“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

The “To-Do” List Just Got Bigger


Yesterday Jason, a friend of Tom and a very good diesel mechanic, came to the boat to give Smitty’s engine a once over.  There has been a lot of discussion on the C310 forum about damper plates, motor mounts and replacing transmissions.  Jason was coming up to check out Tom’s engine after he replaced his motor mounts, stuffing box and re-aligned his engine.  Piggy backing on Jason’s trip north from Rhode Island was a no brainer.

Here is what he found:

  1. When I did my work this winter I mixed the red antifreeze with the green antifreeze.  This is a big no-no as it can cause sludge deposits in the system.  I thought I had gotten all of the green out but most not have gotten it all from the hot water heater.  I will correct this mistake this weekend.
  2. The hose from my stuffing box to my shaft log is near the end of its life.  This I knew and it was on my list for this coming winter already.  I plan to go to a dripless type system.  Jason is not a big fan of the PSS system and instead recommended the Tides Marine system.  More research is needed.
  3. When doing the above replacement, he said I should go to a stainless steel shaft instead of the bronze shaft that is currently on the boat.  I was planning this already too.  I noticed some wear when I repacked the stuffing box last year.  Jason also said that I would be better off finding an old Monel shaft than buying a new one. I guess they are made better.
  4. My motor mounts need to be replaced.  According to Jason, motor mounts are typically good for about 10 years.  My are original.  The interesting thing about the motor mounts on my boat is that these get stiffer as they fail instead of getting looser.
  5. The damper plate is getting ready to fail and needs to be replaced.  I had suspected this and this was the main thing I wanted him to check out my engine.

As I said, most of these were already on the list but it will still be a fairly busy off-season.  In addition, I need to replace the cutlass bearing, sand off the bottom paint to the barrier coat and reapply bottom paint.

It also has me rethinking some of the live aboard plans.  We are definitely behind in cleaning out the house and getting it ready for sale.  I have a feeling this is going to mean we keep the house through next winter and sell it in the spring of 2014.  But with as good as my Bride is doing at selling things on eBay, Craigslist, etc. we are likely to end up in the same spot kitty wise when we are ready to leave in 2015.

3 thoughts on “The “To-Do” List Just Got Bigger

  1. A thought on the stuffing box, I’d also avoid any dripless system. They are great while they work, but when they fail, you want to be near to shore, as they can’t be patched up like the old flax stuffing can! When we went over the engines in Sea Raven, I talked to the mechanic about it, he recommended the old school ones too. Any reason you can’t just scuff the bottom and paint over it? Blisters?

    • On the bottom, no blisters but before last year we took it all the way down to the glass and then put a couple layers of a barrier coat on. This will likely be my only haul out for the next 2-3 years (pushing it as long as I can), so my thought was to take off the residual (we did the barrier coat in a different color so this is easy to see) and then put on several coats of new anti-foul paint.

      On the stuffing box, that was this machinics issue with the PSS type systems. He said he had less of a concern with Trades Marine system because it doesn’t have one moveing part and one stationary part. The whole piece is stationary like a traditional stuffing box. And they made a way to have additional lip seals over the shaft so that when they need to be replaced you simply cut out the old one and push the new one down the shaft. You don’t have to undo the coupling or anything like that, it can be done in the water.

      Lots of research still to do on the stuffing box vs. dripless system. The bottom line is we want the bilge as dry as possible and I have had bad luck with traditional stuffing boxes in that regard. I either overtighten or have them too loose. Maybe I will give the traditional another shot.



      • I will have to take a look at the Trade Marine system, we need to haul out again soon – bottom paint and weird hull modifications removal – so checking out the stuffing boxes while out of the water would make sense too. You should still e able to go over the old bottom paint, just make sure you get ALL the loose pieces off, one of the mistakes we made, missed a few, but we have way too much wetted surface! But no harm in being thorough for sure!

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