Sunday, January 19, 2014

And While the Fuel Tank is Removed

--Blog post written by Bob

I knew that the fuel tank replacement project wouldn't be limited to just a fuel tank but I didn't realize how far afield the project might go.  However, it makes good sense to make the needed replacements while things are apart and accessible.

Let's Fit in a Colonoscopy

It was my first colonoscopy and scheduled for a couple months now.  I wrote in the first blog post (Introduction) that I wanted this blog to be more than "about a sailboat" but a colonoscopy wasn't what I had in mind exactly.  It wasn't all that bad--the colonoscopy--certainly not worth all the mental anguish I had about it.  The 18 hours of preparation was uncomfortable but the actual event seemed like nothing more than a nice (albeit brief) nap.  I'm glad it is over though and everything is fine.  I even have pictures to show for it but I will save them for later.

Damaged Motor Mounts

Back to the boat project, one of the motor mounts was collapsed allowing the motor to slant to one side (the port side)  The other 3 mounts were partially collapsed.  So, we elected to replace all four motor mounts while the area was so accessible. Diesel engines always seem to vibrate a lot--so, I never noticed the poor condition of the motor mounts in operation but I hope I notice the positive difference in the spring!

Top: One of the old motor mounts
Bottom: One of the new motor mounts in place

The steel angles that support the motor mounts (as well as the brackets to the motor) were removed, thoroughly cleaned up, decreased, and painted prior to installing the new motor mounts.  While each motor mount was being replaced, the motor was temporarily supported by wooden blocks off the hull.  The bolts that are imbedded in new Yanmar (Size # 100) motor mounts are a slightly larger diameter than the old ones but the holes in the motor brackets were large enough to accommodate the larger diameter bolts.  This work was done while the boat was in the water (just prior to the quick haul out). 

Leaking Shaft Strut Bolts

The leaking of the shaft strut bolts was the root cause of the fuel tank's corrosion.  Even though the new tank is thicker and has an external corrosion barrier, addressing the root cause of the corrosion is prudent.  Furthermore, the leaking of salt water into the boat is never a good thing.  One of the strut bolts could be moved within its hole from inside the boat, leaking salt water all the while.  A quick haul out is needed for a visual examination of the strut to determine if the strut needs to be re-bedded or the bolts simply changed out and sealed properly.

Shaft Seal Replacement

Isometric cutaway view of PSS shaft seal
The need for a quick haul out for the strut bolts leads to the replacement of the shaft seal because it also requires a haul out. The replacement of the PSS shaft seal was planned for the summer of 2014 during a haul out for bottom painting.  The shaft seal is now almost 12 years old (installed in May 2002) and the manufacturer's recommended replacement interval is 7 years.  The rubber bellows is the critical component--it is subjected to salt water, possibly some oil exposure from the engine, and normal aging.  I decided to do a complete changeout instead of using the maintenance kit just to be on the safe side in the event that the sliding surfaces are worn.  For the C&C Landfall 38, the shaft diameter is 1-1/8" and the shaft log (or stern tube as it is sometimes called) is 2-1/4" outside diameter--these are the critical dimensions for ordering purposes.

Next up is more information on the replacement of the shaft seal, the leaking strut bolts, and the condition of the cutlass bearing

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