3095Hrs – Engine Room Challenges
I was at the barn for a good spell yesterday but as far as boat work went I just spent a couple of hours with the paint brush touching up and finishing areas I hadn’t been able to reach previously.
The rest of the day was spent on a much needed workshop clean up.
So today I started afresh with the engine boxes. I’d pre-cut a lot of the pieces some time back so I had to sit down with the plans again to remind myself what went where. These boxes are quite complicated and not only do they have to fit between the cross beams but also line up with the lugs that hold them in place. I had a suspicion the job wasn’t going to be straightforward and so it proved.
So as to be clear where everything went I started dry assembling the pieces with temporary screws taking my time checking and measuring as I went. The boxes are handed with one side slightly higher than the other so I had to pay attention.
Despite my best efforts I couldn’t find the right position for one of the internal partitions between the battery box and the fuel container box and it took me ages to realise why. There’s an error in the plans showing the dimensions for the main part of the engine box floor. The length is written as 760mm but when measured with a scale rule it’s actually 980mm and I’d cut it to the written measurement. Annoying not only because of the time wasted but also because of the expensive 12mm ply used.
Once I’d realised the error and cut a new floor the box came together quite quickly.
My next challenge was to offer it into position so that I could check everything lined up OK. Working alone you sometimes have to be a bit creative to get things done and this time my creativity involved two trestles, an old door and ten pieces of redundant polystyrene insulation.
Using these I was able to gradually lift the already quite heavy engine box a bit at a time into its rough position. Immediately I could see that the holes which take the 15mm stainless steel rod supports weren’t lining up and that the aft end of the box was a bit too tight between the support lugs.
By the time I’d got the box into this position I was knackered and getting a bit stressed so I decided to look at it fresh tomorrow.
In retrospect I was foolish to pre-drill the support rod holes because there was next to zero chance they were going to line up, there’s far to much variance in the cross beam positions.
I’m just glad I decided to go through this pre-fit exercise prior to epoxying and glassing everything because at least I have opportunity to adjust things.
Hopefully the diagram below will go some way to clarifying all the above!
Here’s another view of the engine box from above: