Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ups and Downs

I started the day by prepping the engine for its first start in three years.

I finished the cooling system check by refilling the exchanger with an antifreeze solution.

Then I removed the spark plugs and squirted some WD40 into the cylinders and then turned the engine over by hand a few times. Then I hit the starter button and motored the engine for about 30 seconds to get the oil flowing. While motoring, I stuck my thumb over each of the spark plug holes to make sure I was getting good compression. 'Good' on an Atomic Four means it pushes my thumb out of the way. These engines have very low compression ratios.

Then I started on the fuel. The fuel tank is brand new so I poured in a gallon and checked things out. I spent several minutes looking around for leaks and such. It all looked good. The manual quantity gauge jumped right up so I made a mark at the 1 gallon point for future reference. Then I was curious as to how much of the fuel was unavailable, i.e. below the suction tube, so I put a jumper wire on the oil pressure safety switch...

... pulled the fuel hose off the carburetor and into a plastic jug ...

... turned on the ignition and found the fuel pump had no problem pulling this fuel and delivering it to the carburetor. The pump I got from Moyer Marine actually puts out WAY more fuel than the engine needs. No worries there.

Then I poured the rest of my five gallon jug of gasoline into the tank and again checked for leaks.

I also made a mark at the 5 gallon indication. The 'V' shaped tank slopes forward toward the indicator so the fuel indication rises rapidly until the wider sections of the tank start taking fuel.

Then I filled a bucket of water and put my alternate water supply hose in place and was ready to start the engine.

Sadly, nothing happened. The motor cranked but it did not come to life.

So then I started in on the troubleshooting. I removed the front spark plug and holding it against the block I cranked the engine again. There was no spark jumping across the gap in the spark plug. There was a fine mist of fuel in the cylinder though.

Then I pulled the wire going from the coil to the distributor and cranked again. No spark coming out of the coil.

Then I took the positive wires off the coil and using another jumper, momentarily applied voltage to the coil. Then I got spark.

So then I started thinking the coil was not getting the signal from the electronic ignition to fire. Per the manufacturer's instructions I ran a jumper wire from the battery directly to the coil to check for a low voltage indication. No change.

Then I pulled the distributor apart and checked the electronic ignition. There really isn't much to see and it looked fine.

Then I did it all again...

I suspect the electronic ignition since everything else seems to be working. I don't know yet if there is a way to check the electronic igntion without simply replacing it. If the wires get crossed, it can fry the unit. If power is left on for too long it can fry the unit. None of these things happened to my knowledge but it is a possibility.

So that was a big bummer. It might even be the killing blow to my launch plans. I really don't have time in my schedule for an engine that doesn't work. It worked the last time the boat was operated. I have some inquiries out there. Hopefully, I can get it resolved quickly.

Then I turned to the rigging. I needed the chainplates put back in.

A few years ago, to stop the constant leaking from the boat being outdoors (next time indoor storage!) I had filled the chainplate slots during the deck reconstruction.

I left it so that with a long drill I could drill through the holes from the botton to re-locat the slots on deck.

Using my Rotozip tool I connected the locating holes.

And then, ever so carefully, going a little bit at a time, up on deck and then down below to test it out, I cut out the holes to the proper dimensions.

I opened up the slots a bit too wide one one spot. That's okay since the stern slot had never been 'drilled and filled' to create a moisture barrier between the deck core and the hole. The other slots had been cut out, filled with thickened epoxy and then recut to the proper size during the first year that I worked on the boat.

I was just about to mix up some thickened epoxy when...

We got hit with a torrential downpour. I went below and checked for leaks there were none except for the fresh holes in the deck. I hung out down below for half an hour cleaning up and going through my random hardware bins until it became clear that my day was done.

