Tuesday, August 29, 2017

_______________________ BACK INTO THE WATER _____________________

Today 'Mariner' was lifted with great care by Mo the Trav-lift operator and placed gently back into her natural element. We ran the newly restored engine and found that that the water pump wasn't working. After pulling it apart the consensus was that a new pump is required. So 'Mariner' will be lying here at the Riverside Driver Marina until I can purchase a new pump and fit it to the engine.
Shipmates, I can hear some of you murmuring that God sent me a diesel engine of a particular character to help me to develop patience and you are quite right.....  quite right.

Despite all this drama, it was good to see the boat back in the water and see her floating in her characteristically buoyant manner. A well designed small yacht is like a flower - beautiful.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

____________________ THE CADENCE OF FLOWERS ____________________

Christine chose and arranged these flowers in a small vase. She's clever like that. This little apparition sat on the table with the light shining through it and looked so beautiful I decided to take a photo of it.

I have always liked flowers, but in the last few years I have noticed their impossible beauty with increasing interest.

Friday, August 25, 2017

______________________ A BRIGHT SHINING LINE _______________________

The area on the side of the hull just above the anti fouling paint is a high corrosion area. The constant wetting and drying stresses the paint making it vulnerable to erosion of the surface, pitting and staining. There were a few small areas of paint close to the waterline that were a little worse for wear, but rather than paint all the white paint (which is in reasonable condition) I decided instead to sand back the trouble areas and paint on a 'boot top' stripe.

After transferring a line vertically approximately 50mm above the waterline on both sides of the boat I sanded, undercoated and painted on a bright blue boot top. I am happy with the result. We should be back in the water some time next week.

Monday, August 21, 2017

______________________ TALKING TO THE RIVER ______________________

The morning began with oil and temperatures gauges and their respective sender units - the verdict: they don't work; yet. Tomorrow an auto electrician will arrive to hopefully sort all of this. The afternoon was full of the high octane fragrance of anti fouling paint and the full on frisking buzz of my paint roller as the first coat of below the waterline paint was applied. All the time I could hear 'Mariner' talking to the river. "Soon" she said ...... "Soon".

Friday, August 18, 2017

_________________________ WORK CONTINUES _______________________

I had thought that the penultimate step on this long voyage ashore was going to be the painting of the newly fiber glassed area around the keel with a two pot undercoat, but this step required a 'wet on wet' coat of anti fouling paint straight afterwards. Instead I painted with the two pot undercoat but not the anti fouling paint because the uneven curing after the two pot coat (one side of the boat faces all day sun, the other side mostly in shadow) would have resulted in an unsatisfactory bonding of the anti fouling paint. So the solution has been to coat the area of two pot undercoat with a few coats of single pot undercoat; wait for this to cure and dry; then paint the anti fouling paint 'wet on dry'. I will do this step tomorrow if the weather is reasonable.

The back seats, front passenger seat  and the boot of my car are all loaded to the gunwales with boat renovation gear. I think it is time I seriously considered purchasing a ute, a truck or possibly a 747 cargo aeroplane.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

_______________________ BACK ON AN EVEN KEEL _____________________

Today I sat and worked on my excellent little work stool and put the penultimate touch to the keel. 

The work on the keel has been a mammoth undertaking. The first stage (above) was to expose the damp timber and dry it out in a tunnel made of plastic sheets and a couple of fan heaters. I then tightened up the keel bolts.

Stage two was sanding the keel and fairing it with west system resin and micro balloons powder. This fairing compound is a purple concoction which I carefully mixed to a consistency of peanut butter making it easy to spread.

Stage three was fiber glassing the keel and bilge area with 4 ounce double bias fiberglass cloth. Three layers of double bias cloth were laid on top of each other longitudinally along the garboards in 100, 200 and 300mm widths (narrowest width first). The rest of the keel required only only one layer of glass. I had help with this from the very capable Steve, a professional boat builder. We worked together all day without a break. He introduced me to the use of fiber glass peel ply which produced an excellent result.

Stage four was completed today when I painted the glassed area with three coats of two pot primer undercoat. Stage five will be a light sanding of the primer and the application of anti fouling paint.

