Pop quiz: What do you get when you combine pressure, fire, air and perseverance? You get this:

My husband, winning the game.

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.

Can my daddy beat a group of nasty, rusty nuts into submission? Of course he can!

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.

It might look fairly good, but take note of that little pile of black powder on the sole.

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:

The soft blue glow of a torch heating things up. And fortunately, not burning things up.

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:

Very nasty stuff, I can tell you. A couple of hours of scraping and pulling, and 4 ibuprofen, later, I had this door pretty clean and ready to receive something much better than what was there to begin with.

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 offending piece, subdued at last.

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.

Like father, like daughter. I believe Claire may have a profession in air tools somehow. Oh, and the shirt? It says ‘Scholar’.

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.

See that grayish stuff behind the bungees? It’s gobbed silicone. Needless to say, it’s worthless.

See the black stuff? That’s powder sifting down from the insulation.

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.

Claire, practicing her ‘couch surfing’ aboard Andromeda.







19 thoughts on “Perseverating

  1. On that insulation, my thinking (from trying to rescue some myself) is to bite the bullet and get rid of it if it’s disintegrating. In the end, we had to, and we would have saved both time and money (on all the stuff that didn’t work) to just ditch it from the beginning. Admittedly on ours it was a smaller area, and yours might not be as far gone as ours . . . or there may be some new magic way to cover and encapsulate it. With ours, we also discovered that the new insulation actually insulated . . . and that the old stuff had long since stopped. Good luck – any way you do it, it’s a nasty project. But congrats on the granny!!

    • You are probably right, Carolyn. My gut knows it, but my wallet has trouble accepting it just now 🙂 Still, I want to spend some close, personal time with this stuff in the engine room to see exactly how bad it is and where.

      • Ahoy Andromeda! Congrats on your new lady!

        I definetly agree with scrapping the stuff along with anything else that’s questionable, and replacing/reconditioning as much as your budget affords. We went through a very similar buy & refit as your about to, and I will never regret replacing as much as possible while the engine was out, affording complete access to the bowels ofthe boat.

        Just my 2 cents worth, feel free to contact me with any questions, or to just scream encouragement at you!

        • Oh please! Encourage away! Mike is already pricing some good looking insulation by Soundown. Not cheap, but whatever. We’re going to bleed green for awhile anyhow.

      • Hi you two! Thanks for stopping by. We’re sad we won’t be neighbors much longer, but it won’t be that long before we get this boat up to Tacoma.

    • Oy, you said it! Mike is really suffering today from being crouched down in the engine room with his feet at a certain angle. It’s not amusing, I can tell you. It will take him the better part of this week to recover, then we do it again. What is it that drives this kind of insanity? Oh. Right. We bought a 1975 boat. I forgot.

      • hey! your boat is one year older than mine! Do you remember where you were in 1975? LOL… I can understand the insanity… I have it too. I am about ready to remove the galley so I can refurbish it at home, then I will be hauling out to sand and bottom paint it… it never stops… but half the fun is crossing things off the list!

        • We have yet to cross anything off, but I am hopeful that I will actually cross off the propane system this coming weekend. You know what they say: everything on your list has its own list.

  2. No question remove the insulation. So much easier to do it now with no engine in the way. Once the new engine is in you won’t want to get it all dirty pulling the insulation out. Do it now.

    I removed mine before my new Perkins went in. I replaced it with 1/4 foam then lead sheet, then the 1″ foil covered foam from West Marine. Works Great! Almost can’t hear the engine. Dynamat is expensive but works on metal or small spaces, (my sink over the engine).

    If you want to make boating almost affordable: work at West Marine. Even part timers get a discount that makes it totally worth it.

    I’ve been through what you are doing, Total refit! It does get better and it is so nice having a clean space to work in and knowing how it all goes together since you put it there. It’s totally worth it. Keep up the good work, Andromeda will return it to you in Awesome worry free sailing time!

    • Very helpful, Andy! We have a friend who works at West Marine, maybe we can work a deal with him. What you say makes sense. I know we’re going to have to pull the stuff. yuck. But that new Beta Marine deserves a bright, new space.

  3. Lead (think “dense”) is the cat’s pajama’s for stopping sound while taking up very little space. A favorite in recording studios, elsewhere. It’s also quite expensive in sheet form. If you can peel the crud off the lead and save it, that would be a great thing.

    • Thanks for that, Doug. A guy at the marine store in Astoria said the lead was worth quite a bit. When I removed the old stuff, I will try to salvage the lead. I didn’t do that on the doors, but I know more about what I’m doing now.

      • New lead sheet can be purchased from plumbing companies (usually very small shops) that make fittings for roof vents. Not real cheap.

  4. Pingback: Life on the Hard | Little Cunning Plan

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