Sunday, September 15, 2013

1960 Dorsett Belmont - Newport Harbor 2013

Summers over and we took the boat out of the water for the season. Here is our slideshow from many outings enjoying the Newport Harbor this summer.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sharpe Family Photo Summer 2013

Sharpe Family Photo Summer 2013
a.k.a. the "Meerkat Family Goes Boating"

When we were all actually together this summer, unfortunately the motor was still in the final tuning stages and the boat wasn't out on the water. So this image photo is merged from two photos. The first is from when we all jumped into the boat in our back yard last Christmas. With the camera propped up on a ladder, Kylen set the timer and scrambled into the boat. We all popped our heads up and click, Meerkats! Using the magic of Photoshop, I cut out the background and laid the image on a photo we actually shot from inside the boat while cruising the Newport Harbor this summer. As far as I'm concerned this is Christmas Card material.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Scott Racing Division

Bob McCulloch pushed the envelope chasing boat racing speed records and in 1958 his new 3 cylinder 60 hp Flying Scott was introduced. The Scott 60 was popular in NOA OPC racing 1958 and 1959 where it enjoyed some success, especially setting speed records.

Here are a few photos collected from the web of Scott Racing Team and their 1960's era PowerCat racing boats.

Team McCulloch boats at Carlsbad, CA Source:

The McCulloch factory was at the LA Airport so a lot of the testing and racing was done in the salt of the Long Beach, CA harbor.

And for fun... a few modern "racers" with their Flying Scotts...

Dick Davis doing 60 M.P.H. With a pair of Scott 75s strapped to the back of his PowerCat.

My friend from "Pony Boy" in his G3 with 75HP Flying Scott...
mine wouldn't be running without his help!

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Flying Scott on Route 66

Robert McCulloch, founder of McCulloch Corporation had a love for boat racing, and by the time he graduated from Stanford University in 1932, he had won 2 national championship trophies for outboard hydroplane racing. Being a racer at heart, when McCulloch purchased Atwatter-Scott in 1958 he focused on developing the 60 and 75 H.P. Flying Scott outboard motors.

McCulloch built a skunk works testing facility at "Site 6" on Lake Havasu, AZ (where he also ended up building an entire city). For a glimpse into the facility in 1962, check out the clips from episode of the TV show Route 66 titled "Go Read the River" (Season 2, Episode 23) filmed on location in 1962.

Run It Till the Wheels Fall Off?

When I had the trailer upside down working on the wiring I realized the the left rear leaf spring hanger has broken in half and the rear of the leaf spring is no longer connected to the trailer. 
Given the fact that I don't have any welding equipment, this won't be a "do-it-yourself" fix.So I called a local mobile welder and $250 later my $2 clevis was fixed. Next up... I'm buying a welder.

Keeping it Legal

Along with our old boat we got an old Superior Mfg. Co. trailer. When we first bought the boat the first thing we did was to replace the tires and wheel bearings. Other than that, the trailer has been neglected. 

Then when we were having the gel-coat repairs done, George got his buffer tangled up in the loose wiring and tore out one of the sides of the wire harness. It was time to re-wire the trailer to keep it legal.
See the wires dangling from the trailer? You can almost make out the piece of
string the  previous owner used as a wire tie.

Since we were a little over cast on Saturday morning I figured I could take an hour or two and rewire the trailer. I bought the 20' trailer wire harness kit from Auto Zone and I was ready to go. My goal was to to run the wiring inside the trailer frame to keep everything neat and tidy. As usual I under estimated the time required for the project and spent the next 5 hours messing with the trailer.

First I drilled a 1/2 hole at the top front of the trailer frame and drilled another 1/2 hole at the bottom back of the trailer frame. Then I proceeded for two to three hours to frustrate myself trying to run a single wire down the backbone. First I attached a nut to the wire and lifted the nose of the trailer 5' in the air. Then I added more weight by taping a deburring bit to the wire and lifted again. No matter what, the wire would fall about 3 feet and stop. I knew if I had a barn with a hay loft I could winch the trailer straight up in the air and my weighted wire would fall down to the bottom but the closest hay loft is probably 100 miles away...

So I figured a "fish tape" would do the trick. (A fish tape is a roll of flat wire that you can push down a run of pipe.) But that would require another trip to Home Depot and parking is so hard to find on Holiday weekends I didn't want to leave again. So I went and got the "fish tape" we all have in our bedroom closets... a wire coat hanger. 

