And that’s because we keep adding things to the “to-do-while-hauled-out” list. It just seems silly, since we’re on the hard and fairly deeply into the back end of the boat, not to do everthing that needs/wants doing. So here’s our current to-do list.
Pull engine to replace broken vibration isolators (engine mounts)
While engine is out, replace all coolant hoses
Replace cutless (or “cutlass”, depending on who you believe) bearing
Replace all below waterline thru-hulls
Replace all below waterline seacocks
Install new propellor
Remove the slop in the rudder and tiller
Install our new Lavac toilet, holding tank, and associated plumbing
Strip old Cetol from and re-Cetol tiller, windvane paddle, belaying pins, pin rails, and rudder cheeks
Install new PSS dripless shaft seal
Have fabricated and install new stainless steel engine beds to replace rusty old carbon steel beds
But, we are making progress, even if it is too hot to work more than 3-4 hours a day. However, sometimes the progress is hard to see. The last couple days are a case in point. While Lulu was busy sanding the above-listed wooden items, I was on the bus to Guaymas to drop the old engine beds off at Luis’ shop so he could make me some new ones out of stainless steel. But, of course, in spite of arriving at the shop fairly early, Luis was not there. He was in San Carlos. His brother assured me that he would be back in the afternoon, maybe three or four o’clock. So, I got back on the bus for the forty-five minute ride back to San Carlos. Since I had to return to Guaymas later in the day, I really didn’t want to get all grungy working on the boat so, instead, I spent the time on the computer researching things like changing out a cutless bearing. Got back on the bus about 2:45 figuring it would be safer to get back to the shop closer to 4:00 than 3:00. Got off at Serdan and 17th, hiked 3 blocks uphill, crossed Lopez, walked another short block, turned right and, about half a block down was Luis’ shop. But, guess what? That’s right, he still wasn’t there. The friendly lady in the office said he should be back in one hour, or maybe a half an hour. So, I wandered around, hit an ATM, hit an Oxxo convenience store for a big bottle of Gatorade, and then headed back to the shop. Still no Luis. I asked the lady in the office if I could wait in there (it was air-conditioned) and she said, “Sí. ¿Como no?”. I settled in with my Kindle for a, hopefully not too long, wait. After a few minutes she got up and left the office. A few minutes later she returned with Luis’ brother who explained that he was sorry but Luis was tied up in San Carlos with some family problems, but he would definitely be at the shop tomorrow morning at maybe 9:00 or 10:00. I thanked him and hit the road for another bus ride. That comes to a total of 3 hours on the bus. However, the next morning (yesterday) I got to the shop and Luis was there. I explained what I needed and he said he’d e-mail me with a price after he checked on availability of material. I’m happy to say that Luis’ e-mail was waiting for me when I got back to Chamisa. His price was very fair and he said he could have it done by late next week. I gave him the go-ahead so, hopefully, that’s one item off the list.
Today, once again, Lulu sanded.
Meanwhile, I worked on disconnecting the rudder so we could take it off the boat. This was kind of a scary proposition for me as this thing is huge. It’s taller than I am. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know that doesn’t make it very tall, but for a rudder for a 28 foot boat, it’s freakin’ huge! I had no idea what to expect so I turned to the always helpful members of the Westsail Owners’ Association. There’s almost nothing I can do on this boat that at least one of them hasn’t already done. And, if no one’s done it, we always have Bud Taplin, former general manager of Westsail and general guru, to help us out.
Well, the other Westsailors assured me that removing the rudder was no big deal so, today, I attacked. The first thing was to take a wire brush on an angle grinder to the many, many layers of bottom paint coating the nuts and bolts on the pintles.
Side note for non-boaters: Pintles and gudgeons (gúh-juns) are the items that hold a rudder to the hull of a boat. The pintles are pins that fit through the hole in the gudgeons. In the next picture you can see the pintles with the nuts removed. The gudgeon is bolted to the hull. By the way, those are not bolt heads you’re seeing on the gudgeons. Those are actually nuts that have been so covered with paint that the bolt itself is no longer visible.
The bolts are bronze carriage bolts. I’m not a big fan of carriage bolts since they tend to spin in soft materials. I was amazed that, of the 12 nuts I had to remove, I only encountered 2 bolts that spun. And, of course, a pair of Vise-Grips quickly put them in their place.
But, even when all the bolts were out, the rudder was still glued to the pintles by decades of thick paint. I finally hit on the idea of putting a large screwdriver partway through the bolt hole on the pintle and then using it to try to hold the pintle while I used the massive leverage of the rudder to turn the rudder away from the pintle. Worked like a charm and soon the rudder was free.
So, what did we find? Well, as you can see here, after wire-brushing the pintle, there is definitely a little bit of wear. But certainly this isn’t enough wear to cause the amount of play we have in our rudder. At least I wouldn’t think so.
The gudgeons were another matter. They showed wear from 0.020″ to 0.045″, but more importantly, they were no longer round. They had worn to a slightly oval shape, wider across the beam than fore and aft.
Obviously I need to insert some sort of sleeve. Another query on the Westsail Owners’ Association discussion board brought about an excellent idea from our friend Lee (Westsail32, Patience). Lee suggested we have the gudgeons bored out to accept a 1″ cutless bearing, which are available locally. Brilliant. My next move will be to remove the gudgeons for boring out.
Meanwhile, Lulu has something new to strip of finish.
Another day in the yard, another gallon of sweat. What can I say? Yard work ain’t pretty.
on the pintles