C'est la Vie is a 1966 Charlie Morgan 34.

Her home port is Everglades City, FL. Our typical cruising area is Southwest Florida, the Florida Keys, the Southeastern Atlantic Seaboard, and the Bahamas. We are C'est la Vie's third owners and purchased her in 2005. We continue to maintain and update this classic vessel. Please post any questions or comments about C'est la Vie or our travels via the comment links below.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Dinner Day 13

We are finally in the warm temps. Phew, shed a layer I am so happy but... with the warm weather comes the bugs with the bugs comes the fear of opening hatches. If the hatches are not open the cabin gets stuffy if I want to cook using the stove that adds another layer of heat and stuffiness. I forgot about that. So, we ate appetizers prior to the sun going down it was lovely in the cockpit. I was in no hurry at all then all of a sudden the bugs came out as if they had not been fed in a very long time. Swarms of them, oh my! We were on a dock in Moorehaven,  FL No where to escape to. So we let the sun go down, bug hour, then decided to have a lovely cold salad with leftover bread. It was a really good meal! Happy accidents.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Day 12

We were on our way to the St Lucie Lock from Ft Pierce. We thought we would fight tide the whole way but lucky us it was with us and we could sail. Its getting warmer. I am not a fan of chilly weather so this makes me happy. We had till about 12:30 of sunny warm weather then these crazy rain/thunder storms came through. We made it to the lock by 13:00, but they had us circle in the rain till almost 16:00! Poor
Jeff he was out there in the thick of it. I made him tea and kept him abreast of when the rain might stop using my phones raindar app. We got to the St Lucie Lock campground on the other side of the lock and pulled in for the night.

I cut up some cheeses and salami and served it with these new Triscuits that have black pepper on them, yum! I made a green salad since we had to have ports closed due to the rain. Simple but satisfying.

Ding Dong the Gremlin Is Dead!

I’ve been unusually silent, not posting updates, during our travels south.  Frustration silenced my desire to post updates.  During our first day out, Beaufort to Wrightsville Beach, we discovered that our engine was running hot.   If we ran the engine over 2200 RPM it would overheat.  Our typical operating range is 2200 to 2400 RPM.  The issue was particularly irritating due to the energy I put into engine repairs and maintenance during our summer haul out.

 So began my search for the engine gremlin causing the overheating.  Each evening, I worked to eliminate possible causes... blockage in the raw water intake; failing impeller; blockage in the heat exchanger;  low coolant level.  After a few days I exhausted possible suspects and then called Stan at Beta Marine.  Stan proved amazingly helpful and willing to assist me with the overheating.  I lowered the hot water bypass lines; filled the coolant from the high point in the system; restricted flow to the hot water tank; checked the orientation of the heat exchanger tube stack, etc.  None of these experiments proved fruitful.  According to Stan this left only two possible causes… the thermostat is functioning partially or the heat exchanger tube stack is damaged. 

We purchased a new thermostat and a refurbished tube stack.  Stan sent the parts ahead to the Fort Pierce City Marina and we picked them up upon our arrival days later.  The second I inspected the new tube stack I knew we snared the engine gremlin.  

One of these things is not like the other...
For those of you unfamiliar with a marine engine a quick explanation of the heat exchanger and tube stack I’ll do my best to pen a simple explanation.   If you are familiar with the system feel free to skip the next paragraph.

 Most marine engines intended for use in salt water circulate cool salt water through a heat exchanger and back out of the boat via the engine exhaust.   The fresh water that circulates through the engine block is cooled by the salt water in the heat exchanger, but the two fluids do not mix.  The salt water passes through small tubes in the heat exchanger tube stack (see image).  The engine coolant flows around the cool salt water filled tubes, transfer’s the heat to cool salt water, and then returns to the engine block.

