Actual Engine Removal

Here's where things get interesting. This is Part 3 of our engine removal. Another way to preface this is: "If it ain't one thing, it's every other damned thing."
Part 1: Towards Electric Drive Part 2: Removing a Large Engine While in the Water
Surprise! Churn What I Would Have Done Differently
The gantry has proven itself well. It pulled everything thus far with no creaks or groans. Now to test lifting the engine! Here we are testing it all out. No groans or creaks. The gantry is solid and performing as expected.
Surprise!And then... this.
We overbuilt the gantry beam. Two 2x6 fir beams should have been sufficient, so of course we used two 2x8 beams through-bolted so they behave as one beam. It turns out that materials capacity tables can't take into account defective materials. One of the 2x8 beams snapped at a knot on the bottom of the board. Fortunately there was a second beam to take the load. We were able to ease the engine back down into place. 
Breakage was su…

Removing a Large Engine While Still in the Water

This is Part 2 in our adventures in repowering our sailboat with electric drive. Based on questions and feedback, this is going to be long. I try to keep the detail relevant to people who may want to do this themselves. We are happy to answer any questions that arise.
Part 1, "Towards Electric Drive" is here.
Part 3. "Actual Engine Removal" is here.

The Problem(s)
The Planning
The Execution

The Problem(s)
Most of the time, we get to stand on the shoulders of sailors that did something before we did. Most sailors don't have a Large Diesel Engine they are trying to remove in an unconventional way. There is some information out there on removing engines from boats, but they all involve smaller engines or a boatyard and large crane.

We had a few problems to solve. Working on your house while you live in it is always a tile puzzle game. Even more so on a boat. The overarching problem is: we need to lift Large Diesel Engine while still at dock in the marina. "Why not…

Towards Electric Drive

This is Part 1 in a long journey.Part 2: "Removing a Large Engine While in the Water"
Part 3. "Actual Engine Removal" is here.

Background I wanted electric drive since my first sailboat. The voltage regulator in that boat died because the previous owner just dropped in AGM batteries while using the same internal voltage regulator. This can be a non-issue if AGM batteries are never deeply discharged. But I discharged the batteries to 60% on a long sail. AGM batteries can accept up to 50% Amps (A) of the Amps-hours (Ah) removed. For example, if 500Ah were taken out, the batteries will gladly gulp down 250A when the alternator gets energized. AGM batteries require a a regulator designed for the charge profile of that chemistry.

Just slap on a new Balmar with an external regulator and call it done, right? Wrong. What was a "simple" $1000 replacement quickly ballooned to $3500 and four moths because of other issues, custom fab, and interlocking…

Audiobooks Aboard

The lack of storage space on the boat has encouraged me to adopt audiobooks as my preferred format. I can listen while washing the dishes, riding the ferry, sewing, driving, varnishing, or working on any number of other tasks. Publishers are investing heavily in this rapidly growing format, and quality has improved significantly as a result. I have recently encountered familiar voices like Levar Burton, Tom Hanks, and John Hodgman reading to me, and many audiobooks are produced with multiple readers for clarity of voice.

A Few Tips 
Until a few years ago, my experiences with audiobooks involved cassettes or CDs and long car trips. Now technology allows me to keep dozens in my pocket all the time.

Increasing the playback speed forces me to focus. At normal speed, my mind wanders, but at 1.25x or 1.5x, I must listen actively to maintain the thread of the narrative. Wayne listens at 2x speed, which sounds like an impenetrable wall of words to me. Listed run times are at normal speed; your…

Catching Up: Toronto Adventures

Neither of us had been to Toronto, but Wayne's work sent him there for a week in August. I went along to see the city, and of course, eat.

The drive from the airport into the city took us past many walkers, runners, cyclists, and rollerbladers making use of trails and parks along the waterfront. Bicycles are treated as a part of the flow of traffic downtown and share the roads with cars. Bike share stations are plentiful, and cyclists are everywhere. Yay bikes!

As certified Seattle Coffee Snobs, we expect disappointing coffee when we travel. Our first morning at the hotel brought a pleasant surprise: excellent coffee at Bluestone Lane without leaving the building. There is no comfort like surprisingly good coffee in a strange place (and in a chain coffee shop no less).

Wandering around during the lunch hour, I saw hundreds of office workers sitting around fountains and in parks, eating from take-out boxes. I remembered then that most of the shops in downtown Toronto do not have s…

Happy Pi(e) Day! Sorry I'm late.

OOPS! I wrote this post 243 days ago and just discovered my failure to post it. With Thanksgiving a few weeks away, it is seasonally appropriate again. I'm feeling iffy about my assertion that Pi Day is the year's best holiday. Thanksgiving will always be the ruler of all holidays in my book because it is so intensely food focused.

So, what pie is your favorite? This year our self-proclaimed coconut-hating hostess has requested Dahlia Bakery coconut cream pie, and I want chocolate bourbon pecan. I'll make at least one other, possibly this one or something similar. And of course there will be an absurd quantity of fresh whipped cream.

3/14/19:  Inspired by an early morning text from Wayne wishing me a Happy Pi Day, I sprang rolled out of bed early, donned my Pi Day shirt and ran all of my errands by midday. I needed time to make my first pie on the boat in celebration of the year's best holiday, which had arrived while I had my back turned.

Not quite ready for a full-on …