It’s Alive!

After month’s of preparation, worry and doubt about whether we could actually pull this off, The new Beta diesel drew her first breath aboard Andromeda

As you can hear,despite Shawn’s declarations, it is not exactly quiet. The control brackets are still loose and rattling and we have a few other adjustments to make. I expect we will be able to dampen the noise more as we complete the final adjustments

One adjustment that had to be made right away was to move the starboard mounting rail outboard a bit. The engine was hitting it and creating a loud knock

Engine rail is impinging on engine mount support. This made a lot of noise.

Shawn was able to gain some space by moving the rail outboard a bit which stopped the clanking but now we have to grind out the mounting hole to fit two of the bolts in. That will be a messy nuisance. No doubt, we will be repaint some of the engine room after the boat is back in the water.

One of the challenges to starting the engine on the hard was getting water to the engine. Without raw water, we would only have been able to run the engine for a couple of minutes (with the raw water impeller removed). For some reason this seemed like a difficult problem as the only available water is some distance away at the travel lift. In the end, the problem was easily solved with a run to the hardware store for an extra water hose which allowed me to extend the existing hoses to our boat. Using a five gallon bucket, we were able to create a fairly flexible cooling system.

Our ersatz raw water system

This coming weekend I will install the control cables and, hopefully the steering system. If Shawn can open up the holes on the engine rails, and re-install the mounting bolts, the engine will be done until we are back in the water and ready for our final alignment.

I am also happy to report that the fuel system I installed worked beautifully and, amazingly, no leaks. Shawn had suggested that  I install a valve on the return line so that I could vent fuel into a container when priming the engine. I did that and added a switch into the system which allows me to run the fuel pump from the engine room to aid in filling the filters and priming the engine. Everything works well and the fuel looks good.

And Shawn made progress repairing the fiberglass. I really appreciated seeing how he approached this repair. Take a look.

After saturating the area with resin, Shawn stuffed long strands of glass around the the roughed up area. The green stuff is last week’s Kitty Hair.

Shawn applies more resin and drives it into the glass with a resin roller.

Next comes a bit of roving. Again wetted out with resin


Two more layers of a somewhat finer cloth and more resin brings us to this.

Shawn completed this repair in between engine adjustments. The actual time involved in building up the fiberglass to what you see here was probably twenty minutes. Pretty amazing. I think he wants to put down one more layer of finer cloth to help in fairing the repair and then a different kind of resin to cap the whole area. After that, a bit of sanding and antifouling paint that little chore will be done. As you can see, the bronze fitting has been moved out of the way to facilitate the fiberglass repair so that will be re-installed and then the prop  will be properly seated on the shaft.

Finally, lest you think that all I do is work on this damn boat every weekend, I’ll leave you with a photo of my latest hangout in Astoria. The Rogue Public House is on the east side of town which I rarely visit, until now. The Rogue brewery is well known in the Pacific Northwest especially for the Dead Guy Ale. Well you can have that and about twenty other interesting beers, ales and stouts. This being winter, they have about five delicious stouts on tap. Awesome pub food, a no cell phone policy all in an old Bumble Bee Tuna Cannery.

Work is our Joy. Couldn’t have said it better, comrade bee.

Stay tuned. Next week, Lord willing, we will actually be able to steer the boat!

13 thoughts on “It’s Alive!

    • At 700 RPM she seems a bit loud, at 1000 RPM she is sounds pretty good. I am looking forward to get the boat back into the water so we can get all of the final adjustments done.

    • We plan on bring her up this summer; June or July. The plan du jour is to go to Barkley Sound from Astoria and spend some time cruising before coming down into Puget Sound. I hope we can find a berth for her at Foss Harbor.

    • I had more videos of the engine running from the cockpit but the quality was not so good. We have put a lot of new sounddown foam insulation in the engine room but have yet to install it on the ceiling/cockpit sole. We will probably wait on that as one of the last projects since it is in no way in the critical path to getting the boat back in the water and in cruising form. But I do wonder how much it will improve the noise abatement.

      • I know those sole panels are heavy, but adding a layer of marine ply to the underside using a flexible adhesive like a bead of 4200 or Sikkaflex around the perimeter of the ply plus a dab every six inches or so in the field could help a lot. The ply itself will attenuate the sound via added mass, the air gap between the ply and the fiberglass will break the transmission path, and the lower stiffness of the ply relative to the fiberglass will lower the resonant frequency of the sole as a whole. Of course, you’d have to do this first and then add the Sound Down to the lower surface of the ply and, critically, make sure the entire perimeter of the sole is sealed tight to keep sound from leaking out (and the water from leaking in). I assume the butyl tape is already doing that for you.

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