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Midships 25 Hull number 65 shall rise again

15388 Views 60 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  stagg
I traveled down to the hills of Northern Arkansas to look at a the sails that the fellow posted up that would ostensibly fit my Parker Dawson 26. Odd to find random Parker Dawson parts ANYWHERE much less in Northern Arkansas so it was certainly worth the look.

Turns out that neither sail was a particularly good fit for my later Dawson. The guy really wanted to be rid of the entire boat and was keen to make a deal on the whole thing but the reality was that there wasn't that much there that was directly helpful to me.

My buddy Stagg happened to be along and as we looked at the entire hull, Stagg slowly got to thinking that in all reality, the entire boat might be worth bringing back from the dead rather than chain sawing the whole thing up.

The boat was clearly much loved quite some time ago but the previous "real" owner died in 2004 and the boat had been sitting on it's trailer in a forest since then and we all know what that means...

We did not snap interior pics, but trust me, it was plenty wet and the entire thing was generally quite icky. None the less, Stagg was notionally interested and the seller eventually dropped the price to a can't miss price point and we eventually changed out as many of the old tires with spares from my trailer and hit the road.

The trip back was mostly uneventful other than one wheel bearing heating up and dragging a middle wheel down till it heated up and blew one of the middle tires. No big deal, we just strapped up the middle axle and finished the trip as a mere tandem axle trailer rather than a triple.

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Now safely back in Kansas City, Stagg is getting to work on it.

#1 issue is that both center life line stanchions were snapped off, it looked like when the most recent owner moved it down his road ringed with many low hanging tree limbs. Both will be simple glass repairs but will need to be undertaken in a fairly inconvenient location.

Forward cabin is naturally quite dirty and there is no lack of water damage. Teak seems to have survived, but anything non-teak ate it something fierce.

The rear cabin had been converted to a throne room complete with this quite convoluted box which basically took up 100% of the available space.

The companionway slats and doors had come apart into a puzzle pile of boards. Stagg took them home last night and laid them out to see what all was there and not there. Looks mostly there at least so if we sit down and glue them all back together we should be able to at least close the thing up enough to keep condors from roosting in the cabins.

The inboard on this one is a Balwin Saildrive. The engine was out and thankfully suffered only minor water damage. Oddly enough, with only minimal cleaning followed by setting the points, it fired right up. I currently have the Delco starter/generator apart and am replacing the bearings on it. Hopefully that will restore it to proper operation as well.
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Work progress from during the week:

Interior stripped out and cleaned. Missing the cushion that goes in the middle of the V-Berth as well as a few other things but overall it's managable. This one is much more refrigerator like inside than mine so it's actually cleaning out fairly well. Most all of the wood that was above the fish tank water line looks like it will come around just fine.

Pressure washed the hull. Initally, we did not even really notice that this one was blue. The more we clean it, the more blue it is. Hull surface looks nicer than it is in the last pic since it was still wet there but it's certainly coming along!

Beginning the compounding of the hull. First run with rubbing compound seen here. Getting better!

Various chlorine and peroxide based bleaches used to kill off the deck funk, this made short work of washing the desks. Note also the door slats are all reassembled and glued back together. Now pelicans cannot just fly into the cabins.
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Weekend progress:

Grabbed Curfman to help and we shifted the boat over to a spot less festooned the enemy trees so that we could stand up the mast and have a look and see what rigging we are missing. Standing rigging is so-so at best, running rigging is mostly rotted or missing but the key bits are there so we can just rebuild a bit at a time and still hopefully beat the cold weather and get her in at least once this year.

Continued compounding the hull. In case you are curious, yes, this tedious work. Here you see the second run on the port side with the Mequires Super Cut compound. Starting to see some shine and finally past the last of the hazy bits. Hopefully the following passes with progressively finer glazes will get the depth of shine she deserves.

Stagg halfway down with pass 1 on the starboard side.
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Getting the interior wood and door slats worked over.

Quite surprised that in fact almost all of the interior wood worked out just dandy. Had to replace a grand total of 2 hinges and one center panel on the hanging locker door.

The companionway slats and rear cabin door were a huge undertaking to get evened out but the end result, I think looks quite good.

Filling gaps in the companionway slats.

Companionway sealed up, gaps filled with epoxy.

