From steering pedestal back to engine room

by Glen

Mon 31 May, HHN day 48: A day of tying up loose ends. Finalise steering pedestal project, boom spray cover and outhaul car. Removed gas locker lid, fix small leak on water system, remove Volvo exhaust elbow.

Busy day today. Tying up all manner of loose ends. And the sun is back out. Somehow, it totally energies me after the last few days of cold and rain.
I start in the cockpit, where it’s a chilly 10 degC early in the morning. At 7am I was in full winter woolies and by 11am (with sun on greenhouse) I was in shorts only. 10 deg to 32 in 4 hours!

Last evening, I had rewired all the steering pedestal LEDs to suit the new dimer. But had not tidied them up, ty-wrapped anything, nor installed the dimer in the consol. So there was still quite a bit of work to be done this morning. And when I’m finally finished and I try to get the panel back in, I find it almost impossible to do because the panel has been cut-out very badly.

So I end up sawing it out to a better shape, which of course covered everything in fiber glass dust and the need for a big cleaning operation. But at least the panel in now easy to remove and replace next time. Though like everything, I’m hoping there won’t be a next time!
In the evening, after sunset, I checked all the buttons, the lights and the dimer function, which all work perfectly now. It was quite a marathon of a job but I’m very happy with the outcome. The steering pedestal looks like new again now, and we have added functionality with the dimer and the USB outlets.

After the steering pedestal, I remove the gas locker hatch. When we sanded the decks in 2017 the hinge bolts were now too long and had punched through the gelcoat on the underside of the hatch. I’ve been meaning to clean it up ever since, and epoxy over the holes. Today is finally the day!

By now the cockpit is just too hot again. So I go outside in the wonderfully fresh air to finalise the boom. Just 2 things to do. Finish making the spray cover that I had started a few days ago, to stop salt spray entering into the mast end of the boom. And I need to re-install the small but important sheave into the outhaul traveler. It would have been a simple job, I had done it before putting the traveler back onto its track.
But now it’s much more difficult because of the rollers bearing in the sheave. It takes me quite a while to work out how to do it, without losing all the little rollers in the gravel. And for the last time, I cover the boom up. Next time I uncover it will be when we lift it into place, in October. A lot of working hours have been sunk into that boom. I hope Cloudy Bay appreciates it!

Back inside the boat, I next tackle a job I’ve been putting off for a week or 2 now. After rebuilding all the plumbing on the bottom of the hot water tank, I still had a very small and annoying leak. Just a few drips. But a leak is a leak! So the system gets drained yet again.
Ideally, the water tank should come off again to re-do the leaky joint properly. But first, I try to remove it whilst in situ. And to my surprise I do manage that. This time I decide not to mess with 3M5200. I just give the joint oodles of Locktite 275 and screw it back in. The Hallberg-Rassy way! I’ll be patient and leave it for 24 hours, then refill the system. If it still leaks, I’m afraid the tank will have to come off again ☹. Fingers crossed not to have to remove it for a third time.

Last job of the day, still in the engine room, is to remove the exhaust elbow on the Volvo. I last took this off when we bought the boat, 5 years ago. The elbow joins the engine where the exhaust exits the turbo. It is also the place where the raw cooling water (sea water) gets injected into the exhaust system.
So big potential for corrosion and carbon build up, or both. Last time I removed it, it was so badly corroded that we had to buy a complete new elbow. That’s when I learned the high price of Volvo specific spare parts. I think it was 1,200 Euros!
Once removed, I am happy to see it does not look too corroded. But there is a lot of carbon build up and also evidence of moisture backing up into the turbo. But I think a good wire brushing tomorrow should see it OK to go back on again.

After replacing the last elbow, I have consistently made a point of running the engine at maximum revs for 10-15 minutes at least once a week. And also giving it a good rev-up just before turning the engine off each time we have used it. I think it is a good technique, because the last elbow only managed 500 engine hours. Whereas this latest one is into 2,000 hours already, and still looking fine.

I’m into my last week here now. So my last few days will be like this: just trying to get all the small jobs on my list done, which had been sidelined by the more important ones. Have to say, I like doing little bits and pieces rather than one project (like the rudder or hydraulics) that seemed to go on forever.

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