Pop quiz: What do you get when you combine pressure, fire, air and perseverance? You get this:
That’s right, peeps. After Mike and the transmission had a final ‘come to Jesus’ that included generous amounts of Kroil penetrating oil, a flaming torch in the darkness, and an air wrench, the disobedient hunk of metal decided it was the better part of wisdom to give way. And out she came. (More on this feat of accomplishment later.)
It would have been easy to say that the aforementioned tools saved the day, but I suspect that it was, instead, our daughter, Claire. There must have been some kind of special magic at work as Claire lay on the sole of the boat, holding the light for her dad, handing him tools, and giving him the kind of ‘can do’ moral support only a daughter can give: a daughter who simply cannot see her dad as anything other than a super human. So it HAD to happen, you see. The tranny had no choice but to give way.
While Mike and Claire tackled the reluctant bolts, I was busy with a little job Mike suggested for me: removing the insulation from the engine room doors. I would remove the doors and take them to the dock where I would have room to work on them.
I suspect he must have known that this would be a much bigger job than I thought it would be. In fact, I suspect this job was intended to keep me out of the way so that I would not see him doing this:
That’s right, while Mike used a torch inside an engine room full of flammable things like Kroil penetrating oil and transmission fluid, I was busy doing this:
Little did I suspect that inside the boat, Mike and Claire were throwing everything they had at the shaft coupling: Chisels, fire, more air wrenching, more Kroil… You could cut the tension with a sawzall. It was best that I was not sharing the boat with them. I was almost finished with the door in the above photo when I heard shouting. Thinking Mike had hurt himself badly, I jumped onto the boat only to realize they were shouts of celebration as the thing finally gave way to Mike’s persistent will.
The next thing I knew, Mike had the thing wrapped in plastic and sitting on the bench in the cockpit, with Claire complaining loudly that he was allowing her to do only ‘lady’ activities like handling lights. She is my daughter, for sure. She insisted she would help him wrestle the thing down onto the dock. And so it came to pass.
It was quite a relief for Mike to have won this skirmish in the engine room, a battle he will recount in glorious detail later this week. Now he can get in there to clean the oil pan and the bilge area.
And I am going to need to address this hideous stuff that is lining the walls in the room. I am tempted to go down to Astoria myself and spend three days on the boat just taking this stuff out but I’m not yet sure which tack to take. The offending insulation is very heavy, and appears to have a sheet of lead running down the middle. I suspect it is very expensive and was once ‘state of the art’ stuff. The entire foam/lead/foam sandwich is glued on, making the removal pretty difficult, as my hands and elbows can attest. I invested in a new razor scraper, a huge package of blades, and a box of particulate masks for my next foray should I need to remove more panels.
To add insult to injury, the stuff is disintegrating. That’s what the black powder is on the floor underneath the door. Taking it out is a big job and replacing it will be $$$$. I wonder if it isn’t possible to vacuum up the loose stuff and remove anything that is actually crumbling, and then stabilize the rest of the stuff with a magic potion that will somehow strengthen it? Some long-ago boat owner used silicone everywhere on the boat, including trying to keep this stuff from crumbling by gobbing the stuff on. In some places it’s just a mess. Plus, it’s ugly. We’re going to have a new Beta Marine engine in this space. Seems like we should get rid of this stuff now, but if I could stabilize it and then cover it up with a reflective surface, I’d rather do that. Some of it looks to be in good condition, just unattractive. Do comment with your thoughts about this stuff and your recommendations for what to replace it with.
True to the experience of boat owners everywhere, our one trip to Astoria this weekend managed to provide several additional items to our project list. The hatch in the salon has a small leak and, upon inspection, I decided it just needs to be completely rebedded and new seals installed. Multiply that by 4, the number of hatches we have. In addition, I discovered that the shelf unit in the little quarter berth cabin is too wide and may have been installed backwards. It gets in the way of the sleeper and will have to be trimmed down, or maybe turned around. Finally, my propane project is not quite finished. I will need an additional connector to make that both safe and easy to take apart when necessary. Between the limited availability of parts in Astoria and the three hour drive, that propane project has turned into a multi-week task. But I will prevail.
Still, it was a very successful weekend in many ways. Claire spent her first night on the boat with us. Mike won his competition with the transmission. The engine room doors weigh one half what they did, and are ready for new insulation. And we brought home a two pound bag of Thundermuck coffee. That alone is worth the trip.