28 August 2015

Whaler Resto - pt xii - shakedown v.2

As I've gotten older,
one thing that makes me cringe is heights.
If there's a choice to cruise the boat down to South Bay,
or drive over the 200ft high Coronado Bridge...
The 50 hp Johnson is still on probation.
This would be the first ride over a couple miles.
At least I'm smiling!
Here's Jason's reaction to my decision,
while he was having fun building hot rods in the heat.
There were two weird clinking sounds midway.
Was it a reed valve getting sucked through,
or the lower unit grenading?
Maybe I ran over a tin can,
or possibly tools bumping around.
Whatever the case,
I kept it in the 2/3 cruising speed,
about 18-20 mph.
Not bad for the bottom end 
of the horsepower rating for this hull.
After a couple hours getting sweaty on this thing...
The 17 ft Boston Whaler is the perfect bay boat,
comfortable when it was glassy 
as well as the earlier wind and boat chop.
Tons of random boat action on the way back.
I was escorted around a Navy diving exercise,
some RIBs were running around without running lights,
and a couple booze cruisers and party boats just burning gas.
Even though our navigation lights work,
the bare legal minimum,
a couple spot lights would be helpful.
Both to be more visible,
as well as locating buoys and debris.
The 20+/- mile round trip was exactly what I needed,
more of a shakedown than the shorter hauls.
First the minor issue.
The whaler was kissing the dock the entire time waiting for me.
The rope rub rail did it's job for sacrificial protection.
The 3M 5200 glue is strong,
but it didn't win the battle.
I sanded the paint down for better grip.
Screws may be needed if it happens more often.
I'll get a couple inflatable bumpers for sure.
The major issue was a bit more serious.
The 10+/- mile ride back 
from Coronado Cays to Shelter Island
used up almost the entire small fuel tank,
about 2 gallons.
Less than 30 feet from the trailer,
the boat crapped out,
and wouldn't start.
No biggie,
a quick paddle.
The problem was the starter wouldn't even spin.
Electrical troubleshooting is tedious,
I hoped it wasn't the panel wiring.
At least the pop-out fuses did their job.
I chased the problem to the starter.
A quick tap with jumper cables would solve the problem,
than it would seize up.
The greasy middles of the two bolts 
were a telltale sign the brushes would look the same.
The perfect excuse for the dead donor 50,
justifying it's spot in the yard.
No rebuilding,
just a quick swap.
Even though the 4 hp kicker is ready to go,
I'll compile an emergency tool kit for sure.
Jumper cables would have got me home.
This story needed an update!
The problem wasn't the starter
It did fix the problem temporarily,
but after a few test starts,
back to the dreaded clicks.
Dang it.
I'll admit that part of the day 
I considered swapping to the clean yamaha 90 hp.
But who would buy this 50 that won't start?
I had popped open the original starter,
and was surprised to see this brush layout.
Way easier to clean and put together.
Why don't all starters and generators look like this?
After jiggling most all the wires,
I decided to change the solenoid,
since that was the clicking sound.
Also giving me the chance to clean underneath.
It gave me two starts,
then click...click...
Time for the 34-watt bulb.
Jake helped flick the console switch,
while I diagnosed back by the motor.
Guess what?
In two bumps,
he noticed an arc,
on of all things the battery ground.
If you look closely,
you'll see I had shined up the cable connection,
but somehow the main connection had glitched.
Holey chit...
I did remove the ground when replacing the solenoid.
At least I fixed some possible future problems!

