Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Boating? Summer 2018

Last year we finished the season with a friendly tow home from the Harbor Master after our motor conked out in front of the Lido Isle Yacht club. I determined we were having a fuel delivery problems and fortunately earlier in the summer I was able to score two sets of NOS rebuild kits for the Scott's 3 carburetors on eBay. I put the boat away for the season in September determined that I would do the rebuild in the Spring.

In May, I was preparing the boat for our Summer season with the intention of rebuilding the carbs doing a basic tune-up with plug and points and changing the gear oil. But as I was lifting the motor I noticed it was tipping to the left side as I lifted. Maybe only 1/4-3/8 but there was a definite tilt. Upon further inspection, I determined the main hinge bolt had rusted through on one side! Based on this discovery, I knew I needed to replace the bolt or risk having to fish the motor out of the bay.

Not only was the main pivot bolt rusted through at one end but
so was one of the two transom clamp lower bolts. Salty.
The challenge was to remove the bolt which was rusted into place. In order to remove the bolt,  I needed to disassemble the motor. As one would expect... the salt had done a number on the fasteners. Last time I assembled the powerhead I replaced the 13 bolts that secure the powerhead with 1/4-20 stainless cap screws. Salty water is an electrolyte that can easily corrode either the aluminum or stainless steel material when they come into contact with each other. When completing my assembly I used a liberal amount of silver anti-seize and ten of the bolts came out without an issue and three sheared off at the head. The same thing happened at the lower, where three came out just fine and two broke. To add to my misery I found the main shaft had rusted into the bottom of the motor making it very difficult to separate the lower or remove the powerhead after drilling out all the broken bolts. My half day job took the better part of two full weekends. Ugh. Next time more anti-seize, more grease and I think I need to remove and relubricate the bolts at the end of every season.

What goes with new paint? New Chrome! See that burgee pole?
I cut a slot for it in my extra bow handle. Hopefully, I will be
able to fly a FZYC burgee next summer.
Since I had the motor apart it seemed like a good idea to give it fresh paint. I had painted it 3 seasons ago but there were spots that needed love and I had some bubbling in the paint on the lower and around the edges of the cowl due to water sitting on the flat surfaces. Last time I painted I spent hours soda blasting the motor in my little blasting cabinet with my underpowered compressor. So I stripped down the parts and took them to Orange County Sand Blasting in  Anaheim.

I also thought it was a good idea to pull off all the chrome and send it to the chrome shop. All the chrome was pulled inventoried and delivered to a buddy of mine who is in the motorcycle parts business. They do a lot of chrome and I begged a favor to have him put my chrome in with one of his wheel orders knowing it would knock 75% of the cost out of what otherwise would have been a $3K project. The only caveat... no promises about when it would be done.

Mike Kuhar painting my motor cowl. Mike's business is
refinishing furniture and custom home interiors.
Vintage boat motor painting is a hobby.
A few weeks later the parts were ready and I took them to my buddy Mike Kuhar who has Kuhar Refinishing in Costa Mesa CA. Mike sprayed the Wake White paint which was color matched and supplied by Sav-On-Supplies in Costa Mesa CA. Mike painted all the parts and shot the cowl with rattle can orange-red Chevy motor paint for the perfect two-tone paint job. After everything was shot mike laid on a couple coats of clear. The motor looks wet even when its dry. Perfect.

Next Step... motor reassembly.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Wilcox-Crittenden Sea Flair Burgee Pole

I recently grabbed a bow light base and burgee pole off a Dorsett Catalina on e-bay. A little digging and I've learned the parts are made of pot metal called "Zamack" and are from the 1959 Wilcox-Crittenden Sea Flair line.  They are pretty worked and will likely restore poorly because of the pits.

Since my bow light is so close to my windshield I'm thinking of modifying the extra bow handle I have to accept the Wilcox-Crittenden burgee pole.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Woodies Warf on Date Night

Whisky Tango and Trixie (1957 Glasspar) were out on the town together for happy hour at the world famous Woodies Warf in Newport Beach, CA.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Glass Windshield from Dorsett Catalina

The Dorsett Belmont has a unique patented feature that allows the boater to tilt the window back and climb out over the bow.

In 1960 the windshields were made of plexiglass and over the years mine had developed scratches and cracks.
The old plexiglass windshield had several cracks and was scratched.

This winter I finally bought a glass windshield for the Belmont. I was given the sellers number when I bought the boat but $300 seemed like a lot of money to pay for an "accessory" for a non-operational $1200 boat. Five years later the price went up to $500 but somehow based on the amount of fun we've had the price seemed like a bargain.

In 63 Dorsett started using glass windshields that were held closed with levers where
my plexiglass windshield has thumb latches mounted further out.
I called Eduardo (the seller and another vintage glass lover...) and verified the beam on the windshield was the same as my Belmont's plexiglass windshield so pulled the trigger. My friend Tom was visiting UC Davis in Sacramento for a class at on setting up a wine tasting room and agreed to bring my prize home with him.

The windshield arrived in perfect condition, but it presented a dilemma. The brackets on the glass Dorsett windshield were longer than the brackets on my plexiglass windshield.A normal person would have just drilled new holes for the brackets but since I
  • a) didn't want to drill holes in the boat and 
  • b) I didn't have the mounting brackets for the glass windshield 
I decided to make my own and match up the windshield to my original mounting points.

The 63 Dorsett windshield has longer brackets that are cast and appear to pivot on a ball.

The plexiglass windshield had aluminum brackets that wrap around the glass and pivot on a shoulder screw.
I made a cardboard pattern and split the difference to line up with the pivot point.

I bought a sheet of .10 aluminum which was a little thicker than the original but could still be bent.
Buy some good blades, the aluminum is soft and it gums up the jigsaw teeth.

I made the first bend in my vice, the second bend required clamping the piece to my workbench with a 5/8" thick piece of wood and then bending over the wood. The top is the original bracket, the middle my new bracket, then the template and what was left of the cast bracket once I liberated it from the glass windshield. 

The new bracket on the glass windshield with the original mount location. Stainless 1/4-20 button head screws with stainless acorn nuts hold the windshield bracket in the 3 original hole locations.

Two happy campers can see clearly now. 

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Salt Water Gospel (a.k.a. what's frozen/rusted solid this year.)

We run our Dorsett and Scott in salt water and salt loves to have its way with old boat parts. Every year when we put the boat in for the summer something else is inevitably frozen. Two years ago I put the boat in and the steering wheel would not turn. This year the shift cable was frozen.
The original control cables have threaded sleeves that use brass nuts to trap a plastic ball at the motor and plastic square (not pictured) at the control end. The motor/control connectors are threaded onto the cable ends and are the same thread as modern Seastar cables.
The Scott controls and cables have unique fittings at each end and the fittings are held in place with nuts that thread onto the cables. Unfortunately, modern Seastar cables that are readily available from West Marine use a trap and bracket to hold the cable in place. To compensate I fabricated brackets from steel angle brackets I bought at Lowes.
Steel angle brackets from Lowes were bent and notched to make custom cable traps.
At the control end, I needed to space the trap back about an inch so I bolted a couple brackets to the bottom and fed the cables right through the plastic pieces that originally trapped the cable in the housing. In addition to holding the new cables, the bracket allowed me to repair the control housing I broke as I tried to push the frozen control forward. ID10T Error.
See the third nut on the lower bracket? That's there to hold the broken piece of the control housing in place.
At the motor, Scott uses plastic balls. Here I made a custom trap that fits in the cable mount position.
It's all pretty simple but effective, all four brackets were painted with some left over paint from the motor painting project and the end result is nice new control cables on my classic Scott. Cool eh?