The plan is to run the motor tomorrow and make sure everything is working as it should. Then a coat of anti fouling paint to the under water hull areas and it's back into the water. Then I will be able to motor my way down stream underneath the lifting bridge and go for a sail! Bliss.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

__________________ A TRIBUTE TO GLEN CAMPBELL __________________

Tonight on 'Prime Rocks' we watched a documentary about Glenn Campbells struggle with Alzheimers disease as he toured for the last time. It was a moving tribute to his musical talent, his courage and the love of his family and friends that surrounded him at this most difficult time.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

_____________ A PORSCHE 911 AIR FILTER AND POOH BEAR ____________

Shipmates, I am aware that many of you have been waking in the early hours of the morning plagued with the question: "Just when am I going to be able to view a photograph of the good ship 'Mariners' engine exhaust plumbing?" Well folks today is the day and not only do you get to see the plumbing but you get a full technical description straight from the installers mouth:

- The big black round thingy mounted on its very own stainless steel bracket, that looks a bit like a vacuum cleaner is the exhaust water lock. I think it provides a chamber where the engine exhaust gases mix with sea water from the water pump before being ejected out through the stern exhaust fitting.

- The big black hose is the exhaust pipe. The part of this large hose to the right leads the exhaust back to the exhaust pipe at the stern of the boat.

- The first small black hose to the left brings water from the water pump to up to the  grey coloured anti-siphon 'U bend'.

- The second small black hose to the right take the water and ejects it as a coolant into the engines manifold. The water and exhaust fumes then flow to a connection at the base of the black water lock through the side of the cockpit well on the right hand side.

- The clear hose leading from the grey 'U bend' is the anti siphon hose. It provides a way (by letting in air) to ensure that when the whole system is loaded up (with water) and the engine is off, the exhaust system doesn't siphon water.

- The green hose in the above photo that is hanging down and looking a bit lost is a vent from one of the water tanks.

If you are still reading this and have not been put to sleep by my scintillating poetic explanations and  by the gentle cadence of words such as siphon, U bend and plumbing then you have passed the test. Well done.
The grey coloured metal U bend to the top left of the photo (directly above) is the motors new exhaust manifold. I won't tell you how much it cost to get this fabricated because you simply wouldn't believe me.

If you look closely you can see the bottom of the manifold exiting into the water lock in the cockpit locker. Water from black hose (center in the photo) ejects cooling water into the manifold.

The bright red air filter is a component given to me when I was recently viewing a brand new Porsche 911. Sometimes if you look keen and gullible the car sales person tries to get you to take the car you are viewing home for the weekend. They know this technique usually seals the sale. In this case it was I who asked to take the car home; but the only part they would allow off their premises was the Porsche 911s' air cleaner (which I had to pay for) and it has come in pretty darn useful I must say - and I know again, you simply won't believe me on that one either.
Features (above) that I hope will improve the running and maintenance of this little motor are:

- Large flexible engine mounts. These are twice the size of the previous ones and should smooth out vibrations more efficiently.

- Lower left in the photo - a draining tap from the diesel tanks sump. I will be able to readily and frequently drain off any water or other contaminants from the tank.

- Middle left in the photo - The tallish silver cylinder with the black tap on top is a remote greaser for the stern gland. A quarter turn of this after running the motor each time is all that is required to grease the stern gland and stop it from dripping.

- The new stainless steel engine bearers and their new cross bracings should provide less vibration in the wooden bearers that they are bolted to and won't rust in the manner of the old ones.

If you have been very observant you will have spied two rope controls in the above photograph. One is the motors decompression control (the motor starts on half compression). The other is the engines stop lever. I can hear some of you muttering the words 'Heath Robinson' under your breathe - cut it out right now - you know about the kiss principle (keep it simple stupid).

The only stupid, or more to the point, slightly alarming aspect about this whole drama has been my regular decent into the port cockpit locker to install the exhaust system. The entrance is so narrow I have to exhale the very last gasp of air in my lungs to squeeze my diaphragm through. It gives one the experience similar to one Pooh Bear Esq who after visiting his friend Rabbit and consuming a number of pots of honey got stuck halfway in and halfway out of Rabbits door - I know the feeling.