forklift) and within an hour we were on our way.
We decided to stay overnight at a local hotel. Though the room was hot and the ceiling fan was noisy, the pool and the hot tub were nice perks. We took in a soak & then headed to the harbor for dinner. Afterwards, we walked out on the beach. Amazing how different southern California waters are to those in the north – much more tranquil.
The next day we headed back north. We needed to go back to Vallejo to drop the gearbox off & Pete did a great job of getting it out of the van with the forklift. All items were delivered safely to the room in 515 where Pete is cleaning & converting the engine.
More to come later - SP
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Aft Frames are going in. Jesus made a few adjustments to make sure all the frames and bulkheads are true. Also did a pressure test on the first keel tank to check the welds. Fore deck stringers are in so I climbed up and took a shot looking forward from the area where the wheelhouse will be. Also took a close up of one of the welds. Jesus and his crew are doing an excellent job with the production work. Its a shame to cover up those nice welds with paint...
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Starting to look like a boat. All the bulkheads and frames, from the engine room forward, are tacked in place. Today we put in #39, the aft engine room bulkhead. Very windy, so it took a lot of wrangling to get this one in place. Climbing around inside the “cage“ that is formed by the frames, you can really get an idea of what the inside space will be like. Next week we’ll be heading down south to pick up the gearbox and some other engine parts. When I get back from that road trip, it’ll be my job to get the engine and gearbox assembled, painted, and ready for installation. The main engine is a 12 valve 5.9 Cummins diesel from a wrecked 93 Dodge truck. Found it on Craigslist a while back. Very low miles and a very desirable model for our purposes. More to come soon…
Monday, August 17, 2009
Three bulkheads went up today... #3(collision bulkhead), #9, and #30(forward engine room bulkhead). Bracing seems to be holding up well against the afternoon winds... we'll all sleep a little better once we get the rest of the frames up and tied together into a more rigid structure.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
A few picks from our progress this week... Stern tube has been tacked in place and lined up perfectly. All the frames and bulkheads are now finished and the stem is tacked in place. Jesus made a scaffold from our scrap pile. This will be set up straddling the keel to provide a platform for handling the frames and bulkheads as they go into place. Today we did a test run with the bulkhead at station #9 (9 feet back from the stem - or forward part of the hull). Really gives an idea of the scale of the boat. This bulkhead will form the forward wall of Sams cabin. In front of this will be a storage area, then another full watertight bulkhead (known as a collision bulkhead) just behind the stem at station #3. #9 will probably be the first to go in next week.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
As I mentioned before, the pipe for the stern tube and rudder tube arrived last week. One very heavy 20 foot length of half inch wall 4.5" steel pipe. These pipe sections support the rudder shaft and the propeller shaft which will both be made from 2.5" stainless alloy. First job was to cut the pipe into the right lengths. The pipe was too heavy to carry around the shop (even after we rough cut it into pieces with a cutting torch) so we had to get a little creative with the final cutting setup. Ended up using the forklift to hold the pipe in position, and moved the liquid cooled metal cutting saw outside to cut the finished ends. They came out perfect- nice smooth, straight ends all around.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Things are moving along nicely with the construction. All interior welding in the keel has been completed, and keel tank tops have been fitted. Jesus and his crew have also been busy building up the frames and installing stiffeners on all the bulkheads. Once these start going up, the idea is to move along quickly so they can all be tied together into a rigid structure that will hold up to gravity and our regular afternoon westerlies.
Had an interesting adventure last Thursday...