2012-12-29 Craigslist Sail


Today’s my Birthday (49)
Last night I left an email response to a Craigslist ad posted by a Steve in Oakland who had a sail that no longer fits his boat because he changed masts. He wanted to pass it along for just $15! That would be a fine replacement for my mainsail that the previous owner left out rotting on the foredeck. Luckily I hadn’t missed out, and Steve called about 10 am and we set up an appointment in Alameda, CA, which is about an hour’s drive north.
I met Steve at 1pm in Alameda at Gate 7 next to Svendsen’s Marine boat yard. It looks like a nice sail, fully battened with that Mylar plus reinforced Dacron thread making it resemble postal tape. It has a small rip in the foot where the rope is but Steve said it wouldn’t be hard to fix. He said his boat is a 1960 vintage and I didn’t recognize the maker, but he’d changed out the mast and this sail became a leftover. He mentioned he himself bought it (used) a few years ago for $300, but now it was just taking up space, and he didn’t want to see it become a dropcloth.
 Those battens are long, at least 10 feet and the fiberglass strands left me itching all afternoon. I better take some 400 grit sandpaper to them!
Steve asked about my boat and when I described the condition of the Nor’sea he asked if the guy gave it to me. I wish!  As it was I overpaid by a few thousand. Between the water damage and frozen engine, I think my boat’s condition isn’t that different than Talofa Lee, which sank at her berth and was written off by the insurance company and sold for just a couple thou – except Talofa came with nice sails!
Steve mentioned a lot of folks are walking away from their boats, houses, too he said, but boats are easier to abandon.
I agreed and mentioned I have been looking for a Yanmar but found that they are about half the price if they come with a boat.  There was, for example an Ericson 27 listed in Craigslist – Sausalito for $2500 that had a freshwater Yanmar 2GM-20F, self tailing winches and probably sails. That could make a good Frankenstein for a dismasted Norsea!  I emailed right away, but there was no response.
I walked our dog around the docks and we found a green hull Norsea 27 in slip #.  It had a furling jib and no name on the side. The home port, san Francisco was just visible. I could read the boat’s hull number and goings it wasn’t listed in the database, which was kind of exciting. I took several pictures if this boat, a Flicka I found in the grand Marina with synthetic rope data ding rigging and a couple other boats with neat teak decks.

2012-12-29 Car Work

I’m getting set to sell off the old Datsun 260z to get a bit more room in the driveway. I cleaned up some rust in the spare tire well and found that the red/orange engine paint I found at Kragen was a perfect match

I used a wire brush mounted on my angle grinder to get the worst of the rust out, then wiped it down with some lacquer thinner and painted it up.
other than its dead battery, the car’s electrical system seems fine. Done light, radio and all seem to be fine. Unfortunately it looks like the motor’s seized up here, too, so I put a few ounces of Marvel Mystery Oil in each of the six cylinders after removing the spark plugs and numbering the wires.
The driver door had some crows feet and dark stains in the paint do I ground it down, primed, filled with A special filler that is UV activated, sanded a lot, reprinted, refilled, sanded, primed, gel filler, sand, prime gel fill, and that’s where we are now
A have had several inquiries in the Craigslist ad but I am not quite ready to show it as I’d like to finish the paint, buff it out and see if I can’t start it.
I also smogged our MPV can in preparation to sell that, too, and found the pink slips for the mista, MPV and Datsun in my files. Only the Volkswagen is MIA, and I’m not sure what year it is. Hoping for 1975!  (Smog exempt!)

2012-12-30 Sunday engine work

Today, I used the impact sockets and pneumatic impact driver to try to shake the seized diesel Yanmar free. While I bought an impact driver yesterday evening at Harbor Freight, I found some pneumatic tools u bought at Costco almost 20 years ago when I bought the compressor to power the stapler to reroof the house.

