Oystercatcher, Yard Period, 2019-2020, Part II

Preparing the anchor roller platform for its pad eye
This posting is the second part of a three-part article concerning the yard period that occurred for Oystercatcher, my Ericson 25, during the late-summer, fall, and winter of 2019-20. The photos and information in this posting cover the period from Nov 10 - Dec 15, 2019.

You might recall from Part 1 that I needed to replace one of the LED spreader lights that had failed due to water intrusion. When I ordered a replacement from Oznium, I also ordered three, high-intensity, LED flood lights. I had installed these sorts of LEDs in various lockers of the boat, and I had long wanted to add some to the galley. Now was the time to do so.
I made some mahogany backers for these galley lights, and while I was at it, I made some large, mahogany backers for the cheek blocks in the cockpit. The original mahogany backers from 1975 had finally given up the ghost.
Also, while I was at it, I used my bandsaw to make a mahogany panel for a box that I had purchased from the bargain rack at Defender five or six years before this time while I was up in New England.
I had purchased this teak box for a mere $10. It was an a cassette tape box - something few people wanted anymore. I had long wanted to put this box to use in some practical way. I figured that this mahogany panel would allow me to put my keys and wallet and other such things in it, and I would later use it on the boat for exactly this purpose.
I used my benchtop sander to round the edges of the mahogany backers for the LED flood lights.
I used the same technique on the large backers for the cheek blocks.
Back in the summer of 2019 I had installed some homemade fishing rod holders out of aluminum pipes. At that time, I had fashioned some mahogany blocks to support the U-bolts for the rod holders.
They had held up well in the hot, Lowcountry sunshine without any varnish on them. Nevertheless, I now wanted to varnish them to make them consistent with all the other mahogany on the exterior of the boat.
A little work with my quarter-sheet sander restored the natural, orange tone of the wood.
For about four years these teak boxes, designed for VHF handheld radios, had been on the transom of Oystercatcher. The transom of the Ericson 25 is solid fiberglass, and the wood screws I had used to secure these boxes to the transom had never held them securely in place. To remedy this problem, I decided to make a mahogany backer, one that I would bolt through the transom. This backer would then allow me to secure the boxes firmly into the mahogany.
I was able to restore the golden teak color to the boxes by sanding them by hand and with the quarter-sheet sander. My plan was treat them with Australian timber oil. I figured that while I was at it, I would go ahead and sand the teak pole for the ensign. 
Ah . . . that golden hue.
Several years before this time I had salvaged a large stainless steel pad eye off of a Hunter 27 that the guys at the nearby boatyard were scrapping. All they cared about was the lead in the keel. Now I figured I would install this pad eye on the anchor roller platform of Oystercatcher. It would help me whenever I wished to secure something to the foredeck.
I used my drill press to drill the four mounting holes, because I wanted them to be perfectly perpendicular. 
I then used a countersink bit to put a bevel in each of the holes. This would allow me to create a gasket of sorts out of butyl tape. This would help prevent water intrusion.
My work on my Yamaha 9.9 High Thrust was time consuming and somewhat costly. I had purchased this motor new in 2011 and and cranked it monthly until I had launched Oystercatcher in the summer of 2015. Since that launch, I had put many hours on this motor. The shop manual recommended that owners replace the filter in the oil sump after three years of use. I had completed all of the other recommended tasks over the years, but this was one that I truly wished to avoid. Why? Because it required so much time and effort to access the dang thing!
One thing that made it difficult was that you had to disconnect all of the wiring. Why? Because you had to remove the power head, i.e., the motor itself to get to the sump.

I numbered all of the wires I disconnected in order, using blue painter's tape and a Sharpie. The shop manual, of course, did not provide enough information, so I had to figure out a lot of this stuff independently.
Removing the linkage for the throttle presented some challenges because of the tight spaces in this area.
I had to remove a plastic cowl to gain access to the bolts that secured the powerhead.
Fortunately, the bolts did not give me any troubles.
When the time came for me to remove the powerhead I called my buddy to give me a hand. The powerhead put up something of a fight, until it broke free from the gasket. It was only then that we noticed there were other wires that I still needed to remove.
More labels!
Success, at last. This, though, as you'll see, was just the start. In the foreground of the picture is the gasket.
There was more work to do before I could get to the sump. I had to remove the leg of the motor from this large pan where the powerhead had sat.

This was where things went bad. Three of the bolts for this pan came out right away. One of them gave me some trouble.
I figured a little PB Blaster would loosen it up.
I ended up over-torquing the bolt and snapping it off. All I could figure was that some guy at the factory had put Loctite on this one bolt by mistake.
Now I could remove the pan.
Next I removed the copper water tube.
It was not very hard to remove the nuts on the bolts pictured above, but it would be a challenge to reinstall them.
In the picture above you can see the two bolts that held the leg in place.
The sump, of course, was at the top of the leg.
To drain the oil from the sump, I simply turned the leg upside down and let it flow into this plastic container.
There was still one last thing I needed to do before I could access the sump itself and the oil filter within it. I needed to remove this aluminum pan.
I was not pleased to discover that after all this time and effort the filter looked just fine. About a week later I would hold it up to the sunlight and not see a single piece of debris within it.
There was a seal within this pan that I had to replace. It was stubbornly in place.
Now I needed to try to remove the broken bolt from the pan. I began by filing it down as level as possible.
I had no success at all in my effort to remove the broken bolt with heat from a torch and a screw extractor. All I managed to do was to damage the threads. I had no choice but to order a new pan.
One project that I had long wanted to undertake was the addition of bright lights to the V-berth and the main salon. I figured that since I would be adding bright, Oznium, LED flood lights to the galley, I might as well add them to the other areas of the boat as well. Otherwise, I would regret that I had not.
The Bebi Electronics LEDs that I had originally installed during my lengthy refitting of Oystercatcher were still serving me well. I used them most of the time. I loved their warm glow, especially when lounging around in the evening or when waking up before dawn. There were many times, however, when I wished that I could illuminate certain areas for certain tasks. The V-berth, being the darkest area of the boat, especially needed some bright lights.
In the picture above I'm using an attachment in my Dremel to square up the holes I drilled for the switch I would install for the lights.

