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Thread: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

  1. #71
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    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Yeah, Peter, given the skill you were able to use cutting your beveled door panels with a skill saw, you could probably whip up a ring using a chain saw!

    I am actually glad I had it done. It was rather expensive (especially after he underestimated the wood involved and the wrecked one. I couldn't feel good about him taking a huge loss, so I basically covered his materials when it was all said and done...), But what a PITA...

    The larger ring is almost 3 inches thick at its widest point (it is thinner in the middle where it meets the crown of the cabin). So it could not be cut with a router in a single piece (nobody makes a three inch long router bit, that I am aware of...)

    He used three layers of teak 1x6's. I think he set up four boards so they formed a square (1 inch thick), and then cut them to a circle using a router, and then glued and screwed them together with the boards interleaved at the corners. The he finished the whole thing, rounding over the edges, etc...

    Crowning the inside piece to fit the curved underside of the cabin roof was pretty easy. The outside ring was harder since its under side is concave. It took a long time with a plane and an angle grinder with a sanding disk (a trick I learned in your thread).


    Thanks to both you and Tom for the idea about painting the edge of the tape with varnish. That's a great idea...

    Work will be a little slow for a while. I am Off in NYC for a week and then to FL for a conference, and then a trial in Va...In mid November I'll be back on the job, painting and varnishing.... Looking forward to taking most of December off to work on the boat and ride my bike (ahh, California!)...

    Makoto is also being hauled this next week. Susan and our shipwright are ferrying her across the bay where we will have the keel rebuilt (it is the only really serious issue she has). Probably be out for at least a month having the deadwood, horn timber and shaft log replaced...along with all of the keel bolts...Probably cost as much as the entire boat cost me..But at least she'll be sound for another 80 years.. Be pretty cool for some distant great grandchild to care for a 160 year old boat...As usual Tom has the jump on me since his is already a multi generation boat..

    Cheers.
    S
    Now is a good time!


    Steward of MAKOTO [WB Magazine #232], and Honored Member of the LPBC

  2. #72
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    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    OK folks Shield your eyes.. Here comes the big part of the restoration project...

    A couple of weeks ago, Susan ferried the boat to Richmond Ca, with Jeff Rutherford, our shipwright.

    The boat is now out of the water and set up at Rutherford's Boat Shop in Richmond, where another shipwright, Jerimiah Goodwin is rebuilding a bunch of badness in the hull.

    The main issue we had was that the initial purchase survey showed that the deadwood was too thin and the shaft log drifts were showing through the sides of the deadwood.

    We suspect the keel bots are shot and the transom knees at the turn of the bilge at the stern were soft. We also had a ginormous fuel tank that covered the entire back of the boat hull, preventing any inspection of the hull from inside.

    o, we knew we had issues, but now we can see them up close and personal. Here are the pics!

    Here is the inside of the hull with the floor timbers removed and the garboards partially removed. If any of you remember the giant orange fuel tank, it is now history...



    And here is a pic of the transom timber. When we started we figured that the knees, which are attached tot he forward part of the timber at the turn of the bilge were bad, but as you can see the entire transom timber will need to be replaced.



    Here is a pic of the removed garboards. The frame heels at the back are pretty bad and will need attention.



    Here is another pic of the back of the boat.

    Last edited by Cogeniac; 02-15-2013 at 01:12 PM.
    Now is a good time!


    Steward of MAKOTO [WB Magazine #232], and Honored Member of the LPBC

  3. #73
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    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    And another pic of the transom...


    This will all be remedied, and the giant Deere engine will be replaced with a nice compact Yanmar..

    Cheers!

    S
    Now is a good time!


    Steward of MAKOTO [WB Magazine #232], and Honored Member of the LPBC

  4. #74
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    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Oh boy. The serious fun is beginning!
    She requires of her owner a custodial obligation and responsibility that has absolutely nothing to do with financial return on investment or annual cost of maintaining and operating her.