The motor’s single cylinder has been soaking in about an inch of Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) for a few weeks, with my hope that the fluid will loosen up the rings and key the piston move.  The impact set did not have any sockets between 17 and 21mm, but the 3/4″ socket fit perfectly. Rattling it on the high level in either direction had no effect. I decided to continue stripping down the motor. I removed two fuel lines that cross the front of the motor, being careful to keep the copper washers together with the bolts that secure the banjo fittings
I loosened the two 10mm nuts securing the low pressure fuel pump.  It was very hard to access the rear one, but I got it by flipping the 12-point box wrench around a few times. Then the pump pulled out, and I was able to use a razor blade to save the gasket from tearing. I like to use new gaskets but I am not sure I’ll be able to save this motor.
I checked out the motor manual and found the water pump body is supposed to come out. I scraped a fingernail along the separation line between the brass pump and the front housing and was able to twist and pull it off with no small effort.
The high pressure pump came off next after loosening two bolts in the top. There is a plate that compresses against the spring that I pulled out very carefully.
I left the water pump and fuel pump on top of the tank.  I noticed the sump had collected about 1-2 quarts of dark oil, so I will have to try using the bilge pads I picked up at the Grand Marina in Alameda yesterday.
Next, I loosened but did not yet remove the ten 10mm bolts that secure the front if the engine.
I loosened the alternator pulley nut and the bolts that secure the housing and pulley guard (one of which us a 1/2″ hex bolt, the lower is 13mm) using the impact wrench. I was able to then slip off the alternator pulley and belt.
Next, I used the impact wrench set on high and counterclockwise strike to loosen the bolt on the harmonic balancer pulley. It has a key and will require a gear puller to take it off fully. Unfortunately it’s Sunday and Harbor Freight closed early, but neither of those points occurred to me before I drove all the way out there.
Theoretically, after I pull off the pulley and deal with the manual starter shaft I should be able to take the front if the motor off. That’s an exciting moment.  I don’t know if I will succeed in repairing the motor, but getting it out of the boat now seems like a big step in the right direction. Without having a mast up I don’t have a fulcrum to support the tackle necessary to pull the motor out intact, so I believe disassembling it will be the best way to get it out do I can deal with the leaking tank.
I loosened but did not remove the four tiny 8mm nuts that secure a bushing on some front gear. I don’t know why such tiny nuts are used, but they had some corrosion on them even though they’re fully painted.
Next step, maybe tomorrow is to make a quick trip to Harbor Freight to pick up a fear puller,  pull off the harmonic balancer pulley, loosen the hex head set screw that secures the manual start boss and see if I can’t take the front off the motor.

2012-12-28 Friday

It’s been a couple weeks since I added automatic transmission fluid to the exposed cylinder top of my Yanmar 8hp engine.  It doesn’t look much different today, although the boat’s a little out of plumb making the fluid a little off level.  I tried using a box wrench to turn the pulley nut to no avail.

Recently, I found an interesting suggestion on the unseize engine website: use a pneumatic or electric impact wrench.  This will set up resonance vibrations in the motor and is less damaging than the breaker bar approach. I intend to try this tomorrow.  I believe I do have a pneumatic impact wrench but I am not sure about the socket. May mean a trip to Harbor Freight.

The other things I did to today: the companionway drop boards fit in place today. I tried a week or two ago and could only get the lower board in place.

Cabin sole boards were reinstalled.

The companionway doors are now closing almost without effort.  there’s another 12v light in the forward cabin, but it needs a lens over it

2012-12-16 Trailer support

Carlos arrived at 9AM and we went off to Home Depot in San Jose on Hillsdale where we picked up 3 railroad ties.  These things are creosote soaked blocks of redwood that measure about  7×8″ x 9 feet, and they weigh nearly 160 lbs each.  We also got three 8′ lengths of pressure treated 1×6. The guy rang me up for 33 of those, so I had to get a refund.  I also bought a 10′ fiberglass ladder because the boat went up some 5 inches and the 8′ ladder I have was a little sketchy and just came to the caprail height as it was.

Back at the house The ties were chainsaw cut to 22″ lengths.  We had about ten pieces before the chainsaw got dull.  Then the trailer was jacked with a big 20-ton bottle jack. When we finished each wheel was about 2″ off the ground, which will allow some margin for settlement. The whole process took about 4 hours, after which  I learned that with the trailer level, the boat is not level inside. The bow is too high!  That means we’ll need to pull out some of the forward stack to get things back into line.

We also spent some time chocking up the front end of the mast to take the load off the pulpit frame and the weaker bowsprit wood that supports it.  We used a 4×4 cut to 27-1/2 inches with notch sitting on top of the bowsprit.

Next week I plan to get get the mast down off the boat and on to some sawhorses we bought today.

2012-12-16 Boat Cushion Evaluation

A few months ago, even before I went out to get the boat I was able to get a stack of Nor’sea cushions from Dan, owner of Merilee in Sausalito.  Although the color isn’t ideal they will let me evaluate the potential of an upgrade of my boat to the newer layout.  I have the earlier, more traditional fold down board.

