Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The boat is back to normal....Almost

So we were able to take care of the leaking pipe.  It had about a 4 inch crack in the pipe for the kitchen sink and just sprayed water everywhere.  I cut out the bad portion and put it all back together.  No more leak.  While looking for the leak, we discovered we had some unwanted guests.  There were a bunch of water bugs on the boat.

Water Bug (Click for picture)

So after putting the floor back together, we bug bombed the whole boat.  When we go to the boat tomorrow, we shouldn't have anymore unwanted guests that are living.  Then we just fill up the gas tanks and we are off. 

Thursday evening I also fulfill my promise to help launch my old houseboat with the guy that purchased it.  The sale was contingent on it running and floating.  It will do both just fine.  He wants some pointers on taking her out in the water.  Hopefully I remember how to drive her.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Feeling like the little dutch boy

We found the leak, however we didn't fix it.  We have to cut a hole in the floor to get access to the source.  As I suspected, one of the hoses has a hole in it for the kitchen sink.  There are two hoses and the one has absolutely cut into the other and opened a gusher of a leak.

I will be fixing this hole tomorrow and then all the flooring can go back into place.  Then we are finally ready.

The saga continues...

To follow are a couple of issues we have.  I'll provide an update on the water in the oil.

Well, I went ahead and changed the oil in both engines yesterday.  The most difficult part is getting to the oil filter and pumping out the old oil.  After finishing, I found the oil plug.  Well, things went better than I expected but not great.  I got both engines pumped out.  There seemed to be water in both engines but not a lot.  There was more in the port engine than the starboard.  We ran the port engine about 30 minutes after changing the oil.  All the gauges read normal and the engine ran fine.  After about 30 minutes we noticed a little bit of milkiness at the bottom of the dipstick but it never worsened.  I varied the RPMs throughout that test as well. 

In the midst of typing this, I called the former owner to talk about the issues that I have been having with the oil.  He let me know that every spring the port side engine will have water in it for the first oil change.  Once I change the oil the first time, I shouldn't see an issue until I change the oil next spring.  So that at least let me feel somewhat better about it.  I hope that it is just the condensation getting back into that engine from winter.

The 2nd issue we found deals with the water system.  We filled up the water tank with a bit of water.  I didn't pay attention to how much because I just wanted to see if all the faucets worked.  After we found the water in the oil I was in the engine bay and someone went to wash their hands.  When the water pump kicked on, I heard what sounded like water spraying all over the inside of the hull.  I didn't take much notice of it until it happened again.  I then started seeing water inside the hull and realized we indeed have a leak somewhere.  We will be pulling up some floor tonight to see where the leak is coming from.  I hope it is just a hose that is disconnected or rotted through.


OH THE FUN OF IT ALL!!!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Told you I would regret it.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I said I would regret giving myself props for my parking job.  I had a friend down to take his first look at the boat and I wanted to show him the engine bay.  I noticed the port side dipstick was out of the tube just a bit.  I decided I would pull the dipstick and take a look while I was there.  When I pulled the stick, there was some nice white sludge all the way down the stick.  Well that means there is some water in my oil.  I am hoping this is from condensation as the temperature has been up and down however I am pretty sure it is a cracked block.  I have nothing to back this up and I can't really explain where the water is coming from.  I checked the oil after our initial 30 minute run and everything looked good.  I have run the boat and checked it when we moved it from Cincy to Wheeling.  It looked good then as well.  So I have no idea where it came from.  If I do have to replace the engine, I am going to pull them both.  I will get both engines replaced and the transmissions rebuilt.  I just hope it isn't what I think it is.

Friday, May 18, 2012

It is officially Boating Season!

  

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   We got a bit off schedule last night, but today went really smooth.  We loaded the boat in the water around 1:30pm today.  The one intake leaked as expected, but the port side was sealed up tight as it had the cork gaskets in it.  After getting her off the trailer, I was able to maneuver her and head out to the river.  I had a few things on my mind.

1.  Let's see what she can do.
2.  I hope the intakes aren't going to leak like crazy.
3.  I hope the transmission has enough fluid.

   We only took a 30 minute jaunt out in the main channel.  Just enough to get a feel for her and to warm her up.  I didn't really lay into the throttle too much as I was concerned with the transmissions.  After waiting on a pontoon boat to decide that they would actually zip up their canvas out of the main channel of the marina, we headed back in.  To answer the top 3 questions I had above.

1.  She did fairly well, but I was a bit timid with her so I didn't get to fully see.
2.  The port intake didn't even leak a drop, but the starboard had almost a constant dripping.
3.  The transmissions were almost bone dry when I got them back in.

   My in-laws had to run and collect some things for the evening trip so they headed off without me.  I wanted to stay behind and get some of the issues above sorted out.  I was able to stop the intake leak.  The strainer in the intake had a metal edge on it.  It wouldn't let the intake seal up snug.  I cut the metal edge off and the leaking is gone.  I then spent another hour pumping out and replacing all the fluids in the v-drives and transmissions.  I overfilled them just a bit so that if a leak did occur, I wont be burning up the transmissions.  While pumping out the transmission, I noticed a strange noise.  It sounded almost like water bubbling up in the boat and I started to freak out.  I went to all the places I am able to see into the hull.  Upon lifting the hatch in the bathroom for the head intake, I did notice a little tiny leak from the hose.  I shut off the head intake and will deal with it later.  I just need a new hose.  That wasn't the source of the noise, so I kept looking.  The noise was the water lapping up just under the chine on the front of the boat.  I am going to have to get used to the noises in an aluminum boat.

   After doing that little bit of work, I was ready to go.  However the rest of crew didn't show up for a couple more hours.  I was able to hang around the marina and talk with a lot of the guys that dock there.  It was a good time waster.  Luckily another Kingscraft owner whom I befriended this past year, and has been a huge help, was heading down river for the weekend.  He offered to lock through with me.  It was a bit of a piece of mind for me having someone else as a just in case.  They took a lot of pictures of our boat while we were heading down river.  Their boat is nothing short of amazing.  I hope ours eventually gets close to their level. 

   It is funny how everything seems to take forever and then happens in a blink of an eye.  We were sitting and waiting for my friend to head out.  It seemed to take hours but in a moments notice they had their jet skis in the water and their boat was hauling past us to the marina exit.  I was planning to spin the boat around, due to the shallow water, by using our lines.  Since our schedule just got pushed up, we decided we would power our way through it.  I will state right now that I will never own another houseboat without twin engines/V-drives.  Once we got the back end away from the dock, I was able to spin her on a dime and head out to the river.  Once out on the river and knowing that I wasn't leaking and the transmissions were full, I put the hammer down.  She really has some power and she just pulled up out of the water and on we went.  It was such an amazing feeling that made the last 6 long months absolutely worth it.

   Locking through was fairly uneventful except for my father-in-law having issues hooking onto the mooring.   The doors opened and away we went down stream.  I followed my buddy to the island and let him beach.  I headed on down to my dock to attempt our first docking with the new boat.  I know this will come back to haunt me, but I am pretty proud of myself.  I am also happy with how my crew really helped me out.  I idled down into the inside of the dock past our dock owner's 50' Gibson.  My crew and the amazingly helpful owners kept me off of their boat as I squeezed on by.  I turned towards shore and let my rear start to head down stream.  I then put one engine in forward and the other in reverse to pivot her around to face upstream.  The crew pulled her into the dock and tied her up.  We were home!  Then we started drinking, but that means it is summer and boating season.

   This is where we parked her after we took her out for our first trip.  She looks amazing.
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I really like this next picture.  The way the sun rays are across the boat look cool.
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We are on our way!  In the distance you can see my friend's boat that I am catching up to.
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I love this picture of my wake.  This boat really has met all my expectations so far.
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A little tribute to my bro on the back of the boat who is currently serving in Afghanistan.  I can't wait till he gets back so we can enjoy this thing together.
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We are fans of the pirate lifestyle.  We had to represent.  I will be getting larger flags for the front.