Scraping things even with a rasp.

Sanding it down.

First coat of spar varnish

Lower cabinet bin door.

The galley undersink door frame

Sawing cubby holes in the side covers
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No smell, not sure how we dodged that one. They cleaned up quite well even if they are pretty atrocious styling wise.

Yes, the boards are cedar, caught us quite by surprise when I rasped the funk off.
Pretty much nailed it there Krisscross. I am pretty sure Stagg just couldn't stand the sight of one of these thing about to get chain sawed up.

My circle of friends have been restoring military vehicles for years and in the process have brought some pretty broken toys back to life.

Compared to how our front line ambulance started off, a fiberglass sailboat seems pretty easy!

Same truck a few years later at an event (long story, but we usually do not keep skeletons in it)
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A little update on this guy:

Turns out baby blue is not Stagg's color... Painting it YELLOW instead. Going to be hard to miss this one!

In the water last spring.

Had some keel issues, it would not go more than halfway down. Here Stagg is diving under to have a look in the then 50 degree water. Good time to have a dry suit! No luck getting the keel to cooperate in the water so after the saildrive acted up on 4th of July weekend we pulled it back out, tuning up the engine and fully freeing the keel using a sawzall to noodle out all the rust.

One of the advantages of literally being parked next to a slightly newer model deluxe interior boat is you can simply copy the parts you like. Here Stagg is building a pair of the book shelves that go behind the aft berths.

The Midships drips quite aggressively in the rain. Here Stagg is pulling apart the main cabin windows after rebedding all the stanchions and deck hardware. Last rain left us with a dry bilge and very few drips in the cabin.

Back in the water last week and rolling coal with the 2 stroke saildrive motor. This picture taken mere minutes before the motor to saildrive shaft failed again leaving the poor midships unpowered. Good news is this time at least the keel works so it can sail back home.

Back merrily resting at it's mooring. We plan to keep it in for the rest of the useful sailing season than pull it back out and reassess the saildrive situation. If it's as easy as just replacing a bad shaft, we will likely just do so and move on but if it's much more nuisance than that we do have a spare little diesel sitting right here that needs a home.
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The Midships, now named SV Sunflower, is well out of derelict status and is out doing good work.

Sunflowers cabin then

Sunflowers cabin now

The last sail for the year was a buddy boat trip with SV East Wind (my boat) down to Kentucky Lake over the Thanksgiving Holiday.

SV Sunflower at the ramp at Kentucky Dam Marina after an uneventful trailer down from Kansas City

Sunflower clipping along down Kentucky Lake

Previous low quality repair work found! Lower half of the rudder is still down there somewhere...

Luckily SV East Wind was near at hand and was able to tow Sunflower back up the lake to Kentucky Dam Marina to effect temporary repairs. Sunflower really roamed around back there and with the following seas made for a real corkscrewing ride. That's why Stagg is riding tank commander style in his front hatch braving the cold and rain to avoid seasickness.

Jury rigged replacement rudder. It wasn't pretty but it did the job and was a damn site better than cutting short a hard won vacation.

One of the lessons learned from the crew of the Sunflower was that an autopilot is a nice thing on a longer sail. They were bound to endless tiller duty while just across the water East Wind's crew seemed to have it easy with their autopilot doing the day to day grind work. Stagg snapped this guy up off of Ebay and plans to have it installed before the next lengthy sail. Also getting installed are a fixed VHF, a depth sounder, and another few layers of GPS units. The minimalist approach is nice sometimes but Kentucky Lake was shallow enough to convince Stagg that some of the doo dads are worth having.

Balwin saildrive unit is out for overhaul. This is really a funny little unit. It is pretty much completely made of Evinrude 9.5HP outboard parts so it's fairly maintainable. I just need to bob down a replacement drive shaft on my lathe for him and it will all go back together. Still don't really have the perfect water pump for this thing, the original was long gone when we got it. We had been using an electric vane pump but are not that impressed with it. We have a Jabsco pump that should do but is bigger than we really like but we'll make it work till the right pump comes along. We are going to take a good batch of pics with this and hope to document enough of it to provide a resource to others who end up with one of these on their boats.
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Thanks guys!