It was good to get started on the chainplates. It feels right to be working towards making the boat sail again. The engine is a real bummer. I am launching and will be moored in a river with 3+ knots of current at times. A sail only boat is not an option here unless I have the leisure time to wait out the tidal currents (which I don't)

Highs and lows. Whether I actually win and get the boat launched on time is still in question. I guess that is what makes it all so interesting.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Baby steps to real progress

First of all. There were a ton of little details that I don't want to talk about. As I start connecting the original equipment I find more and more flaws with it. I should have ripped it all out and started from scratch. The maintenance on this boat was terrible and I keep finding little things buggered up - apparently by some ham fisted grease monkey. I got through it. I don't feel like discussing all the problems.

The first year that I worked on the boat I covered up the engine to keep it clean. This turned into a fruitless exercise. This time I didn't bother. Now I needed to clean up the carburetor before I tried to start it up. Maybe I should have taped a plastic bag over the inlet though.

The inlet was filthy but the bowl itself looked okay. The jets looked brand new. Which they are actually. I ran the engine about 70 hours since I overhauled the carburetor.

With the carburetor cleaned up I re-installed it on the engine and rigged it properly to the controls. This is where some of the previous maintenance issues crept up. Eventually, it all worked but I may have to go back and address some concerns later.

Then I connected the fuel pump outlet to the carburetor. I forgot to take a picture. Its just a hose anyway. The last time I had a disposable fuel filter just before the carburetor inlet. I didn't bother with it this time. I have the Racor filter which should be sufficient. The little filter is just a holdover from my aircraft maintenance days where there are lots of filters in the system for backup to the backups. The only thing the little filter would protect is from a fuel pump coming apart. If it does I will deal with pieces in the fuel. Not important enough to clutter up my engine compartment further.

Then it was off to the other end; the exhaust.

The mounting for the wet muffler is rather crude but it works. I think I had a shelf in there last time but the new fuel tank gets in the way now. The muffler is now just a bit further outboard.

The muffler makes contact on three of the four corners. Getting the new hose cut to the right length was a project because the length turned out to be very critical to getting everything to fit. It doesn't fit great actually, I have some contact with the deck drain hose. I got tired of fighting to get the hose off and on and trimming just a bit here and there. Good enough for now. Add it to the 'Needs Improvement List'. (yeah right - I will get right on that!)

I had several pictures but the lighting made them all come out lousy. The new exhaust hose runs from the exhaust piping to the muffler and from the muffler to the outlet on the stern. All with double AWAB hose clamps of course. :-)

With the exhaust system connected I turned my attention to the cooling system. I had pulled the two impellors out of the pumps when I put the engine to bed so now it was time to put new impellors back in.

The raw water impellor is pretty straight forward. The pump is mounted on the front of the engine and is driven by the front driveshaft pulley. Once I got it back together I remembered that I wanted to improve the alignment left by the sloppy mechanic that originally installed the freshwater cooling system.

Add that to the 'Needs Improvement List' too.

The original water pump, once the engine was converted to freshwater cooling became the pump that pushes the antifreeze through the closed cooling system. I changed out that impellor too and greased up the shaft.

I have no idea how people service this pump without access from a nice big Bomar hatch in the cockpit.

Then I took care of a little detail that had been nagging me.

You can just see in the photo that the seacock handle hits one of the bolts that secure the seacock. After I installed the seacock, I noticed that the top end was a little loose on the base. When I tightened it, the handle came into contact with the bolt. I cut the bolt short but that didn't really fix the problem. It got better but I still couldn't open the seacock fully. So I tightened the seacock top half a little more. Tighter than I liked but I got enough of a turn for the handle to clean the bolt. I think this is kind of a stupid design flaw.

That addressed the last of my concerns with the cooling system so I moved on to the electrical system. Can anyone spot the problem?

I picked up a new battery to replace my old (and dead) battery this morning and it didn't occur to me to check which side the positive and negative posts were on. Apparently, they are not all the same. In this case, they were opposite from the old battery and my clean, no excess, battery wires wouldn't reach. In the end I made them work for now by re-routing them but I am not too happy with it as a long term solution so I am ordering more materials to re-make the battery cables.

