Category Archives: Projects

Haul-Out 2015

A retrospective from haul-out 2015.  A bit trickier than usual since we took the engine out last week.

Getting her all lined up and straps in place

Getting her all lined up and straps in place

suprisingly clean bottom considering how little she moved all summer!

suprisingly clean bottom considering how little she moved all summer!

Because of the nature of our trailer, getting her back on took some adjustments

Because of the nature of our trailer, getting her back on took some adjustments

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How I learned to stop worrying and love the Yanmar 1GM10

Although we had some interesting sailing adventures this season, as a whole this has been the quietest sailing summer so far.  This is primarily because of this guy.  The 200 pound rusted and gristled heart of Hurry On, the Yanmar 1GM10.  When we bought Hurry On, it had been a few years since this beast ran, with the previous owner saying we could expect some black smoke.  My wintertime reading explained this was one of the symptoms of unburnt fuel, much fun to look forward to.

Checking/Changing the Oil

Job one was checking and changing the oil.  Because it was so long since the engine last ran, I tried to make sure it was lubed up before starting.  This was simply a matter of pulling out the kill switch and turning it over  for a few seconds.  In order to warm up the oil, the next step was to run the engine for a few minutes.  Being the first time in a few years, really had no idea what to expect.  Away she went, loud and banging, it sounded terrible*!  Surely this thing was going to break free of its engine mounts!  We killed the engine.  (*editor’s note –  I later discovered that the sound of this engine was completely normal.  Because it is a one cylinder, there is nothing to balance out single the piston, hence the bang! bang! bang!  Once the rmps increase, the engine actually gets considerably quieter)

There was a neat little oil extraction pump in one of the lockers, which I never used before.  You put the hose in the dipstick hole till it hits the bottom, pump about 40 times and wait about 10 minutes until you hear it gurgling up the last few drops.  For some reason, the oil filter on the Yanmar 1GM10 screws on horizontally.  This is a pain in the arse, and can get a bit messy.  You can get Yanmar filters around here for about 10 bucks, or Fram PH6607 for $7.

Changing the Fuel Filter

Remember to turn off the fuel at the tank!  If you can manage to get the filter case off, its a pretty simple replacement.  Just have to remember to bleed the engine at the three bleed points when you’re done.

Changing the Impeller

The bit that sucks the raw salt water up through the engine is the impeller.  It sits behind the alternator belt.  When I removed the speed seal, the impeller seemed to be intact with no cracks or anything.  I replaced it with the new one anyway, and kept the old one as a spare.  A little bit of dish soap for lube and then back on.  I noticed that no matter how tight the seal, there seemed to be a single drop of water that leaked out once every 10 seconds.  The leak doesn’t appear to be coming from the seal though, rather from the pump housing itself.

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Yanmar 1GM10 water pump speed seal

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Behind the seal

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Bit of dish soap to keep things lubed

Sacrificial Zinc

I should mention that for most of these engine projects, that they are made infinitely more difficult by the lack of space and accessibility.  With the exception of changing the oil, all of these jobs can only be done with only one hand, and, unless you can strategically duct tape a compact mirror and flashlight in place, you are likely navigating by feel. The zinc is inconveniently located on the port side of the engine.  And it is another one-handed, no-looking kind of thing.

In an effort to get a look at what was going on back there, I snapped a pic after I got the old plate off, this is the best I could muster.

In an effort to get a look at what was going on back there, I snapped a pic after I got the old plate off, this is the best I could muster.

Not sure how long that guy was in there but there ain't much left of it! It looked like a high temperature calking was used. I put a regular gasket in this time.

Not sure how long that guy was in there but there ain’t much left of it! It looked like a high temperature calking was used. I put a regular gasket in this time.

Alternator Belt

This was by far the quickest and easiest fix.  After a particularly squealy, noisy start, the the original belt appeared to lose quite a bit of tension.  The replacement was put on by loosening the alternator, removing old belt, putting the new one on, then snugging up the alternator with a hammer handle, and tightening back up.

Exhaust Elbow

These have a finite life.  Their job is to combine the raw water with the exhaust and safely put it out the back of the boat.  What happens over time, and what happened in our case, the inner sleeve perforated.  So when the water made it to the elbow, it went out the exhaust, AND into the cylinder head as well.  A new elbow was 220 Canadian flippin’ dollars.

Current Condition

The engine starts easily and runs.  At the moment, it appears to be going through a lot of oil with no visible leaks.  Also, there is a great deal of white smoke when in neutral at about 2500 RPMs, under load it will only get up to about 1500 RPMS.  Ok for short trips into the harbour, but for any longer distance this will have to be rectified.  May be time to think about a rebuild, or at least call in a pro!