The down side to this plan was I would need to drill a 1/2" hole every 3 feet, so I drilled away. But then when I was on my last hole my cordless drill battery died. I so desperately wanted to finish my project that I spent an hour trying to drill the last hole (charge for five minutes, drill, charge, drill). It was silly and I was just frustrating my self. I even considered driving to Home Depot to buy another battery. (I call this heat-stroke logic.) So I put the battery in the charger and went in and took a nap! When I woke up the battery was charged I drilled my last hole and within an hour the trailer was wired.

I still need to add rubber grommets where the wire passes out of the trailer neck and at the tail lights and I need to at least paint the holes where there is raw metal exposed to keep them from rusting. (I actually I need to paint the whole trailer.) But at least the wiring is now all neat and tidy.

Almost Lost Another Nut

Since the boat hadn't been in the water for almost a month, Thursday night I fired her up in the trash can in the alley to make sure everything was running well. With all systems go,  We decided to take the boat out on Friday afternoon to start the Labor Day weekend off right.

We took the boat over to the dunes for load-in about 11:00 A.M. Everything went well and we loaded in. She fired right up and I was ready to pull away from the dock when I noticed I couldn't steer the boat. Really? After a month out of the water, it seems the steering ram had rusted into place. I borrowed a can of WD40 from a sailor who was tied up at the dock but I had no luck the steering wouldn't budge. We loaded up the boat and headed home.

In the alley, I disconnected the linkage and holding the ram straight up in the air I soaked the rod/ram with WD40 and let it soak in. Then I tapped the rod down with a hammer while a help turned the wheel (putting pulling pressure on the rod). Slowly the ram released and the rod began moving in. Once it was all the way down I pulled the rod with a pair of Vice grips and my helper turned the wheel the other way. I cleaned the rusty lubricant off the rod and we applied a could more coats turning the wheel lock to lock to pull more lubricant into the ram.

We headed back over to the Dunes and loaded-in without a hitch. The weather was beautiful albeit a little humid for SoCal but out on the water was perfect.

After a couple hours on the harbor we headed over to Hill's Boat Service which is our fuel dock. (Gary Hill is the owner and I coached his son Carson on the Balboa Bomber's our local ASYO Soccer team 20 years ago.) While at the fuel dock I decided to check my prop nut and pulled the motor up out of the water.

Much to my surprise the prop nut cotter pin was gone! You can clearly see it in the picture in the previous post it was properly installed with both legs properly turned over the nut. And there was my precious beehive nut sitting loose on the prop shaft! OK this is weird what tore off the cotter pin? Fortunately I had an additional cotter pin in my engine compartment, so I popped the hood and put the extra pin in the prop.

The long one in the photo was the one that I had just lost. I installed the short one but it was only long enough to bend over one leg. So I decided to head straight back to our dock which was only a few blocks away. When we got to the dock, I pulled the motor up and the second prop pin was gone!

We put the boat away at the dock and I spent the next 42 hours being totally perplexed. What was tearing the pins out of the nut?

Saturday it was overcast in the morning so I decided to tackle a tail-light rewiring project on my trailer. When I was out getting trailer parts, I headed over to West Marine and bought a pack of 3 Stainless Steel Cotter pins. On the way over to the dock I ran into one of my dock neighbors and explained my drama.

I told him how I tightened the beehive nut and then backed it out a 1/8-1/4 turn to align the nut hole with the hole in the prop shaft. He told me the nut needs to be tight. As bizzare as it sounds, evidently when I put the boat in gear the prop shaft was spinning up and the pressure on the pin from the weight of the brass nut would cause the (mild steel) pin to shear off!

On most automotive applications a cotter pin is a safety measure to keep a nut from rattling loose. On a front wheel bearing you turn the nut tight and back it off to the last position, but on a prop shaft, the cotter pin gets pressure so the nut needs to be tight. He told me I either needed washers to space the nut out or even better, I needed to turn the nut down tight. So, since I was close to the next nut-hole I got out my big Craftsman Crescent wrench and turned the nut down tight and I installed my new Stainless Steel cotter pin.

With crystal clear skies on Sunday we took the boat out for a Harbor Cruise and hoped for the best.

Here's the result... a classic day on the water and when we got home from cruising my prop, nut and cotter pin we all still in tact.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

I'm a Nut Job

The boat has been out of the water for 3 weeks in August, but here's the new prop and nut and she's going for a swim today.

Along with the Michigan Prop I found and bought 2 beehive nuts, one actually arrived. The shaft diameter and thread of the one that arrived was perfect, but the ID to clear the prop nose was too small. I took the slow but steady approach and clearenced the nut by hand. The final product works perfectly.

During the downtime we ended up missing the OBR day in Los Alimitos Bay, I read on that another of the attendees spun a prop that day, so I guess I'm in a good club.