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I didn't put the rear carpet down as I was going to check the transmissions when I got back to the dock.  Everything is back together now.
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My beautiful wife at the wheel.  She has put up with me for the last 6 months working on this boat.
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We are heading into the locks.  You can see my friend's boat off to the left. 
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The worst thing about locking through is all the garbage and trees that are in the locks.  Luckily there wasn't anything very large in there today.
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We were able to get my brother-in-law in the spirit and keep us from hitting the wall.  Things were a little bit out of sorts, but we will get the hang of it.  This was my 2nd time locking through as the captain and the same for the rest of the crew if not their first time.  It is a hard thing to explain until you go through it.
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We are just about halfway lowered in the locks.  It is amazing how different the water level is between upstream and downstream.
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We're almost there!  You can see our docks and the wicked current that comes off the back channel of our party island.  Luckily we were able to make it through without issues.
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Here is where we currently sit.  We were enjoying a few adult beverages with the dock owners and talking of all the things to come.  I can't wipe the smile off of my face. 
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As I said before, I will continue to update this blog with all the things we do to the boat.  I still have my list of things that I want to do and I will let you know how they all go on here.  Happy boating!


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thursday Update

Lets just say today didn't go as planned.  I got caught up in Pittsburgh for a couple hours longer than I thought I would be.  So we didn't get to the boat with much time to get her put in the water.  Upon arrival I found that the marina had forgotten my request to go in the water tonight and was installing new docks.  This is fine as they have items on their list they need done, but it put a damper on the excitement of getting her in the water.  We are scheduled to get her put in the water at 1pm tomorrow.  Below are the status updates of the lists I had created.

Weds Evening:
1.  Install intake filter seals and plastic tubing.  
I found that one of the intakes was different than the other and I had to reuse one of the seals.  I will cut the cork seal to fit this area sometime in the next week.
2.  Install Prop shaft anode.  (Yes that is singular.  In my haste, I forgot to order 2.  The other is on a plane and should be arriving Thursday afternoon.)
Done.  Took a whole 5 minutes.
3.  Install Bimini top or measure required screws needed to put it back on.
Done.
4.  Plug in the shore power to keep the batteries charged.
Done. 
5.  Give one last look at the hull to make sure there are no surprises for me.
Nothing to report.
6.  Figure out why the horn isn't working.  We had to cut the wire for transport and now it just clicks.
The batteries didn't have enough juice to power the horn.  After charging we are good to go.
7.  Organize the inside of the boat.  I still have tools and parts laying around that need to go below deck.
Done.
8.  Install the replacement AC cover.  I put my foot through the other when taking up the railing for transport.
I completely forgot about this one until reading this post.  I will do this Friday.

Thursday Evening:  As stated above, none of this was completed. We will be combining Thursday and Friday activities.
1.  Double check the intakes are closed before launch. I want them to be closed initially for launch as I noticed they leaked pretty bad when I was moving the boat for transport.  I have since purchased the factory plastic inserts and seals.  I want to put the boat in the water and let the back end float.  I will then open each intake and see if I have any issues.  I will still launch the boat because I have a shut off for each of those intakes.
2.  Fire each engine up and listen for any odd noises or issues.
3.  Back her off the trailer and head to one of the slips.
4.  Check the transmission fluid in each transmission.  I will probably change it as well.
5.  Load up all the passengers and other items we want to put on the boat.  We will be taking a little run up the river to get the rust out and to really get a handle on her.  I haven't had her past idle speed when at the helm.
6.  Upon return to the dock, change the oil and filters in both engines.
7.  Validate there is are major leaks or water throughout the entire boat.
8.  Lock her up for the night.

Friday:
1.  Validate she is still floating and not taking on water.
2.  Load up the crew and supplies.
3.  Head off down river to her new summer home.
4.  Fill up the water tank
5.  Clean the inside of the whole boat
6.  Wash all the crap off the outside of her.
7.  Crack open a beer.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Garbage man.

We got rid of 90% of the garbage from working on the boat last night.  The only thing we have left to clean up is one garbage bag that decided to leak paint all over the place and the bottom tarp with all the sand.  The boat itself looked nicer without all the trash laying around it.  I am glad to be moving the boat this week.  With the weather getting warmer, the Port-o-john beside the boat is starting to stink pretty bad.  Here is my prep list for this week.



