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Monday, October 24, 2011

Exhaust and Engine Cooling

Lots of engine room work has been completed over the last few weeks. We fabricated a nice little header tank for the coolant that includes a level gauge/alarm that will ring to the wheelhouse if coolant is low. Most of the cooling system plumbing is completed and, with the exception of a few last bits and pieces, we are almost ready to fill the system with water for the upcoming engine run. We also completed the exhaust system including some very nice exhaust blankets that our friend Forest made for us. These will reduce the heat coming off of our dry stack exhaust system significantly and should also help quiet things down when we are running. If you are looking for exhaust lagging or blanket work, drop me a line and I'll put you in touch with Forest. As you can see, he does nice work.

Since our little Cummins engine came out of a truck, there has been a lot of design and fabrication necessary to adapt it for our use on the boat. In the long run if you count all my time I have into it, it might well be cheaper to just buy a marinized plug and play version this engine but, having more time than money and enjoying the challenge, this process has worked for me. I also like some of the design features and solutions that we have been able to build into the install vs. what you get from the factory. Control cables for shifting and throttle are now hooked up using some custom brackets that Sam and I made last weekend. Now we just need to do a little oil pan plumbing (for a level gauge w/ hi-low level alarm), some minor electrical (no electronic controls on these old 12 valve 6bts), hook up fuel lines to the filter, fill up on fluids, put some diesel in the day tank... and we'll be ready for a test run.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Engine Plumbing, Etc.

Just realized that I haven't posted in almost three weeks. Been very busy with work. A trip to Seattle to visit one of the Baylink Ferries in the shipyard, a big dredging project at our main ferry terminal, and lots of other work related type stuff has kept me very busy lately and the month has just flown by... Most of my efforts with our new boat lately have been focused on projects to get the engine/propulsion ready to run. Unfortunately a lot of this involves design, fabrication, and installation that is very time consuming and not particularly interesting to photograph or talk about. This kind of stuff really is the heart of the boat though, and will be key to the reliability and safety of the boat down the line. So, heres some pics of some projects I've been wrestling with (literally in some cases): finishing the main fuel fill and vent plumbing, designing our keel cooling circuit and fabricating the plumbing for that, and final mounting for isolation transformer for shore power. Next week, we plan on removing the exhaust system (currently tacked and hung in place temporarily) and completing the final welding and hanger installation on the pipe work and silencer. A lot of work goes into the drystack exhaust design and installation up front, but this should pay off in low maintenance (compared to wet exhaust) in the future.