The Beta Marine engine’s use a metal shield around the tube stack to direct the hot coolant around the cool water in the tubes.  In the image the hot water flows into the heat exchanger and floods around the tube stack.  The water then flows along the stack directed by the copper casing and exits the opening at the lower end.  Our old tube stack, on the right in the image, was damaged when the mechanic removed it during our maintenance this summer.  It is obvious that the shield slid down the tube and would not allow the coolant water to exit and return to the engine block.  I am surprised the mechanic did not realize this would cause over heating once it was re-installed.
Ding dong the gremlin is dead!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Some folks have asked me how I have all of the things on board to be able to make the things I do. Well, because of my job as a kitchen manager for the last nearly 20 years I have had the unique training to think a month in advance. When I make my grocery shopping list at home or on board it is nor to simply replace what I have used up but to project what will I need for the next "x" amount of time. I know I can't always do what I want to do because things happen, fruit ripens quicker or not at all, the fridge accidentally freezes the lettuce. So I have back ups. I am not anti processed food so, I have some on board but I enjoy cooking. I enjoy the process of combining ingredients adding heat and creating something totally new. When working with dairy ingredients making yogurts or cheese I feel like a chemist. It awakens something in me, another way to express creativity. I also don't follow recipes very well. I like to look at about 6 different ones and then combine or alter due to allergies or what I have available. But again, I like that it keeps my brain active.
So, here was my proposed menu plan for this trip. 17 days or so was the plan, no need to really stock up on too much as we are travelling domestically. I do have a tenancy to over purchase!

Dinner options:
Mushroom/spinach enchiladas
Sweet potato black bean Burritos
Boboli pizza veggie
Red curry with tofu
Green curry with tofu
Bean chili with corn sticks
Pasta with red sauce and homemade bread x 2
Ceasar salad with salmon
Chicken marsala broccoli with potatoes
Lindsay green tofu potatoes and broccoli

So far on this trip we have had our lettuce freeze, tangerines rot, green peppers disintegrate  Our cauliflower  spinach and carrots also froze but I just plan on using them that way. Its hard for lettuce to recover from a freeze.

We did just do a quick resupply more spinach and more lettuce. So we shall see how that goes.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Dinner Day 11

Last trip north I was trying to figure out what on board could I use to pound chicken thin. Then our friends Alan and Marcia came to visit us in Ft. Pierce. They had been reading the blog and came bearing a gift of a meat tenderizer!  Ah ha the perfect thing to use to pound my chicken thin. Thank you for that! In honor of them I made Chicken Marcia! We were pulled into ft pierce to work on the engine pick up parts and buy more produce. I was so upset in Beaufort when I froze all my greens in my fridge on land prior to boarding. Arrrgh !

So Chicken Marcia is like chicken marsala just lighter. Not as much butter but flavorful and rich and delish.
Pound on the flat side of your trusty meat tenderizer organic chicken cutlets that have been washed and patted dry between 2 sheets of plastic or a ziplock bag. You don't have to be strong here they will get too thin ig you are overzealous!

Dredge these thin pieces in wondra flour that is mixed with some kosher salt and cracked black pepper.
Drizzle some olive oil in the pan and 1/2 tablespoon of butter (this is for 2 servings) you are not trying to deep fry these things just sautee and crisp them up. Flip over after about a minute or 2. Cook for one minute more.

Transfer these yummies to a plate
Add the othe 1/2 of tablespoon of butter to the pan then add in a clove or two of crushed/ pressed garlic and a box of sliced fresh mushrooms. You could use less but I love mushrooms! Let them cook out their water then add 1/2 cup marsala wine and reduce by half and and 3/4 cup of stock and reduce by half. Stir in one more tablespoon of butter then add the chicken back in for a few minutes just to warm them up. If you don't want to use the wine use all stock. I like to serve this with a green veggie either a salad or broccoli or asparagus. Also I like a simple starch of oven roasted potatoes. This is a hearty meal.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Dinner Day 10

Wow go from dog tired to inspired! Bread! When Jeff and his father did this trip last year I included a no knead yeast bread. They loved that it heats up the cabin makes the whole boat smell good! So, it was still chilly I though I would try my hand at this. I got hot water, possibly too hot as the bread did not rise as much as I thought it would, added it to the yeast and sugar packet, too much sugar for my preference, and waited for it to bubble. Once it bubbled I added the flour and stirred and stirred with my wooden spoon. Then I plopped it on to a baking sheet which come to think of it might have robbed it of any heat created by the warm water and waited for it to rise. And rise it did. In the oven for 20 minutes and out came a delish round of bread. I wonder if I could have shaped bagguetts? Hmmmm. Next time maybe.

I really wanted to eat the whole thing for dinner with bread some jam and call it done. Cooler head prevailed and we added a Ceasar salad with the last of the lettuce. I have a cheese grater I got when working a wonderful kitchen store in Brevard, NC called the Proper Pot.  It's made by a Swiss company called Zyliss. Its perfect for boaters because it is made of plastic and stainless steel. Match made in heaven. Also its super easy to clean! Dreamy. So with that said I usually by hunks of parm and grate it myself with no fear of hurting my knuckles.

