Steve's Tolman Project 60th page...

May 11th-17th, 2005

Lot of stuff going on around here. My wife and little girl took off for Florida for a week, while I took a week off from work and watched over the house as the downstairs hardwood floors got refinished. Took three guys to sand the floors on Wednesday, and apply a sealer and the first coat of natural polyurethane. Did I mention that the stuff stinks to high heaven? Second coat went on Thursday, and third coat went on Friday. While the guys were filling their lungs with sawdust and old varnish and then polyurethane (oil based) (half the time they didn't wear masks and then went outside and coughed up nasty stuff and then smoked cigarettes) I worked on the boat.

May 13th. Happy Birthday to me. One year ago today I started Chemo Therapy for the Non Hodgkins Lymphoma I had. So far tests all look good. Life is mighty good.

On Wednesday, I gave the splashwell a coat of Behr Exterior Porch paint. Yep, you read it right. And yup it's latex. My tests seemed as tough as the oil based stuff I used for the transom. I also did final fitting of the roof and then glued it on. I filleted about half of it. Will finish the filleting tomorrow.

I had one small disaster following other small disasters. Dropped my router and broke the base plate. Dropped the jigsaw and broke my last special Porter Cable super fine tooth blade. Went to ALCO metal recycling on Mare Island and dropped a wad on the smallest piece of 3/8" aluminum I could find. Sigh. Whacked out one big piece on the table saw, and yep I wore my wrap around sunglasses, as filings were flying everywhere.� Marked and punched where the holes were to be drilled.� Drilled the holes only to find that for some odd reason the drill bit drifted. Scratch one chunk of aluminum. Decided that the boat building gods didn't want me to use a big plate on the outside of the transom, so I blew that off, and cut two 3 1/2 x 18" pieces to used as backing plates.� This time I started out with a small drill bit and slowly enlarged the holes to a bit over 1/2". Much better. I think it's beyond time for a drill press. Sanded these rather scratched up chunks of aluminum and softened the edges. Nice. These are some healthy backing plates.

Also cut out the side panels for the tugboat roof, and have started on laying out the front panel. This is going to be a challenge getting all the parts cut out, glassed and put back together, keep the angles proper and to have the right look and proportion for the whole wheelhouse.

Gave the splashwell a second coat of paint.

Glassed the top of the wheelhouse roof and filleted inside and out. This is all way up high where I have hardly any room to work, and it's been rather warm. The epoxy cured tack free in about an hour! I'm so happy that I have my fresh air respirator. Seeing the floor guys hacking up nasty stuff made it very clear to me that I have to do everything I can to protect my health. So working up there in the heat with my nose so close to the epoxy, I think it's suicide to not wear the mask that supplies my lungs with fresh, clean air.

I had left over thickened epoxy from all the roof filleting so I used that to finish up a fillet on the wheelhouse deck on the starboard side. Still have the forward fillets to do.

I decided this was the week to mount the Suzuki 140. Made arrangements with friends, Dick Slavens and Bob Lanham to help out with the hanging of the motor. But first I had a massive amount of prep work to do. First thing was to clear a path. So I started out by hauling out most of the scrap plywood and cutoffs I've squirreled away for the past three years. All of this was under my work table which is to the starboard side of the Jumbo. I filled up the bed of the truck and piled the trash up so it extended above the cab. Ahhhh Truck rides nice when it's loaded down. Moved all my sawhorses and work table to the driveway, and now there's an amazing amount of room alongside the Jumbo.

Took apart the steel crate the Suzuki came in using my handy dandy 1/2" impact driver, and dragged away all the crate pieces to add to the mountain of stuff in the truck. Removed the engine cover and was happy to see a metal loop for the hoist hook already bolted into place.

Before the guys showed up, I headed over to the tool rental place down the street and rented an engine hoist. This is the type that hooks up to your trailer hitch so you can tow it back home. No heavy lifting required. Now that all the scrap stuff was in the truck we had room to move the hoist in place. Backed it into the driveway (need to work on the trailer backing skills) and after moving the tongue of the Jumbo's trailer over to the port side the hoist easily passed through the gap between the starboard side the Jumbo and the house. I moved the trailer tongue back to the center of the driveway and then pushed the whole shebang about four feet forward. Now we're ready.

Bob and Dick showed up and we soon got to work. We lifted the engine up and away from it's crate, and there it hung in all it's hugeness. Wheeled it over to the boat and after I coated the holes in the transom and backing plates with 3M 4000 adhesive and sealant, we had a Suzuki 140 hanging on the transom. There were some moments when I had to shim up the ss bolts with washers... (unlike a boy-scout I'm not always prepared).

Wow. This motor is huge, the boat is huge and standing next to it I feel awfully small. Of course folks with giant yachts are scoffing at this point, but I'm here to say that a 22' Jumbo with a Suzuki 140 is substantial in it's presence.

Now we plugged the motor in to the battery, and connected the steering cable. It's a hoot to stand at the helm and turn the steering wheel and watch the motor turn in unison. I have a most enormous grin on my face. At first we connect the steering linkage to the forward hole on the steering bracket, but this doesn't give full steering range, so later I disassemble all the linkage, liberally apply waterproof grease and reconnect all the parts in the proper locations.

Upon testing the tilting up and down of the engine we found a slight issue with the engine not clearing the splashwell bulkhead!!! Doh! Looks like raising the splashwell bulkhead up to the side deck height messed up Renn's perfect spec'd splashwell. Gonna have to cut out a part so I can fully tilt and lock the motor.� Oh well, you win some and you lose some. We didn't drop the motor and no one got their fingers smashed or anything.

Update on the splashwell issue: After careful consideration, I decided that cutting into the splashwell would not be a good thing and would add at least a weekend worth of work to the mountain of stuff I have left to do. Also after making some sketches I just couldn't come up with an aesthetic solution that didn't bother the hell out of me. Also come to the conclusion that we mounted the motor at least two mounting holes too high which means the motor will be too low in the water. Fuel mileage will suffer. Well, the answer is what a lot of other Tolman Builders, including Renn, have gone with. That is a transom Jack plate or setback. They make these things in hydraulic and manual models and they do two things. First they move the motor back away from the transom which has the effect of allowing the engine to run in cleaner, less turbulent water. And, the jack plate allows vertical movement up and down of five inches to allow for fine tuning of the engine height. The hydraulic models allow on the fly adjustment for running in shallow or deep water or for adjusting for maximum performance while underway. Whereas the manual madels you set with a wrench while at rest. Would be nice to have the hydraulic model, but that's a big wad of cash. So I went with the manual model CMC Jack Plate.

Big thanks to Dick and Bob. Couldn't have done it without you guys.

Now I'm going outside and make motor noises and steer the motor...

Life is spectacular and incredibly good.

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