1981 C&C Landfall 38 "Stella Blue" -- 2006 work Log

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Back to Home ... s/v Stella Blue home ... Maintenance Logs

12/23/2005 (repeated from last year) -- Christmas to New Years. This year, it's just all dedicated to the boat.

Spent the evenings putting a finish on the new block under the pedestal. It's been difficult, as I'm painting it with Gelcoat and I've had a hard time getting it thin enough to look good.

A whole bunch of small parts are accumulating in the living room. It's getting difficult to walk around the house. Made little wood blocks to hold T Bolts for the access hatch under the helm seat. Took the cover for the access hatch and ground a groove in it with my Handy Dremel Tool, then scrubbed and painted.

Made little round blocks for mounting the engine room lights. Made long marine ply strips to reinforce under the sole, and to epoxy along the edges for wires and other things, so I don't have to drill up into the sole.

Fixed the rudder stop blocks. Took a sander and wire wheel to the entire engine compartment, and made a huge mess. Scrubbed everything again with three different kinds of cleaner/degreaser, and hosed the back of the boat down again. Drilled out the holes for the stern limber holes, and put heat lamps on them to dry out the wood really well.
Routed out the teak supports for the companionway steps, with little grooves in them so water can drain away from the toolbox compartments.

Flipped some of the instruments in the new engine panel upside down, so I can mount it upside down and see it better. (grin) I want the tach, oil and temp gauges on the bottom, so I can see them from the helm easily. I flipped the tach, but will flip it back and live with it upside down. Heck, the RPM range I'm interested in is at the top of the gauge, and I want that on the very bottom so I can see it from the helm.

Installed wood blocks for engine room lights, and glassed in a couple of support braces. That was probably overkill, with the sole being rebuilt, but what the heck.

Pulled the old fuel tank back to the boat, so that I can use it to form the supports for the new fuel tank.
After a failed attempt with cheap body putty (too runny) I put some Play-Doh under the fiberglass battens for the new tank supports, and plopped the old tank down on it so it will press the battens into the proper position.

1/7/2006 -- Injected epoxy onto the edges of the the battens for the fuel tank support.

After it set, removed the Play-Doh. Sanded down sharp edges on the epoxy work done on the bottom of the cockpit sole (top of the engine area) and then scrubbed really, really well with a brush and detergent. It's ready to paint. Left a heater and two lamps going overnight to dry the place out. Put first coat of paint on the engine room ceiling and top part of the hull in the stern. Ground the edges of the sole flush on top, traced the outline for the pedestal base and ground down to the original sole inside the square area. Put the old teak grates back in, as I'm going to use them for a pattern for the new sole non-skid.

1/14/2006 -- Filled in under the battens with fiberglass and epoxy, used the grinder to clean everything up. Ready to paint. Discovered that there was a small hole in the tabbing on the bulkhead, which had let the stringer get wet, so I packed it with epoxy, drilled a bunch of holes in the top of the stringer and left heat lamps on it until next weekend.

New fuel tank arrived. It was painted, and very poorly. Stripped it, treated the aluminum with Alumiprep and Alodine, and painted the bottom with some old Interprotect 2000E. Interlux said the paint would still be good after two years in the garage, and it seems fine to me. Primed the top with Petit metal primer (2 part) and then painted with Rust-o-Leum.

Sanded companionway steps down, ready to seal and varnish.

1/22/2006 -- Put a few more layers of Knytex tape along the tabs and around the rudder post, just for fun, then painted the fuel tank area. Set one of the cockpit sole panels into place, behind the helm, so that I can proceed with reinstalling the rudder thrust bearing.

1/28/2006 -- Set the rudder thrust bearing into place. Didn't bolt it down, as I want a good gasket of caulk to cure, then I'll go back next week and crank down on it to compress the caulk. Injected penetrating epoxy into the bulkhead forward of the fuel tank. After it cured, went back and filled the holes with epoxy. Need to wash the area again to remove amine blush, and paint it before dropping the tank in.

2/12/2006 -- Finished with the rudder thrust bearing, then installed the Fuel Tank and the Fuel Panel. Hooray.

2/26/2006 -- Trial fit the pedestal, and everything fits. The idler wheels underneath clear all the new fittings on the tank. Whew. Went to put the radial wheel back on, and was making excellent progress and then dropped the Stainless Steel key under the new fuel tank. No one in town has another. I don't really want that piece of steel sitting under that aluminum tank anyway, as it's the perfect shape to get caught sideways and block the drainage flow. Sooner or later something's going to goop things up under there, but I'd hate it to start today.

