Saturday, February 18, 2012

Instructions? I Don't Need No Stinkin' Instructions.

I finally tackled the Boston-Whaler-on-the-roof project yesterday.  We need it running so that we can get the dogs off the boat when we anchor out.  This is the very last boat system to get working, and after this, everything else on Drift Away is cosmetic.

Like Drift Away, the Whaler sat out in the weather for 20 years, neglected and unused.  The wooden console had rotted away, but I found a replacement online for only $179.  I ordered it, had it shipped to the town marina in Beaufort SC, and when it arrived put it up on the flybridge for Whaler Project Day.  Yesterday was Whaler Project Day.

I started by putting the steering cable back inside the Teleflex mechanical helm.  This was a very difficult job, and required Pam to help, but after an hour or so, it was reassembled.  The mechanical helm is in my right hand.

All the parts that I disassembled were scattered all around the Whaler.  Wow.  I hope I can remember where they all go.

Pam made a run to West Marine to get supplies, including varnish that I'd need to seal the holes I'd be cutting in the new console.  While I awaited her return, I addressed the 40 HP Evinrude.  I pulled the engine cover off and squirted some 2 cycle oil into the two sparkplug holes, and then inserted two new spark plugs.

Back to the console, I carefully measured and drilled and screwed it into place.

Please notice that there is no hole in the console top to accomodate the steering box.  I'll need to drill that.  It would be nice if the new bezel and bracket I bought came with instructions and a template.  It was completely different from the old one, but no biggie, I'll figure it out.

Finding the center is easy.

While I was test fitting the bracket, I did what every boater has done... dropped a part, which, according to maritime law, must make a bee line for the bottom of the sea.  I watched the self-locking nylon nut hit the deck, bounce a couple of times, and then soar over the edge of the flybridge, where it hit the concrete dock and bounced once really high, hitting the canvas of the boat next to us, slid down, hit his swim platform, and miraculously stopped.   For my landlubber friends, and as my boater friends will tell you, this NEVER happens.  Ever.  I didn't know what to do, other than to take photos of this momentus occasion to record it for all mankind.

I was dumbfounded.  See it right there?

I think our homage to King Neptune when we performed our name changing ceremony has definitely changed our luck for the better.

After doing a happy dance and retrieving the nut, I bolted the new mounting bracket to the bottom of the console....

and then needed to wait for Pam and the varnish.  While I was waiting, I decided to install the new ignition switch.  There was nothing wrong with the old ignition switch except that we didn't have a key for it.   There were five wires of various colors running to the switch, so I decided to photograph them in case I lost track of what wire went where.  Hey, when you hit your sixties, it's hard to remember where your reading glasses are let alone five different colored wires.

I managed to swap out the switches without incident, or the need to view the pics I took.  Meanwhile, Pam returned with varnish and I swabbed up the holes and assembled the console and mechanical helm.  This project is running perfectly!

I put the new bezel over the helm and... there wasn't enough shaft sticking out to mount the wheel.  Really?  Ya know, this job would be a whole lot easier if the bezel came with mounting instructions.  Who ever heard of something like this coming without instructions?  Now I have to disassemble everything and figure out what to do.

So it seemed to me that I'd need to mount the bracket on top of the console to get the steering shaft high enough to mount the wheel.  This meant disassembling every-friggin'-thing.

There is the hole I drilled for the steering shaft.  Next to it is the mounting bracket. 

So I laid the bracket on top of the console and traced it with a sharpie, and then cut it out with my sabre saw.  This looks promising, but this whole job would have been a lot better if the bezel and bracket came with instructions  I'd have been done a couple of hours ago.

Done!  And it actually works!  Am I getting a little thin on top?

One thing I dislike doing is picking up all the tools I use doing projects.  I packed up the two tool boxes, the drill, the sabre saw, the instructions, the left over nuts and bolts.... instructions??  Where were the instructions?  They were obviously under something, but yep, there they were, diagrams, templates and all.

Well, all's well that ends well.  The Whaler is 95% back together.  I only need to finish hooking up the fuel lines, charge the battery, and put gas in the tank before launching it and cranking it up to see if it works.  Time for a victory beer!

Now where did I put my reading glasses?


  1. 13 foot whaler,....40 horsepower?!! I have to see video when you crack it open Dave.

    1. The Johnson 40 I have on my 14' runabout came off a 13' whaler, too. They must like to put a little power on those little whalers.

  2. hmmm 40 hp, I can hardly wait to see the smile on Ruby and Chevy's faces as their jowls are flapping in the breeze. Job well done.

  3. We always wonder where we left the tools. Can't find anything! Oh Yea, I was too tired to put them away last time I used them. Back hurt, legs hurt, needed a victory beer!!!

  4. "Instructions? I Don't Need No Stinkin' Instructions."

    Had to chuckle at that one! Can't tell you how many times I've said that myself only to eventually read them without the wife seeing me! :-) It'd tarnish my reputation as a miracle worker!

    Good job on the Whaler. :-)

  5. I want a 100 piece package of those ny-loc nuts. For it to fall all the way from the flybridge, bounce off the adjoining boat, and still not end up in King Neptunes toolbox is a miracle. I can clone these nuts and make a million, if they never fall in the water. I think with all the bolts, nuts, and washers I have dropped over the side, I have contributed to raise the sea level a couple of inches. The Whaler is looking good.

  6. Wondering how you took that Teleflex apart - mine just failed would love to see inside!

  7. Man, I wish I could remember and help you out, but I can't. But it does come apart. If I could do it, you can, I'm sure. Good luck.