I was a little nervous about turning on the battery swith. I had visions of large sparks and smoke. I wasn't positive about the connection on the starter solenoid and I half expected the engine to turn over when the battery was turned on. As it turns out, nothing happened. I checked for voltages and then started turning sytems on and found that everything was working normally. Its such a relief and a bit of a surprise when everything just works like it is supposed to.

The original blower motor sounded loud. I may have to replace it with a new quieter motor. Add it to 'The List'.

Finally, I changed out the oil. The engine had been left with a 50-50 mix of oil and Marvel Mystery oil (on a suggestion from Moyer Marine - aka 'The Atomic Four experts') I sucked out three quarts and put three fresh quarts in. This should get me close to a good mix. I will run the engine and then change the oil again.

And that is where it stands. I need to add coolant and bring a bucket for drawing water from inside the boat while I test run it. I also need to bring some fuel, pour it into the tank and then prime the fuel pump (which works, I bypassed the oil pressure safety switch and got the electric fuel pump running). Then pull the spark plugs, oil the cylinders and turn the engine over with the starter to get the oil flowing again. And then turn on the engine for the first time in four years.

Fingers crossed.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Endless details

The closer I get, the slower I go. Why is that? It seemed so easy in my head...

There seemed to be more details to take care of with the electrical system as I was wrapping it up. Its ready now. I did the unpowered checks and I just need a new battery to do the power on checks. Seems to work so far. There were more half finished wire runs than I remembered though.

Other than the electrical system it was mostly small details today.

I filled in the drain hole in the bottom of the boat. I was getting worried that I would forget and only remember when the boat launched. The drain is a half inch hole I bored into the lowest part of the keel after several attempts to keep water from accumulating in the boat. The hole solved everything and I recomend the practice. To fill the hole, I used a forstner bit and widened the first 1/4 inch. The I poured acetone into the bilge to clean out the hole, wet out the hole with epoxy and then injected thickened epoxy (cabosil) into the hole. The purpose of widening the bottom of the hole a bit was to create a 'head' like a rivit that would resist the epoxy slug from moving in or out. On the inside the epoxy filled the hole and then overflowed creating a bit of a head on the inside too. Totally unnecessary I am sure but it makes me feel better. Funny, the boat doesn't feel like such a project with the hole filled. Its starting to feel like a real boat.

I installed the bilge blower and connected it. The blower sits on a pad. The last time the boat saw water I simply glued the pad to the hull with 4200. That seemed to work fine so I might just do that again. I can unscrew the blower from the wooden mount too. I didn't have anything to make it stick so it just sits loose for now. At least it works and I can test it out and run the engine safely.

With the bilge blower connected I installed the low profile cowl.

I love this cowl but there is a bit of an issue with it. I wanted two. One on each side. When I ordered the cowls and deck fittings from Mariners Hardware they told me they only had one is stock but they would have a second 'in a few months'. I ordered the one so I could cut the holes in the aft deck for the fittings. Six months went by and I called and they told me 'oh no, those have been discontinued and we won't be able to get any. We haven't been able to get any for awhile'. Hmmm... I tend to believe that they told me a little fib to get this last cowl off their shelves and had no real intention of getting me the second one. I have spoken with other boat people that have had similar issues with Mariners Hardware. They are on my bad list now. And now I have one nice cowl without the mate that I really need. I keep checking around. I see them in online catalogues sometimes but when I contact the store they never have any. Now I just hope for Ebay. No, I won't ever put a plastic cowl in its place. I might swap out the one for a different design though. Too bad because this one is quite nice.

Another little detail was finishing up the mounting for the wet exhaust muffler. I forgot to take pictures though.

