• smithsmarine

not enough time to f*rt

SORRY SORRY SORRY, Ive been really bad at doing this blog and have been told by many people that there missing it .Well its not that I dont want to but Im so busy after I leave the workshop in the evening Ordering parts and planning things for the jobs in hand that Ive just not had a chance to sit down and do this for ages.

Well we have been really busy since we last spoke (there's a surprise), but there have been some big things going on.

I would like to take this chance to introduce you to our latest member of staff

His name is Kai and he is our new Saturday lad (and any othe day we can get him)

Here he is showing us his painting skills we let him loose on one side of our small dinghy and to our suprise (he is only 14 bare in mind) there were no runs , sags or random brush strokes , As i've said in the past its all in the prep and he did a good job of that to.

Ive seen worse work by "qualified "people I wouldnt be worried to let him loose on a clients boat for a basic job with a bit of supervision.

He surprised us all as he is as keen as mustard and has a bit of grey matter between his ears (commen sense seems to be lacking in this day and age) not only that , but he also managed to make a straight square cut in a inch thick piece of larch six inches across so we let him put the floor planks in the charity boat so with a fine toothed saw in hand off he went, and later on we hadn't heard anything from him for about an hour so with trepidation we went to see what he was up to and there he was, with an adjustable template he had devised by himself with three bits of pine and two small g cramps making templates for each plank and all the ones he had done so far were perfect so we hope that he enjoys it and learns a thing or two along the way. He certainly has the makings of a very skilled wooden boat builder if he so chooses.

As for the rst of us we have been building engines as fast as we can. the one above is a 1.8 bmc built for a 50 ft narrow boat in London we mentiond this last time in the blog, As it turned out nobody wanted to do the job because the boat was stranded on the towpath with no access to a crane to lift the engine out.

Anyway we went to look at it and with a bit of ingenuity and experience we had the engine lifted out and in the back of the van and headed for the Cotswolds within four hours and all without a crane in sight.

Needless to say we had a crowd of onlookers and gongoozelers whilst we did this and its true that you never need to take an expert with you as there's sure to be one there when your doing the job and we had loads of sugestions from lifting it out under a tree to lifting it off with a rope tied to a car on the bridge above. Anyway we stuck to our tried and tested method and it all went smoothly (much to the onlookers disapointment)

After a full rebuild and a new secondhand crank, crank regrind a new conrod and new cases It was reinstalled back in the boat and the owner went on his way much happier.

It is nearly always much cheaper to rebuild a engine than buy a new unit as with most boat engines they run in to many thousands to replace a new engine in this instance a new unit was impossable to obtain as they have been out of production for so long and the cost of a new engine to replace it with would have been nearly £10,000 by the time it had been installed and the engine bay modified to suit the new engine this came out on budget and it just droped back in as it was the original engine so everything was in the right place and it all fitted easily. Not bad for what was really a brand new engine as there wasnt anything that wasnt replaced or machined to a like new finish so it always pays to rebuild rather than replace if you can in this day of rising expenses unless your thinking of changing from petrol to diesel due to the new fuel (the dreaded E10) this has proved to be a big problem for boats, E10 being hydroscopic (it absorbs water like a magnet) due to the alcohol content (Alcohol is made with water and will suck it out the atmosphere) .Not good if your tank breather is a foot or so above a very damp atmosphere (like a river).

This is another engine we have been doing this week. It is a Volvo AQ125A and as can be seen from the photos it was totaly seized solid and had a holed piston and filled itself with water.

This ws a non repairable engine as it ws already on its last oversized pistons and the bores were so badly scored and crank damaged beond its smallest regrind size they could not be rescued as there were no liners in this block we could replace. So it was cheaper for the owner to look for a car engine for us to rebuild and use his old engines marine parts to marinise it as you can see from the photos this is going to turn out to be a really nice engine and will be a like for like replacement for the original coming in at around £5000 for the finished job including the doner engine costs and removal of the old engine and refitting the new one in its place.Not bad for a better than new engine which is what it will be by the time it is finished with little touches like A4 stainless nuts and bolts and polished lettering on the rocker cover and polished intake manifold it should look nicer than the original when it was brand new and be a talking point on the boat for the owner. (How many of us would prouldy show off our engine bay to an onlooker, not many I think! ).

Due to all these engines we're rebuilding we have decided to build a additional workshop alongside our current ones as a dedicated engine rebuild center so speeding up the job as we are getting a bit tight on space and could only do one engine at a time. Our new workshop will be custom built for engine rebuilds with lots of bench space and storage for multiple engine rebuilds all at one time with inbuilt cranage for lifting heavy blocks and engines around with ease meaning Rod doesnt have to stop working to go and get help to move a heavy engine around he can do it all by himself quickly and without breaking in to a sweat.

So until next, time Happy Boating

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