Thursday, July 30, 2009

keel on blocks

The keel is now on blocks and all the welding on the interior of the keel is in progress. Top photo shows Jesus, one of the best welders in the business, and his assistant Jose in the "welding shack". Jesus is the one on the phone... no doubt talking about something very important. The slot you see in the back of the keel in the bottom picture, is for the stern tube which should be arriving early next week. This will be a heavy duty (4.5"OD, schedule 160, 1/2" wall) steel pipe that the shaft runs through from the engine room back to the propeller. Lots on my mind these days as the boat goes together. Sometime in the next month or so, I have to get the propulsion system completed. I found a 5.9 Cummins diesel from a wrecked dodge truck that will be our main engine. It has very low miles and ran great on the test stand. Just needs some minor modifications to be made suitable for our use on the boat. I'll be headed down to Southern California later in august to pickup a heavy duty deep case gearbox, and to pick some parts off a Cummins marine engine that is being parted out down there. Also have the stock for the propeller and rudder shaft (21 foot section of 2.5" aquamet 17) and will need to get some machine work done on that soon so its all set to assemble with the engine/gear/and propeller when the time comes to install everything. 

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