Well, we had a great Thanksgiving over the past weekend - the weather was perfect on Sunday and Monday (And Saturday wasn't awful), and I had a very nice time up at the cabin seeing friends and family. I also got a little bit of work done on the boat, but between the festivities not as much as I'd hoped...I might be able to get some more work done next weekend or the weekend after based on the weather. I also - *finally* - got my fuel tanks and motor mounts, so there's some pictures of those in here as well.
First and foremost though, the drain plugs! I'd kept putting them off because I was a bit worried about everything, but it got to the point that they were the only thing really left below the water line other than painting the transom, so I should probably get on with it. I decided to use brass garboard plugs because most of the googling I did seems to paint them as the more "permanent" option, i.e. a rubber style plug is better for a dingy but a brass screw in style plug is better for larger boats spending most of their time in the water.
I snuck the holes in a conveniently placed corner under the pump and beside the intake, right at the back of the hull. There's one hole on each side of the intake.
I will likely paint the mounts and plugs black with everything installed, as I'm not sure I like the brass right beside the white very much. We'll see how I feel when the time comes.
Drilling the holes was....scarier than I would have liked. There was no way for me to get the hull at the bottom of the hull but still be level if I drilled from the inside of the hull, as the drill was much larger than the 1" diameter bit I had to use. I also had to use a spade bit instead of a hole saw as I was drilling through ~3" of material, which is too long for any of the hole saws I have. The process I used was to start the spade bit until the spade itself was comfortably in a pocked (so that I wasn't just relying on the point to guide me). Then I switched to my largest twist drill, a 1/2", and drilled the whole way through to give me more accuracy in guiding the initial hole. While I mostly did it because I was lazy, It proved to be a very good idea as I hit screw on both holes that would have wrecked havoc with my spade blade, and was able to drill through them with the twist drill before proceeding with the spade bit. As you can see from the picture, it came out really well - and at pretty much exactly the right location!
The starboard hole came out very well too - it needs a bit more epoxy filler to match the height of the keel, but will otherwise be pretty much perfect as well. I'm toying with the idea of hoisting up the front of the hull so it's at an angle and just pouring in some epoxy to the right height to fill in the gap with a nice, smooth pad for the water to flow on up to the height of the keel and plug.
The only other work I got done this weekend was to sand the work I did two weeks ago - I decided not to try and epoxy it as I would have only had time for 1 or 2 coats and want to get at least 2-3 more on before one final sand. That being said, I did get quite a bit of sanding done - a full pass with the random orbit to knock down any high spots or bumps, a pass in both "x" and "y" with the long board, this time using 40 grit to get things sanded down more quickly - and a final pass with the random orbit to get rid of (most) of the scratches.
This got me to the point where pretty much the entire deck, other than the areas around the ash strips, is perfectly flat. The areas around the strips still have a bit of a "valley" effect, but it's starting to break up - so I'm hoping that only one more epoxy (2-3 layers at once) and sand is all I'll need to get the whole boat totally flat.
This is where the boat stands now in terms of sanding progress - there's still a few little low spots on the deck, and about 50% of the strips still have a valley effect going on...but it's getting extremely close! For a comparison, see the first pass of sanding below and how much rougher it was:
As you can see, quite a bit of progress has been made on making things smoother!
Similarly, you can see a huge change after the boats been washed - particularly around the ash strips, and the overall level-ness of the surface. I'm very happy with how it's looking right now!
That's all of the work I got done, but I still got to dream a bit since my fuel tanks and motor mounts finally came in. I'd been waiting on the custom fuel tanks since I found out the stock ones didn't fit back in July - and I'd been waiting on the motor mounts since I first called Glenwood Marine in May (they had to case a new run).
First up, the fuel tanks. The outboard side of each aligns with the side of the boat (i.e. it's not vertical), to maximize capacity in the tank while minimizing the useful space the tank takes up. I've also placed everything where it should be - the pickups are at the back and inside, the lowest point of the tank, and there's a baffle in the tank by the pickup as well. The sender is right in the middle so it will "run dry" before I'm actually, totally out of gas, and then the vent and fill are near the front and as outboard as possible to sneak under the coamings. Each tank is 15.5 gallons and is made from 1/8" thick aluminium - much thicker than the stock tanks were. The best part is, they only cost $50 more! So, a huge thank you to RDS Aluminium for that
There's an overhead shot - the fill and vent are roughly where the brighter reflection on the deck is.
And, last but certainly not least, the motor mounts! I ended up getting the Glenwood Marine polished 4 point mounting system for big block chevy's, but without the rubber feet (as those were going to be another year!). I thought using rubber mounts would be the way to go for sure, but looking around online on some of the forums most people seemed to think the solid was the way to go? I've decided to do a mix of both - I'm going to largen the bolt holes slightly for rubber inserts, and clamp a section of rubber between the mount and it's foot. This should in theory isolate the entire mount from the boat, without any of the supposed weakness or flex drawbacks associated with the traditional rubber mounting style.
Now, I'm pretty sure my mounts never even entered Glenwood's inventory since I'd been politely bugging them all summer for them, and they showed up in need of a bit of a wash...there was polish residue all over some parts! I got them all cleaned off and mounted to my foam engine block to see how they look, and needless to say, I'm a fan...
The front mount is effectively a flat plate, so it's pretty much a mirror. *Drools slightly*. It's an incredibly beefy piece of aluminium, the quality is top notch, and I can't wait to get a matching polished aluminium timing chain cover to go with it! On that note, I am a tiny bit confused - does anyone know what the "extra" hole poking up out of the right foot is? The hardware included one *very* long bolt that I presume goes there, but I have no idea what they could possibly be for!
The rear mount is also stunning - it's really a shame that I'm not doing a V drive so you won't really get to see it as much as the front one! It will be a while before I actually put the little feet on and mount them into the hull, but I'm very excited to have them here...it's a sign that things are getting close!
Front shot of the engine mocked into the boat with the mounts - also another good shot of what stage the decking is at in terms of smoothness.
Two 3/4 shots - I'm surprised with how high the engine rides in the mounts. As they are, they're aligned so that they'd mount to the very bottom of the stringers (which is not, to be honest, where I'd want them) - so I'm going to reinforce the stringers with plate through that section.
From the side - as it is I'm probably going to try and move the engine back as much as possible. The gas tanks are held captive by the frames, but as long as I get a little creative with my oil pan (similar to Paul's yellow one on his Hot Rod) I think I can move the engine back a good 6-8", depending on the exhaust clearance!
From behind - I do wish you could see the bellhousing more!
Last but not least, a final progress shot - I might get a few more coats on if I get lucky with the weather but otherwise this might be how it sits for the winter! I will likely try and get an engine sorted out over the winter if I can get the budget for it sorted out, as I'd really like to finish everything for a 2018 launch...and building an engine sounds like a good winter project when I'm not working on my snowmobile! I do also have my dash to make, and my shifter and steering wheel...so if nothing else I'll be back to take some measurements!
Happy Thanksgiving to the other Canadians on the group, and I hope everyone else is having a great fall as well!