I think I'm going to have to drain the fuel tank into jugs and pull it out, and get that hunk of steel out of there. Arr. Arr. Arr.

3/5/2006 -- Drained the fuel tank and retrieved the key for the steering radial wheel. Sure enough, it had slid all the way down and was lodged in the lowest part under the tank, and would have created a little dam to block the limber holes. It was good to pull it out.

Trial fit the steering. It doesn't quite fit. The fiberglass shims I made to support the thrust bearing bolts moved the nuts down 1/8", and that's enough to force the quadrant down 1/8", which is enough to make the wheel chafe against the tank and more importantly, not line up perfectly with the idler wheels under the pedestal. I'll have to take it all apart and remove the shims, rebuild it and put it back together. Arr.

3/24/2006 -- Finished installing the steering.

4/8/2006 -- Two weekends away from the boat (job.) Finally able to sand down the engine area. I'm going to do some fiberglass reinforcement on the shaft log and engine stringers while I have this much access, and then can paint. Yahoo. Then it'll be odds and ends, and waiting for the rain to stop so I can haul.

Scheduled the haul for next week, due to work concerns. That pushed the schedule a bit. Ran down after work mid-week and gave the hull a final good scrub with pseudo-TSP and a wire brush. I want the paint under the engine area to stick well. This is the fourth scrub, but the first time I really got into the area right under the engine. Got a lot of crap off that didn't look like dirt until I took a wire brush to it. I think it's ready to paint, once it dries out. It's raining, so drying out in 100% humidity will be interesting. Heat lamps and the electric heater are running.

4/21/2006 -- Hauled out. Keel needs work again. Darn. Yard is backed up, due to two months of rain. Had the prop pulled, and put on a new Autostream. Yard pulled the two cockpit drain through-hulls, and the raw water intake. I increased the size of the raw water intake to 1-1/4" to reduce chances of clogs and allow greater flow so I can tap a watermaker and wash down pump into it, then reamed back the plywood core with my Handy Dremel Tool. Lined the holes with fiberglass and epoxy.

Started to sand down the keel, but it's peeling up in multiple layers from the lead. Maybe I can have it blasted clean, because wet sanding down to the lead is just plain nasty.

Water coming up through the front two keel bolts. Oh. Pulled the nuts and let it dry out with heat lamps to wick any moisture out of the holes. Made new big backing plates of 1/8" thick stainless, reseated all the 1/2" keel bolts to 90 foot pounds. I couldn't take the one at the tail of the keel off, because the bolt is bent. I'm afraid to get into it as I might snap the bolt. So I raised the nut as far as it would go, and cleaned everything up and dried it out, then gooped it with lifecaulk and cranked the nut down to 90 foot pounds.

Reamed out the keel/hull joint and cleaned it, packed it with thick epoxy putty and fiberglassed over it with Knytex.

5/5/2006 -- Yard can't blast the keel due to EPA restrictions, so I went out and bought a cheap rain suit, rubber boots and full face guard and went to nuts with the 36 grit air sander and a hose. Sanded it down twice. The lead oxidizes to a dull gray even before it's dry. Sunday morning, I cheated. Before anyone came to the yard I suited up with a full respirator and face protection, gloves and boots, and dry sanded it in small sections. As each section was completed, I painted it with Interlux Interprotect 2000E and worked the paint into the lead with a 3M stripping pad. This should stick. Then two more coats of 2000E.

5/9/2006 -- Dropped by the yard and added another coat of 2000E before work.

5/14/2006 -- The yard lifted the boat with the Travellift, and I stripped the bottom of the keel, painted it with three very thick coats of 2000E. The next morning put two coats of bottom paint on the keel. Ready to drop back down. Just the through hulls and engine stringers to go.

5/20/2006 -- Saturday. The yard *still* hadn't started on the stringers. Frustration. For some reason the mechanic was at the yard working on someone else's boat, and I grabbed him and got him to explain exactly what the plan is. I'm ordering my own G10 FRP4 and will build them myself. This will be slow. Spent six hours grinding and sanding the old stringers, preparing to glass the new stringer platforms on top.

Epoxied the last section of the sole top into place and cleaned up the edges. Hooray. Finally got all the sandbags out of the cockpit and gave it a light scrub.

5/27/2006 -- Three day weekend. Spent the entire time building the new stringers.