Day 9

We had a long day out there. We needed something hot and a good pick me up. Soup! So, I made an Asian slaw, from the grocery store basically grated broccoli stalks, cabbage, grated carrots, ginger salad dressing and crunchy chow mein noodles all mixed together and served. Then I boiled water and made soup from a bag. Jeff had lemongrass chili and I had Bangkok curry, rice noodles seasoning and chili oil. Upscale Ramen noodles purchased at the grocery.

 No photos as I was too tired and hungry and the food was all gone by the time I thought, "oh I should be documenting this!" When I am working and dinner time sneaks up on me I tell the staff it will be boxed dinner because all I have time to do is open a box. Like I have said in earlier posts, I like to eat healthy and I don't always have time to make gourmet meals. So when I shop I purchase things with that in mind. Look at the ingredients, be choosy about what you put in your body. Just because they can sell it in the store doesn't mean it is good for you. Stay away from things that can make you sick, too much salt, too much fat, too much of anything. Then you can be sure when you are dog tired you have the best food you can have at your fingertips.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Dinner day 8

No photos on this one sorry...

I am not a beef eater but I love tacos! So my answer is ground turkey instead of beef. You have to tweek it a bit since the turkey is much leaner. I like to add a bit of tomato paste and cook the turkey in a bit of oil. I add the paste for texture as well as flavor. Then I add in the envelope of taco seasoning. I know I should make up my own mix but there are so many good ones out there already. I don't always like to reinvent the wheel, if I don't have to.

When reviewing taco seasoning mixes I look for msg and tbhq. I don't want either of these things in my body. Also the other deal breaker is high fructose corn syrup. I love my sugars don't get me wrong but I avoid that stuff like the plague!

When searching for taco shells, I really love the crunchy ones, I do look for nongmo, no lard, no tbhq, and usually organic or blue corn. White corn is non gmo so I get that kind of tortilla chips too!
I use romaine lettuce and shredded cheese. Usually I have fresh tomatoes and an avocado to chop on top, not this time. But this was still a tasty meal because we had lots of chips and salsa and from Trader Joes I purchased frozen chili and cheese tamales. Wow what a treat they were tasty and easy to prepare. Yum! I highly recommend these!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Dinner day 7

Hey folks, have you ever made something and were so stinking proud of it? Holy moly that is how I feel about this dinner. It was a bit processed and a bit homemade. It was a dinner of jasmine rice, thanks to Patti Davis sending me out to sea with a big bag of it, veggies and tofu in a Trader Joes Masala simmer sauce and Naan.  I made the naan. That's right, baking aboard again. I have never made this aboard and I think I have found a new favorite. There are some hazards and pitfalls but it would be an adventure without them!

So the recipe...
4 cups of flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup water

Mix the first 3 ingredients then mix the yogurt with the water and add it to the dry ingredients. Mix together and then knead for 5 minutes add in a bit of flour if it is totally sticky. Then place in a well oiled bowl and let rest for 1 hour or more. Turn on grill and get it hot, like 500' hot. Then pull off golf ball sized or larger sized balls of dough and roll out on a cutting board. Bring to grill and grill on one side till you see bubbles on the top then flip. Cook on the other side half as long. I am being vague on purpose as the time changed as the grill got hotter and hotter.

If you over cook them they get really tough and chewy but are wonderful the next day. Very forgiving.
As for the rest of the meal, the jasmine rice is just great for a 2 to 1 ratio with a bit of salt. Nice and sticky great for leftovers. To a sauce pan I added some oil, cut up tofu, diced onion, cauliflower that I cut into florettes.  I sauteed them for about 7 minutes added the broccoli and simmer sauce. I cooked it for 10 more minutes. The rice and veggies were done at the same time. I turned off the heat and let them sit while I tackeled the naan. It was a bit of orchestration but what a hit.  The meal needed a bit of something and friends of ours Kat Tripplet and Charles Jordan were just married and their give to the guests was some homemade peach jam. It was the best on the naan with the meal. It was as if it were a chutney rounding the meal out perfectly. Thanks Kat and Charles!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Dinner day 5 and 6

