Thursday, August 5, 2010

Bilge Paint and Bearings

Spent a day doing our last big painting chore: painting all bilges up to the waterline with Amerlock epoxy. This is a tough, gloss finish epoxy that should hold up well in the bilges. We also used this paint in the engine room but because of all the piping and framing in there, we had to roll and brush that area. For the rest of the bilges, we set up the airless spray rig. The set up and prep took most of the day but once we got the sprayer dialed in it went very fast. We did the whole boat (5 gallons) in about an hour. There is still some detail painting to do, but the big jobs are done now. Next on the list was installing all the bearings (shaft and rudder upper and lower). The ID (inside diameter) of the schedule 120 pipe that we used for the shaft and rudder tube was pretty close to what we needed, but we had to do some "fine tuning" with a honing rig to get the pipe trued up to the exact dimension for the bearings. This is the same tool that is used for honing engine cylinders and it worked very well for this application too. I had previously drilled and tapped for set screws and all the bearings installed very nicely with a little smear of red hand epoxy to insure that they were bedded properly. With the help of a few engineers, the shaft slid into place as planned. In the engine room, I am using a dripless seal system made by Tides Marine. This is a lip seal type and has worked flawlessly for many years on our current boat. I'll install a couple of spare seals on the shaft before the flange goes on so that we can change out the seal in the water if necessary in the future.

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