That quote about no boat being free is certainly true. I'm still restoring a basket case 1975 Larson All American with an OMC
shift drive. Floor was rotten, and someone painted it with house paint
(latex too) but the hull is good and since the old OMC
drives aren't transom mounts, but engine
mount with a bellows boot, I don't have to worry that the transom wood essentially disappeared due to dry rot
..and it WILL out-turn any mercruiser or cobra drive system out there..period.
Unfortunately I loaned it to a now ex friend and he somehow stripped the starter ring gear
on the flywheel..so if anyone has an old OMC ford 302 flywheel in the 157 tooth 28 ounce variety, I'd buy it.
Anyway, I'm now looking for radar
systems on ebay, and it seems the older 24 mile range sets are relatively cheap..although with trawler
speeds, I'd be happier with a hundred mile range, but at least I'll have time to prepare for a dunking in the bermuda
I'm actually not thrilled with the GM 6.2 diesels either, but I have a set. I can pick up Yanmar
diesel motors all day long for a few hundred bucks from truck reefer units on trailers that have either rotted out or been totaled in an accident
. Those motors recieve GREAT care..do you think someone wants to pay for a 40k pound trailer of meat that rotted because their reefer pack died? I see them all the time on ebay cheap, and those motors would work since I have to build a closed cooling system anyway for salt water
use no matter what I decide to power it with. I even though about using a pair of 4v71 motors too, or something similar. My big issue is MPG..I want to cruise
at around six to eight knots and use around 2 liters per hour..one for each engine..but a gallon per hour would be ok since the tank is huge. I'm retired, so I have all the time in the world to get there, but a limited amount of $$ for fuel.
The nice thing about this old girl is that being nearly free, I'm not paying for someone else's mistakes
. I'd hate to think how I'd feel if I'd bought an old connie that looked great, but had hidden rot
, or bastardized wiring
. I always run wire that is TWICE the recommended amp rating. So if it was running 14 guage, I run 12 (and that is the LOWEST guage wire I'll use too) if it ran 12 originally, I use 10 guage, etc, and I run it in plastic conduit as well. Might not be pretty, but it is accessible and it won't fail. I also only use US NAVY
Marine Tinned copper wire. Plenty of the stuff available in the surplus market, and hey, if it lasted on a battleship for 80 years, I think the stuff will work on my boat (of course I'm not using 80 year old wire, but it hasn't changed much in that time..I do try to use oxygen free copper when I can too.)
I also make it a habit to rip out ALL the "residential" plumbing
and install the new PEX tubing, that can freeze and not hurt it. Can't take sharp corners as well, but it is damned near indestructible, it cannot corrode, and unlike schedule 40 pvc, it can't crack or separate joints under high pressure either. Can you tell I'm sold
on the stuff? I cut all the copper out of my house and used that for balusters on my porch rails..kinda cool with that weathered green look.
Anyway, So far, the recommended list after I actually see the boat and go thru her myself, checking engine compression
and leakdown, checking the hull for blisters
and damage, and replacing the packing in the prop shaft boxes and probably the cutlass bearings just to be safe, and doing a wiring
check which will include purposely blowing every circuit fuse to see exactly how much load each circuit will bear, and also to map out a wiring diagram. I'd much rather let some magic smoke out now, ashore than in a driving rain in the middle of the Bermuda
triangle, you know? After I have the wire harnesses mapped out in detail, and I check all the interior
stuff like lights, switches, outlets, the ac/dc converters and charge regulators, and I install the wind/solar battery
bank, and power up the fridge, and possibly install an rv style heat/ac unit, I can check the stove
, water pumps and holding tanks. Then I'd be ready for the survey after some serious scrubbing and buffing, which is what I had kids for in the first place.. Then check the fuel tanks (I'm sure they're full of turpentine by now anyway) and run the motors.
Now, the first REAL expenses start.
Survey-$400. Needed to get valuation for insurance
and major defects noted that I missed.
or Raytheon/Raymarine radar
system min 24 miles or 2kw dome - $400 or less.