  5. #75
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    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Freeman View Post
    Oh boy. The serious fun is beginning!
    OH YEAH...

    I can feel my wallet getting lighter every day!

    I am pretty certain this little project will cost more than I paid for the boat..

    I think your signature statement is very apt here!
    Now is a good time!


    Steward of MAKOTO [WB Magazine #232], and Honored Member of the LPBC

  6. #76
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    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    We are having a conversation tonight about whether or not to repower, so I am right there with you.

  7. #77
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    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Tom
    You will never regret it - it removes that last constant remaining doubt i.e. 'I have done everything else but its still a 60+ year old motor'. You will cruise further, stay away longer etc.

    Alan
    "Old boats are like teenage girlfriends: there is a certain urgency to their needs & one neglects them at one's peril"


  8. #78
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    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    I don't know all the details yet, but our shipwright is nudging us in that direction. They have a surplus Volvo Penta 4 cyl diesel in good working order that I can pick up for $500. I'll know more after I meet with them later today.

  9. #79
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    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    In general, repowering raises a lot of issues apart from just the cost of replacing the motor, usually quite a few more when considering a change of fuels. They will certainly appraise you of that, but now is a good time to be sure you are 100% committed to this boat.

  10. #80
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    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    I am not sure I would trust a $500 engine..Might end up as a $500 engine and $5000 in repairs.

    A good diesel engine is likely to run well in excess of $5K, probably more like $10K-$15K, plus installation, which I would guestimate at about $5K if there is no major cooling or fuel change.

    I gave the OK yesterday to pull the Deere from MAKOTO. At 1100+ Lb it is just way too big. The size causes huge vibration issues and she doesn't float on her lines. The entire access to the engine sucks since it takes up nearly 1/3 of the salon/wheelhouse area. It requires a huge gaping hole in the floor. Once it is gone we can do a much cleaner job of making the wheelhouse seat work, and separating the engine from the rest of the working areas.. Repowering is not a game to play without being ready for some substantial costs. My feeling on this is, if I can afford it, to do it properly with the right engine, and do it so it will last longer than I do.

    S
    Now is a good time!


    Steward of MAKOTO [WB Magazine #232], and Honored Member of the LPBC

  11. #81
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    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    That is one big jump in the right direction Scott! Once her bottom and transom are new again, you'll sleep the sleep of the righteous. The good thing about making wallets lighter is the youthful spring it gives to your walk, unburdened by the bulk of loot. I've felt terribly young these past few years, and can't say I regret it one bit!

    Smart move and choice for re-powering too!


    Continued success!

    Cheers!
    Peter
    Do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,now!
    J.Lennon

    This boat was built with ten thumbs.No fingers were harmed in anyway.

  12. #82
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    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    What is your choice of motor, Scott or have you not gotten there yet?

  13. #83
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    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    When I restored her...god, it's been thirty years ago, she had a gas engine. A gray I thought.

    I will write a review of what I did on her...in general it was all hull and deck stuff. In particular the deck forward and the post side forward. The owners (Terry and Diane...fine folks...) refinished the interior. No carpentry work was done inside.

    So happy to see her in good hands!

  14. #84
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    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Lew: I have toyed with a Yanmar, but the problem is that there is no Diesel fuel at the marina where we keep her, and the diesels seem expensive, loud and smelly. It is,after all a boat for quietly burbling down the river, not for crossing large oceans...Killara, her sister ship, has a 3.0 Mercruiser that seems to work just fine. HALF the weight of the Deere BTW... The worst water we have to deal with might involve a 3 -4 knot current, and, for as many miles as we cruise in a year, the slip fees and maintenance dominate the cost of ownership, so any difference in fuel cost or economy is not very significant.

    I can get a brand new fuel injected Mercruiser 3.0 for $5600, and, I think I can probably do the repower for about $5K labor, so the overall net cost will be between $5K and $8K after I sell the Deere.

