Boat improvements and repairs

Chris Van Vuuren
Posted July 9 2017

I have recently moved to stink boat after 37 years competition yachting ( deckhand , winch , trimmer , ) also racing Thundercats , building a twin 200!  Tunnel hull 21 ft Liberator  my empathy for boat owners is squared upwards. Due to health reasons I was off work after I bought a boat 32 ft Diesel fuel in Queensland . I have no idea how anybody working could ever get honest service while they are not present . I had the the boat surveyed before purchase but miraculously shower , basin , hot water does not work now . Radar is U.S. O.k. I get it . Old boat, poo happens . The diesel also got to be a milkshake after truck transport . 

Now before I whinge too much , I bought a nice little pump for     the tank . Now I have 150 litres of fuel I can't get rid of . I built two hatches , one on deck and one on the fuel tank for about  $120 in parts . The tank hatch is a beautiful stainless piece that I used a technique I learnt on bicycles fitting an engine and rear cogs . You cut the inner ring solid seal in half to get it in the tank. Now I could sandwich the rubber seal between solid inside ring  and the inspection hatch. This little process had a quote of $ 2500 from diesel cleaner and Shipright. I cleaned the tank with a cloth and the so called sludge I was promised was nowhere to be found. 

May I add that it amazes me how a boat with 300 litres of diesel fuel can have so many corroded outside metal  fittings and cables  unlubricated ! 

I have spent hours of  enjoyable hours adding and modifying fittings to my taste . I think the Maritime system of swapping my old crappy life jackets for self inflating yokes was a pearle. It may behove our fellow boaties to remember that a yoke with no crutch strap and strong screw shackle is a potential risk. 

In the fatal  Fastnet race exhausted sailors fell out of the life jackets getting winched in to choppers . Also a c-shackle can twist open if you fall overboard and hook up for retrieval . It's amazing how exhausting it is . It is also important if you hoist somebody into your boat to simply cross your arms. The refugee gets lifted and lands on their bum on the rail or Marlin board . Next as far as tooling goes a little spray paint on metal tools helps prevent rust and corrosion.  I find 4x 4 superstores have some nice goodies often in s/s or ally.  LED lighting strips . I prefer the solid more costly bars . They have many configuration options . The flex have very light shitty wires and joins. I am a sucker for cigarette sockets . Buy quality plugs that have solid wire screws , good fuses . You can then flip circuits and usb,s on and off knowing if something is suspicious you pull the plug .  For awnings and sunshades , non slip floors and kitchen utensils you can't beat  4x4 . Use your imagination with S/S piping in rod holders and quality bungee chords , tent guy ropes , and cargo netting (catamaran bow nets ) hammocks . Use disposable gas cannisters on heaters , stoves , and have gas lighting if batteries kark it . 

I know Elon Musk is a genius but I have almost had my head blown off by an exploding Lipo . They are so handy for quick lightweight power . I use remote control toy 18v to power all sorts of 12v gadgets  Be careful with chargers .  There is no substitute for an inline pump to get into  tight wet holes hard to reach with a thin splinted hose . Make sure the pump is robust , easy to get to the impeller and self priming . If not , a  petrol line bulb is good . Just make sure the pump doesn't  empty it faster than you can squeeze . Also an easy way to start a syphon .

My other use of off the envelope shopping is a big truck supply company . Diesel filters , (with bleed valves and water Windows ) turbos , inter coolers , etc   Why not mount an intercooler under your Marlin board for extra power.  Compression testers . Note that diesel injectors are no different in trucks . They cost a fortune to replace . Send them to reconditioners that spray test and measure in micro mm. Also don't forget Jaycar. Wonderful for switches , relays , solenoids , all sorts of solar and security devices .  

With our marvellous  free trade agreements I have bought S/S props from Propshop , jack plates , steering systems , even rubstrake , and engine blocks, from US dealers . Look at Pirhana props if you boat near rocks . You simply replace the plastic blades. They don't muck you about with out of stock sobstories . One week it's on your doorstep . 

My current mission is FLIR .  I don't want to get my props foiled with fish traps and invisible obstacles . Found a nice system on Ali Baba . Watch this space . 

8 people found this helpful. Do you?Thank Chris Van Vuuren


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John Storey
Posted July 13 2017
3 people found this helpful. Do you?Thank John Storey

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