And then I worked on 'Other people's boats' for the rest of the afternoon. It doesn't seem like I did much today but getting the wiring done was good. I have high hopes for running the engine next week and getting a start on the rigging. Rigging will take a few days and then deck hardware until launch day. Not quite on schedule but it looks like it will happen without too much pain. Other than being overworked of course.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


The good news is that the rain was a non-issue. The bad news is that the other boat I have been working on got pushed up on the schedule and I had to work on it today instead of my own starving boat.

Please don't ever try to 'help' me by applying colloidial silica as a fairing filler on the hull.

And 8 inch sanding discs on grinders should be outlawed.

First thing, I got the instrument panel in place. I went ahead and used tons of sealant. Who am I kidding thinking I will have time to remove it for varnishing before launch?!

Yeah, I never painted the backside. Primer only. Maybe someday.

The frame is screwed from the inside, through the fiberglass and into the frame. The panel is screwed from the inside, through the panel and into the frame.

And then I spent six hours sanding the hull of the 'Other' boat. Its half done. Luckily the other side is in much better shape. I was able to stop the fairing help before the owner got to the other side. Funnily enough, I was dreading the sanding with the memories of last summer still a bit too potent. In fact, I really didn't mind it much. Sanding hard stuff overhead is never fun - and my arms got tired quickly - but overall it was a rather pleasant and nostalgic experience. I can almost envision doing it again on a different boat someday...

It was late in the day before I got back on my own boat. I wasn't sure what to do first so I thought I would drag my mast over where I can work on it.

Having it in front of me will encourage me to get started on it soon. I really need to get started on it soon. Its been on the rack for three years. It looks okay - like a worn out aluminum mast - functional but not pretty. That's next year's top priority, overhauling the mast and attachments, painting the mast, replacing the running rigging, and updating all the sail controls. That was one item on my list for next year. Now I think it is the only item on that list. Reality is catching up with me.

So then I thought I would wire in my new panel. I miraculously had the crimp fittings for the #4 gauge wire going to the ammeter. I had no idea I needed them or that I had them in the spare parts bin. Lucky me. Then I realized that I had lots of extra length to the wires I had run out to the panel. Before I could shorten the wires and connect them I had to straighten up the rest of the wiring and make sure the runs were clean and organized. Once I got into that I realized that I hadn't settled on a position for the bilge blower. I sort of thought I would run the hose down the port side and mount the blower in a convenient out of the way place. (Note: on a Triton there really is no out of the way place!) On closer inspection though I couldn't find room to run the hose clear of the engine/transmission controls nor keep it a safe distance from the hot exhaust. So I ran it down the starboard side instead.

I can't say as I am crazy about the blower hose. I had another hose type in mind but when I priced it I found it to be around $10 a foot. This hose is actually marketed as a bilge blower hose. It isn't too tough though and I don't know how long it will be before I rip it. At least its cheap. That will console me when I am duct taping it three weeks into the season and trying to keep it going for a few more months... Last time I used PVC tubing but I found that made a loud echoing sound that I would like to avoid. The engine is so quiet that the loud blower bothers me. Its the only thing between me and true whisper (Stealth) drive.

The hose terminates alongside the engine on the starboard side. I would rather have it on the port side next to the carburetor since that is a likely source of gasoline fumes (besides spilling in the bilge) but it just wasn't to be. With the engine box (still to come) in place the blower hose should still promote good ventilation around the engine. The hose is just lying in place for now. It will be secured 'soon'. In the cockpit lockers I think I am also going to make a couple of panels that will lie inside and protect the moving stuff and hoses from stored items (most likely sails) Not ideal but workable for now.

Finally, as the sun was setting, I finished up the day by going back to tying up the engine electrical harness so that I can wire up the panel so that I can call the engine electrical system complete. I sure hope it all works and I don't have to pull apart the harness I just made.

Another ten hour day at the boatyard and I am beat. One more day and then I can go back to my 'real' job and rest.

Sleepy time... zzzzzzzzz

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Slogging through the details

At this stage of the game nothing is simple.

I connected my deck drains to the outlets in the cockpit well.

