FINALLY!! After an awful winter of rain, snow and cold, we finally got a decent weekend in the 70s. Time to go boating! Isabel rode on the bow as we took Ballena Blanca for her first little trip into the Potomac. We cruised down to the U-1105 marker buoy (that Capt.
This week I finally found a source for an I-beam to make a lifting rig for the old generator and starboard engine. I'd found the rest of the gear for hoisting (chain hoist, beam trolley, etc.) for a reasonable price (yay, Harbor Freight!).
This spring (while waiting for penerating oil to penetrate the stuck piston in the starboard engine) I put together a fuel polishing and distribution system for Blanca.
I had an issue with water in the fuel tanks-- they sat mostly empty all winter, and when I started the port engine, the water separator did its thing. I had to shut down and empty the sludge bowl every 3 minutes or so! I'd been ruminating about a fuel polishing system, so I decided to move that up in the schedule.
Awhile back, I discovered that Blanca's sister ship (the other of only two made) was docked in Alameda, California. She (oddly, named "Gypsy") recently underwent a change of ownership and was relocated to Ohio. I've traded emails and phone-calls with the owners, and they shared some pictures of her as she was being relocated. So strange, to see "my boat" (with slight differences), being partly disassembled and trailered!
After the high of getting "Patty" started last month, I spent the long Thanksgiving weekend tearing into "Selma", stripping her down and removing the cylinder head. Let's just say it wasn't quite as clean inside as the port engine. I knew I was in for something more "interesting" since I've never been able to turn the crankshaft with a wrench like I could on the other one. So I was rewarded with some "pumpkin pie" rust in cylinder #2.
My apologies for the long interval since my last entry, but I haven't really had any *visible* progress until this week.
I've been working on the port engine ("Patty"-- the starboard one is "Selma") since March. This included removing all the engine components including the cylinder head. I was prepared to do a complete overhaul, including pistons, sleeves, rings, etc. but I discovered that would require pulling the engine, which I hadn't planned to do. In any case, once removing the head, the pistons and sleeves looked clean enough not to need that attention.
Exciting news! I was doing my usual weekday time-waster: googling around for "motorsailer", "Ta Chiao" (the builder) or "Perkins" (the engines), etc. and stumbled across a forum entry at yachtforums.com by one Brian Eiland, a boat designer here in the DC area. He had apparently seen Blanca (previously "Gypsy") on the hard at Tall Timbers, and wondered who designed her.
I've been remiss again-- haven't updated this since last fall. But I've been busy all "winter" (Hardly a winter we had this year-- no snow and only a handful of freezing days. But, who am I to complain!)
First, I finished the under-waterway compartments. Here's a couple pictures of the completed product (except for paint).