Day 5 was spent in Beaufort, Sc we walked around went to a few shops. We were treated very well at the chocolate tree. I got the sea salt dark chocolate covered caramel. OMG it is sooooo good. The salt is not overwhelming and the vanilla is pronounced in the caramel which is thick and very chewy. The chocolate is not bitter but has a great flavor without too many additives. No waxy aftertaste. We went to Luthers for dinner they had half priced hamburgers and heaters. It was so warm inside. It was hard to leave after dinner was over but back to the boat we went.
Day 6 we had Ceasar salad and gnocchi with red sauce.  There is not much to say about this dinner except I did learn a helpful hint. When the gnocchi is just done, they do not all cook at the same rate they will float to the top. Skim the ones off the top and set into your serving bowl keep going and when you are done shed parm cheese on top pour on your sauce and you have a quick and delish dinner. I was scared of gnocchi and tried them at a cooking class. So happy I did, they are a new favorite!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Dinner day 4

I made vegetarian onion soup. It was not my favorite recipe  To do it over I would omit the thyme and beer. I would use vegetable stock adding in nutritional yeast. I would also add flour to the caramelized onions for the mouth feel since I am omitting beef stock.

The recipe that I got off epicurious.com is called Belgian onion soup.  I sliced up 5 onions, just so you know this makes 4 servings, and placed them in my saucepan on med heat with 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter. I was skeptical of this from the get go. The onions overwhelmed the pan. I left them alone as the recipe said to do. Stirring every 5 minutes for at least 20 minutes. The onions browned, caramelized in 25 minutes and were one fourth the size. Amazing! So then I added in 3 cloves of sliced garlic and 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the dried thyme. I cooked them again with the same stirring every 5 minutes till the garlic browns. It took 15 minutes. I poured in a beer and let it reduce by half. Then adding in 1 quart mushroom stock and letting that reduce . The soup is then quite thick.  At this point you should let it sit 24 hours I had 2 hours. So, I spooned the soup into ramekins topped it with sliced bread and Swiss cheese and popped it under the broiler.
I thought it was pretty good but it was bitter. The combo of beer and thyme was not nice. Not a total fail but at least I tried something new. Please try this but tweek it, no beer, no thyme, add in flour to coat the caramelized onions maybe 2 tablespoons.
I also used the leftover rice to make rice cakes. I took the rice and made patties golf ball sized then rolled it in bread crumbs and freshly grated parm cheese. Then saute them in oil. Great idea but the rice I had made was not sticky enough. It became fried rice scramble. It was delish but not pretty.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Dinner day 2

Last night we pulled into a marina just north of the South Carolina border. We have been having engine issues and according to my weather research we were in the path of an intense thunderstorm. I was very happy. I knew that the engine would need to cool off before jeff could work on it and I would be evicted from the galley when that happened. I needed a dinner that I could fix and basically forget. Eggplant Parm was my solution.

I took fresh eggplant sliced it up and roasted in the oven at 350' for 15 minutes, yellow onions sliced and salted then roasted in the oven for the same time. Meanwhile, I used a fork and whisked nearly a pound of tofu with 3 cloves of fresh garlic some rosemary and thyme and pepper. I poured in some marinara sauce in the bottom of my pan layered the eggplant then tofu then sliced mushrooms, fresh spinach, eggplant, onion, more sauce and shredded mozzarella. I placed that in the hot oven for 15 minutes then turned off the oven. It would cook while I waited to able to get into the galley again. I lightly broiled the top so the cheese crisped up but really oven time was 45 min. I could have put the veggies all in raw and cooked it for 45 minutes but I feel like the eggplant gets soggy and gross and I knew I made enough for lunch today. Plus roasting the eggplant you don't need to salt it first to draw out the bitterness. It cooks out.

I hope this inspires you to use what's in your pantry and cook up something yummy tonight!

Dinner day 3

Tangerine scented black beans over mango studded rice with mushroom spinach arugula quesodillas. Now that's what I call dinner

Ok ream or squeeze one tangerine remove pits. Open 2 cans of seasoned black beans do not drain. Open one can of fire roasted green chilies. Add everything to a saucepan and heat. Taste you may want to add cumin.

Sautee in oil onions then green peppers then garlic then rice sautee until fragrant. Add water and a dash of salt. When boiling turn down heat add mango stir and cook till done.

Well, I made up this one and the mango did not shine through as much as I had hoped. Which ended up being ok since the beans with the fresh tangeine juice were so good!