    PC: You are correct. She had a Scripps gas engine when built. Had a Gray Marine for many many years, and Larry put the Deere in in about 2004. It only has 875 hours, so I am pretty sure I can get a reasonable price for it.

    I would love to see any photos, or other documentation, or hear any and all stories about her...

    The interior restoration is coming along, and as these things tend to go, since she is out of the water for an extended period, we are refinishing all the white cabin tops, and making canvases for the brightwork (Susan got a Sailrite machine and has become a whiz at sewing and finishing canvases). The repower and new tanks will require rebuilding the salon and wheelhouse sole (the old tank was so big, it served as a sole support...). I think we will have Rutherford's do the framing, and I will make T&G teak drop in panels. Overall the combination of new tanks, revised battery setup and boxes and new sole will be a HUGE improvement.

    We had all the brightwork sanded and re-varnished about 5 weeks ago, by next summer she should lbe almost a new boat!
    Now is a good time!


    Steward of MAKOTO [WB Magazine #232], and Honored Member of the LPBC

  15. #85
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    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Your application and interests suggest Yanmar, of course. As for loud and smelly; you shouldn't smell the exhaust on the boat, nor the fuel. That's very much a function of the quality of work you contract or do. Noise can be handled in a variety of ways, as can vibration. I would think long and hard and talk to a lot of people before going back to gas though. She will unarguably be more valuable (a relative term in today's market) with a proper Diesel as opposed to a gas motor. It's your call, of course, but read below. After running Diesels in cruisers, I would never go back myself.

    I thought the Deere installation was unfortunate as well. Fine motor, poorly executed installation. Kurt Erickson and I spent some time in the hole when the boat wouldn't start (turn over) a year or two after the Deere was dropped in. Bad/unreplaced wiring. The guy put the motor in but didn't really address anything else including the starter motor wires. Maybe the next guy can get some good use out of it.

    Added: I bet the Scripps weighed in some!

  16. #86
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    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Yes, I am going to replace all of the wiring. The only electrical "panel" was a small door in the wheelhouse overhead that had some switches and glass fuses. I have all of the new panels mounted, but they are not yet wired in. I have been waiting to finish the interior, but I suppose I'll need to at least set up the batteries and the engine bay wiring.

    Good point on the diesel. I have some quotes coming in today on a Yanmar. If it isn't too expensive, I may reconsider. The safety issue with gas is a major factor. Even though everyone SAYS gas engines are safe today, all it takes is one screw up and it's sayonara...

    The smell issue may be a function of the cabin arrangement on Makoto. The back end is very low and on a nice day, which is when one hopes to be out on the water, the entire rear area is usually open. This makes for some of the "station wagon" effect where diesel exhaust comes wafting up from the rear. I think with new tanks and proper hoses, the fuel small itself would not be an issue.
    Now is a good time!


    Steward of MAKOTO [WB Magazine #232], and Honored Member of the LPBC

  17. #87
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    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Think about routing the exhaust off to the side with an extension. A gently formed exhaust extension turned to the side of the boat may be all that you need to avoid station wagon effect. And, if you get that with a Diesel, you will also have it with a gas motor; just may not be as noticeable. It will be just as likely. In either case, think about those exhaust elbows.

    It's hard to justify Diesel based solely on fuel economy though it will be better than a like sized gas motor, which I know you know. However, there is also something nice about the way Diesel performs in a boat compared to a similarly powered gas engine. Having a governed engine means idle speeds and throttle settings tend to be very steady and consistent, something that newer gas engines certainly can manage via electronic management, but Diesel still does better, especially since they tend to deliver torque down low where you need it when maneuvering.

    Overall, Diesel makes more sense on a boat than it does in a car for a range of reasons. The installation on there now was slap-dash and doesn't suggest what might be possible with a well engineered package. It wasn't the Deere's fault, perhaps excepting that it is too big.

