Monday, February 22, 2010

Exhaust Elbow fixed

Our old exhaust elbow started bleeding rust so we decided to replace it. 

As a newly aspiring diesel mechanic, this is a pretty good thing to have to fix.  On the Yanmar 3QM30FG the elbow screws into a flange which bolts onto the exhaust manifold.  Just unscrew it and pop a new one in, right?  I took the hose off and tried to turn the elbow but it wouldn't budge.  So I unbolted the flange and took the whole thing off as a unit.  The new exhaust elbow was about $180.  The flange was in good shape and a replacement is $90, so I was pretty determined to reuse the flange.  It took a vise, lots of PB Blaster, and some creative application of leverage but I finally got them separated.  A fresh coat of Yanmar Gray and it looked like new!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Coffee Run

Weekends always start with coffee aboard Bella Star--hand ground and French pressed.  Sure we could drive to the grocery store or Starbucks or Peet's to replenish our supply of beans, but why drive when you can sail? 

Taking advantage of the holiday today, we cruised up to Kingston to pick up a bag of our favorite Majestic Mountain Coffee.  The Coffee Exchange, located just a block from the ferry dock, roasts their own beans on site and hand blends what is described as "quite possibly the world's finest coffee."  We agree.  Heck, we take the boat up from Seattle for it!  (Sure, we could order from their website, but where's the fun in that?)
Comfy chair, warm fire and a bag of the Majestic Blend

Friday, February 12, 2010

Rusty Winches

So last year I took the winches apart and did a complete rebuild.  I took a wire wheel to all the internal bronze gears and got everything looking spiffy clean.  I also used the wire wheel on the chrome plated bronze drum and then put it all together with fresh grease. The old Barient winches were running like new!  A year later, the drums have a thin coat of rust all over.  As it turns out, you're not supposed to use a rough wire wheel on chrome. So, due to my mistake, the winch drums are off the boat and getting rechromed.  $350 error.  Argh! 

Stay tuned for the "after" shot - should be sometime next month.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Marine Diesel Engine Class Update

Colorful might be one way to describe our marine diesel engine instructor, although I've certainly heard a few other adjectives tossed around (curmudgeonly, cranky).  But you know what?  I like him.  He might come across as a grumpy old man, but I think deep down he's a softy.  And he does know his stuff.  His approach leans a little off-center--he frequently tells us he doesn't care what we do, because boat owners have more money than brains--but that aside, we're learning a good deal about engines.

You know how when something strikes you as funny at an inopportune time and it's all you can do to keep from cracking up?  That happened during the last class.  Aaron and I have started jotting down all the hilarious (but completely serious) things Oscar (Aaron's name for him--think "the Grouch") says.  As I was writing down "doofumflingy, also doofumflingies," I just about lost it.  Even now as I'm typing this, I have the giggles.  The juxtaposition of a grumpy old man calling parts of fuel injectors "doofumflingies" while using a pointer topped with a mini Hamburger Helper hand was too much for me.  For your amusement, here are a few gems:
  • The bilge god is a son-of-a-bitch (he never returns anything)
  • Worthless as tits on a warthog (hmm...)
  • Runs like a raped ape (when an engine gets away from you it will run like a raped ape--I guess that's fast)
  • Harder than the hogs of hell (I suppose hogs in hell would be crispy, but hard? Not so sure.)
Oh, and this isn't your typical classroom lecture setting.  Class is held on a '60s-era Alaska ferry floating just outside the Ballard Bridge.  Downstairs on the car deck is where lab is held.  The lab has a number of engines in various states of functionality that we will be testing, tearing apart and rebuilding.  Very cool.  And very useful.
The E.L. Bartlett in its heyday -- our floating classroom

The Big Seattle Boat Show

If you live in the greater Puget Sound area, chances are good that you know the Seattle Boat Show’s theme song—both the old marching band-style version and the newer, snazzier rock version. Sing it with me now, “The boat show, the boat show, the big Seattle boat show!” This year’s show runs through Saturday, February 6 at Qwest Field Events Center and on the water at South Lake Union.

Aaron and I sprang for the Big 5 Day Pass this year and have been twice already, with two more trips planned for this Friday and Saturday. We’ve carted home two bags full of pamphlets, business cards, flyers and price sheets for all the fun stuff we need (or at least really want). Aside from talking with vendors and doing research, we’ve sat in on a number of interesting seminars—how to survey your rig, man overboard techniques, sail inventory and PC navigation—and had a beer at the newly introduced beer garden (‘bout time!).