6/2/2006 -- Added strainer over raw water intake and painted the bottom. Yay.

6/9/2006 -- Polished up some details, added hoses and built the siphon break for the engine. Just waiting for the yard to get it together.

6/13/2006 -- Took a day off of work to help put the engine in. Good thing. If I hadn't been there, they would have just "dropped then engine in" and towed my boat back to my slip. They want me out of here. The yard has too much work, and doesn't care about my little repower. I'm pissed. I made the mechanic line the engine up and make it mate with the prop shaft. Good thing. It didn't fit, although I had made the stringers exactly to his specifications. I bought new, lower, engine mounts. That was a good thing, actually, because the engine mounts that came with the engine were really spongy and I could see that the engine would move around when I fall off a wave. So these engine mounts are much stiffer.

6/16/2006 -- Got a call from the mechanic this morning. He still can't make it fit. I'm going to have to do some grinder work on the stringers to make the engine fit. I'm ticked, since I followed his pattern and we talked about it. I thought they were too high towards the stern, but he said "Oh, there's plenty of room for adjustment in your engine mounts." Now, even with lower engine mounts, I have to take a grinder to the new stringers.

6/24/2006 -- Engine is in and lined up. I hope. They fought with it for two days. I hope they didn't just bolt it down and will try to blame it on me if it doesn't work.

Went down to get ready to tow the boat back, and noticed water coming in under the new sea cocks. I had the yard install them. Big hullabaloo. They said it must be something I had done, because when they install sea cocks they don't leak. Pulled the boat back out of the water. There was no caulk in the through hulls and sea cocks, just a little tiny bead around the joint. I can't believe it. I went nuts. I have new through hulls and sea cocks, and caulked them in myself. Had to pull the strainer off the hull, so I just plugged the holes with quick set Marine Tex and sanded everything down, then slapped bottom paint all over everything and dropped back in the water. We towed back to my slip.

7/4/2006 -- Cleaned and scrubbed the boat. Ten weeks in a boatyard and it's filthy. Then came home and did the same to my house.

7/29/2006 -- Couldn't even look at the boat for a few weeks, as there was an around-the-clock proposal due at work. Bummer. Finally got back down, and wired in the panel, engine cables, and started on the wiring. Added the breaker by the alternator, the shunt for the voltage regulator, and studied all the diagrams and documentation to figure out how to wire the charging system. The engine wiring diagrams assume that you only have one battery, and that the small stock alternator will be constantly charging the single battery. Adding a high output alternator and having multiple battery banks means that the diagrams need to be interpreted, because it would be very easy to tie the start and house banks together through the engine wiring harness. That would be bad, bad, bad. I'm pretty sure I got it all figured out, though. I wired in the new voltage regulator.

Still worrying about the exhaust. I ordered a $250 Vetus muffler, which has an input fitting lower than my existing Naqualift.

8/6/2006 -- Only was able to get to the boat on Sunday. Connected all the Big Wires for the engine, except for the ground to the block. I haven't found the right bolt for that yet. Still have to connect the remote gauges, and figure out the exhaust. The muffler input is definitely two inches above the riser output, and that's no good. A different muffler will arrive this week. I think I may find a way to put it down next to the bolts for the strut, and support it with fiberglass posts attached to the bulkhead in front of the fuel tank. This is really annoying. I want to crank this engine up!

8/13/2006 -- Big Weekend.

Added fuses to the wires to the voltage regulator. 2A for the two shunt wires, 10A for the power line from the shunt. Changed the fuse next to the alternator to 200A, because if it blows I've already blown the whole system and it's just there to prevent a fire from starting.

Bought a WEMA fuel gauge, because the VDO gauge that I bought didn't work. It was made for a different kind of sender. (sigh.) I've learned that the VDO gauges are made for European senders, with a different electrical requirement (in Ohms.) Oh shit, I might have to toss the Oil and Temp gauges too. I'll test them out before I drill the holes.

Pulled the muffler, and the entire assembly of which I was so proud, and scrapped it.
Put the new Vetus muffler in, figured out how to make it fit. It was tough. I don't like the Vetus muffler, as it's plastic. I'd prefer a good fiberglass muffler like my old Naqualift. However, the Vetus fits and has an input fitting that is lower than the output from my mixer elbow. I took two 14" posts of prefab fiberglass, painted them with Bilgekote, and bolted them into the fiberglass brace for the bulkhead in front of the fuel tank. I'll strap the Vetus water lift onto those posts with huge stainless hose clamps. The Vetus has 2" fittings, but my Naqualift had 1-7/8" fittings, so I had already installed $350 of 1-7/8" hose. Took a 1-7/8" piece of exhaust tube and built up one end a bit with fiberglass tape, so it could mate to the new muffler. Fastened the exhaust hose up high on the starboard side to avoid siphons and to keep water from coming back up the hose. It was an odd setup, but I took a piece of extra 1/0 gauge battery cable and put 5/16" lugs on the end, and fastened it onto the back side of one of the cockpit padeyes. That worked out well.