I thought the hose I was ordering was something stouter than what showed up. If I had known how flimsy this hose would be I would have paid half the price and used the stiffer potable water hose I used for the water tank fills and bilge hoses for half the price. It works. I can move the project forward. It isn't exactly what I had envisioned.

You may notice that the smaller hose at the 'T' doesn't have a hose clamp. These plastic connections are terrible.

I picked up a couple up a while ago for this application but I didn't realize how poorly they fit the hose. I don't know what they are designed to fit but the ends are a bit larger than the hose diameter (even though the hose size specs are molded right into the fitting) and its a bear trying to force the hose over the barbs. Once over, the hose is stretched out too wide for my hose clamps to fit. I will have to order larger hose clamps. The hoses fit fine on the metal fittings I have but they don't like these plastic fittings at all. I won't use them again.

Unfortunately, I had built up some fittings last winter in anticipation of using them on applications that I had planned on finishing up this weekend. This fitting was to combine the manual bilge pump outflow with the small electric bilge pump outflow.

I was trying to get a small section of hose over the bottom end to mate it up with the thru-hull. I thought I would give it a little tap and ... Oops. The PVC hose to pipe fittings didn't fit the hose well either. Metal fittings good. Plastic fittings not so good. Funny, the PVC hose to pipe fittings worked fine in my toilet hose plumbing. Definitely a fight with both the white, potable water hose and the black drain hose.

I gave up and just connected the manual bilge pump to one thru-hull and the large electric bilge pump to the other thru-hull. I would like to figure out a way to combine outlets to add in the small electric pump but it is getting late in the game to get bogged down on little details. I cruised last time with just one manual bilge pump. That is how I bought the boat so I guess it is better than what it was. Not as good as I want it but better. I might just have to add another thru-hull but that means more stuff on the counter than I wanted.

On a more positive note, I took the brand new Monitor windvane out of the box last night. I realized that I have been storing it for four years now. Its a beautiful piece of art and extremely well packaged. I bought the expensive Monitor partly on the reputation for good customer service. So far I am very happy. They even included a plastic trash bag to collect all the shipping peanuts so that I wouldn't have a mess after unpacking. I did some reading of the instructions and laid out all the pieces to get a good idea in my head of what will be required. Unfortunately, its rather critical to know exactly where the loaded waterline will be. I am only guessing at this point so I won't be able to install the vane before I launch. It should be relatively easy to do from the float but it would have been nice to have it out of the way before that. The support frame mounts to the aft deck at two points using these pads.

Its a close fit. I could grind down the fittings a wee bit and it would work. Or I could cut into the hatch a bit to make it work. I am beginning to dislike the hatch so I wouldn't mind chopping it up and replacing it anyway (after this season). The hatch, even though its made by Bomar, is pretty low quality. The aft mount holes are right at the edge of the lip and the mounting screws have to be angled away to get a bite on solid material. If the screws go straight down they actually skim the lip of the hatch itself. Pretty shoddy design IMHO. I do like the hinged lid, the latching dogs and I like the low profile. And it fits the location well (though I wish I had thought to check out how the Monitor would connect earlier before I cut the opening for the hatch). Its flimsy but I knew it would be and I don't plan on walking around back there. Oh well, something to add to the 'Improvements' list (along with the deck drains)

After checking out the Monitor I could see that there would be no interference with where I wanted to put the fuel tank vent fitting so I drilled that hole, installed the fitting and connected it all up. The fitting is actually about as high as I can get it and still get the hose on the fitting. It looks low from the outside view but you can see from the inside view that it is right up there.

I could have raised it up an inch but I had to do some guessing and I was worried about having a hole too high and not being able to get a hose on the end. There was no way to measure and figure out exactly how thick the deck to transom joint was. Apparently it is quite thick in the radius. Good enough. The windvane is going to cover it all up anyway. Along with most of the rest of the transom unfortunately. The transom is one of the nicer things on my boat (in my opinion) and I hate covering it up with all that hardware. On the other hand, that hardware means a huge decrease in workload when trying to get somewhere. Its all about the compromises.