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Replacing the Windows

It has been a busy summer, so I’m not catching up on the blog posts!  This was from a few months ago, sorry!

The windows in Hurry On upon receipt were a sight.  Fogged, cracked, and keeping very little water out.  They needed replacement.  When I started this blog I hoped it would be a useful resource to those in the same figurative boat as myself, and perhaps some useful ‘how-to’s here and there.  I didn’t think of it at the time, but my mistakes, and false assumptions, may also provide a valuable insight; A ‘how-not-to’ if you will.

The following is a ‘how-not-to’.

The windows on Indy were nice, small, with easy to manage aluminum frames.  Hurry on, and all C&C 27 Mk5s are what are known as ‘floating’  They are basically held in place by adhesive only.  A number of owners I had read about used screws to hold them in, but I decided to go the purist route.  According to common convention one of the most important bits of this job is getting the surface clean.  This was the worst part of the job.  The old adhesive was like concrete, which couldn’t be scraped, or cut away, and was very stubborn when met with a palm sander.  I finally borrowed a Dremel-style rotary tool, and the powerful little sanding drum chewed through the old stuff, but it was still a very laborious task, and the drum ate through fiberglass just as easily as the hard glue, probably easier.

 

window openning

The opening with the glass out. The old adhesive, as well as some old caulking

After the openings were cleaned out the area around the window was masked with frog tape.  I love that tape.

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I had new pieces of Lexan cut out at Island Auto Glass using the old windows as a template, although beveled the edge myself.  This was easily done with a hand router and a 45° bit.

I should mention that up until this point, I think everything was done correctly.

I read about many people singing the praises of Sikaflex 295UV so this is what I went with.

MISTAKE 1 – This is a two part system.  Sikafex requires a very expensive primer which in my infinite wisdom decided not to use.

Whenever my brother is in town visiting, I always put him to work.  I got him to rough up the edges of the Lexan.

MISTAKE 2I got him to pretty much take some sand paper and basically take the shine off the edge.  I now realize the sticking power would have been greatly increased, had we done a proper roughing up with a rasp.

Ray deftly cutting the plastic edge off

Ray deftly cutting the plastic edge off

I filled the frame with goo, and stuck the panes in.  Then the mechanical supports were put in place which were pieces of 2X4 strategically notched and angled. They were then weighted down with sand from the kids’ sandbox.

window

When someone is going to be taking pics of a project you are working on, I can not stress the importance of wearing a belt.

I then took my finger and wiped off all the excess from the outside, Ray got the inside.

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MISTAKE 3 – I removed the supports after a few hours.  I really should have let it cure while supported for a few days.

I’m not going to lie, after the clean up, the new windows looked goddamned incredible.

It was less than a week, I could see air pockets starting to form.  The real bugger about windows from the C&C27 Mk5 is that they are curved, not straight.  So the forward and aft sides are constantly trying top pull away from the corners.  After a few months (tonight) I went ahead and screwed them in, admitting defeat.

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Replacing the Cabin Sole

The first steps down into the cabin of Hurry On were met with a squish.  The cabin sole, which had spent a considerable time under water, had perished.  The teak and holly veneer on marine plywood was peeling off to the point it was almost completely separated from the wood.  The high traffic areas, like at the foot of the steps, sunk when trod upon.  There was no bringing it back, it had to be replaced.  Being the type of person who always seems to choose the method that involves the most sweat and cursing, I decided to try to replicate the method being researched by our friends at Joy in the Mooring and artfully carried out here.

Getting the old sole out was pretty simple, most of the screws keeping it down came out easily.  Some of the screws were stripped, but luckily the wood surrounding them was rotten enough to pull it out and then take the screw out with vise grips.

pretty squishy in spots

pretty squishy in spots

Marine plywood has to be shipped to Cape Breton, but it can get get here the next day from Halifax.  I got this piece of Douglas Fir marine ply from Sydney Millwork, for $116, this includes the shipping.  I’ve never really worked with Douglas Fir before, and was therefore, not familiar with its fragile and splintery properties, which caused a few headaches down the road.

I was lucky that the sole of a C&C 27 MkV is a prefect rectangle.  After cutting the pieces to match the original the only modifications were routing the bottom to give it a curved edge, and the four outside corners needed to be rounded slightly.  I was considering making this from two pieces (the main floor and the bilge hatch) of wood instead of 4.  Two pieces would certainly be stronger.  But working with the large piece would be quite unwieldy .  Also, I wasn’t 100% sure the large piece would fit in the boat.  Finally, the original was in 4 pieces, and I’m sure they had their reasons.