Weds Evening:
1.  Install intake filter seals and plastic tubing.  
2.  Install Prop shaft anode.  (Yes that is singular.  In my haste, I forgot to order 2.  The other is on a plane and should be arriving Thursday afternoon.)
3.  Install Bimini top or measure required screws needed to put it back on.
4.  Plug in the shore power to keep the batteries charged.
5.  Give one last look at the hull to make sure there are no surprises for me.
6.  Figure out why the horn isn't working.  We had to cut the wire for transport and now it just clicks.
7.  Organize the inside of the boat.  I still have tools and parts laying around that need to go below deck.
8.  Install the replacement AC cover.  I put my foot through the other when taking up the railing for transport.

Thursday Evening:
1.  Double check the intakes are closed before launch. I want them to be closed initially for launch as I noticed they leaked pretty bad when I was moving the boat for transport.  I have since purchased the factory plastic inserts and seals.  I want to put the boat in the water and let the back end float.  I will then open each intake and see if I have any issues.  I will still launch the boat because I have a shut off for each of those intakes.
2.  Fire each engine up and listen for any odd noises or issues.
3.  Back her off the trailer and head to one of the slips.
4.  Check the transmission fluid in each transmission.  I will probably change it as well.
5.  Load up all the passengers and other items we want to put on the boat.  We will be taking a little run up the river to get the rust out and to really get a handle on her.  I haven't had her past idle speed when at the helm.
6.  Upon return to the dock, change the oil and filters in both engines.
7.  Validate there is no major leaks or water throughout the entire boat.
8.  Lock her up for the night.

Friday:
1.  Validate she is still floating and not taking on water.
2.  Load up the crew and supplies.
3.  Head off down river to her new summer home.
4.  Fill up the water tank
5.  Clean the inside of the whole boat
6.  Wash all the crap off the outside of her.
7.  Crack open a beer.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Shaping up to Ship out

Well, since I was away for work the entire weekend we got nothing done.  I wanted to clean as much trash up at our little work site as I possibly could before launch day.  I don't want to be a bad boater and leave all my plastic garbage laying around.  Makes the marina look crappy.  I plan on heading up there tonight after dinner and cleaning up as much as possible.  I am please to announce that the final pieces have arrived or will arrive this afternoon.  I ordered a case of transmission fluid, gear oil, cork seals for the intake, and shaft anodes.  I will put the shaft anodes on tonight and get the seals put in the intakes as well.  I plan changing the transmission fluids after we launch.  The boat doesn't have an accurate number to gauge what "Full" actually is.  It merely has a mark on the dipstick that says "Full".  I will have to get her in the water and verify where I am at.  I hope to get her launched Thursday night.  I want to take her on a nice test run up the river to verify if there are any issues that we need to address.  I plan on changing her oil after her initial run as well just so all fluids in her are new for the season.  After that, I will leave her at that marina overnight just in case any issues arise we can get her out quick.  Friday evening we will bring her down the river and through the locks to her new home.  I have a few nerves with the whole thing.  I just keep running down through my mind everything I need to do and hope I am not forgetting anything.



Thursday, May 10, 2012

This chapter is complete!

Well that's the show folks!  I am done with the Coal Tar and we put the final coat of blue on the cabin.  I talked with the transmission guy today and I couldn't give him an accurate description of just what exactly is wrong with it.  I personally am not sure of the volume of fluid it leaks and how much and how long it takes.  He suggested I run on it this season and then I can figure out just how serious the issue is.  I ordered a case of transmisison fluid and a case of gear oil just in case I was going to run it this year.  Well, if the transmission was the last thing on my list and that is done.  I AM READY TO GO IN!!!  I of course have to wait the standard 7 day drying time for he Coal Tar on the rudder, but it works out that I am taking a business trip this weekend.  Depending on the weather next week when I return I might look to put in Thursday or Friday.  Of course this is all counting that my dock will let me bring it down the river.  Even though the major part of my undertaking is over, I plan on keeping this blog updated regularly.  I still have a list a mile long of what I want to complete, but it is all above the water line and I can do it through the year.  Here is a short list off the top of my head of what I have left to do.

