Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Diesel Dreams

I get all choked up when I say this, but next week we will put down the deposit to have our brand new 16 horsepower, two-cylinder diesel engine built for our new old boat. Weep. Sniffle.

It's true. The Diesel Santa is coming to The Boatyard early this year, and he will leave a crate in the garage that has a brand new, custom built, red diesel engine inside of it. Realizing that the best time to do almost anything to a boat is when the engine is out of its little hole under the companionway, I have been frantically sanding, grinding, washing, and painting everything I can get to.

With the engine out, here is what we were faced with:

Gross. I let that sit there for a while and then in one full day push, I started in on the problem.

First, the prop shaft and stuffing box had to go. No small affair. Everything is bonded to everything else and nothing wants to move. I pounded away at that damn thing for the better part of a 90 degree day before finally tasting victory. After 30 years, everything was perfectly happy where it was.

Then I realized that the old battery "box" had to go. By box I mean rotting plywood platform that apparently served to hold a couple of leaky lead-acid batteries down. Here is what became of that:

That's a nice pile of crap ya got there. Thanks.

Once the old plywood was out, I had to take out the fiberglass tabbing that held that POS in place. Bring in the grinder. I love that thing.

But it does make a dusty mess of everything. Including the operator.

After several hours of grinding and sanding, I had an inch of dust on everything and a clogged up shop vac. What to do, what to do...Why not just drown it?

So off to the garden to get the hose. I washed down each cockpit locker and the engine compartment, sending my dust into the bilge, where it made a lovely mud. No worries. A heavy duty sump pump and some dredging work will take care of that.

Once the water had dried (2 minutes in the heat of the day) I gave everything a nice bath in acetone, sanded down a few rough spots, and got out the epoxy paint.

And when I left today, there was a nice bed just waiting for a new motor. Isn't it precious?


  1. Wow! Impressive transformation! The new engine will no doubt be happy in such a lovely resting place.

  2. Your picture looks like something out of Mad Max.

    This will be the little red engine that could?

  3. That could and WILL. As a previous owner of a temperamental and stubborn 20 year old diesel engine, I can't tell you how satisfying it will be to have a new, modern diesel pushing our little boat around.

  4. What kind of epoxy paint was used? Beautiful work.