Project: New Exhaust Elbow on DE45 Eolian

This project was submitted by Bob Salnick of DE45 Eolian This project is from the winter of 2004/2005

During the last months I had noticed that the amount of water being delivered out the exhaust pipe had been decreasing. (Water? Out the exhaust pipe? Read on.)

First, a brief lesson on marine engines… ours is ‘fresh water cooled’. That means that it is exactly like a car engine. Except that instead of an air-cooled radiator, we have a heat exchanger which is cooled with sea water. The engine coolant and the sea water do not mix, any more than the air and the engine coolant in a car mix – they are separated by the internal walls of the water-air heat exchanger (radiator) or water-water heat exchanger (marine engine). Once the sea water has picked up the waste heat from the engine, it is put to one final use: It is dumped into the exhaust gases to cool them so that high temperature plumbing is not required for the exhaust system. It exits with them. The injection point is at an elbow on the very end of the (water cooled) exhaust manifold.

I had cleaned the exhaust elbow once before by poking around inside it with a piece of wire – I am sure that I didn’t do a very good job, but I did get the water flowing again OK that time. This time, I decided to remove the elbow and acid pickle it to clean it completely.

It looked easy.

Tho the working space is very cramped, the elbow itself is not large, and it is held onto the exhaust manifold (painted blue in the picture) with only 4 nuts. Well, when I tried to […]

Bodhran: Things that work, by Jason Rose

As I’ve been spending the last 2 months repairing things that broke and improving things that bugged me while crossing the Pacific, I thought that I might reflect a bit on some modifications I made that really worked well. Here’s an incomplete list in no particular order:

Pin rails – The pin rails give Bodhran a salty appearance, but have also turned out to be incredibly handy. I originally built them to store the halyards while at the dock so that I wouldn’t have to bungee them away from the mast at night. The pinrails perform this task admirably, but also keep the mast free of clutter while sailing as well. When I installed my removable lazy jacks, I didn’t install cleats on the mast, instead they just get the second forward on each side. My running backstays when not in use attach to the aftermost pin. My foreguy for whisker pole attaches to the foreward most pin both when in use and while stowed. You get the idea.

The pinrails were fairly easy to build. First I got the bronze belaying pins from the Wooden Boat Foundation Chandlery. Then I took two mahogany 1x3s (teak would have been better) about 6 inches longer than the width of the lower shrouds where I wanted to attach them. I bolted them together and then drilled them out to accept the belaying pins. The I used a table saw to cut a 7/32” grove at an angle to match the shroud in one of the planks. Then just route the edges, slap some varnish on them and bolt them to the lower shrouds. The half without the groove compresses the wire into the grooved side to hold time in place. Chest high lifelines – Here’s an […]

A peak into the past on s/v Blue Sky

April 2006 The Puddle Jump

April 8th we finally left Puerto Vallarta.  Next stop the Marquesas Islands.  We were treated to quite a send off with a dolphin show that “Sea World” could not have produced.

Factor in that immediatly after the show, the fishing reel started to whine and Phoebe called it, fish on!  We had snaged a 65 pound marlin.  Phoebe had been requesting one our entire time in Mexico and here it is. Normally we would not keep a marlin but we had a minor mishap with our freezer. We defrosted the freezer prior to reloading it with weeks of prepared and frozen food.  The problem was that we forgot to turn the thermostat back up.  Thus Emma and her Mom’s week of provisioning, preparation and pre-hard freezing went to waste.  Thus the marlin was pure luck and we enjoyed every bite.A couple days later near the Socoro Islands, we were visited by the Mexican Navy.  The Captain requested to send a boarding party over to examine our “papers”  upon my respose that our papers are ready for his inspection, he kindly declined and wished us a pleasent voyage.

On our crossing we only saw two other ships.  One was a Chinese tanker coming from New Orleans via the Panama Canal on to Korea.  The other was a Chinese container ship coming from Austraila bound for Mexico. There were also a couple of Japanese long liner ships out for tuna, but the fear factor of a war ship or huge tanker/container ship vs. a fishing vessel is astronomical.

After the dolphin show and the Mexican Navy the Pacific Ocean did a strange thing. It turned into a placid lake. We were becalmed for nearly 6 days. The picture on the right […]

Second installment on Refinishing Windsongs Interior

I posted this on the Cruiser’s Forum to get some answers. I figure I’d post it here to see if any readers can offer an opinion:

In the process of restoring Windsong I have been taking home pieces of interior wood and trim to work on when I have time. All of the interior woodwork was stained with a dark reddish hue and didn’t appear to have much of a finish coat of varnish or anything. The woodwork is mostly teak with a few mahogany pieces.

For an example, here is a teak cabinet door and its trim taken from the v-berth. The lighting doesn’t show how dark and ugly the stain is, but you get the idea.

For each piece I clean the wood off then strip the old finish and stain with a chemical stripper. After stripping I sand the piece down to 220 grit all over and end up with some nice looking wood:

with a bigger cabinet door & trim:

My question now is what do I do next?

My current plan is to use Minwax Helmsman to finish, but am unsure about how to start. They recommend using the Minwax stains for a first coat and if I want to keep the color of the teak I assume use the “natural” stain. But there are a few areas where there are nicks and dings which will need to have wood filler applied before finishing. Will a stain be necessary for these patched ares to not stand out? Will this require me to stain all of the wood a darker color for uniformity?

Would a few thinned layers of the varnish do the same thing to seal and provide a base layer? Or would their brand of stain work best as a base […]

An expensive weekend, lessons learned: Running Aground by Erick on Windsong

I wanted to take my parents out to the boat for a post-Christmas sail this previous Saturday. They have seen and been on Windsong, but haven’t been out for a ride yet. I had been following the weather conditions for Saturday all week and it looked to be a great day for sailing with 15 knot winds out of the North. That would allow us to beam reach all the way out of the channel so we could start sailing before we even got to the final channel marker. The only issue I really saw was that it would be a chilly day (for us Floridians) with highs in the 50’s. High tide would be in the morning when we would head out, but we would have to come back at low tide. However, it would be a +1 foot low tide, which I was told would be deep enough for Windsong to make it through the river with.

I typically have gotten nervous when it comes to taking Windsong out, rightfully so I might add. I am still a rookie with this boat and particularly the area it is in. Especially after breaking down the first time I took her out, I can’t help get nervous. But this time I wasn’t worried about the engine or anything particular about the boat. I’ve tuned the engine and performed all needed maintenance on it and it worked like a charm the last outing. But something was eating away inside me the few days leading up to Saturday and I didn’t understand it. Some sort of premonition told me it we shouldn’t go, but I ignored it and attributed it to my normal nerves. I should have listened.

So we took the 3 hour ride from St. Augustine to Inglis with my […]