  18. #88
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    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Yes, I am now leaning back in the direction of a small diesel. Still waiting for some quotes. I found one price list in the UK and the Yanmars were horrifically expensive (>$20K after conversion from GBP).

    I also found a remanufactured older Yanmar (from around 2003) that looks like a good bet. It's substantially smaller, yet still puts out 125 hp. The price is under $10K.I think a reman engine should be OK. It's not like I am planning to spend hundreds of hours per year cruising..

    From what the shipwrights tell me, the Deere installation was pretty bad, lots of loose and improperly setup elements. Small wonder the thing shook like small earthquake...They also said a properly installed Yanmar should be very quiet and smooth.
    Now is a good time!


    Steward of MAKOTO [WB Magazine #232], and Honored Member of the LPBC

  19. #89
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    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Progress continues...

    Here is an overall shot of the setup at Rutherford's. They are in the process of removing the Deere Diesel...



    Here is the forklift removing the beast...




    While waiting on other stuff, Susan and I decided to sand and repaint the top of the cabin. Now that the bright work has been redone, the rest was looking pretty shabby. It turned out this paint was very hard. I suspect it was some sort of epoxy. It took a LOT of sanding to get the brush marks out. We plan to paint it with Brightsides, probably something between WHite and Hatteras White, although we have not yet worked out the mix. Hatteras is too brown, and white is too, well, white.. I am also going to use the flattening agent on this section, since otherwise we will have a lot of glare in the wheelhouse.



    Here is another shot of the hull project. Here you can see that the horn timber was not made with a proper rabbet. The rabbet is formed by scabbing on a piece of wood to an otherwise flat timber...It is not clear to me if this was shoddy construction when she was built, or if this was some joker's idea of proper boat repair. The new timber will have a proper rabbet.



    And lastly, keeping with the theme of fixing old poorly done repairs... Here is a dutchman that was installed after the boat crashed a dock, sometime in the distant past. As you can see, the epoxy has let go at the top, and the piece doesn't actually fit properly. This will be done with a much more substantial rabbet and some pieces let in from the sides to clean up the crushed grain in original stem



    The repower epic continues.. I am now back to leaning hard toward the Yanmar. I found a remanufactured 4JH3-DTE (125 hp) for a reasonable price. Anyone have any comments on that approach? or have any thoughts on this particular engine?
    Now is a good time!


    Steward of MAKOTO [WB Magazine #232], and Honored Member of the LPBC

  20. #90
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    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by Cogeniac View Post
    Yes, I am now leaning back in the direction of a small diesel. Still waiting for some quotes. I found one price list in the UK and the Yanmars were horrifically expensive (>$20K after conversion from GBP).

    I also found a remanufactured older Yanmar (from around 2003) that looks like a good bet. It's substantially smaller, yet still puts out 125 hp. The price is under $10K.I think a reman engine should be OK. It's not like I am planning to spend hundreds of hours per year cruising..

    From what the shipwrights tell me, the Deere installation was pretty bad, lots of loose and improperly setup elements. Small wonder the thing shook like small earthquake...They also said a properly installed Yanmar should be very quiet and smooth.
    A properly sized Yanmar for Makoto will be almost half the price in the US than in most parts of Europe or Great Britain. If you need a choice of vendors, PM me.

  21. #91
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    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    This is a serious bit of work being undertaken here,isn't it Scott? I was for some reason thinking you had her in your own space and were doing the work yourself.Must be a relief to not have to personally deal with the bigger serious issues with her bottom and all.

    After all the pro work is done on the critical parts of her hull and the fussy interior details handsomely executed by you and yours, you'll have a wonderful "new" boat and one which will be a pleasure to be aboard while inspiring longer cruises!

    Treat the work crew to coffees and beers on a regular basis and I'm certain they will treasure you as a "nice" client and toss in some "extras" when you're not looking. It worked for me up here

    Continued success!!


    Cheers!
    Peter
    Do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,now!
    J.Lennon

    This boat was built with ten thumbs.No fingers were harmed in anyway.

