Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Summer of Work 2003

While we enjoyed our summer sail in 2002 we knew that 2003 would afford us little opportunity to sail. The list of projects grew. RAFT was removed from the water in early September 2002 and had her bottom Sand blasted. Next out: the Yanmar 3HM engine for its rebuild. Dropped in our old utility trailer it was carted down to Stoney Creek for a winter overhaul. Although we replaced bearings, rings, injectors, injector pump, etc general consensus from the engine rebuilder was that the engine was in pretty good shape and exhibited would have been consistent with running cold. The 3HM is a raw water cooled engine which was designed to operate at 50 degrees C. We elected to convert this to a fresh water cooled system that would allow us to raise the operating temperature and keep the salt water out of the engine. We spoke to Sendure in Florida about an aftermarket exchanger for this model and where told that they no longer supplied one for this engine but would send us the Bill of Materials. Based upon this information we elected to build our own system.While the engine was out of the boat is was a great time to pull all of the primary wiring out boat and build new battery boxes for the 6 new golf cart batteries that would comprise our house bank. Working with Ontario Battery in Toronto, we designed a new electrical system capable handling our future needs for Inverters, solar panels, wind generator and at Bev’s insistence, the electric windlass. It is truly amazing how much wire goes into the boat and just seems to keep disappearing.
Once the weather started to warm up (it was now June 1st) it was time to begin focusing on the bottom of the boat. On went 6 coats of epoxy and 4 coats of blue antifouling. Time to seriously consider dropping the boat back in the water so we could enjoy some of the summer and test out the heat exchanger and engine rebuild. During the initial shakedown of the engine systems it became evident that the efficiency of the heat exchanger was not adequate. It needed to be enlarged and the tube wall needed to be made of thinner stainless to increase the transfer rate. This took a couple of weeks to remanufacture.

While the heat exchanger was out being remanufactured we took on the job that is the bane of all C&C sailboats -- Leaky Ports. All of the C&C’s in our marina suffered from coach roof side ports that flapped in the breeze. The freeze/thaw experience of Canadian winters plays havoc with them. The only real solution is to remove the plexi panels, router out the recess and re-bed them. 99.9% of the work was preparation including building jigs to hold the plexi in place during cure. We got advice from ITW Plexus on what material to use and how to accomplish the installation. They sent us all of the technical and operational information necessary to do the job and within one week of starting this project we had is complete and the ports do not leak even after going through a winter freeze. Now it was July 1st and we needed a break from the work. For all the effort that we had put into the boat, she still looked the same as the day we have bought her. All of the work was hidden or under the water. How discouraging! So we ventured out for a two week sail and planned the next set of modifications for the fall. End of August came and we decided to pull the boat out early again. We wanted to take the mast down this winter to work on it and the furling system. we wanted to change ed from the continuous loop system to a single line which would allow us to reef the foresail. We also installed an external track for a storm trysail. One of the other annoying issues was the constant clanging in the mast. There was no conduit in the mast for the wiring. Out came all the wiring and running rigging, in went two runs of plastic conduit, four runs of new wiring and all new running rigging. Where does all that wire go? New steaming lights were added plus a masthead trilight and anchor light. The staying rigging was all inspected and RAFT was put to bed for the winter.