Tag Archives: engine room

Brochures for the abnormal boat buyer…

The other day I was looking at some new boat brochures.

No, don’t panic! Don’t think that I’m even considering letting go of my beloved Annabel Lee for something sleek, glossy, and modern. That’s just not happening, especially now that the great deck re-coring is nearing the end. (For real, dear readers! But that’s another post for another day.) No, it was more a case of morbid curiosity. In my eyes these newer boats, with their sloping bows, asymmetrical salon windows and roll-bar radar arches, all seem to look alike, and I’d always wondered what sort of interior lurked inside one of these shiny new vessels.

Well, for the most part it was pretty much as I expected. Page after page of brochure showed nicely dressed beautiful couples and smiling families enjoying perfect weather as their boats skimmed across smooth water. Sunsets, tranquil anchorages, all in the comfort of beautifully spacious cabins. Everything inside is equally as sleek and modern, with sweeping curves designed to maximize every inch of cabin space per foot. More photos showed décor options and extras. Upholstery choices. Comfort groups. Even fitted sheets. Yes, fitted sheets were an available option. But as I reached the last page, there wasn’t a single picture of the one thing I really wanted to see – the engine room.

Apparently, I was told, engines weren’t something the normal boat buyer wants to see. No. Engines, it seems, are low on the list of concerns with a prospective customer making that all important boat buying decision. Fitted sheets, yes. Engines, not so much. It turns out, there are actual study groups, with actual normal boat buyers, (oddly enough, I wasn’t invited,)  to determine what it is new boat owners are looking for in a new boat, and these brochures are the direct result of these studies.

So there you have it. It’s no surprise to learn I’m not exactly a normal boat buyer. Which, I suppose, is a good thing. Otherwise, brochures would have pages of dirty, itchy people, sweating away in paint and epoxy stained clothing, surrounded by power tools and scraps of lumber, rolls of fiberglass and resin. Photos would show core construction, accessibility of fuel lines, detailed diagrams of hydraulic steering systems, and engine rooms galore! No fitted sheets, though. I’m not saying they wouldn’t be nice – just that they’re waaaaay down on my list of priorities, boat-wise.

Come to think about it, I’m starting to see the reasoning behind these new boat brochures.

Transmission, transformed…

From this…
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to this…
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followed by some heavy duty cleaning…
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disassembly…
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soaking, cleaning, and, for some areas, sandblasting, (other parts included)…

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followed by new seals, bearings, and very careful reassembly, and a few coats of primer…
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and finally a nice coat or three of classic Ford red…
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No more rusty, oily, leaky tranny. The transmission is all set to go back into the engine room, along with new motor mounts, hoses, lines, belts, filters, and more. More leaks banished, and best of all, the engine room will SPARKLE!

Today’s Agenda…

Engine room must sparkle! (Click on the text for a very funny comic. The entire piece is brilliant, but scroll down to the sixth panel for the reference here.)

For those of you who may be wondering, there’s a reason behind those cryptic and occasionally changing pictures I’ve been posting of my very dirty engine. Online photos aid in conversations with very nice and extremely helpful folks over at American Diesel Corp. For anyone with a Lehman, these are good people to know. And I’ll admit, at present the engine is not a pretty sight. But there are brighter days ahead! Parts are coming off, the bad stuff is being replaced and the good will be cleaned and repainted. When it all goes back together, everything is going to be shiny, in oh so many ways. Missing from the picture below but on the way, cans of white bilge-coat.

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Let’s call these the ‘before’ pictures…

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Gauge sending unit for temp…

An ‘exhausting’ day!

So here’s the logic. If you’re going to replace the motor mounts, it’s easier to do with the transmission removed, especially when the rear seal appears to be leaking. And it’s easier to remove the transmission with the exhaust removed, when the exhaust runs directly above the transmission. Therefore, today we removed the exhaust.

The more parts we remove, the roomier the engine room becomes!

My other office smells like an engine room…

In prep for the weekend I headed down to the boat bright and early this morning, all set to attack another section of the engine room. We’re going to replace the motor mounts, which will be somewhat simpler without this little thing called a transmission in the way. And considering the rear seal on the tranny has a slight but irritating leak… you know the drill. Anyhow, I wanted to get some things cleaned up and in place for this next exciting(?) phase, and I needed to drop the dogs off for their late summer shearing, (Rex was getting pretty shaggy again,) which is on the way, so I decided I might as well just hang out at the boat until the dogs were done. The simple truth is my muses like it down there; they respond well to a bit of manual labor and without internet it’s easier to stay focused. So I packed the laptop, some cola, pita chips and an apple.  What more could a writer ask for? (Other than perhaps the dinette table and a proper seat!)

It doesn’t look so bad from this angle!

So yes, I’ve had a very productive day so far, both in the bilge and at the keyboard. And the day’s far from over. It’s back to work… as soon as I wash up. It seems that diesel engine fragrance has followed me home.