Sunday, October 30, 2011

Parade of failure

We went for a long sail yesterday with Jeff and Co. on Gail Force.  It was a romping good sail until late in the afternoon when Jeff was forced to fire up his engine to bring us home.  Speaking of engines...

Deb did a lot of research this weekend piecing together parts of Kintala's history and trying to figure out how we ended up where we are in spite of our best efforts; badly broken boat, falling behind schedule, and struggling to figure out how to pay for it all.  She got a lot more done this weekend than did I, though I did manage to unbolt the mount plate from the old tranny and bolt on the new one.

"There," I thought to myself with the last bolt snugged up, "the tranny is ready to least we are making a little progress."

Not so fast, Buckwheat.  Something went bad somewhere that started this whole cascade of shattered metal bits, and Deb pointed me to the right place based on something she had read on failed V-drives...engine mounts.

The moment she said it all the pieces fell into place.  And, since there are a lot of big parts already removed, I could get a pretty good look at the starboard side forward engine mount - which is totally and completely hammered.  You know how old, really old, really old and used up rubber gets, brittle like cheap plastic, chunks breaking off with black dust spread around here and there?  It would be nice if the engine mounts on Kintala looked that good.

Here is what my survey says about engine mounts:  "...the engine mounts are in good condition securely attached to the longitudinal stringers..."  Just to add insult to injury, here is the comment from the mechanical inspection: "V-drive fluid/oil - Level, Color,  Smell - ACCEPTABLE, Signs of debris, NONE"

Here is where we stand.  The engine mounts are toast; installing a new tranny and V-drive would be a complete waste of time and $$.  New mounts go in first.  Next will be a new damper plate, since the tranny warranty is void without one.  Then (Buckwheat) the tranny can go on.  The V-drive goes in last and all I have to do then is figure out how to line all this stuff up so the shaft runs true.

Moral of the story?  The next time you get a survey or mechanical inspection done on a boat make sure someone looks at the engine mounts.  Better yet, do it yourself.  If they don't look freaking perfect get a big, big chunk knocked off the going-in price or walk away and don't look back.  Your bank account will thank you.

My gift to charge.

p.s.  To be fair an item on the the mechanical inspection "repair" list included replacing the engine mounts.  When I asked why, given that the survey explicitly stated that they were in good condition, I was told the adjustment studs were corroded and it would difficult to alien the shaft next time that was needed.  That same list included repairing the engine pre-heat system which, in fact, works perfectly.  The mechanic doing the inspection didn't know how to use it.


S/V Veranda said...

I know you think your boat situation sucks right about now but at least you're getting all this cleared up before you leave. We did all that same stuff while we were living aboard and surrounded by all of our crap....

TJ said...

More than anything I hate being played for a fool; but the gang in Chicago sure got the best of me on this deal. Nomad was small and underpowered and we didn't think we could live on her long term. But she could have headed out into big water if we had decided that was the only way we could get there. Kintala can't even get off the pier on our tiny, inland lake - and that is making for the giant sucking sound around here. But you are right, it can always suck worse.

Bill K said...

I know this is WAY to late, but for what it's worth.

When I was looking for the boat I have now I called my boat insurance company ( Boat US ) and asked them for recommendations for a surveyor.

Look on the bright side tim, at least you don't have two big v8's with two turbo chargers on each engine like I do.

I have had to change two out of the four so far at $1000 each. :((

Bill Kelleher

Anonymous said...

Tim, When I got 7c's I dropped her in the water in Pensacola and attempted to motor to Orange Beach. Just a few miles out into the bay the starboard engine went up in smoke. I shut it down, and pressed on with 1 engine. Steerage from the lower salon...negative ghost rider! There I was circling around in Pens. Bay directly in front of the Navy base. call me scared. I eventually limped her to OB on the port motor and steering from topside. Many Many Boat Units later, the motor fixed, the tranny goes out, insert explicatives. We get it all fixed, OIL SPILL. I've yet to take my 3 yr (1985) old boat fishing properly. But! I got a boat and broken or not, it still works as a camper with a view of the Gulf. Some times I wonder, should I switch to sail, or just motor slowly and with the tides, find one of those perfect anchorages and begin growing coral stalagtites!