  22. #92
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    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    I have seen quite a few horn timbers like that. It basically ends up being planks on each side and a cheater plank in the middle. At least you can't pull the center piece off with your fingers. I have been there several times...
    Fish and ships or is that chips

  23. #93
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    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by shade of knucklehead View Post
    I have seen quite a few horn timbers like that. It basically ends up being planks on each side and a cheater plank in the middle. At least you can't pull the center piece off with your fingers. I have been there several times...
    If you look closely, the part aft of the rudder was barely attached. I think it was mostly being held in place by the garboards.
    Now is a good time!


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  24. #94
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    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Yep. When we were working on the Maggie Myers this past summer I pulled that bit of plank off with one hand. Water pressure was holding it in place. I have seen a couple horn timbers where it looked like the outside had rotted or been damaged and someone chiseled it off and laid a plank over it. Pretty common repair without pulling the whole stern apart.
    Fish and ships or is that chips

  25. #95
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    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    MAKOTO breathes a sigh of relief!!

    Now is a good time!


    Steward of MAKOTO [WB Magazine #232], and Honored Member of the LPBC

  26. #96
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    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    So, progress continues. After removing the giant engine, work is back focused on the hull issues.

    The transom timber is out, and the edges of the planks are being treated with some CPES. They were slightly cracked flatwise (across the width of the planks), apparently from some over aggressive work with a caulking iron. So they treated them with CPES and clamped them together.



    I have also been caulking the overhead T&G boards. The originals had large cracks that needed to be filled. Here is a pic of the unattended gaps.



    And here is a pic of the caulked gaps.



    And the overall effect with my refinished deck beams. Note the nice WWII Navy interior green paint where the hatch ring was... the same stuff I spent hours scrubbing off the beams...



    Soon we wil be into the real fun of fixing the aft frame heels. All the othersa were in good shape, but these are pretty bad. Not sure what we are going to do to fix these, but I am confident Jeff and Jerimiah will have a good solution. If you look really closely in the second picture you can see the cracked planks (the cracks are horizontal across the ends of the boards). We found one plank, at the turn of the bilge that will need to be replaced. So far, so good!





    I have also found a good remanufactured Yanmar 4JH3-DTE, which is half the weight of the Deere, and should drive the boat very nicely.

    Cheers.

    S
    Last edited by Cogeniac; 04-09-2013 at 09:08 PM.
    Now is a good time!


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  27. #97
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    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    You are deeper into reconstruction than we needed to go. I'm following your repowering thought process with a lot of interest. The consensus among the pros is that we should run our old Graymarine as long as she holds up. Maybe 2 years, maybe 10. Then repower with a small diesel.
    She requires of her owner a custodial obligation and responsibility that has absolutely nothing to do with financial return on investment or annual cost of maintaining and operating her.

  28. #98
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    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Curious "fix" for the hood ends. I would have thought they would have cut off the riddled ends and scarfed new ends on in situ,particularly as there will,presumedly, be a new bottom transom frame going back in place when they close her up. Just looks odd to my eye using a stopgap approach like this.Perhaps I'm not seing the whole story?

    Also, will not the cpes forever ruin the chance of the wood re-acting normally with the rest(like the two garboard planks which will be new,I think) as the inevitable cycles of swelling and shrinking occur? How far in will cpes "soak in" on the horizontal like that?



    Good news on the engine find.Less weight can only be a good thing, in so many ways!

    Cheers!


    Peter
    Do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,now!
    J.Lennon

    This boat was built with ten thumbs.No fingers were harmed in anyway.

  29. #99
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    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    The planks were actually in good shape, not rotted or anything, just cracked about an inch or so in. The epoxy is only on the first inch or so, basically gluing the crack back together (not actually sure if it is CPES or some other glue). The one plank with a truly soft end will be replaced (fortunately it is one that is only about 8 feet long. It is also possible that that particular one was replaced in the past, possibly with a different growth of cedar.