I tried test fitting the cushions.Cockpit cushions didn’t look very close to Aft berth dimensions. The main cabin cushions could work, but the color is really horrible. May try some RIT due to turn them dark purple or brown or anything. The forspeak locker is much bigger. I’m willing to give up the nav table but would like to keep thehanging locker and stove. Maybe the hanging locker could swap sides.

Unfortunately the Merilee’s cockpit berth cushions aren’t very close fits for the Aft Cabin.  Although, I may be able to use the foam somehow.



2012-12-14 The Magic of Vice Grips

Engine Work

I did about 90 minutes’ work on the motor, using a pair of vise grip pliers to loosen the a stubborn bolt holding the water pump housing to the motor front plate. The same pliers were great for removing the water pump impeller cover screws; all but one were stripped and/or frozen. Next, I loosened the hose clamps securing the seawater plumbing and gently pried the cover off. The impeller had all its rubber vanes but there was a lot of build up on them and it was clear they weren’t moving. I was able to pry off the impeller, but the rubber piece separated from its bushing, which I removed separately. The motor still could not be turned at the crankshaft, so I will need to continue the disassembly.

I wonder if the seawater that got into the engine sump entered through the water pump, intake or exhaust ports?  The exhaust path is most logical, back from raw water burped through the water lift muffler into the exhaust port (if the engine was run with the starter without ignition), but it was the intake valve that was frozen, suggesting it was somehow involved.

I took another look at the Yanmar service manual, and see I am a good ways toward having the engine torn down. With the head already off and the intake and exhaust assemblies disconnected, it’s just the fuel pump, separator and a couple lines before the V pulley comes off, at which point it should be possible to remove the front and side covers from the engine and get a very clear view as to what has the motor siezed. I suspect at this point it is just the piston rings frozen to the cylinder walls, but worst case it could invlove the crank or camshaft. Time will tell. Then some informed decisions can be made about whether a partial rebuild or repower is most appropriate.

It will be a good project for this Saturday before I plan to do some stabilization of the trailer, and possibly pull the mast down on next Sunday.

2012-12-14 Straightening up the Aft Cabin Anchor Rode

The Nor’sea Aft Cabin has been nicknamed the garage by some because it tends to collect all the sailing equipment, sails, anchors, lines, RIBs and other goodies. This post is about an attempt to address a big tangled pile of anchor rode.

Straightening up the Aft Cabin

Tonight I sorted out about 200 feet of anchor rode in the aft cabin and stored it in the anchor rode bag I bought today at West Marine. I like the bag material but the tie at the top is undersized for use with heavy lines or especially chain. I may pull it out and run a 1/4″ yacht braid or 3/16″ amsteel scrap through the hemmed border.

2012-12-13 Update – a Fan and some WM Gear

Boat Stuff

I found a nice ventilation fan at Restore today for $8.  They also had a bar sink faucet for $12 that may work well in the main cabin, and a Stihl 12″electric chainsaw for $30.  I found I could get a new one with a warranty for $50, so I passed on the saw.

West Marine Sale – West Marine is having a $20 off on $100 purchase today, so I picked up an anchor rode bucket, a tide watch, rigging knife and some Cap’t Tolley’s Creeping Crack Cure  that I thought I might try on Lilikoi.  Does it work? I don’t know yet but you have to love the video!

Insurance Update

BoatsUS sent me an email today with a PDF telling me that I needed to complete the survey soon to keep my policy active.  However, considering I don’t have the boat in the water and don’t have plans to do so in the immediate future, any survey wouldn’t be able to assess things like the standing / running rigging, engine or seaworthiness.  I called them to ask about deferring the survey until I spring and they suggested we revise the policy for storage only, and I’ll need to complete a survey before I splash the boat.  Fine by me – the boat isn’t going to sink in my driveway!


2012-12-13 Paint:Easier Treatment for Water Damaged Wood?

In reviewing some photos of other boats I it occurred to me that instead of being varnished wood, the cabin ceiling could be painted white, and this would address some of the water stains and simplify the restoration after the leaking deck hardward has been rebedded.

Wood putty and paint could be used where it would otherwise have been necessary to strip out and replace a lot of the finish material.  It’s quicker, less expensive, and the resulting white ceiling would have a lighter, more open feel.  I will need to give this some thought because I really do like the look of the wood cabin top.