Marine Plywood pieces cut out

Marine Plywood pieces cut out

The next step is stain the pieces.  After sanding the entire surface, just to be safe, I used a wood conditioner which ensures a nice even coating to the stain with no blotches.

Stain treatment

Stain treatment

The stain went on evenly for both coats.

English Chestnut Stain, two coats

English Chestnut Stain, two coats

To get the teak and holly look, pieces of white wood are going to be set inside the plywood.  When I got the plywood, I also ordered a long piece of poplar, this would serve as the strips.  Using the poplar as a straight-edge, I ran the router with a 3/8″ bit down the lengths of the plywood at equal intervals.

3/8" trenches about a 1/4" deep

3/8″ trenches about a 1/4″ deep

C&C 27 MkV Cabin Sole

poplar inserted and glued, and pounded

The strips were cut out on a table saw, then refined with a planer.  they were tested for fitting, then glued (plain old wood glue, as my old friend Gorilla Glue tends to expand, and I didn’t want any coming out, as there can be no sanding after this) and tamped.  For the most part, the strips went in flush.  There are a few areas where the are slightly elevated, but just barely noticeable when you pass your hand over it.  Finally, 4 coats of clear varnish, with a light sanding with 320 grit between each coat.

varnished up

varnished up

The bilge hatch

The bilge hatch

Since there is much to do still, installing it  will be one of the last jobs as to avoid the wear and tear for engine and window work.  Or, I may just say ‘frig it’ and cover it with a blanket.

New Cabin Sole

New Cabin Sole

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Making Companionway Drop Boards

After a winter of record snow and record cold, yesterday it reached 12 degrees.  It was amazing.  Motorcycles on the streets, people wearing shorts, and the snowbanks, now all black and gnarly, poured into storm drains.  In a post from last year, I listed some of the items that were projects for over the  winter to get Hurry On ready for the sea.  I put a dent in some of them, most, however, were just too cold to tackle.  One of the projects  was making a replacement for the rotten companionway door.  The bottom of the door had degraded to such an extent that it sunk more than an inch and a half in the grooves leaving a large gap at the top allowing rain in.

Comes with a free oyster shell!

Hard time keeping the weather out of here.

Our last boat, Indefatigable, came with a door problem as well, but once a piece was was replaced, it was better than new.  This was starting from scratch.  The original was a single sheet of half inch marine plywood, with a teak block for a handle.  For the replacement, I was thinking 3/4″ oak and mahogany, on account of teak being impossible to find here, not to mention out of our budget.

I made a lot of mistakes building these doors, and even scrapped it and started all over, so hopefully if you take on a similar project, you can avoid these pitfalls.  If I had to do it all over again, I simply would have cut out a single piece of Lexan, and sanded the edges.  That being said I am quite happy with how this turned out, but it took along time.  My first mistake, was assuming that the companionway opening was square.  Obviously its is not a square, it’s a trapezoid, but it was not a ‘right trapezoid where two sides are exactly the same length, and the other two sides are parallel.   This assumption led to many problems down the line, and many wasted hours.

On the second try, I cut out a piece of cardboard to fit the opening exactly and used this as a template for the new doors.  I would have done this the first time around, bet the old door was missing the bottom, and I foolishly thought that as long as I had the angles, the lengths would take care of themselves.   Onward.

My plan was to make these doors the same as the doors on Indy, as this was the really the only style that I have known.  These were made up of two horizontal pieces (oak in this case) and two diagonal pieces (mahogany) that would make up the edges.  I should also mention I don’t know if I would have been able to do this with out my father’s wonderful array of tools, and word-working know-how.

The first step was to cut a tongue and groove joint for both pieces of oak for each door.  This was done with Da’s shaper.  The pieces were clamped and glued with Gorilla Glue, which so far has never let me down,

Kitchen gluing

Kitchen gluing

 

Solid

The ring grains of the wood inverted to prevent warping

The shape of the door was then cut out, taking into account 4″ of mahogany that would make the edge, and the 1/4″ tongue that would be needed to make the joint.  The mahogany was then fitted with a groove, the oak got the tongue.

Trapazoids!

Trapazoids!