In the end new prop $130 prop nut $45 lesson learned to replace $1 cotter Pin... as they say... priceless.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Props for Your Scott McCulloch 60-75.2 HP

When searching for props here's some helpful information about various Michigan Wheel props that would fit the Scott McCulloch 60-75.2 HP motors.

Bronze Propellers:
  • SMC620 - bronze, 3-blade, 11.5x13, 14 to 16' Boats, light loads
  • SMC626 - bronze, 3-blade, 11.5x11, 16 to 17' Boats, all loads, skis
  • SMC628 - bronze, 3-blade, 11.5x12, 14 to 16' Boats, all loads, skis
  • SMC629 - bronze, 3-blade, 11.5x8, cruisers, houseboats, sailboats
  • SMC630 - bronze, 3-blade, 11.5x8 
Aluminum Propellers:
  • PS71 - aluminum, 3-blade, 11.5x12, 14 to 16' Boats, all loads, skis
  • PS72 - aluminum, 3-blade, 11.5x13, 14 to 16' Boats, light loads
  • PS73 - aluminum, 3-blade, 11.5x11, 16 to 17' Boats, all loads, skis
  • PS74 - aluminum, 3-blade, 11.5x10, 17 to 19' Boats, all loads, skis
    Replaced by Michigan PN: 152026
  • PS75- aluminum, 3-blade, 11.5x9, 20 to 24' Boats, one engine
  • PS76 - aluminum, 3-blade, 11.5x8, cruisers, houseboats, sailboats

Sunday, August 11, 2013

I've Spun Out of Control

As a new boater I'm learning new things everyday. The most recent thing I learned is that just like a motorcycle, stuff will fall off the boat.
In the photo above when I was changing the lower oil earlier this summer. The prop had an old-school beehive prop nut with a sketchy cotter pin securing the prop nut.
Last week I was flushing the motor with fresh water and noticed the nut was missing. My guess is the cotter pin broke a while ago and the prop nut eventually turned itself off and is likely laying at the bottom of the Newport Harbor. Also it appeared the prop had moved back a 1/4" or so. The shear pin was partially blocked by the blade casting.

The guys at pointed out that I had likely "spun" the prop. This is when the rubber between the nose assembly and blade assembly gives away. This allowed the prop to slip back over the shear pin.
Since you buy the prop separate from the motor, the beehive nuts were likely used on many different motors. Mine was used with the Michigan Wheel SMC626 bronze prop. This replacement prop nut was found on Ebay and was listed as being off a mid-50s Evinrude.


Since the prop was "spun" I was in search of a replacement prop. By chance I also found this new in the box 50 year old Michigan wheel SMC 626 bronze prop on Ebay for $130 shipped. The prop is listed as a Elgin-Scott-Wizard 60-75.2 hp Homelite 55 it is 11-1/2x11 and is cast bronze.

We are planning to attend the Old Boats Rule gathering in Los Alimitos Bay (Long Beach, CA) next week. I'm hoping to get everything in this week and if everything goes well, we will be cruising again next weekend.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Thursday, July 25, 2013

B.O.A.T. Gel Coat Repair

They say B.O.A.T stands for Bust Out Another Thousand... One of the previous owners of our Dorsett evidently ran over a rock and the result was a pretty nice scrape of the gel coat on the bottom of the boat.

In addition there were some scrapes all the way through the gel coat  at the lower edge of the transom. Since I leave the boat in the water for 3-4 days at a time, to seal the fiberglass I went ahead and did the same repair on the transom using a little two-part marine resin. 

Unfortunately, I found that the salt was removing both fixes as when I would pull the boat out and clean it the resin was flaking off. I was concerned this would eventually fail and the fiberglass would begin to soak up water, delaminate and in my mind that led to the boat sinking.

To fix this I decided to bite the bullet and have a professional repair the gel coat. I was fortunate to find Mel. He is a local mobile boat gel coat repair technician and he and his helper George came out and did a great job fixing the scars.

Here's the big fixes. Mel also found two hairline cracks in the gel coat parallel to the trailer supports. These cracks were ground out. New glass was placed across the area and filler and gel coated.
For some reason, someone drilled three holes in the gun whale these were also filled and gel coated.
Scars and chips on the splash well from a trolling motor were sanded filled and gel coated.
In addition to the big stuff Mel fixed a couple of chips on the lower edge of the side and cleaned up a whole bunch of scratches on the bottom of the boat. George spent two days on his back just sanding the bottom of the boat!

Mel did a great job at matching the 50 year old / faded color. The repairs are  barely visible unless you are in direct sun light, looking on an angle and you know what to look for. In my book that's a great job.
I feel a lot better now as the bottom of the boat is properly sealed. I just didn't want to come out to the dock one morning and see the boat under water.
This fix was $900... Bust out another thousand.