Kaholee Refit, Phase 3 | Friday, May 2, 2008 (and the week preceding)

This was a big week, since Allen, the owner of Kaholee, arrived in Maine to stay for the duration for the finishing stages of the project and to launch the boat for sea trials and the like.

I couldn't afford the time to spend full-time days on the punch list, so I supplied Allen with a list of projects that he could undertake as needed, in addition to some tasks that remained on my list.  As with all punch lists, many items were mundane and hardly worth mentioning.

Over the course of several days, however, we accomplished several things of note.  In particular, I made the decision to replace the stern tube as part of the final shaft installation process, since I ran into the now-familiar problem of trying to accommodate a 7/8" shaft diameter with an original 1-1/2" OD stern tube:  stock stuffing box fittings for these criteria don't exist.   Although I was well aware of these incompatibilities--thus leading me to the decision to replace the stern tube--I had it in my mind that I had a section of fiberglass tubing that would work, and felt that the process would be quick and smooth.

So I was disappointed to discover that no, I didn't have a section of 1-3/4" OD tubing as I'd convinced myself that I did.  And such tubing is not a standard size easily found (or at all).  The tube I did have in stock was also 1-1/2" OD.  To get around this issue, though, I simply decided to wrap some fiberglass around the end of the tube, increasing its diameter so that the 1-3/4" stuffing box hose would fit properly.

To remove the old stern tube, I first cut off the portion that protruded into the aperture.  Then, I cut and fit a scrap of wood to fit tightly inside the old tube, forming a centering point for a hole saw bit.  With this, I could then use a hole saw (1-7/8" diameter carbide in this case) to drill out the entire old stern tube, leaving a hole wider than the new tube to allow for adjustment as needed--thus aligning the new tube precisely with the engine's actual location, rather than the other way 'round.

After successfully removing the old tube (the hole saw bottomed out and I had to pry out some of the material in order to continue to the end), I ground the area smooth and removed all the paint around the area to prepare for further installation steps.  It was about now that I discovered that, compounding my mind's error about the tube sizes that I had and planned to use, I had purchased the wrong Cutless bearing.  Of course my supplier didn't have the correct size in stock, but fortunately Allen was willing to run to Hamilton Marine in Rockland, which did have it in stock.  But later, after he had returned, I realized that I had also failed to get new packing for the shaft--again, my mind's recollection was insisting that I had the proper size packing in stock, when in fact it was for a different shaft size.  Ho hum.  The end result of all this was that I couldn't proceed with installing the new shaft and tube on this day, as I'd have to wait till tomorrow for the packing to arrive.  I only wanted to install things once, and time wasn't so critical that I had to proceed today.


In the meantime, while Allen ran errands, I installed some of the deck hardware that I'd not gotten to last fall, but was otherwise prepared for:  the bronze mooring bit and forward and after bronze chocks.


Another significant task that we addressed this week was the mast.  The mast had been painted poorly at some point in the distant past, and I'd never felt it was a good use of my time to concentrate on that when there was so much other work to be done.  Allen had volunteered to paint the mast himself, which would be a good learning experience.  To that end, he spent part of one afternoon removing all the old hardware and so forth from the mast; unfortunately, the old wiring was foamed in place, so it wouldn't come out easily.  As of this writing, taking care of its removal is still pending.

With all the hardware removed, we moved the mast indoors, and Allen spent a good part of a day stripping the paint, using a chemical stripper that actually worked since we could use the good stuff (Methylene Chloride, that is.) on the metal.    The paint bubbled immediately after applying, making the s tripping job fairly easy.  Allen worked on that while I concentrated on other jobs in the shop; he did a great job, and the mast looked almost good enough to leave bare when he was done.  But paint is on the docket soon.



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