I made a mahogany backer for the switch, and I made a second one as a backup, just in case I broke the first one. 
On the day that I did all this work, I wanted to feel a sense of closure, so I went ahead and installed the backer without putting any varnish on it. Later I would remove it and stain and varnish it along with numerous other pieces of mahogany.
I installed the Oznium floodlights on each side of the V-berth, mounting them to the mahogany trim pieces that I had installed back during the lengthy refitting of Oystercatcher. Most of the light in this picture is coming from this floodlight and the one not pictured on the starboard side. It's hard to tell just how bright they really are. I use the floodlights on a regular basis. All I have to do is reach in there and flip that switch. 
Here's the new LED spreader light that I ordered from Oznium. It's actually a "tractor light," as the company calls it. Much more affordable than "marine" LED spreader lights, and super bright. I use the spreader lights whenever I anchor in a saltwater creek that sees a lot of traffic from fishermen.
In the main salon I had originally installed two Bebi Electronics LEDs. Unlike the Bebi Electronics LEDs that I had installed in the V-berth and galley, I rarely used these, and I still rarely use them, unless I want to make use of their green, night-vision lights. Their white lights are not bright enough for practical work, and they are not really necessary when lounging about. Fortunately, I had planned ahead and left one spot open for some additional LEDs on the overhead panel. About two years before this time I had installed a single Oznium floodlight. I used it frequently for practical work, but there were plenty of times when I wished I had more than one. Therefore, I added two more to this mahogany panel.
Three lights made a big difference. 
Little by little, during each yard period, I have been varnishing some of the original mahogany and some of the new mahogany pieces that I installed inside of the boat but had never varnished. This panel for the lazarette is a good example. The door and frame are original. The other pieces I myself made when I constructed this removable panel. All of this mahogany was showing some wear and tear from being in the galley and under the companionway ladder. It was time for me to protect it.

I used Interlux brown mahogany stain on those unfinished pieces that needed it.

Here we see the backer for the two teak VHF handheld radio boxes.
I used Australian timber oil on the teak.
The instructions on the can of Australian timber oil urge the user to apply no more than one coat. The VHF handheld radio boxes and the flagpole were so starved of oil that one coat was not sufficient. I stopped at three.
I next turned my attention to the air conditioner box. If you read Part 1 of this article, then you'll know that I discovered some rot on the starboard side of the box not long before I hauled the boat out on September 1, 2019. The Pitthane two-part polyurethane paint, which is super tough, had kept the rot disguised. The bottom side of the box was paper thin.
It appeared that the water had worked its way into the wood through one of these screw holes, even though I had installed the screws with butyl tape.

Fortunately, the rot was not so widespread as to condemn the entire box. Nevertheless, it would take a good bit of measuring and cutting and epoxy-work to get it back up to speed.
It was now late November or early December and this box had been sitting in a room inside my house since the beginning of September. Nevertheless, the wood was still wet. I used my heat gun to help dry it out. I heated it almost to point where it started smoking. Later in the day, I would put it back inside the house, figuring that I would allow it to sit still and fully dry out until sometime in the spring.
First, though, I wanted to cut the replacement pieces that I would need when I returned to this project in the spring.

This was the best I could do. The rest I would need to fill with thickened epoxy when the time came.
I would later glue these pieces together with epoxy and then epoxy-coat them two or three times to protect them.

Now I could return to the mahogany block and aluminum plates for the motor mount. In Part 1 explained how I had removed these pieces from the motor mount and discovered a lot of electrolytic corrosion.

It was around this time that I received my package from Sim Yamaha in Wisconsin. At the advice of my buddy, in addition to ordering the new pan, I ordered a timing belt - a part I had not yet replaced. I needed a flywheel puller for this. I had rebuilt the water pump two years before this time. Nevertheless, I decided to go ahead and replace the impeller while I was at it
I used a wire cup brush on my grinder to clean up the metal on the top of the sump. This would help the gasket to form a good seal.
I also cleaned up the bottom of the powerhead as much as I could.
Not so bad.
Next I had to install the seal in the new pan.
I had to use a dead blow hammer, a piece of wood, and some marine lube to get it to seat properly.
I then installed the new oil filter on the bottom side of the pan.
I bought some gasket sealer at the local auto parts store.

As I said above, it was no fun trying to put these nuts back on these bolts. 
To make matters worse, once I finally got the nuts installed, I discovered that I had forgotten to install the copper water pipe beforehand. Therefore, I had to remove the nuts, install the pipe, and then reinstall the nuts.
I believe I took this picture of the water pipe before I realized I had screwed up.
Here you see the powerhead gasket in place. It would not be easy to situate the powerhead properly without causing the gasket to shift around. It took my two hands and those of my buddy to accomplish this task. One of us held the powerhead, while the other pulled back different wires and tried to keep the gasket in place.
This ends this second of three postings on the lengthy yard period that occurred during 2019-2020 for Oystercatcher, my Ericson 25.

No comments:

Post a Comment