Changeable weather

A couple more days of work were required to clean up and service the engine. I ran through the usual things on the engine, oil, fuel, and filters. The engine ran well but sounded a little loose under the rocker cover so I adjusted the valve clearances; which I don’t think had been touched since the engine was installed as I was breaking the paint seal as I removed the cover.

Partially blocked heat-exchanger stackI wasn’t 100% sure that the flow of water out of the exhaust was as copious as I expected so I decided to strip the heat-exchanger and found half the tubes full of calcification and various flora and fauna! It was a tedious job cleaning out all those little tubes but I’m glad that it’s done.

I have still not replaced the engine controller, mainly because of the weather and partially because I have been soaking it in WD40 to try and free up the throttle/shift lever which otherwise I am going to have to use force to remove. I’d like to take it apart gracefully so that I can restore it and keep the whole thing as a spare.

The partially blocked heat-exchanger stack


The first fitting for the new dodgerLast Friday a sheet of ply that I had ordered from Punta Arenas arrived and I was able to start work on restoring the dodger to a state where I can see out and where it will keep the worst of the waves off the companionway hatch whilst also providing somewhere to duck under for cover. It’s not going to be the prettiest dodger in the world but it will be functional and strong and will work until I replace it with a bigger shelter in the future.

Whatever the old dodger was made of has long since gone, all that remained was a rather bent sheet of ply on the forward face and the aluminium frame which is in good condition and will be painted and re-used.

The ply that you can see in the photo will have the corners rounded off and it will then be fibreglassed and painted before I bolt the whole thing securely to the frame. The windows will be 6mm Perspex. Apart from priming the frame I have not got any further with this little project as every time I start getting out the wood it starts to rain.

That rainy weather has forced me inside where I have done all sorts of jobs that have improved the living conditions in the interior. I’ve put cupboard doors on what used to be just a big deep shelf with a net over the front to keep the contents from escaping. The pots and pans locker has had the same treatment a few other off-cuts from the dodger project have found new homes as doors, shelves, a new top for the battery box etc..

Today was spent mostly with having a lazy Sunday but I did spend a bit of time rebuilding an old mast-head tri-colour navigation light with LED lights. That will save a lot of power over the course of a night as the old navigation light would have been a 25W bulb drawing a couple of Amps. The new LED one draws about one eight of that. I have added a LED anchor light to the top of the fixture too; which has a light sensor on it so that it automatically switches off when the sun rises.  The LED lamps came from a company called Bebi Electronics of Fiji, check them out their products are very well priced and fit for purpose.

Otherwise life in Puerto Williams goes on. Various friends from the charter yachts come and go as they go about their business and head off to exotic places. All that serves as motivation for me to keep working hard and to get the boat moving. Other people are also making repairs here across the dock Andres and Oscar are working hard to repair the engine of ‘Nemo of Sweden‘ and Wolf from ‘Santa Maria Australis‘ is building a new boom.

my friend Osvaldo of ‘PolarWind‘ is also preparing for a charter and I was able to help him out with a few IT gremlins, but I have borrowed his jigsaw so I owed him that at least. Greg and Keri of ‘Northanger‘ are here preparing for a trip to Antarctica and we had a very nice dinner on their boat last night.

The forecast is good for this week, well it should be less windy than it has been so fingers crossed that I make progress with the dodger and other work on deck.

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