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Project Log:  Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Before I could continue work on the dinette (i.e. final and permanent platform installation), I had a bit more work to do inside the lockers, work that would be easier without the platform in place.  I planned to insulate the hull, and this meant I'd also have to build some sort of protective surface above the insulation. None of this was work I felt like doing right at the moment, feeling oddly unmotivated, so instead I went in a different direction.

I thought it was high time I built an engine template.  I'd made some basic measurements here and there over the past months, but to ensure the proper fit of the engine I was most likely to install (Beta 43), I thought I'd build a template so I could check all the measurements.  I was comfortable in the knowledge that the existing engine foundations were sound and approximately the correct distance apart (side to side), and of course the existing foundations were already at the proper angle according to the propeller shaft. 

From the measured drawing available online, I built a basic plywood template to the overall maximum dimensions of the engine, then added extensions at the ends to represent the center propeller shaft using the basic transmission supplied with the engine; the platform itself represented the bottom of the engine mounting flanges.  I built short legs to simulate the engine's flexible mounts, which projected several inches beneath the flanges.

When I placed the template on the foundations in the boat, at once I could see that my template sat too low, as the center of the prop shaft (as represented by holes through my two extensions) was well below the line of the stern tube.  To determine how much to raise the "engine", I first strung a line through the stern tube, using wooden plugs to help center it in the tube, and extended the line to the forward bulkhead in the engine room. 


I didn't fuss over exacting layout at this point, as I mainly wanted to see how much higher above the existing foundations the engine would have to rest.  With spacers beneath the existing feet I'd installed, I eventually raised the template to the point that the string passed more or less cleanly through the two holes beneath the platform.  I'd raised the engine by nearly three inches.


This was as far as I took it at the moment.  One concern I had was the overall height of the engine; while there was plenty of room above the original engine foundations, raising the whole thing three inches had made the clearance tight, depending on where the highest point of the actual engine was (which I'd determine with the drawing later, though at this point I was considering worst-case scenarios only).

The first order of business  would be to double-check all the measurements on my template to be sure I'd not made an error, however.  If the measurements turned out to be correct, then to move forward with this engine I'd need to either modify the existing foundations, or have custom mounts made to the requirements of the space, or some combination of both.  There was also the possibility of a different transmission with a different output height, which could change the overall position and height of the engine.  And there were competing engines that I might look at as well.  These were the quandaries that, while not specifically anticipated, had led me to decide to build the template now and determine if any such issues existed.  There was plenty of time to sort out the solutions. 

Total Time Today:  3 hours

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