I installed the engine instrument panel frame in a thick bed of teak colored polysulfide. Sorry, I guess I forgot to take a picture after I removed the tape and cleaned it up.

The shot from behind wasn't aimed too well. I didn't notice until tonight. The frame is secured with screws through the fiberglass and into the frame. You can see a couple of the top screws in the photo.

I was going to mount the panel but there are a couple of supports on either side that stick out a bit more than I thought. I drove home and cut down the panel to fit between the supports. When I got back to the boat I found out that the supports are also crooked so one end of the panel fits and the other needs a bit more trimming. Oh well, plenty of time tomorrow... (not). I will screw the panel into the frame but I think I will leave out the sealant for now so that I can remove the panel to make it easier to put more coats of varnish on the frame. It will save me a bunch of time taping and cleaning up the panel I think. It shouldn't leak too badly... ?

The schedule for another boat I am working on got pushed up so I will have to spend some time on it tomorrow and Monday. That might prevent me from starting the engine this weekend. I am not sure yet. I am going to keep trying and hopefully get there on time. The rain that is expected tomorrow is going to be another complication to be dealt with. Oh well. I will do what I can.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Dodging raindrops

It was wet outside but luckily the boat stayed mostly dry.

I say 'mostly' because I didn't have hoses on the cockpit seat drains so they drained into the 'galley' area and I found a minor leak on one of the deadlights. Its pretty minor and I am not too worried yet. The deck drains worked. Without any attaching hoses they dumped all the water into the cockpit area and then to the bilge. The bilge drain fitting kept the water level below 3 inches. I have a hole in the very bottom of the boat but all the grinding and water has left a heavy mud like mixture down there and the bottom drain hole keeps getting plugged. I think I will fill that hole next week before I forget about it (before launch day). There is a lot of washing that needs to be done inside.

The deck drain fitting in the cockpit has proven troublesome.

I really wanted to put it in the very front of the cockpit well but the exhaust pipe, exhaust hose, water injection hose, throttle, choke, blah blah keeps getting in the way. I could torture the hose and put it on top of the battery perhaps (the battery box is just in there for demonstration)but I just know I am going to curse that thing every time I want to reach through the hatch. It would block access to everything else. It would also be uncomfortably close to the hot exhaust. The depth is hard to pick out in the picture but the riser (the vertical pipe section of the exhaust) is about inline with the forward edge of the cockpit well. The injection hose is just aft of that a few inches. The throttle is right after that. I have learned from some early plumbing errors not to run the hoses dirctly through the middle of the hatch opening. I curse my potable water intake location under the cabin sole every time I see it.

I decided not to fight it anymore and put the outlet further aft directly under the hatch drain. Its still a very tight fit with all the hoses and whatnot running by there but it does fit. The hose from the deck drain will turn aft behind the battery, meet up with cockpit seat drain hose, and then curve behind the battery to the marelon thru-hull fitting.

I mounted the manual bilge pump back in the original location.

The original holes lined up badly and I didn't notice until I started to reassemble the pump. To make the fix, the top bolts, that can be seen from outside, just go into the backing block. They don't really do much else. The top of the bilge pump is secured with lag screws into the backing block. The bottom mounting screws are 3-1/2 inches long and go through both the pump and pump mounting bracket. It just worked out that way. Sorry I didn't get a good picture of the bottom bolts from the inside. I connected the pump and it seemed to be working. I didn't have quite enough in the bilge for the pump to suck well. To get all the hoses through the crowded area in front of the engine I had to let the bilge pump hose hang mostly vertical. With the screen fitting on the end it doesn't lay low and flat like I would like. There is a low volume electric pump that sits down low and will get the last dredges. It was all part of the compromise. This boat gets smaller by the day...

I continued with the never ending wiring project. So much for a weekend job.