    Replacing the ends would require replacing many long planks, or risk a whole bunch of scarfs all in the same place, or involve a massive amount of work. Those scarfs would also have an epoxy joint that would swell differently than the rest of the plank, and probably fail (as far as I know, one doesn't usually scarf carvel planks unless you are going to glass over it, so the planks are not swelling). Many of the planks are the length of the boat, or nearly so. When they do have a joint there is always a block inside at the joint. I am not sure if those joints are scarfed, but they are definitely not glued).

    These ends are sealed up when the lower transom plank goes on. This area was filled with some sort of putty.
    Now is a good time!


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  30. #100
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    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Far be it from me to gainsay anything that Capt. Lew might offer...BUT...I think you had the right idea about putting a gas engine in your boat. You will be living in close proximity to the engine on your boat...

    Diesel really, really stinks and they are noisy. I doubt if the cruising you would do in the Bay Area really necessitates a diesel. A good installation and sound operation would obviate any safety concerns...I have full confidence in you.

    It will be cleaner and quieter. I put a Mercruiser on a restoration I did...totally troublefree.

    It seems that two of my biggest restorations the 32ft. Chris Enclosed Cruiser Jolene and your boat are down in the SF Bay Area...

    Looks like you are doing a great job...!! That's good to see!

  31. #101
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    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by pcford View Post
    Far be it from me to gainsay anything that Capt. Lew might offer...BUT...I think you had the right idea about putting a gas engine in your boat. You will be living in close proximity to the engine on your boat...

    Diesel really, really stinks and they are noisy. I doubt if the cruising you would do in the Bay Area really necessitates a diesel. A good installation and sound operation would obviate any safety concerns...I have full confidence in you.
    Common rail Diesels are a different beast than the stuff of just ten years ago. There's no question Diesel is noisier but to a large extent that can be dealt with by careful insulation and installation, and I think it is fair to say that newer motors are mechanically quieter than old ones. That would be a matter of degrees, I think. In respect to vibration, that has largely been mitigated in four cylinder machinery through the expedients of improved soft mounting and the almost universal adoption of counterbalancing (and the aforementioned fuel management schemes) which were not available solutions just a few years ago. Diesel fuel itself won't be noticeably smelly if the system is properly installed and there are no leaks. A lot of what we identify as Diesel smell in the boat itself results from fuel and lube oil leaking. Station wagon effect is real enough, but you get that with either style of motor and in both cases it can be noxious. I'd recommend looking at how the exhaust is routed out of the boat, maybe using an elbow to turn the exhaust "outboard" regardless what is installed. The exhausts of modern Diesels themselves are barely any dirtier than modern gas motors. When I first posted about this, I assumed Scott would be looking at a late model, electronically regulated substitution for gas, and that approach will yield a very different overall outcome than something like a Jimmy, or even his Deere which I believe had a mechanical governor and mechanical fuel injection, might.

    I don't disagree that getting a Diesel installation to match the running qualities of gasoline is hard work, but the benefits also have to be weighed. Generally they include higher torque, improved fuel economy (and range) and higher resale value. Now, resale value has become somewhat moot with wooden boats in this economy, but that has been the traditional view. The running qualities of a governed Diesel motor remain among the most pleasant aspects of installing one in a cruiser. Makoto is in a funny spot, being at the cusp of big enough to expect to find Diesel power, but being light and easily driven enough to still make gas a possibility. I do believe a modern lightweight higher turning Diesel will still be the preferred solution price independent, but this is a discussion that only Scott can truly find the solution to in respect to how he uses the boat and what his priorities are. Mine would run to a serious consideration of Diesel, but then, it's not my money.

  32. #102
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    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    The other consideration on the gas versus diesel debate is obviously safety. Diesel in your bilge would be very difficult to ignite and burn your boat down. Gasoline is extremely volatile and requires a lot of extra safety precautions.
    Freudian slips : when you say one thing but mean your mother.

