I have a Groco SA1000 sea water strainer mounted between the sea chest thru hull valve and the engine water pump. When I ran water through it this week it was showing water leaks out of the top through the wing nut. I bought a gasket service kit from fisheries yesterday and took it apart today. The wing nut was stuck and once I carefully freed that I found that the top cover wouldn’t release. The old gasket was sort of holding it in place so I used my trusty mallet and screwdriver combo to gently pop it apart. The new gasket is a much different design as you can see in the pictures. Hopefully that does the trick!
I’m working on getting the engine running this week and I figured I’d run into a handful of issues. All minor and expected I guess, after sitting for literally decades. I ran some water through the cooling system and found some big leaks. The first one is just a minor leak through the sea water strainer. I bought a gasket kit from fisheries supply and will install them tomorrow, not a big deal. The big leak was at the exhaust manifold where I had water spraying out of the bolts.
After removing the 5 bolts connecting this custom fitting I was able to pull it off the manifold and discover just how custom this piece was. I was hoping for a simple fix like replacing an old worn gasket. But, the problem was more the fact that it wasn’t a flat surface that joins to the manifold. I talked to a couple machinists and they just recommended putting it in a bench vise and working down the surface with a flat file. I bought 14” flat file from Radtke Marine and they gave me some new Gardico gasket material to make a new gasket. I met a lot of great people today and was given a lot of great help which made me realize I have an incredible community here to help out.
You can see the progression of how the filing went. It was definitely a lot of work. The owner of one of the shops joked that this is what he’d make the new guys in the shop do instead of sending off to a machinist. It was very satisfying watching the metal flatten out with every stoke of the file. My triceps feel pretty tired and I have a couple new blisters on my palms, but totally worth the effort! Thanks also to Steve at the marina for letting me use his shop bench vise. It was fun talking to the guys in the shop about favorite anchorages in the San Juan islands and surrounding areas, helped the time pass by .
I bought some high heat paint on the way home that’s good up to 2,000 degrees. I’ll finish it and remount it tomorrow after I make a new gasket. Then I can also put the new gaskets on the strainer and that should take care of the leaks in the cooling system for now.
I'm back at for another season of boat work. I typically start each year with a new list of projects that keeps me busy from January to about June before other priorities take me away for the season. This year should be a satisfying year as it should finally lead to some major projects being completed. The engine is days away from being run for the first time! I have a short list of projects that will lead to the boat entering the water for the first time by about March. Then finally, the boat might get it's first chance at taking us on it's maiden voyage.
I was trying to organize my photos from over the years and I came across a couple that were fun comparison photos. The bottom photo is the cockpit from the first day I took possession of the boat and the top photo is how the cockpit looks today! Pretty fun seeing the drastic changes over the years. When I get time I would love to put together a comparison photo library, but that may just wait until the boat is a tad further along. Meanwhile, I feel positively inspired and excited to get back to work and plug away at this years list of projects....stay tuned!
Dream it. Design it. Build it. A hobbyist at heart, I'm usually asked, "Wouldn't it be cheaper and easier to just buy that?!?". Sure, but then I wouldn't understand it and appreciate it like only a do-it-your-selfer can!