The rudder repair was quick and dirty since we wanted to get back to being on vacation rather than waste valuable time. East Wind actually came with a spare NOS rudder so we had an extra back home, no reason to get too crazy with it. Stagg basically stole the 2x12 out of my pickup truck bed that I use to contain small stuff up near the cab attacked it with the Dewalt 18V Sawzall to give it at least some notional profile then stuck on some spacers and and strapped it into place. It worked shockingly well for a plan conceived at Waffle House at 7 am.
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As is the way of things, it's been a busy spring preparing SV Sunflower for the water. Sunflower is most likely going to be sitting out this sailing season as Stagg, it's owner, is heading off for a few years worth of helicopter flying schools but we are progressing none the less on it hoping to have it ready at hand if he ends up with some breaks in between schools that he can make use of.

The inboard has been the biggest dragon to slay. The original Balwin Saildrive had a engine that runs near perfectly however the drive shaft coupling the engine itself to the lower unit was stripped out. We pulled everything out, made an extra fancy test stand out of a chunk of plywood screwed to some saw horses and set about looking for the solution. For those of you who are not familiar with the Balwin Saildrive, it's really a pretty basic system more or less consisting of a 9.5 Hp Evinrude Sportwin outboard engine that has been somewhat rudimentarily converted into a saildrive unit. Good news is that the 9.5 Evinrude is a very common engine and since it's really a pretty basic conversion, for all intents and purposes, all the parts you might need for this thing are readily available just about anywhere that sells Evinrude parts. When this is all said and done, we will put together a quick web page documenting all the stuff we figured out about this thing so that future folks looking for Balwin Saildrive info have a few resources to work with.

A few highlights:


Unit on the "test stand" you can see the fairly simple bracket under the power head that attaches the engine directly to the modified original foot of the engine. This also contains a bell crank that attaches to a shortened shift rod that changes between forward, neutral, and reverse. Here Stagg is working out how we are going to mount the water pump. We do not have an original pump so we are adapting a Jabsco pump we had sitting around attaching it, like the original pump to the drive shaft via a section of 025 chain.

[img] [MEDIA=flickr]32915691250[/MEDIA]

Test stand flipped. Here you can see the foot of the original outboard has been modified by welding a large plate on it to attach to the hull and blocking both the cooling water intake and exhaust ports. Major holes are welded over, minor passages are just filled with 5200.

[img] [MEDIA=flickr]32483759673[/MEDIA]

The Drive shaft for the saildrive unit is an original drive shaft that has been cut down and rewelded. Likewise, our replacement shaft is a cut down and rewelded original shaft. Here you can see Curfman sticking it together with my TIG welder using a section of angle iron to line everything up with.

[img] [MEDIA=flickr]32455594934[/MEDIA]

Once tacked, we checked basic alignment with a granite surface plate (a piece of glass would work here too) then little tweaks here and there were made till we were happy and then it was fully joined. We checked it on my lathe when we were done, made a few more minor tweaks and we were off.


New shaft installed, pinion gear added for the water pump drive. There is not a ton of clearance under this guy so we just moved the pinion to where it best matched up, drilled the retaining pin hole, whacked the pin in and adjusted our pump on the outside to match. Currently waiting on a drive chain and a Mini Denso 35 amp one wire alternator to replace the original starter generator with
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More follow up Balwin saildrive pictures. Again, there is not that much info for these on the web so while it may seem silly to post this many pictures, I know from experience that having some reference pictures around would be really helpful to those coming at one of these from step zero.

Shafts. Original shaft on top, replacement on the bottom. The saildrive unit is shorter than the outboard so the shaft has to be shortened accordingly. Rather than recutting the splines which would be tough to do without a milling machine and a dividing head we opted to just cut a section out of a used/good outboard motor shaft and weld it back together. The saildrive drive shaft measures 12.75 inches.

The shifter linkage is cut down as well. We did not measure this one but I don't think it would be too hard to figure out.

The adapter with the shifter bell crank on it. Sunflower is fitted with a somewhat excessively complex Morse single stick shifter which accounts for the all the adjustments built into the bell crank that you see. You could easily do away with all that hooey and use a separate shifter, then just about any bell crank assembly that fits on there would work.

Exhaust as you can see is highly technical... Pretty much just galvanised pipe with a drain **** at the bottom to allow water to be dumped out as needed.