27 August 2015

Sloppy's Hauler

I've been a van guy for years,
either VW buses or ford vans.
The enclosed area is secure,
one of the excuses for hauling 
a couple hundred pounds of random junk,
months after a project is finished.
Vans are easy to haul around family,
friends and in the old days a dog or two.
We did have a little Mazda b2200 for a year,
but a neighbor snatched it up in a weak moment.
When the van crapped out months back,
a friend Sloppy offered up his truck,
a beat extra-cab lowered Toyota.
 didn't seize the opportunity quickly,
and the van was running by the time he dropped it off.
I had driven in it before,
and there's a definite difference between
A 200+K mile one ton van,
and a 200+K mile mini truck,
some positive and some negative.
Well after 500 miles,
I can see why people love these little haulers.
And I didn't realize we moved around so much crap!
The gas savings alone is convenient,
as 2 gallons can last a couple days,
instead of maybe one day.
Even the kids have gotten on the bandwagon.
Jaxon is considering this or a similar one
as his first car.
It's funny even as rusty as it is,
there are guys that comment on this thing all the time.
Maybe it's the fancy wire wheels.
One thing we haven't loaded yet,
is a lawn-mower.
Thanks Sloppy!

26 August 2015

crunch time - sharp engineering's 30 sedan

Ventura Nationals 2015 is coming up next weekend, 
a perfect deadline for a hot rod builder.
It's fun watching another's methods,
how they prioritize each part of the project.
Which is more important,
getting it running,
or making it look like the picture in your head?
In hot rodding that's a 50-50.
Working on a cool looking car is the perfect catalyst,
other than a fat wad of cash.
Jason spent a weekend chopping his model A sedan.
And another couple days 
shoehorning in this 1940 chevy dash.
And another day smoothing out the chop lines,
than adding some color.
Now it's crunch time.
Only a few days left.
Wiring, brakes, steering, engine running...
Ya think,
Dang, what why didn't I do this last week?
Let's see if he makes it!
Anyone want to make a bet?

25 August 2015

Whaler Resto - pt xi - low budget rub rail

We've been lucky to get the Whaler on the water for summer.
Luckier if we could use it more than once a week!
We saw the B-52's play a while back.
The Humphrey's flotilla was packed.
We had a fun time,
but we did have a little issue.
Since we were packed in tight like sardines,
the whaler was like a barge.
Boats tied up to us and vice versa.
With no rub rail or bumpers,
we used life jackets and strategic lashing.
A headache for sure.
My dream was to whittle out mahogany rails,
and coat with the matching varnish.
The corners possibly laminated curves like a skateboard.
That would be a quick project!
Our old whaler's new owner had made a ramming push bumper on his.
Other than the shape,
and the massiveness of the dock bumpers,
I thought it was a cool idea.
We've got enough mahogany!
In actual use,
watching the rails get bashed by docks and other boats,
would be torture.
The original and aftermarket rail is an extruded aluminum,
with a white or black rubber insert,
or a single beefy L-shaped piece of rubber.
If it wasn't for the $350+ shipping price tag,
I'd consider those options.
The hull and trailer were almost that much!
What about rope?
Usually used on ancient mariner type craft...
And this ultra high-end looking yacht.
By chance,
the shop guys were tossing the perfect stretch of line.
Might as well try it!
The molded rail was wide enough for a double stack.
Here's it is, 
the "how to install a rope rub rail on a boston whaler"
The first layer was glued and taped.
With Jake's finesse,
the bow and spot light wires were tucked inbetween...
Both boys helped glue on the second strip.
With 6 hands and a mile of tape,
it was easy.
This project relied on a special adhesive,
3M 5200,
which takes a day to set,
and 7 days to cure.
This was a 3-day job!
The interesting thing about this stuff,
is it doesn't dry from the sun,
but from the moisture in the air.
Which is perfect for the 34-watt bulb application.
The final touch was filling in the cracks,
creating a solid chunk of plastic and hemp.
I don't want to be the one to take this off!
Definitely more of a utilitarian work boat rail,
especially using the beat up piece of line.
Not your typical yacht club whaler!
It's a little pirate funky,
similar to an old fire hose.
We'll see how it fares over time.
The 17 ft whaler hull sucked up 3 tubes of 5200,
about $60.
Way better then the $400 + glue and screws the rubber would have taken.
This justified springing for the $100+ 4 hp kicker.
You like that school of reasoning!?
It had been one of the concerns,
getting stuck paddling against the current.
The extension allows the little outboard 
to be tucked in to the transom cutout,
instead of dangling on the edge.
A mini-bracket possible in the future.
Now to get in the water!