Once the edges were glued on, the were shaped so that they would nicely fit into the companionway opening grooves where the 1/2 plywood once sat.  Where the two boards met, there was a rabbet cut into each piece, so that the top overlapped the bottom to keep out the rain.  The proper angle was then cut into the bottom of the bottom board.  To find the exact place to cut the top piece, I slid the boards into the opening and marked where it met the hatch,  and made the cut conservatively.  I then sanded the top until the hatch slid closed.

edges shaped and glued

edges shaped and glued

It was probably wrong, and I haven’t heard of anyone ever doing this, but I oiled the doors, then varnished them.  I did this on the Indy’s wood three years ago, they they still look new.  If you can tell me why thissis just adding work, or pointless, please do, but I have had fantastic results with this.  After two rounds of teak oil, I applied three coats of Cetol Marine by Sikkens which seems to work great.

Last coat of Cetol Marine

Last coat of Cetol Marine

 

Hard to keep things dust free in this basement

Hard to keep things dust free in this basement

Added a few little vents that I picked up on our last trip to Halifax.  I used a sealant on the top and sides of the vents to keep the water out.  I applied the sealant, and screwed them in almost all the way, after 24 hours, I screwed them in the rest of the was after the sealant had dried in order to create a gasket effect.

The matching grain at the boards' union is pure coincidence.

The matching grain at the boards’ union is pure coincidence.

 

Nice and Snug

I wasn’t planning to do the rest of the wood this year, but…..

 

It fits!

It fits!

Next on the agenda, tackling the ol’ sole!

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Winter Cover

Last year was one of the worst winters in Cape Breton’s recent collective memory.  It started promptly on November 1st and lasted well into April.  Record breaking snowfall, record breaking low temperatures.  I knock on wood as I say this, but at this time, there is no snow on the ground, and only a handful of days where the daytime high dipped below zero.  Plenty of time to putter around the C&C27 and make plans.  I removed the cracked leaky windows, but in order to put the new ones in, I have to wait for it to warm up, as the goo needs 15° to work properly.

Covering a boat up for the winter is an annual rite in Cape Breton, and a visit to any boatyard on the island will show you the wide variety of methods and levels of care that goes into keeping the vessels protected from the elements.  With  a Tanzer 22 the process was pretty simple, propping the mast up on wooden braces, and letting that be the peak of a tarp tent off which snow and rain easily poured.

This year with a much larger beam, and a need to do quite a bit of work inside over the winter,  I would have to try something new.   I found a neat set-up on Joy In The Mooring, that looked like it would do the job.  Basically, a rib cage made from electrical conduit covered in a tarp.  The conduit was fairly inexpensive, and my father had a 30’X40′ tarp he wasn’t using and generously offered it up.

Electrical conduit boat cover

Electrical conduit boat cover

Electrical conduit boat cover

Not bad work space

Not bad work space

UPDATE:

The cover has been up now for few weeks, and some problems are revealing themselves.  Primarily snow and rain pooling.  Every once in a while I will have to climb in and give things a little boost in falling off.  One of the causes of this is the stanchions making the slope of the tent bit not steep enough.  Another problem is the size of the tarp.  It’s too big.  I am using it folded completely in half that means I only have grommets on 3 of the 4 sides, which makes it difficult getting nice and snug.

 

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Hurry On

Her name is Hurry On.  A C&C 27 who didn’t make it into the water the last few years.  A fixer-upper with good bones, a large wardrobe of sails, and headroom enough for 3/4 of our family to stand up in the cabin.  Between now and the Spring of 15, there is a lot of work to do.  It has also given me the opportunity to learn about marine diesels, which I’m somewhat uneasy about, knowing pretty much squat about engines in general, diesel or otherwise.

Projects I hope to tackle in order of importance:

Re-seat chainplates – a bit of water getting in there, but wood seems good.

Engine tune up – having sat idle, it could likely use some attention.

New companionway door – Hey, I’ve done this before!

Replace Windows – Scratched, foggy and leaky

Replace floor – Its pretty spongy down there.

Re-seat traveler – pretty leaky down below

Change name? – Not sure about this yet

C&C 27 MKV named "Hurry On"

C&C 27 MKV named “Hurry On”

Inches to spare on either side.

Inches to spare on either side.

Her mast is much heavier than Indy's!

Her mast is much heavier than Indy’s!

Cockpit

Cockpit

old-world charm

old-world charm

needs a good scrub

needs a good scrub

safety equipment inspection

safety equipment inspection

Our ladder is just long enough!

Our ladder is just long enough!

Comes with a free oyster shell!

Comes with a free oyster shell!

MAst/Rudder balance test

Mast/Rudder balance test

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