Thursday, July 08, 2010

The boat with no name

I'm utterly embarrassed at how out-of-date my blog has become. Seven months without an entry is pretty bad.

To pick up where I left off, I ended up in Paris twice in January for work, which slowed down progress on the Westerbeke. We were between a rock and a hard place with the marina situation. We had a new one lined up at the same rate we were currently paying, but they only accepted boats in working order -- in other words, we couldn't be towed over, we had to motor there under our own power. Paying one month of the new over-inflated month-to-month rate at the current marina was going to be more than the cost of a used outboard, but I just wasn't in town to do anything.

In the end, things worked out. Just before our lease was up, the marina called offering us a much more reasonable rate if we didn't leave, so we signed a deal for another year.

By the end of February, we called it quits on the Westerbeke. We had rebuilt the starter, rebuilt the injector pump, rebuilt the injectors, replaced the glow plug solenoid, lapped the valves, replaced the head gasket and made a slew of other various repairs to no avail. Even with a shot of ether, it wouldn't even kick like it was going to start. Since the Westerbeke 10-Two hadn't been manufactured since 1987, parts for a rebuild proved to be prohibitively expensive.

I set about looking at options for a repower with one thing in mind -- I wanted our next engine to still be manufactured with readily available, affordable parts. The answer presented itself in a salvage Phasor engine. The Phasor is a Kubota-based marinization very similar to a Beta Marine. The Phasor 2 cylinder, 13 hp diesel I procured is almost a twin of a Beta Z482. And the best part is, the Kubota Z482 engine is still being manufactured and is in wide use in a giant range of applications all over the world today.

Instead of rebuilding the Phasor we decided to just order a replacement Kubota Z482 and then moved the marinized parts, mounts and transmission over to the new motor. This worked remarkably well although we found none of our salvage gauges worked. We've had the boat running for over a month, and we're still waiting on a special order tachometer to come in. Do you know how hard it is to find a 4000 rpm Faria Chesapeake SS black face tachometer with hour meter for a mechanical or alternator sender? The ones with white faces or magnetic senders are a dime a dozen. Had we known this before purchasing our other gauges I guarantee they would have been white. Too late now, though. We have to match, and matching means we keep on waiting.

We ended up trading the old Westerbeke on craigslist for an even older but running British Seagull outboard. Briefly we had not only an inboard, but also a backup outboard. However, the Seagull stopped starting soon after we got it mounted, so it's now in the garage waiting to be pulled apart.

Long story short, the Starwind is now fully mobile, and we've spent the last four or five weekends sailing around Kemah. We haven't attempted the six hour trip down to Galveston yet, but I have a feeling that could happen this weekend or next.

After a year of non-stop work on the weekends, it's nice to sit back and enjoy the fruits of my labor. Now comes the important part -- we need a name. Ben and I can't seem to agree on anything. The name is pretty important though because we were planning on having a naming party in early August. Anyone have some ideas?
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