Memorial Day Project

It’s Memorial Day weekend and I want to start this post by giving thanks for all those who serve in the military and to remember those who gave their lives. My grandfather served in WWII as a gunner on B-17’s, and my father-in-law served in Vietnam and for many years after in the Air Force. I suppose that means we’re an Air Force family. If you served, or know someone who lost their life fighting for our freedoms, thank you.

Memorial Day is the start of the summer season and here in Seattle we had a typical three-day weekend. Saturday was beautiful and sunny. Then on Sunday it rained. Today it started out raining, then stopped, then rained some more, and now it is sunny and cloudy all at once. Ah, Seattle in May.

For this weekend I decided to work on the rowboat a bit and fix the throttle unit. It is a Morse MV-2 throttle / shift control unit and it was broken. The knob at the top of the throttle was gone, the little plastic lift under the knob was broken and you could not lock the throttle out of gear. Both problems are safety related, so they needed to be fixed.

The throttle control unit removed from the boat

The reverse side to remind me how things attached

This is the back of the fully assembled unit, sitting on my kitchen table (on a shop towel)

Pulling the pieces apart

I’m going to skip ahead a bit, because you don’t need to know exactly how it came apart. This is what it looked like completely disassembled. I got some parts cleaning solvent and scrubbed everything. It took a lot of work to get rid of the old grease.

This is all the parts of a throttle

It is not as complex as it looks. Most of it needed a good cleaning and some new grease. I used white lithium grease. The throttle lock-out needed a new spring and I got one at a local hardware store for a whole .60 cents. Once I put it all back together it looked like this:

It all works!

This is my new mahogany throttle knob

The throttle knob is a throw-back piece and it looks really good. The wood is a nice touch.

These final two pictures show the part that was not moving that put the boat in and out of gear (so you can rev and warm up the engine without the propeller turning). If you look at the little plug in front of the throttle you can see it pushed in (in gear) and pulled out (out of gear).

In gear

Out of gear

I’m going to get some new brass bushings either locally or on line before I reinstall the throttle. I will post more pictures when I get that job complete.

New floor progress

I have been asked by multiple times recently to update my blog and post some new pictures. OK – I’ve been asked twice, but it did happen twice this week. I am happy to report that there has been some progress.

First off, I got the hole in my floor fixed. This was quite an event. First off, I have never done anything with fiberglass before in my life. So, all of this was new. I watched a video on the Tap Plastics web site about how to repair fiberglass and off I went. I got the fabric and resin and all the supplies I needed from Tap. OK – commercial over.

This is what the hole in my floor looked like when I started. If you are reading this blog for the first time you’ll have to go back and see the blogs about the foam and how I got this big hole in my floor.

Hole in the floor
Hole in the floor

To fix this you need two things. Glass fabric and resin. The glass fabric is basically as it sounds. It is woven fabric made of glass fibers. The resin is, uh, well it is resin. It is a gel until you mix it with a catalyst and it hardens. Hard resin is brittle, but the glass gives it strength. The white fabric is the glass, the resin is the light blue bottle, and the red bottle is acetone (used to clean the surface before you do the repair).

The supplies

I don’t have any “in process” photos, but the basic idea is this. First you trim the edges of the good glass, my floor. Essentially the idea is to sand them down at an angle – like a ramp. Next you cut up glass starting in the shape of the hole, and then slowly build bigger and bigger pieces until you fill in the ramp and build up the thickness to the same as the original floor. Then you lay down the first layer, and paint resin on it. Then the next biggest size, more resin, then the next, etc. I also “rotated” the fiberglass 45 degrees for each cut so that the fibers all help reinforce in different directions.

When I was done, it looked like this:

The wet glass and resin

Then, I waited. Later, the resin was as hard as a rock. Interestingly, it sort of cleared up a bit too.

All dry

Close Up
Close Up

This morning I went out and stood on it. It crackled and popped a bit. It reminded me of the sound that brand new snow skis make the first time you bend them. The sound made me smile as it reminded me of the days of working at Olympic Sports, a long time ago. After a little stomping around, the cracking stopped and I’m satisfied that the floor is whole again. It sure looks a little different (due to the type of resin used by me and by Correct Craft when they built the boat), but it feels as solid as a rock..

I also discovered that two small parts on the trailer needed to be replaced so I did that today. It was more of the “rusty rust” problem (old blog again). These two parts are where the bow rests on the trailer.

The project
Note the rusty “screw”, and both of these blocks of wood could not be reused. They essentially were stripped and one was cracked.

Peeling off the old bunk carpet

I cut up two new blocks of 2 x 6 pressure treated lumber to match the old broken pieces and stapled the fabric back on.

The broken old blocks of wood, and the new fabric-covered blocks of wood.

I’m sort of amazed, but the next step is carpet.

Spring Dreaming

So, I’ve had enough downtime over the last few days such that I think I’m ready to crank up things on the boat again. It has helped that the sun is out and it’s been in the 70’s and 80’s in Seattle recently. I got some RoundUp and killed all the grass growing anywhere near my trailer. It looks ready to go. Today I called and they are sending me samples of grey carpet in the correct weight (thickness) for my 1993.

I have stared at the hole in the floor long enough that I think I’m ready to go ahead with fiber-glassing in that spot and calling it good. That should be interesting. I have different kinds of fiberglass and enough resin to do a lot of work. I think the task is cutting the fiberglass to the right shape for my hole, laying down the cut fiberglass and painting on the resin. Easy, right? Once that is done I can lay in the carpet and start to reassemble.

I’ve been toying with engine ideas. If I had $2-grand laying around with nothing better to do I’d likely have purchased a fuel injected engine from a 1997 Nautique a couple of weeks ago. I’m sort of in a catch-22: While I’m spending money (on things like carpet or an air compressor) I’m trying to save money for an engine.

OH! I have news: I got a transmission. It is sitting in my garage waiting to be spun by a V-8 beast. 🙂

Today I was writing an email and started a list of what I need to do to finish up this project and start to ski. Sometimes I feel like the list is getting longer, but I’ll just keep plugging away:

Here is what I need to go skiing:

  • Engine with all the fixin’s
  • Steering Cable (mine is really bad – very stiff even disconnected from the rudder)
  • Tachometer
  • A new prop (or repair my dinged Federal prop on there now)
  • Carpet
  • Carpet trim
  • Seat vinyl – Driver’s seat, rear seat pads
  • Fuel Filter
  • Bilge Pump
  • Pins for engine hatch
  • Rub Rail (my old one was so trashed I removed it and threw it away)
  • I need to clean up / repair the throttle control. The throttle/transmission control is called a “Morse MV-2” control. Mine has a broken spring and the mechanism is gummed up enough you can’t pull / push the neutral switch
  • Battery
  • Finish my gel-coat repairs
  • Swim platform (brackets and the wood part)

What would be nice:

  • All new upholstery
  • The other dash gauges (temp, volts, fuel, clock)
  • Blue gel-coat repairs
  • New decals
  • Stereo

So, I wanted a project….