  1. Transmission
    1. Even though I didn't pull it yet, I still want to get this done to end the leak.  I just need better information for my reasoning.
  2. Windows
    1. I am still a bit up in there air with this one.  The original plastic window tracks in the boat need replaced.  I have found a place that sells the window tracks in aluminum for $50 a 9ft section.  We would be around $500 to replace all the tracks on the sides of the boat.  On the other side of it, I am tempted to just replace the windows with a Motion Windows.  They are completely sealed and water tight when installed.  They are about $500 a piece, but definitely worth it.  That I have yet to decide on as I haven't used the windows to see what functionality to keep or get rid of.  We are definitely replacing the two front windows this year as they both have some nice long cracks in them.  I am going to see about replacing the rounded front windows as well as they have some stress fractures in them.
  3. Deck
    1. The deck paint is worn off in a few places and looking pretty bad on the upper deck.  I am going to paint it with Durabak antislip.  I might actually do this while it sits at the dock over the summer.  I will have to see how motivated I am to do it.
  4. Engine Bay
    1. The engine bay, if you haven't seen the pictures, is just black.  I want to clean out the sludge in the bottom and get it fairly clean.  I just don't like the slime in the bottom of the boat.
  5. Cabin Paint
    1. I already purchased the white gloss paint, but this will wait till the fall.  This shouldn't take us very long to do, but I am a bit worn out on the painting.  This might be another project that hits me to take on in the middle of the summer.  We'll see though.
  6. Horn
    1. The horn that came with the boat doesn't seem to be functioning now that the flybridge is back on.  I don't know what the deal could be, but I will have to take a closer look.  I have already had my eye on some new horns, but I have an issue paying that much for a nice horn.  I want a loud horn if I get a new one.
  7. Flybridge Audio
    1. There is a slot for a head unit on the flybridge with speakers already installed.  I want to put a new head unit in and get the outside music working.
  8. A NAME!!!!!!!!
    1. We have come up with a name, but we need to put the graphics on the boat.  I also need to get them ordered.  I will have pictures of the boat with its name when we launch.
Here are the pictures of her waiting to get her float on.


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I will take a better picture of the finished product in the day time, but I think she looks pretty damn good from when we got her.
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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

So that is what it is supposed to look like!

There is big news today!  The boat is finally complete once more with a pair of rudders!  My buddy had gotten the rudder finished and it is all ready to go.  I have to say that he did an amazing welding job as the new rudder looks near identical to the old one.  We got the back of the boat jacked up and put both of them in.  I greased them up good before sliding them in so they are working really smooth.  I also went ahead and removed the shaft anodes that were barely eaten away.  I noticed that they had antifouling paint all over them.  Might be part of the reason they weren't that bad off.  I am going to buy new ones tonight.  My friend is also the guy that will be working on the transmission.  He is going to take a look at it before I take it out just to see if I even need to worry about it yet.  It would be nice to not pull it just yet, but part of me just wants to have the piece of mind and get it done.  Below are some pictures of the rudders on the boat. 

Since the weather hasn't cooperated to finish the last part of the blue paint, I will be tenatively planning to paint the last coat of blue on tomorrow.  I will also put the last coat of Coal Tar on the new rudder and we are done painting!!!  I also went ahead and put most of the anodes on the boat.  I need to track down some stainless steel bolts to put them on.  As usual, Lowes was out of the stuff I needed.  I wanted to go to a hardware store today, but I ran out of time.  Tomorrow I shall try again.

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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Slow progress

Things go slow when you are waiting on others to do things.  While I await someone to help me remove the transmission, we decided to start finishing up what painting we had left.  We couldn't paint last week due to rain every day, but we were able to get the deck edge and accent blue primed and painted today.  I think it turned out pretty well.  I hope to get the final coat on tomorrow and then I am back to trying to find someone for my transmission.  The rudder is expected any day now.  If I don't find definite help for the transmission by the end of this week, I am going to just put the boat in and monitor it all year.  I will get the transmission removed and fixed in the fall.  Here are a few pictures of how she sits currently.


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