Finally decided where to put the Water Filter for the raw water feed, and bolted it in. Opened the sea cock, and was surprised to see that the waterline is actually about 1/2" up from the bottom of the water filter. I had thought it was much higher, but it's difficult to tell when you're crawling around inside the boat. This means that most of my engine is actually above the waterline. I feel much better about my siphon break now! Squirted dish soap into the impeller.

Started the Engine! Started the Engine! Yay. It started right up. I need to loosen the stuffing box as I had it really tight during all the work. Naturally, it doesn't want to loosen up. I might have the lock nut jammed in there really good. This will be a challenge!

I might not have the alternator/regulator wired right. It was working for a bit, but then it stopped. Maybe I blew a fuse. Something to work on next weekend. The alternator is very old, and I have no instructions for it other than a diagram of how it was wired up to my old Ample Power regulator.

8/20/2006 -- Spent this weekend breaking in the engine. Loosened the stuffing box to let a steady drip in. I'll tighten it up after the "dripless" Gore-Tex packing is worked into shape. Major fussing about with the alternator. This is my old (12 or 15 year old) Ample Power alternator that was on my old engine. It seems to work sporadically and I don't know why. At times it won't start up at all, and the tachometer is flat. Other times, it seems to be trying to start up every 10 seconds or so, and I see the tachometer spike and then go back to zero. Then suddenly it'll work. Once it started working Saturday, it was working for most of the day. When I shut the engine down, then restarted, sometimes it wouldn't work. Then I'd shut down and restart, and it would do the spiking thing. Then shut down and restart, and it would work. I don't get it.

I left a lot of electronics on all night Saturday to test alternator output at various RPM, and drained 120 Amp hours out of the house bank overnight (about 18 hours.) Then the darn alternator wouldn't work! Fussed with it for three hours, ran all the tests in the manual. The field voltage is definitely getting there, and I suspect that there's something wrong with the excite terminal. This is an old alternator, and there's an external wire with a diode in it, that ties the hot terminal to the excite terminal. I tested the diode and it's still good.

I said heck with it, decided I need a new alternator, and went to lunch. When I came back it started working. Arr. I definitely have to figure this out before I take the boat away from shore power.

Anyway, it output 40 amps at 1500 RPM, and 70 Amps at 2000 RPM, and 75 Amps at 2300 RPM which is as fast as I can make the engine go when in gear. (I think my prop is over pitched.)

The new engine leaks coolant. I hope it's just a hose. I had to add about 1/2 gallon today, and it's all over the bilge. I don't see where it's coming from, but I think it's on the right side of the engine because the right front engine mount has a pool of coolant on it. The fill is on the left side, so there's no way I could have spilled coolant there when filling the engine up. I'll have to track this on down.

Installed the table on the pedestal, and spent some time figuring out how to modify the sunbrella cover to fit the new pedestal.

8/26/2006 -- Found the coolant leak. The bolt holding the alternator bracket was loose, and it also holds the coolant pump down. Coolant was leaking out from around the bolt.

Got the alternator working correctly. The wire from the shunt was not connected well at the voltage regulator, so the regulator couldn't sense the alternator output amperage. I must have not pressed it onto the spade connector well, when I installed the big wires to the starter. The big wires run right past the voltage regulator, and I had removed the wiring harness when installing the big wires.

I still have some ATF fluid bubbling out of the little vent hole on the fill cap. That's weird. Checked the fluid, and it was a pint low. I refilled it, and really cranked down on the fill cap bolt. It slowed down quite a bit. But this is different from my last Hurth V Drive, and I don't understand why it's doing this.

The prop is over pitched. I can live with it for a while, but will need to work with my diver to re pitch it in the water.

Cleaned the main cabin in a big way. Scrubbed everything. Washed all the dishes, pots and pans, silverware. Then did a stocking run to the drug store to get the boat habitable again. I think next weekend I can stay on it again, for the first time in a year.

