Thursday, February 18, 2016

Making It Bigger

If you do your own boat work, there is a situation that you have undoubtedly faced:  making a hole bigger.  That sounds trivial until you are faced with a 1.5" hole in your hull that needs to be 2"... say to install an upgraded speedo sensor like I had to do way back in 2005.

Back then, the only way I saw to make the hole larger was to epoxy a wooden plug into the existing hole and then drill a new one, with the hole saw pilot bit cutting into that wooden plug.  That worked fine but was messy and time consuming (yard time = $$).

As in most cases, whenever you stub your toe you need to view this as an opportunity.  Someone has.  Multiple someones in fact.   Enter the hole enlarger:

This tool is really quite simple - the nut that holds the hole saw on the mandrel is replaced with a nut that has its own mandrel, allowing a second (smaller) hole saw to be mounted inside the main one.  Because the fancy nut is made in such a way that the inner hole saw protrudes beyond the primary hole saw, it acts as the pilot.  To enlarge a hole, you install the new larger size saw on the primary mandrel, and a saw matching the size of the existing hole as the inner saw.  Simple, really, now that you see it.

These are available from Bosch, Vermont American, and even Sears.  You should be able to find one for less than $20...  I paid $4.95 for mine.


Monday, February 8, 2016

Marlinspike seamanship

So you consider yourself to be a real salty sailor. You've studied Ashley's Book of Knots and have hundreds of the knots illustrated there memorized. You can even do that thrown bowline.  You don't have to look at the instructions to do an eye splice on double braid line.  Yup, you're a real marlinspike sailor.

Well then, here's a challenge for you, Salty:  Tie a knot that you can slide your foot into.  You won't find this in Ashley's.  But Jane is doing one right now:

Not in Ashley's
Not only is she doing it, but she's doing it in miniature, twice - these are destined for our 2 year-old granddaughter's feet...

Each of these is a single knot


Monday, February 1, 2016

Uh oh...

As a part of our annual engine maintenance tasks (new zinc in the heat exchanger, new oil, new oil filter), everything gets a general inspection/lookover.  Behind the engine, in a nearly inaccessible space, is the exhaust hose and the waterlift muffler.  Note the white salt deposit on the outside of the exhaust hose...  Close inspection reveals that the hose is bubbled up at that spot.

So what's happening?  The hose has failed.  Ply separation has allowed the seawater in the exhaust to penetrate the hose, all the way to the outside.  And since the hose is reinforced with steel wire, that has undoubtedly turned to rust.

It looks like I have some boat yoga in my future...

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