Saturday, January 28, 2012

Finished, but not wet...

     Accept for cleaning out the bilge, the new dripless shaft bearing project is complete, but Zeta is not back in the water.  We are holding off because the ship that is going to transport her is not in place, and it looks like it will not be until after the 10th of February.

     A separate pump, that operates when the main engine ignition is on, was put in line with the water intake that lubricates the bearing so that there is always a positive water pressure.  One nice feature of the new system is that there are two back up seals already in place in case the original one goes out.  A new one can be installed while underway when the vessel is in the water.

     We are driving the "bat mobile", our marine transportation vehicle, back to Arizona while we wait word as to the expected date of departure for shipping "Zeta" ... g

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Anchor's Away....

     Still in the Stuart boat yard.  The dripless bearing project is going slow.  Today we spent $150 on a "nut"!  The piece that is used to keep the transmission coupling on the shaft used a special four prong tool that did not come with the vessel.  This was evident by the fact that it was previously tighten using the punch and hammer method.  So to make it more professional for this project, and easier the next time around, we had the piece machined to accept  a 1 7/8 inch socket.

     Hopefully this project will be completed tomorrow.

     Rolled out the anchor chain to verify the length and mark it in 50 ft sections.  For now to make it look a bit more ship shape, and easier to see on the bottom, I cleaned off the rust and put on a coat of paint.

     We are looking forward to getting her back in the water and on our way... g


Friday, January 20, 2012

In and Out....

     Well that did not go well!  The prop worked fine.  The zinc collar went on fine.  The engine started right up (but the generator start battery was dead, the vessel did not have shore power for the last three months).  BUT then after I motored over to a slip, where we where to spend the night, I went down below and checked the dripless bearing.  It was not acting dripless.  As a mater of fact it had a steady flow of water  from the shaft log.

    After some banging on the check valves,  I was able to get the bilge pump system to actually pump the water overboard.  That relieved a bit of anxiety.  I then went to work on the bearing problem.  With a bit of help from American Custom Yachts it was determined that the ceramic surface on the bearing had gotten gummed up and could not be made to seat correctly.  Thus the water still flowed, slower, but not a good situation.

    It became a pay me now or pay me later situation.  Rather then try to deal with it in Ensenada, Mexico (which has become another story) we decided to take her back out of the water, pull the shaft and put a new system in.

    So here we are again, high and dry in Stuart, Florida!

    In the mean time, the ship that was suppose to transport Zeta is stuck in Houston with an engine problem.  The dollars flow, but we are not moving very far forward on the journey.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

We are here!!

We are back in Stuart. Zeta is a bit on the dirty side, but she has weathered well. The aft bilge has a very small puddle of water. All of the others are dry. Snugged up the hose clamps on the drippless bearing in hope that it will stop the drip. Will put a plastic container under the shaft in case this does not work.

The prop is just about back on. Had to hunt down a metric SS Allen bolt to replace the one that was broken off in the prop hub (it keeps the shaft nut from backing off). It was suggested to add a zinc to the shaft to help make sure there is no pitting on the prop or shaft.

There is always more to do, and we may end up with more time to complete a few more projects. We still do not have a firm date or place from which Zeta is going to be shipped to Esenada, Mexico. Tomorrow, tomorrow ... That is what we have heard for a couple of weeks.

Till tomorrow... g

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Getting Closer, but Frustrated!

     We are getting closer to "shipping" Zeta to the west coast, Ensenada, Mexico.  The frustration level has gotten higher in that we still do not have an exact date, nor a ship that she is going on or if we can ride along with her.

     In the mean time it was decided to have the prop looked at before we headed into foreign waters. After some research I contacted Bobby Soles Propeller.  They have been very helpful and after listening to my concerns provided some avenues that should increase the cruise speed and alleviate the hull thumping that occurs as the throttle approaches full rpm.

       So right now Zeta is prop-less, but should be ready to go about January 18th.  We are anticipating putting her back in the water on Friday, January 20th, then start heading back to Palm Beach (or Fort Lauderdale) to have her put on the ship going to the west coast.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Zinc or sink .....

    Zinc's, such a simple part of your vessel, or so you would think!

    We are in the process of refinishing the bottom of "Zeta", and in doing so decided to replace the weld on zincs with bolt on (they could then be replaced while the vessel is in the water).  Now one would think that you simply remove the old, and replace them with new (after a about 24 studs are welded in place).  Not the case, at least not that simple.

    It has been two weeks now.  I have been on the internet, read a few books on the subject, spoke with multiple suppliers, the builder of the Duck, and had a conversation with the surveyor on the subject.  All the "expert's" have different idea's or approaches to the subject.

    A lot of good idea's.  Use slotted bolt on's rather then a fixed hole diameter so that the studs do not have to be 100% square and spaced exactly.  Use or do not use aluminum as the anode.

    So to date the best I have is ….. Stick with Zinc as the metal because it is "the" standard and easy to find (though aluminum will last longer and is more active).  Per the builder, bolt on's will work, but leave the zinc's in the positions where they are.  A few articles stated that over protection can cause the paint to blister, but other sources say you would have to sink the vessel with zinc's before it became a problem.

    The final decision is still not made … only a twenty day's to go before we have to have the anode's in hand.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Let the New Year roll in and here comes a new adventure....

     Happy New Year to all!  At the end of January we will start on a new adventure with our Diesel Duck "Zeta".  We have signed up with SevenStar Yacht Transport to move her from Florida to Ensenada, Mexico.  About a month ago we received an email from them with an offer to transport "Zeta" at a price, that when it comes down to the bottom line, we could not afford to not accept.
     We thought we where going to have more time to explore the east coast and the Caribbean, but with this offer we would about break even financially and not put the wear and tear on the vessel.  What we will miss is the adventure of taken her ourselves through the Panama Canal.
     With some luck, but we will not know until about a week before, we will get to ride along with our "Duck" as she is transported westward.

     By moving  her on board a ship we will not have to dismantle her spar and antenna's.  This alone will save us both cost and time.  Hopefully we will not have an incident like a friend of mine emailed me the other day.  The youtube is of an unloading in Dubai.   It speaks for itself!