What a success! The engines run very smoothly and are quieter than I expected. Fuel economy is better than with the old gas engines, which was no surprise. What I didn't expect was a big increase in performance. After all, the new diesel engines are only 80 hp, whereas the old gas engines were 110 hp. But performance we got... We will now cruise at 9 knots, compared to 8 knots before. Fuel consumption appears to be a little less than 3 gallons per hour at our new cruising speed, compared to 3.5 gallons per hour before. So we are going faster using less fuel. It's not magic, but close to it. Chalk it up to the much greater efficiency of these modern, computer-controlled diesels.
In our last post I described some of the projects that needed to be done before the new engines could be installed: New engine beds, fuel-tank changes, etc. Another task was to build two new drip pans to place beneath each engine (a Coast Guard requirement). These are usually made of stainless steel sheet or fiberglass. It just happened that the Shipwrights Coop had some extra copper sheet left over from another project. The least expensive option (I almost said "cheapest", but on a boat few things are cheap) was to use the copper, so now we have two beautiful copper drip pans in the bilge. Few people will notice, but I hope the Coast Guard will appreciate them the next time we are stopped for inspection.
|New copper drip pans|
|Up with the overhead crane.|
|Through the door with the fork lift.|
|Arren rests the engine on temporary cribbing before lowering it into place|
|Port engine in -- one more to go!|
|We're done -- ready for sea trials.|
|Custom bronze hose menders.|
|Control console with original chrome shift levers.|
|New hull and bottom paint -- looking good!|
Enter Moby Deck. Or what used to be called Moby Deck anyway. It's got another name now, which no one except the painter at the Coop seems to remember. Designed as a non-skid deck coating, it's tough and flexible, and adheres well to metal. With a special primer made specifically for stainless, this sounded ideal. So we turned the painter loose, and 6 coats later we had a very nice, semi-gloss white anchor guard. When I reattached the anchor just before we launched, it gave the guard a pretty good bump (not on purpose mind you). No harm -- no foul. We'll see how it does this summer while cruising. Stay tuned.
|The stainless steel primer is bright yellow. Some folks at the Coop suggested we keep it this way. I thought not.|
|Anchor guard with it's new coating of Moby Deck. Very stylish.|
Once again, I can't say enough about the crew at Port Townsend Shipwrights Coop, and especially our project manager and friend Arren Day. We could not have asked for a more positive experience. From the very day we arrived, partners and employees of the Coop would stop by regularly and ask me how things were going, and whether I had everything I needed. If they spotted me doing a particular task, it was not unusual for them to say "wait a minute, we have a special tool for that -- would you like to borrow it?" Not once did they make me feel like I was the amateur and they were the pros, although that certainly was the case. And the project was on budget and on time. I cannot imagine working in a more helpful and supportive environment. Thanks to all at the Coop for a job well done.