  33. #103
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    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by Soundman67 View Post
    The other consideration on the gas versus diesel debate is obviously safety. Diesel in your bilge would be very difficult to ignite and burn your boat down. Gasoline is extremely volatile and requires a lot of extra safety precautions.
    True. For these reasons, plus Lew''s recommendation, I decided to go with Diesel. It was a difficult choice. However, since I already have most of the diesel stuff (fuel filter, fuel lines, etc, and none of the electrics are ignition proof, it was looking like a bigger job to convert to gas than to stick with Diesel. Given the cost of labor, I suspect that the installations will be about the same. Higher cost motor, lower cost installation.

    I found a remanufactured Yanmar 4JH3-DTE at about half the price of a new one.

    Should be setting all that in motion very shortly.

    S
    Last edited by Cogeniac; 11-04-2011 at 03:39 PM.
    Now is a good time!


    Steward of MAKOTO [WB Magazine #232], and Honored Member of the LPBC

  34. #104
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    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Freeman View Post
    You are deeper into reconstruction than we needed to go. I'm following your repowering thought process with a lot of interest. The consensus among the pros is that we should run our old Graymarine as long as she holds up. Maybe 2 years, maybe 10. Then repower with a small diesel.
    Tom;

    I think you will want to examine the type of cruising you are likely to do. In the PNW folks seem to take rather long open water treks and that argues for Diesel. PC is right, here in the bay area, a gas engine is very practical.

    The conversion from gas to Diesel is much easier than the conversion from diesel to gas. I read up on this in Wing's book on marine electrical systems, and the AYBC rules are pretty challenging. I will be rewiring the boat anyway, but the fuel area (engine, tanks, etc) must be fully sealed. Not just caulked, but sealed (1/4 ounce per hour water seepage). and then EVERYTHING that is exposed to this sealed area must be ignition proof...switches, instruments, etc. If not, then you need to isolate them. It's not hard, but it is involved, and this is already an amazingly involved process.

    Get ready to spend about $15K if you go with a used/reman engine. If you use a new one, plan on at least $25K, unless you do lots if the work yourself.

    Also bear in mind that if you are using gas now, you really just need to find a similar gas engine and drop it in. If you change the power curve a lot (for example changing to a much lower speed Diesel) then you need to do prop calcs and will probably end up with a new prop and/or trans.

    I joined Boatdiesel.com and used their very nice prop calculator. There I found several interesting things:

    1) The original computation for the Deere (it was in my files) recommended a 1.9:1 trans with an 18x17 prop. For some reason, the PO talked with someone who, without doing any calculations recommended a 1.5 ratio. The note said something like "Joe says a 1.5 ratio trans will be more efficient". So in went the 1.5 ratio trans. I ran these numbers and found that for the Deere this trans would have required an 18x12 prop. So aside from being heavy as sin, the Deere was lugging this huge propo. No wonder I had diesel exhaust and vibration issues...

    2) the same calculator tells me I can use my existing prop with a 2.6 ratio trans on the Yanmar. Yanmar doesn't make a 2.6 ratio, but they do make a 2.48. In that setup the boat will be slightly over propped, but not anywhere near as bad as it was with the Deere running a 1.5. GIven a new prop will add $500 to the swap, it's a good idea to check these things out...

    Generally, since gas engines rev higher, the trans ratios will be higher (more reduction), and the prop pitches will be flatter and/or the diameters will be smaller
    Now is a good time!


    Steward of MAKOTO [WB Magazine #232], and Honored Member of the LPBC

  35. #105
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    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    I think you won't regret this choice, Scott. A lot has to do with expectations of course.
    You can always fine tune the wheel if you need to, but I'll bet you will go with it as it is and then pull it back if needed. You may find she's just as fast as she was with the bigger motor and a whole lot more efficient. Her top speed with the Deere (if I recall correctly) was around 17kts.

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