So there you have it another fail but thank goodnes as it would have been overpowering. If I were to do this rice again I would use fresh mango adding it in with fresh lime juice after the cooking and would garnish heavily with cilantro and not add the tangerine juice to the beans. The arugula while faint added a nice bitterness. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

We are on board and eating again

We took a photo of last nights dinner as it was yummy and a delight after being on the water since 5 am. Unfortunately, it did not save. Let me try to describe the plate. We had green aspiration (combo of aspagus and broccoli), pasta with garlic, parsley and olive oil and Lindsay Green Tofu. YUM!
So, what I did was heat my skillet with some oil add one pound of pressed, chopped tofu. Sautee for a few minutes and then turn down the heat to medium to cook out the water. Using a silicone steamer I placed my rinsed trimmed aspiration in the skillet with the tofu and thought I was quite clever to use that heat/steam to cook the vegetable.

Whlie the tofu cooked I heated the water for the pasta, it is boxed pasta but I only add the water not the fats they call for and I drizzle the pasta with extra virgin olive oil to finish it off.

I cooked the pasta, 8 minutes, turned that off , stirred the tofu that was browning nicely in the pan. Cooked that for another 5 minutes added soy sauce stirred and as soon as the soy sauce started to bubble I took it off the heat transferred the tofu to dinner plates. I added nutritional yeast and set aside. Drizzling some oil into the used skillet I turned back on the heat tossed the aspiration to finish it off. Total time 25 minutes start to plating. We had been on the go for 13 hours and needed something warm and healthy and quick. This fit the bill!

Let me know if you need more directions but really I just eyeball the soy sauce, you don't want to saturate it but use it a seasoning maybe 2 tablespoons. The nutritional yeast flakes I order from swanson vitamins and love it. It is full of b vitamins and has a nutty flavor. Its great on popcorn. I use a quarter of a cup ususally and sometimes more.
This was a good meal

Friday, November 2, 2012

Last Beaufort Evening

We spent Thursday re-rigging sails and completing last minute boat tasks. 

Today was devoted to provisioning and moving aboard. 

Now we are going to spend our last 2012 Beaufort evening with friends. 

Tomorrow we are planning a 05:00 departure to correspond with the slack tide in Beaufort inlet.
C'est la Vie tied up at Beaufort Docks ready for an early morning departure

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

C'est la Vie tie up to the Beaufort City Docks

C'est la Vie is resting in the water at the Beaufort Docks after five months on the hard at Burbridge & Wilson  Marine.  As with every launch day the pre-launch hours are a blur of last minute prep... a final coat of bottom paint, wax the boot stripe, polish the bow pulpit, install the dodger, heft the dinghy back on deck, et. al.
C'est la Vie awaiting the travel lift for launching
still awaiting the completion of the new mainsail cover and need to install head sail.
The launch went smoothly with no surprises or hiccups... Whew!  Hanging in the slinging checking thru-hull fittings and starting the engine is always nerve wracking for me.

The new engine room sound proofing works amazingly well.  Because I'm accustom to adjusting the throttle by the volume of the engine when first pulling away from the boat yard basin I ran the engine at way too high an RPM.  Once we gained the ICW, and checked the RPM gauge, I  discovered the needle up in the 3600 range.  Our typical cruising RPM is around 2400.  While approaching the Beaufort Channel Bridge we discovered another quirk of the new sound proofing.  Previously we could hear the engine transition from forward to neutral to reverse.  Now when shifting gears there is only silence. We must rely on visually checking the shift/throttle lever.  I never really thought about my past habits, but now realize the large degree to which I was relying upon engine sounds when operating C'est la Vie under power.  Learning to use more visual cues when motoring is a price we are willing to pay for the reduction in engine noise.

None of our launches are void of unwanted discoveries.  While checking the status of our rebuild dripless shaft seal, I noticed the packing gland on the rudder post is leaking.  High speed packing glands allow some water to pass to serve a lubricant for the packing, but the rudder post should operate fine without allowing water to pass.  By the looks of the brine build-up on the bronze fitting, I'm guessing the leaked has existed for some time.  Fortunately while C'est la Vie is sitting at rest the gland is above the waterline.  Hopefully I can borrow a pipe wrench and remedy the issue before departing Beaufort.

Looking into our crystal ball... we will spend Thursday completing rigging installations, boat clean up, and last minute repairs.  Friday we will move food and personal stuff back on the boat, and very early on Saturday morning we hope to slip out Beaufort Inlet and run outside to at least Masonboro Inlet.

