Monday, July 23, 2012

Generating Frustration

Now that the lift muffler has finally arrived, we asked the yard to pull our new engine back out again so that we can get to installing the rest of the components of the engine.   First we bolted down the lift muffler by screwing down squares of cutting board material onto our wooden stringers and attaching the lip of the muffler to these squares.   We then started to route the 3" exhaust hose through the boat to the stern where it would meet with a gooseneck and out the engine exhaust through hull.  Of course, when we tried to do this, we realized that the new hose would not fit.  Problem was, because our new hose is a good 1/2" around in diameter larger than our old hose, we weren't able to fit it through at the narrowest spot. We discovered this by taping a rope to the end of the 20' hose, while one person hung upside down in the "clubhouse" pulling the end of the rope, the other person pushed the hose through on the other side.  While we were doing this, we got to a point where it just would not budge.  We pulled, pushed, and yanked and since it was in the bilge under our floorboards, we could not see what it was getting stuck on.  After a frustrating 15 minutes, we decided to stick a camera under the floors and took a photo of the area so we could see what the problem was.  One look at the photo, and we saw that the damn hose was not going to fit.

Lift muffler finally in!

Of course, the narrowest spot happened to be directly under our generator, an inaccessible part of the boat, and in order for the 3" hose to fit through; we would have to remove the generator and either cut away the shelf wall that it sat on or figure out a way to circumvent this narrow space.   Either way, the damn 400 lb generator had to come out!  As usual, I was in utter denial (when am I ever going to learn?) that this was the case.  I just couldn't believe that we were having yet another one of those "boat jokes" played on us, so of course, I stubbornly tried to jam the hose from the stern of the boat and  feed it from our lazarette.  Frank had told me this was not going to work, and after 3 hours of hanging upside down and sweating and cursing in the clubhouse, I conceded that it was not going to fit.  No matter how hard I tried, no amount of wishing was going to get that thing in without moving the generator!  Frank was right, but my stubbornness blinded me, and I learned my lesson the hard way.  After climbing out with scratches, bruised arms, and a bruised ego, I discovered that the hose that I had jammed half way through was stuck between the lazarette and steering quadrant!!  So another hour wasted, hanging upside down and feeding the hose back out inch by inch all the while cursing Frank for being so pragmatic.  Grrrr.....

After this fiasco, we (or should I say I) came to terms with the fact that we had to figure out a way to get the generator out.  This was not going to be an easy ordeal...We had decided a while ago that we were going to sell it as the space that it sat in made servicing the engine next to impossible.  If you were able stick your hand between the wall and the generator, you had a about 2cm of space of either side.  This meant that it had to be removed from the space just to change the oil, a ridiculous idea as it is a 400 lb beast.  

The next day, when I was at work, Frank decided that he was going to tackle removing the generator by himself.  He had spent the night before removing all the bolts and screws securing it to the floor of the "generator room" to prepare for this task.  I don't know how he figured it out, I think perhaps in his sleep, but he had devised a plan where he was going to take a crowbar, lift the generator up off the shelf, and from there, put it onto wooden blocks.  Then somehow he was going to create a ramp (as the shelf was about 5" off the floor), where it would come down off of and onto a plywood board with 2 2' long 3/4" PVC pipes that would act as "wheels" and simply roll it into our living room.  From there, it would be lifted out via crane by our yard through our butterfly hatch.  Imagine my surprise when I received his text at work with photos of the generator out.  I couldn't believe he did it on his own, and I'm so proud that he macgyvered his way out of what seemed an impossible solo task.  I'm truly impressed and wish that I could be half as resourceful as him.  Instead, I have a slew of bruises covering my arms, proving that not only am I not resourceful, but hard-headed as well :(


The empty generator room
PVC "rollers"

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