3 partial days in “the hole” have left me nearly crippled. Back pain has become a feature of every movement, especially those that involve a change from sitting to standing, or vice versa. And, of course, this has become a major deciding factor in how much of this work I can do. Also, I could not figure out a straight-forward method for actually getting the engine off the beds. It must involve some sort of lift from the bottom (a jack of some sort) combined with sliding it forward on to planks or blocks. But because I’ve never done it, I couldn’t be sure of this. To put my mind at ease, I got a ball-park estimate of cost to have the boat yard remove the engine.
Of course, it involves the crane – probably – twice – and probably an hour of labor for removal and return after I rebuild the beds. So I’m guessing $500 – $600. I provide the labor of disconnecting and reconnecting and alignment. Not bad, all things considered.
The yard manager looked at my access, and after a sharp intake of air, began to make very conservative estimates. The more we talked, the simpler he seemed to think it would be, especially if I improved access to the front of the engine. Without any changes, it looked like this:
When I told him I intended to enlarge the opening, he brightened up considerably. We also discussed the best approach to repairing the beds. He suggested cutting large windows on the inside faces of the beds and digging out the rotten wood. Then epoxy new wood through these windows and glass them up for seal and strength. This maintains the geometry of the beds, and is actually easier in the final analysis. Here’s a photo of the enlarged access, with thanks to one of my Watkins friends from the Yahoo Watkins Owners’ Group for the idea:
This will make the job a lot easier all the way around. It will also make maintenance much easier. Amazing what 15 minutes with an angle grinder/cut-off wheel will do.
Next photo is a closer look at the inside of the starboard bed. With the engine removed, access to cut out the inside wall of the bed is easy. Angle grinder will have it off in 10 minutes. Another half hour to dig out the rotten wood with the multi-tool.
I’m pretty confident I’ll find rot on the port side too. I’ll know more with the engine removed.