Sunday, May 3, 2009

All sealed up... almost

This weekend was about getting the boat ready to come out from under the tarp.

To that end, I found a helper that held the opening ports while I screwed them in from the outside (thanks Mom). Sadly, I forgot to take pictures. It went pretty smooth except some of the hardware I had ordered was the wrong size. The paperwork was right, just what was in the box was wrong. I found that out while holding a sticky mess of buytyl encased port. A quick trip to the hardware store (and a little luck) found me the correct hardware. The purists out there might be dismayed to see flat and phillips head screws mixed together. I can't make excuses. I did what I had to do to make the project move forward.

The other big project was the deck scuppers. I copied the technique from another Triton owner who had dealt with the large 1.5" Buck Algonquin bronze scuppers before. I first drilled straight with a 1-7/8ths forstner bit. Then, without attempting the tricky operation of beveling the entire hole out smoothly and evenly, I glued a backing pad on from the underside with lots of epoxy and clamped it with the nut on the backside of the scupper.

The hole in the backing pad is smaller than the hole in the deck. The scupper just sits in place on the outer lip. Lots of epoxy is put on the backing pad and then the pad is pressed up into the deck and scupper, filling in the gaps from below. Once the epoxy hardens it supports the scupper. I was a little dubious but the technique worked out relatively well. I say relatively because I was re-using the forstner drill bit and it was really getting dull. (I think 2-3 cuts is about all I can expect from the bit) The bit got away from me and opened up the second hole a little- not by much but since the scupper only rests on its lips it was enough. It would sit in the hole but it was about 1/8 inch low and was noticeably down. I filled in the hole a bit with thickened epoxy but I couldn't catch up with the first scupper. I will have to finish the job next week.

(Edit: I just noticed that the 'screen' on the scupper doesn't line up. Darn! I wonder if that is fixable later?)

I also could have used more epoxy on the first scupper. The technique really demands a lot of epoxy to squish out everywhere to work well. I had a small area where the epoxy didn't squish into and I had to go back and add some.

Some may notice that the hole in the backing pad is not centered. That is because there is a 'bulkhead' right there. Gaining enough access to see if the installation was okay was impossible and working it by feel only was tricky. I went ahead and cut out a section of the bulkhead so I could gain access from the inside. An easy (ier) fix later. The fitting doesn't really need backing. It just needs a method of pushing epoxy up into the hole that will support the scupper later.

Next, I was going to install the manual bilge pump. Note I said "going to". Its been a long time since I had removed the pump. I left the 1/4 inch mounting holes when I faired and painted the cockpit with the idea of saving myself the effort of drilling new accurate holes later. It seems when the first installer put the pump in there was some inaccuracy with the holes. The holes don't come close to lining up with the pump. I had a good few minutes of head scratching over that one. I can fix it by a few lag bolts on the inside of the pump driven into the wood. But I didn't have the hardware so it didn't happen this weekend. Next time, I will fill every hole and start over. That way I am not duplicating someone else's mistakes. Grrrrr...

I was able to connect the transmission shift cable (mostly - I need a different clevis pin).

The first few tests were a bit disturbing. It takes a lot of force to make it work. I am worried about the #10 screws that clamp down the cable ends. The problem is threefold. The 'transmission' is notoriously stiff on an Atomic Four, no way to get around that. The only point I could connect the cable on the transmision lever was at the lowest point with the least leverage. I was using a winch handle that was too small and didn't fit which further aggravated my leverage issue. It works but I am not really comfortable with it yet. I may have to revisit the idea of a mechanical shifter like the original. Sometimes, the builders actually knew what they were doing...

The choke cable is connected (no picture) and the throttle needs the cable clamp that I forgot at home. Otherwise the engine controls are operational.

In that last picture you can see a little platform. That is for the waterlift muffler. I glued the 'legs' on the underside and when that kicks off I can finish prepping it for installation. That should happen next week. With luck I will be cutting holes in the counter for the exhaust and bilge thru-hulls so I can get the entire exhaust system done all at once.

Strange, it felt like a productive weekend but I don't have the pictures to prove it.

I also spent a fair amount of time rummaging through my piles of parts trying to figure out if I have what I need to get the rig up and sailing. Next week or the following is going to have to include prepping the mast with the old hardware and new wire stays and roller furler.

I keep working but there is always more and more to do.

Now I go back to my 'real' job where I can rest for a few days and wait for the items I ordered to arrive.

Addendum: I haven't replaced my drill with the cord yet and it is making a noticeable impact. I have two batteries for my Ryobi and it took eight recharges to get me through the weekend's work. The scupper holes took forever with the dull bit and the empty batteries. Not good. I really need to find the cash for a real drill. I think I am nearly done and can get by without replacing my worn out tools but I am apparently not.

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