Archive for December, 2012


New crankshaft gasket

December 31, 2012   

The crankshaft gasket has been leaking oil it would have been an easy job except for one bolt which I couldn’t get out without removing the pulleys.

A little bit of anaerobic gasket sealant.

What’s behind the cover on a 300HP engine!

A new gasket. However, as with all jobs on this boat more jobs are created everytime I do one I find another three to do! When I removed the pullies I found the alternator adjuster which allows the belts to be tightened is fully seized up. Despite PB blaster, hammering it and lots of heat and cold shock it is still well siezed. Time for cracking the nuts or a hacksaw.


More fun with pumps…

December 30, 2012   

Pretty much all the pumps in the engine room were pouring out salt water so I have had to order new mechnical seals. The seals have be arriving from Italy, UK, Florida, Mexico and distributors in CA. It would seem to be an easy job except most of the bolts are well seized and have required heat, impact drivers and PB blaster!

Rusted internals of the freezer compressor pump.

Time for some new pump mounts.

Rusted pump shaft.

Fun at TMMC with grandma and grandpa

December 27, 2012   

Learning about how to rescue a marine mammal with grandma.

In the carriers like a seal…

Unfortunately all the seals that were better had already been released back into the wild to be home for the holidays.

Fun with the kids in the snow

December 23, 2012   

The girls check out the huge icicles at Boreal.

I think Charlie likes the syrup quite a bit.

Snow angels are the best part of snow.

Beautiful sunset following us up the hill to Tahoe.

Little planks for little people. Henry would not get off the slopes.


December 19, 2012   

Liquid electrolyte Roll batteries each weighs 350lbs. To get them out of the boat they covers were take off and each cell unbolted divided into three.

The batteries had been overheating for a while and the old captain had disconnected the ones that were in the worst shape. The electroyte had cystallised leaving a causic residue in the bilges.

The new clean sealed AGMs. Lighter, less dangerous and with more power.

Crystals removed from the battery boxes.  Thirty batteries in total were changed out which took a day.

Mammal Rescue

December 7, 2012   

I was on call for the Marine Mammal Center last week. There are not normally many calls at this time of year so I helped out loading four sea lions to be released at Chimney Rock. One was a big guy and the others small.

I got one call to go an assess a sea lion at Kirby Cove. which was quite lethargic and malnurished. I will have to get to know what sea lions normally act like as they are different to furries.

I hung out at the beach which had a beautiful view of SF while two people came down from the center and two other rescue volunteers. We wheeled the cage down to the beach. The stranding intern had the net and ran in to attempt to capture it however, a big wave came in and took out Ben who was boarding in an attempt to stop her from making her way into the surf. I was also in the surf so got a little damp but not as damp as Ben got.

A beautiful view of Rodeo Beach from the Marine Mammal Center.


December 5, 2012   

What’s wrong with this picture? Think about how you would steer. The way to fix it was to remove the compass from the console turn it upside down and shake it till the card flips the right way then put it back in. Much easier to steer now!



December 4, 2012   

The engine driven bilge pumps clutch wasn’t engaging and the wheel was moving around quite a bit so time for a full service.

One impellor puller later…

The impellor was in quite a state with damage to the blades so a new one is on order along with a few gaskets and some other parts and pieces.

This shows why you want to use fresh water to test the pump or flush it through after emptying a bilge that has salt water in it. The impellor has left a ‘footprint’ in hard salt deposits.

Sailing a classic

December 2, 2012   

I was asked by a friend (Paige) to sail on Dorade a yacht designed in 1929 by Olin Stephens of Sparkman and Stephens and built 1929–1930 by the Minneford Yacht Yard in City Island, New York. We raced in the Golden Gate midwinters off the city front.

It was a miserable morning the fog was thick and it was raining as I crossed the bridge. However, it cleared up into a beautiful afternoon with 15 knots.

An interesting boat to sail bit different to what I am use to – lots of varnish and quite narrow for her length. The boat is heavy so it carries it’s way and takes a while to start changing direction after the helm has been put down.

More fun on Darling


I seem to be adding more to the work list than I can sort out in a day so I have asked for reinforcements in the form of Matt from KEP as he will be leaving the island in a few weeks. Hopefully that will work out and he can work for me in January and February.

Today finally got all the smelly bilge water out of the engine bilge as I didn’t want to fully clean it until after the engine servicing had been completed. I was able to see there were a few bilge switches that had been installed and disconnected etc. and was able to empty the bilge uptake filters and test the switches. It now smells of oranges in the boat.


When I was emptying the bilges I thought it would be a good time to properly test the manual bilge pump as there are three systems to empty the bilges – electric automatic, manual and engine driven. So after investigation it seems I need to completely rebuild the manual and engine driven systems as neither are in a working state!! As you can see in the above picture on of the diaphragms is useless, a plate is bent the other plates are corroded and one of the nuts holding the plates to the pivot arm is destroyed.

I found a leak in the prop water feed which on investigation was a cracked fitting which had been over torqued. Bit of a problem.. time for an easy out.


So why would I have nail varnish for a project on the caterpillar engine? Simple.. I use it to mark the zincs, bleed nuts etc.