Thursday, October 6, 2011

Heart of Gold Repair Update

A few years back, my onboard electrical generator started overheating.  It never worked all that well to begin with, so I wasn't thrilled to have to fix it again.  The problem turned out to be a failed raw water pump (it pumps cold seawater into the heat exchanger to cool the engine) and when I learned how much a replacement pump would cost, I figured it made more sense to buy a new generator altogether.

That was some time in 2008.

Since then I've had a few monetary setbacks and a luxury like having an onboard generator hasn't been very high on the priority list.  Essentially, the dead machine is just filling up space and serving as ballast on board to keep everything sitting on an even keel.

More recently, I had a survey done aboard the HofG and the surveyor recommended that I should remove the dead generator.  By his reasoning, it was just an extra liability and it was making it much harder to access vital systems and shutoff valves elsewhere in the engine room. 

He was right.  Now all I had to do was pull a massive, heavy chunk of steel (and wire, and oil, and rust) out of a room with no floor to stand on (and a ceiling too low to allow a person to stand upright) through a door only about half the width needed in order for it to fit through.

With no better way to occupy their time than to listen to me swear at my tools, Matt and Trevor came along to help.

Here's the offending piece of machinery before we got started:
HofG Generator Before

In order to make it fit through the door, we removed as many of its parts as we could.  The air filter, heat exchanger, control box, fuel filters, and countless other bits and bobs all had to go.

Matt pulled off the exhaust hose and went to work on the mounting bolts while reaching in through the aft end of the engine room.  Meanwhile, I worked at the rest of it while sitting on top of the engine down in the bilge.

Here's what we looked like while fighting off claustrophobia and trying not to crush anyone in the process:
HofG Generator Teardown 2

We managed to get much of the electrical end apart, but we needed a much bigger hammer if we were going to tear it down any further.  Instead, we had to wrestle the now-much-skinnier generator out through the aft door into the master cabin.

I'll admit that I'm not at all thrilled about the idea of this thing sitting in my bedroom for any length of time.  Still, once it's hoisted up and out I'll be able to get back to cleaning things up once and for all:
HofG Generator Teardown

I had the boatyard blank off the raw water intake and I'm still planning on capping the exhaust fittings, but at least this beast isn't in my way anymore.

While the boat was out of the water, I also had the yard go ahead and free up a couple of the through-hull shut-off valves that had siezed. 

There's still a few scheduling setbacks that have the rigging work stalled.  But the mast is ready to step and the rigging wire is all made up.  With any luck I'll have the boat back sometime this month.

Stay tuned...

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