Showing posts from June, 2020

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…