To mark our launch and begin tracking our fall migration southward we have started a new photo album... NC to FL - fall 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

sub 24 hours to launch

After a week of shuttling vehicles, moving non boat stuff to Everglades City, and celebrating a friends wedding in Athens, GA, we are back at the boat and hastily ticking off the pre-launch to do list.

The engine re-install is complete!
Engine access cabinetry & new sound proofing installed

engine access panel closed and companionway steps back in place.
 Prior to installing the foreward engine compartment cabinetry we did test run the engine in the boat.  After a brief panic due to a loose engine ground wire, the engine ran fine.  I am really looking forward to experiencing to what degree the new sound proofing reduces our engine noise while underway.

My parents are in town to assist us with boat projects and shuttling the last of our non-boat stuff out of Beaufort. Bud & I have two coats of anti-foulant paint done and one more to go.  Other than panting below the waterline, I spent today tackling a myriad of pre-launch prep.  Bud applied a coat of wax to the topsides.
Bud applying wax to the topsides 24 hours prior to launch 
So much still to do... tick-tock, tick-tock

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The fix is in!

Mike from L&M marine arrived first thing on Monday morning to address the oil leak.  He was able to cut off the old, factory installed hose clamp (really more of a crimp on fitting) without lifting the engine or damaging the hose. He then slid a new hose clamp down the hose from above  and using a flexible shaft nut driver tightened it in place.  The entire process took all of 10 minutes.

Once Mike departed I refilled the engine oil and placed a new pad under the fitting.  Throughout the day yesterday, I continued to get some oil spots on the clean oil pad.  I was unsure if this was residual oil from the previous day or oil continuing to leak.

Prior to leaving the boat yesterday afternoon, I place a fresh portion of the pad under the engine.   As of this morning there is no new oil on the pad!   Crisis adverted - whew.

Anne and I have now embarked on the terrestrial portion of our migration southward.  By the first of next week we will have dropped off our car and non- boat stuff in FL and be back at C'est la Vie.   Our target launch date is November first.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

"You take the good. You take the bad. You take them both and there you have..."

Well the good news is midday on Saturday, I completed the engine installation.  Yup everything re-installed, re-wired, re-plumbed...

Here is a before image...
the starting point.
And the current image...
re-installation complete!
Feeling very satisfied with myself for completing the project and pleased with the results, I began to wipe down the area before moving on to re-installing the forward engine room  wall.

And this is when I discovered the bad news...
The oil spot on the right is from a 90 minute lunch break.  The spot under the engine is from overnight.  
The engine is leaking oil from the drain plug or hose connection under the oil pan.  It was not leaking outside the boat so  my best guess is that it was damaged during the re-install or alignment process.  The only way to access this area is to lift the engine off the beds.  AARRRGGGHHH!

It is difficult to express my frustration when I discovered the leak.  I've managed to calm down now, 32 hours after discovering the leak.  Other than drain the oil from the engine, I have yet to begin to address the issue.  Mike the mechanic is going to meet me at the boat first thing Monday morning.  My hope is that he has some way other than lifting the engine to address the leak.

Unable to bring myself to begin uninstalling the engine, I spent the day today re-fabricating the supports for the forward engine compartment cabinetry.  I discarded the old wood.  I am modifying the design and using starboard for the support members.  

Lower panel in place.  Upper panel hinged upward to expose sound proofing. Upper side panels have yet to be installed.

As the pieces fall back into place I am also adding sound proofing material to the inner surfaces.

More images from the project are available in the photo album - Haul Engine - fall 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012

the engine is back in C'est la Vie but work remains

Wrestling the new two inch engine exhaust hose into place between the water lift muffler in the engine compartment and thru-hull in the lazurette consumed the morning.  Fortunately, I did not pre-cut the 12.5 foot section of hose to match the 11 foot section that came out of the boat.  Using the longer, new section of hose I was able to run from muffler to thru-hull with out a joint or fiberglass elbow. This eliminates three joints and six hose clamps from the previous set up while allowing the hose to run higher and more center line to the boat  It is important to run the exhaust hose high and center line to  prevent salt water from running the system in reverse and damaging the engine.

engine compartment completed and ready for the engine install

With the muffler and exhaust hose installed the engine compartment is ready for the engine.

