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Project Log:  Thursday, December 29, 2011

At last, I received word that the new Beta 38 had been shipped to Maine; it had been in the US for a few weeks, but had to pass first through my dealer for final prep and installation of options, which, along with the Christmas holiday, led to inevitable delays.  I always have the engine shipped to a terminal in Portland, as with no forklift on site it's easier for me to go pick up the engine than to try and have it delivered directly to the shop.  So as soon as I confirmed the engine was on the dock in Portland, I headed down to pick it up, about a 2.5-hour round trip.

Back at the shop, the first order of business was to remove the accessories packed inside the large shipping crate, and then remove the cardboard box covering the engine so I could attach my chain hoist and lower the engine to a waiting dolly.


I'd moved the gantry crane over a few weeks ago, but still had to move most of the junk stored on this side of the shop so I could roll the crane close to the doorway and remove the engine from the truck.



While I was excited to get the engine itself, what I'd really been awaiting--and the most anxious for--was the remote coolant tank, which was required in my installation since the domestic water heater had to be mounted higher than the engine.  The top of the coolant reservoir needs to be the highest point of the closed cooling system.

All along, I expected to mount the remote tank somewhere behind the side bulkheads in the pilothouse, but without knowing its exact size and dimensions I couldn't complete the bulkheads, as I'd need to not only ensure the tank fit, but also provide an access hatch for servicing.  I'd been waiting weeks for this tank, and its absence had forced me to put aside the final pilothouse construction.

With the tank on hand, I could move forward with its positioning.

The tank featured an attached mounting bracket with two bolt holes.  Because of where I needed to install the tank, I'd have to epoxy a mounting block to the side of the pilothouse, so I prepared a small block from 1/2" prefab fiberglass and milled countersunk tapped holes for 3/8" flathead machine screws, which I installed flush from behind.  The screws I had on hand were too long, but I'd cut off the excess later.



To simulate the position of the bulkhead, I clamped a steel rule in place across the supporting cleats that I'd installed some time ago.


The dimensions of the space and coolant tank, plus the adjacent tankage fill unit, limited its viable positioning, but there was space just aft of the fuel and water tank fills, near the bottom of the pilothouse bulkhead itself.  This location left the top of the coolant tank several inches above the highest point of the water heater, accomplishing its goal.


After marking the position of the mounting block, I removed the tank and epoxied the block to the fiberglass shell of the pilothouse, using a dab of hot glue in the center to hold it while the epoxy cured.  I formed a good-sized fillet around the edges of the block for additional strength.  Completing this installation now would give me a head start on completing the pilothouse bulkhead installation in the immediate future.

Total Time Today:  5.25 hours (includes engine pick-up time)

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