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.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pulling C'est la Vie's Engine - the next project

That's right I'm pulling C'est la Vie's 34HP Beta Marine diesel engine out of the boat.  With just over a month left before we need to depart NC for FL the cooler weather has finally inspired me to get moving on pending boat projects.  I waffled between painting her decks or pulling the engine.  Pulling the engine won out due to three factors. First the proximity of Beta Marine's US headquarters located only 30 minutes away in Arapaho, NC. Secondly the local diesel mechanic, whom I trust, also owns a 1966 Morgan 34. And, finally painting this winter while in the water sounds much more rational than pulling the engine while sitting at the dock in Everglades City, FL.

What's the motivation for pulling our engine with only 2400 hours?  Well, here's the story.  Prior to purchasing C'est la Vie she rode out the 2004 hurricane season in Titusville, FL.  Three successive tropical storms pounded FL during the 2004 season.  These storms plugged C'est la Vie's cockpit scuppers with debris.  The rain water in the cockpit rose to a depth that allowed it to flow into the cabin.  By the time the flooding was discovered, I'm guessing a week, the water level in C'est la Vie's cabin was approximately 8" over the cabin sole.  This wreaked all manner of havoc on various internal systems & structures.  In the 7 years we have owned C'est la Vie much effort has gone into erasing all damage from and evidence of this sad chapter in her history.  The lower 8" of the motor sat in fresh water.  A transmission flush and a new starter motor brought the tough Beta Marine engine back to life in 2005, and she has served us well since that time.

When the temps began to dip last fall and winter I noticed a knocking sound in the hull when we started C'est la Vie's engine on cool days.  The knock would alleviate when the engine warmed up and ran smoothly.  I traced the source of the sound to the engine mounts.  The rubber vibration dampeners on the motor mounts are failing.  I'm guessing this is due in part to soaking for days in water and chemicals in 2005. Also the paint on portion of the engine that was submerged is peeling away.

If I'm going to lift the engine to replace the mounts then it might as well come all the way out for a coat or two a paint.  I'll also take advantage of the unfettered access to the engine compartment to do some house keeping.

The starting point.

The alternator was the first to go.  Then, documenting as I went, off came hoses, wires, pipes, etc.  Four hours and 20 documented steps later only the exhaust  hose and the shaft linkage remained.  Struggling with the large diameter exhaust hose for 30 minutes convinced me that a hack saw was the best option, I plan to replace the hose anyway.  Thus the hose quickly fell.

The shaft linkage requires two 17mm open end wrenches and the motor mounts require two 15/16 open end wrenches.  Having only one of each wrench put the brakes on my progress for the day.   
Only the shaft linkage and the mounting bolts remain
I'm now fully armed with the correct wrenches. The engine mount bolts are saturated with penetrating oil. Hopefully tomorrow I can free the engine from its bonds and lift it free of the boat.

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