With assistance from the boat yard staff C'est la Vie's engine returned to the boat with a minimum of fuss.  So one month to the day the engine is back in the boat.

Tomorrow morning the mechanic is scheduled to align the engine and affix the new motor mounts to the engine beds.  Once this is complete I will begin running hoses and reconnecting wiring between the engine and the boat.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

An "out of boat experience" for our engine

Today our engine had an "out of boat experience."  With the assistance of Mike from L&M Marine, we test ran the engine out side of the boat.

This required using our five gallon fuel jug as a fuel tank; pulling the starter battery out of the boat; running a hose into a 5 gallon bucket for the cooling water, and feeding the exhaust into the gravel drive.  Although a bit reluctant at first, after a nearly five month nap, the engine did run well.

Hopefully tomorrow, one month to the day that we hauled the engine, it will be back in the boat.  I'll let you know how it goes....

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Engine Haul Project - week three update

Piece by piece the engine compartment is growing closer to re-installing the engine..
October 14 - still missing shaft, water lift muffler, exhaust hose, and engine
Installing the sound proofing took two days.  Installing the mounting boards and other engine components atop the sound proofing took another day.  Next up was a day devoted to installing battery shelves, installing the battery straps, wiring the four new Full River six volt house batteries into a 12 volt / 448 AH bank, and re-calibrating the existing Victron Energy BMV600s battery monitor.

Today I re-wired and re-plumbed the bilge float switches and pumps.

unique and reliable bilge pump system designed by previous owner
C'est la Vie's bilge pump arrangement was set up by the previous owner.   For a narrow, inaccessible bilge the system works very well.  The float switches are very high quality & reliable Ultra Safety Systems Pump Switches.    The lower float switch operates a remote bilge pump located in the starboard cockpit locker.  Since this pump relies on suction it has a scrum box in the bilge and a screen pre-filter in cockpit locker.  The upper float switch operates the high volume bilge pump located just aft of the switch in the bilge.  The upper float switch also activates the high water alarm. I replaced all the hoses and cleaned up the wire routing.

Installing the new cutlass bearing proved more challenging that expected. First the existing set screw is located directly below the bolt securing the shaft log to the boat.  This renders the set screw useless.  I ground down and sanded smooth the numb of the old set screw that extended into the log.  The best solution  for locating a new set screw was to drill into the solid fiberglass of the hull and tap a new set screw from the outside of the hull.
Tapping a new set screw in the shaft log.

The only time the set screw will need to be acceseds is when the boat is on the hard.  The only issue with locating the set screw on the outside of the hull is how to seal access hole to prevent water damage to the hull.  I'm toying with two options.  First inserting a rubber stopper and then cutting it flush with the hull.  Second packing some plumbers putting to protect the hex head of the set screw, filling the outer hole with low density filler, and then marking the location.

The cutlass bearing proved stubborn and consumed  few hours to coax into the shaft log.  With some assistance from the boat yard, we improvised a "puller" consisting of an all thread rod, two large washers, and two nuts.  This allowed me to press the cutlass into the log and then use a hammer and wood block for additional persuasion.
coaxing the cutlass bearing into the shaft log.  The small hole to the right is the set screw access.
Finally persistence won the day and our new cutlass bearing is in place.
new cutlass bearing and set screw in place.
 The rebuild kit for the drip-less shaft seal and the newly re-faced shaft couple are both in hand.  I plan to re-install the couple, shaft, and shaft seal tomorrow.  I'll re-install the prop once the bottom painting is complete

Little progress has been made on the engine itself over the last week.  The diesel shop installed new tips on the fuel injectors.  I've cleaned the heat ex-changer core and installed a new impeller in the water pump.  But, I am still waiting on the the mechanic to return with the other engine parts.  I've got about a 12 hours of work left inside then boat and then I'll be waiting on the mechanic and parts.

Oh, and since accessing the engine exhaust thru hull to replace the hose required removing the propane locker from the lazurette it seemed like the opportune time to paint the lazurette.  Now the bow anchor locker remains the lone interior area we have not repainted on C'est la Vie.

The stainless steel pendulum in the lazurette is for the Cape Horn Autopilot.  I elected not to paint the mounting pads for the autopilot.  These are wood cores fiber glassed in place.  The fiberglass is semi-transparent and allows visual inspection of the integrity of the wood core.

More images are available on our album devoted to this project - Engine Haul - fall 2012