Its basically done. (haven't I said that before?) I need the engine instrument panel in place to make the final checks since the main power goes through the ammeter in the panel. I didn't use the alternator switch on the switch panel because there isn't a simple way to turn the regulator off and on with this self-regulating alternator. When I upgrade (when the big battery bank goes in) I will hook the switch into the system. The little 35 amp alternator doesn't really need a separate on/off switch.

I started to run some tests today only to find out that the battery was stone cold dead. I thought it was working earlier in the year but it definitely is not working now. I read about a volt and a half between the terminals and the battery charger wouldn't even try to work on it. (damned automatic charger- it thinks too much)

The fittings on the counter were installed.

Pretty straight forward. I sealed them in with 4200. They are above the waterline so I didn't go crazy with backing pads. It would have been tough with the exhaust fitting too because the hull is so thick there is barely enough protruding inside to get my required two hose clamps on.

I borrowed a neat trick from a pro that worked out quite well. In the past, when I had a thru-hull fitting with bolts I have always just drilled for the bolt hole. This time, I drilled and tapped the hole for the mounting bolt. That way, I could goop up the fitting, set it in place, screw the bolts into the new threads to secure the fitting, and then at my leisure go to the other side to tighten down the nuts. It is very annoying to have a gooped up fitting fall out when you are running from outside to inside. The tapped threads idea worked out great. I will always do that from now on.

In case I haven't mentioned it. The left hand fitting in the picture (with the lips) is for the engine exhaust. The middle fitting is for the manual bilge pump and the low volume electric bilge pump. The right hand fitting is for the high volume electric bilge pump and possibly the galley sink drain at some point. (don't know if I want to 'dual-use' the fitting for the 'emergency' pump yet.)

I was poised to drill the hole for the fuel vent fitting but at the last second (literally) I started wondering about the windvane mounts and where they need to be placed. They have a very specific location that they have to be in so I decided not to risk it and I will just drill the hole next week after I have looked into it.

I removed the carburetor from the engine to clean it out. After two years of living in a very dusty environment I wanted to give it a good cleaning before running fuel into it.

A very kind Triton owner sent me a possible candidate lever for the transmission shifter. It fits the fitting (mostly) with a nice firm click but the shaft is a bit narrow and the lever moves back and forth about two inches before starting to engage the fitting. I am considering my options.

I am also looking for a set screw for the fitting. I think I had one but I don't now. I learned something this week too. I drilled and tapped the rotating shaft for a longer set screw and I learned that bronze is absolutely fantastic to work with. Cuts like butter. It was so satisfying that I drilled the pilot hole a bit deeper than I needed to. I really wanted to just cut and cut and cut... The trick now is to find a 7/16 x I-forget bronze screw. They don't stock anything that big at the local marine hardware store.

I was all set to install the waterlift muffler shelf when I did a mockup and realized the input hose would have to run nearly level to the muffler which I don't think is a good idea. I re-designed the muffler support to lower the muffler and expect to put it in next week instead.

With a little luck I might actually start the engine next weekend for the first time in about three years.

And that is about it. I got a bunch done on other-peoples-boats which took some pressure off. I also got my lawn mowed which really needed it two weeks ago. Luckily the lawn mower started right up after being neglected all winter (thanks Briggs and Stratton)

I usually post what I hope will happen next week. I have noticed that what actually happens is rarely even close to my projections. Something always comes up and I have to be flexible.

I am still hoping to turn the engine over. With the launch date postponed I have a bit of breathing room but I would rather not have that hanging over me. I also need to get my chainplates back in and start a thorough review of the rigging.

Did I fail to mention my new launch date? June 18, 7:00 am. Cashman Park, Newburyport MA, USA, Earth, Sun solar system, hmmmm... not sure what galaxy we are in. I guess that is close enough for most of you.

Another busy plan for next week. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Oh, and happy Norwegian Independence Day everyone! Ja, vi elsker dette landet... Have lots of icecream :-)