Water pump set up, here pictured with the engine off and spacers accounting for where the engine usually is while we worked on getting the basic chain drive alignment in. Like I mentioned before, we don't have the original pump nor mount so this is all fabbed up to provide the flow rate needed with the pump we already had sitting around.

Mini Denso 35 amp alternator installed. Here we were getting the spacing worked out with Starboard bushings, we will make real ones on the lathe tonight. The original units use a 15 amp Delco starter/Generator with an external regulator like what you would see on a garden tractor. It did provide electric start where the Denso will not but it was a pretty stupid and fiddly charging system compared to the one wire to the battery self exciting Denso here. The engine pull starts with ease so we are not too worried about not having an electric start system.

Thru the hull view looking from what would be aft forward. Prop is not on the lower end right now but you get the idea.
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Wait what? There's an end to projects? I thought the whole idea of messing with boats is you create a to do list, spend a weekend working items off of it and end up with a slightly longer to do list. At least that seems to be how everything on my boats go.

I just tell myself every time that all I need to do is make a 2% improvement each trip out to the boat, it's easy enough to attain a goal like that and you make progress a lot faster than you think before too long.
Test run of the Balwin Saildrive!
As usual, it pretty much cranked right up. Video was taken just after it started, once it warmed up a bit the miss went away and she ran smooth as can be.

Alternator outputting charge voltage

Certified crazy eyed shop Tomcat thinks the charge voltage is a bit too high. I am going to wait and see what it looks like attached to a real battery rather than the little test battery we had there in the shop.
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After spending yesterday afternoon trying to remove the injector from my YSE8 Yanmar from the same model boat I do have to confess to being more than a little jealous of the roomy engine bay in that thing even if it does sound like a weed whacker.

Sunflower coming into the tiny harbor at Devils Island in the Apostles after having sailed the length of Isle Royale then crossed Lake Superior to the Apostles.

Great trip that made the work all worthwhile.

Whole album from the trip can be seen here:[email protected]/albums/72157685731863505
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Stagg is down at Ft Rucker learning how to bludgeon the laws of gravity into submission in just 5473 simple steps using the handy dandy CH47 Chinook so I will answer in his stead.

Yes, the cabins we're quite full of water. In the immediate short term we just dropped in an hose and siphoned most of it out so we could tow it home. From there, we yanked all the loose stuff out, added a bilge pump and started filling and pumping out to rinse loose all the muck. Once we started pumping clear water out, we started actively trying to spray up under the cabin liner to get still more muck out.

The cabintery mostly just needed sanding and adjustment. It's mostly teak and survived fine.

I suspect that the next trip for Sunflower will be the Gulf coast of Florida.
Boil boil toil and trouble!
Since Stagg has been remiss in his updates I will chime in.

He was having a tough time getting the cylinder out of this engine despite the best efforts of my Mark2 Mod0 cylinder knocker outer tool I mailed down to him conveniently stuffed into one 40 pound flat rate box. Having had enough of my helpful heckling from 1000 miles away Stagg decided to load up his Hyundai and drive up to Kansas City and tell me to put up or shut up.

Turns out that yes, the cylinder was very very very stuck.

No matter...

Step 1: Shatter the cylinder. This will allow us to fight each stuck half separately. The cylinders are cast iron and believe it or not, they shatter without too much effort.

Next take a hack saw and carefully cut MOST of the way through the cylinder at the top. From there, collapse in one side with a hammer and punch. This is a familiar trick to anyone who has ever had to remove a stuck seal. Basically, you just need to break the circle and it will come right free.

Corrosion and debris around the cooling water jacket. Yikes.... This was a running engine!

Just the bottom portion remained. Now we went after it with a large brass block and an air hammer from the back side.

Once everything was out we clean clean cleaned everything up, dealt with the corrosion and painted the inside of the water jacket to hopefully forstall this happening again any time soon.

Water pump was a little iffy.... Replaced the bearings and the impeller, cleaned everything up nice.

Alternator got stripped and cleaned as well as new bearings installed on him too.

Quickly got much better looking as well.

And back into the Hyundai from whence it came.
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Take that quiet suburban neighborhood! It's always a great leap forward once you animate the long idle engine.

Now all you need is engine mounts and a way to make the propeller twirl around.
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