Ideally I find something like a Lowrance LMS-350A Sonar/GPS unit that will use standard FOAA raster maps. The downside to the all in one unit is that I have a single
point of failure for both the GPS
and sonar systems, so I'll still use my handheld IPAQ Navman GPS
units (I have four NAVMAN SLEEVES and four Ipaq's as well, plus my HP 6515 with tomtom gps built in (european version 4 band cell phone
too) and I'd have to find a full set of paper charts
as well, and dig up my old sextant
and a sextant
bearing book..or whatever they call it. I learned a LONG time ago when I was learning
to fly in an Ercoupe (I WILL have one before I die, even if that plane is in pieces on my garage floor) that when the instruments all die and you're running on magneto power, knowing how to dead reckon navigate was a lifesaver. However, dead reckoning on the ocean when you're a newbie isn't very easy with no landmarks to go off of..so a sextant and charts
and that priceless book can locate me when no electronic device will work..and man, am I ever rusty on using my sextant..
Anyway, with radar and sonar out of the way and GPS at quadruple redundancy for positioning at least, I should be set aside from getting a chart table and the charts themselves.
Next is getting an oil
analysis done on the existing oil
before I change it all out..both drives and engines will get synthetic oil after I get the report on both drives and motors from the oil analysis folks. If the compression
and leakdown tests agree with the oil analysis, i fire the engines the first time after their fresh fluid changes and look for leaks
. By the time I've gotten that far I'll have designed the closed cooling system and figured out how to build the heat exchanger
system. I'm also thinking about using an air to water intercooler system for the engine intakes. With the engine bay being so hot, getting cool air to the engines is problematic. My idea is to simply use one of my spare air to water turbo intercoolers and not use the turbo. I'd just use a spare sur-flo pump
and tap off the raw water
cooling lines to feed the intercooler as well. The drop in intake air temps will give me a little more power and less chance of detonation under load, with no appreciable weight gain, as the intercoolers I have weigh less than the pumps do. (and they're already paid for). After doing that, and retuning the engines to their full potential, (and installing automotive style one wire HEI ignitions to both motors instead of the points systems, but keeping those distributors on board, totally rebuilt, as backups) I'll get the props teflon coated (or some other slickery coating), along with the rudders, and I'll tyr to find the slickest bottom coating I can find for less drag, which also improves fuel mileage. If everything goes right, I hope, with the original engines, to be able to putt along at 8-10 knots using 2 gallons per hour for each engine at around 1400 - 1800 RPM
. Does that sound reasonable?
All the raw water plumbing
will be done in copper with soldered joints and flex joints wherever I find any vibration, because I do NOT want any cracks in the raw water system while under way.. If I had a choice I'd find a way to remote
mount the radiators and use electric
fans to keep them cool, ducting them away over the stern of the boat or out the sides somehow.
Now the one spot I have NO experience in is bilge
pumps. How big, and how many and how to power them?
Any suggestions? Also where to mount them.
I want to be able to stay afloat with a foot diameter hole in the bottom of the boat.
Tell me what I'd need to do. If that is too conservative, let me know. From my experience with drunken friends ramming reefs
in the middle of the night when I was in my twenties, a foot wide hole seems to be about the average damage for konking something underwater, or a long gash, but it still adds up to a foot square hole. One reason I chose a pacemaker is their hulls are like double overkill and are incredibly strong.
Also, what emergency
supplies should I carry to PLUG
such a leak? I wasn't in the Navy
, so I have no clue what damage control parties usually have at their disposal other than some 2x4s and something resembling a pillow or mattress to slow the leak down.
All for now, and please, feel freee to slap me down if I'm talking out of my ass..or if I'm planning something really stupid in your eyes. I essentially am trying to make a bulletproof (maybe literally), highly efficient boat. I may even try converting it to diesel electric drive as well. A friend and I designed a sailboat that was nearly fuel free..I'll detail it in a write up later. I don't have pics, as they were lost
after he died from lung and brain cancer in 2003..seems my world went to **** that year..lost my best friend, wife started cheating..phoey.
He didn't patent anything, and I'll probaby give someone a million dollar idea..just be fair and cut me in for ten percent, ok?