9/4/2006 -- Went sailing. Yay.

9/9/2006 -- Worked through the weekend, but dropped by on Sunday and added new big wiring for the 2nd house bank. Put in a new A/B switch, rated at 360A continuous, 800A surge, and it should be heavy duty enough to handle anything. I went oversize, so that an entire bank can drain through the switch. Because of my wiring setup, both house banks are tied together through this switch. So there's almost 500Ah of capacity tied into it. Thus, the big switch. Did some planning for the bulkhead between the cockpit locker and engine. I want a solid bulkhead there, but one that's removable.

9/15/2006 -- I had thought that the Hurth was spurting oil because the sealing ring was missing, so I ordered two of them. It didn't make a difference. Had to work on stuff, so I motored out to Treasure Island and just tossed the hook for the weekend. After an hour of motoring, the tranny had spurted about 10oz of fluid, and the stick came out dry. This is really, really wrong. I'm going to drain all the fluids and think about it. I did check the crankcase oil when the engine was hot, and it seemed high. I hope I didn't screw something up.

10/7/2006 -- Replaced all engine/tranny oil. Reworked the Exhaust System for the third time, and I believe I have it right. Ted repitched the prop, and I think things are getting tuned up. There's still a drip from the Hurth vent. I don't get it. Worked on some wiring, and installed the new *huge* A/B switch between the two house banks. I still haven't put batteries in Bank 2. Don't really see a need now, and don't want to mix new batteries with my 5 year old ones, so I may just leave the box empty until it's time to cruise the boat.

11/5/2006 -- Been busy with my job, and haven't had time until this weekend. (I did run up and give her a good scrub a week ago.) Installed the new bulkhead between the engine and cockpit locker. Installed the Simrad WP32 that I bought a year ago, and ran the wiring. Now I need to hook it up. Then I'll play with it, and see if it can handle this boat. The boat's right on the edge, but this boat balances well and sails well, and doesn't make one fight the helm (at least, with my current sail plan and conditions.) I also made panels for the bridge deck, so I don't always have a puddle there. Test fit, they work, so I'll get them ready to install.

11/12/2006 -- Finishing up some details. Ran the wires for the WP32 and wired it in. Then spent some time reinitializing the Nexus instruments, and reconfiguring them. They'd become confused when I added the additional one at the helm. I'm still wrestling with the location for the cockpit remote mike for the VHF, but it's an important thing and I must figure it out.

11/25/2006 -- Replaced the key for the prop shaft. Calibrated the wheel pilot.
Installed the panels on the bridge deck. Put new sealing rings on the tranny fill stick, but it still shoots oil out the vent hole. Weird. The fill plug has a dipstick, to measure the ATF level. The transmission fluid splashes around, hits the vent hole on the inside, and fills up the inside of the hollow dipstick. Then it starts coming out the hole on top, as more fluid gets splashed in on the inside. I'm thinking about just adding a hole at the bottom of the dipstick, so that the thing can't fill up with fluid. This is weird. I don't remember if my old Hurth tranny had a different dipstick.

12/12/2006 -- Raining a lot. Cleaned up the entire interior and scrubbed the sole. If weather clears may take the boat out next weekend. Greg and Lynda are in town next weekend, and it would be great to spend the day with them.

12/16/2006 -- Well, the weather sucks. It's raining and very cold. We won't sail tomorrow, as we'd just be motoring around in the rain and fog. Bummer. I'd like to see Greg and Lynda again.

Spent saturday dealing with insurance crap: Installed smoke detectors, and a fire extinguisher for the engine compartment, and rebuilt the Racor to commercial charter boat specs. Don't ask. It's stupid, but why fight.

Sunday, fixed the dipstick on the Hurth. I drilled another small hole at the bottom of the dipstick tube. Now, when oil splashes into the dipstick, it drains out the bottom instead of being forced out the top. Also, replaced the fuel tank sender. I think I had wrecked the old one when I stripped and scrubbed the tank last year. New one reads 85 ohms resistance, so I know it works. The gauge still reads "full", though. Went on-line and looked at the wiring diagram for the gauge. It's different than the wiring diagram that came with the thing! No wonder it doesn't work!

12/21/2006 -- rewired the gauge per new diagram, and it now reads a bit over 1/2 full. Now I can start to track usage vs. gauge readings. With my V shaped tank, "1/2" probably means more like 1/4.

Also worked on other wiring details, tie wrapping wires and fastening wire that has been added over the last few months.