2008 Week 14 In Review

An Update from the Maris Pearl

We are still cleaning up the Maris Pearl’s tool room and parts container. It’s a really big job, but I can totally see that I’m making progress. I also found the pipe fittings I removed from the jacket heat exchanger three years ago when I started the project. I finally need them again and I’m really glad that they were still around.

OTM Inc Summer Sticker Photo Competition

Old Tacoma Marine Inc. is holding a sticker photo competition this summer, using the stickers we ordered and your own creativity. We posted the details over here. Now go request your stickers and start taking photographs.

Visit to the Red Cloud
On Saturday morning we visited the Red Cloud, a neat ex-Navy tug powered by an Enterprise diesel:

This is neat enough on its own (as you’ve probably noticed), but it also is the exact same class vessel as the Maris Pearl (ex-Sea Fox, for those of you paying attention). The Red Cloud looks just like the Pearl did ten years ago, before an extensive conversion to cruising tugboat yacht.

Rick Hamborg, the proud new owner, is very excited about converting the Red Cloud into a comfortable cruising tug as well:

He showed us the plans he’s drawn up to remodel the main deck into a swanky lounge space surrounding the galley and even has the furniture picked out. We’re looking forward to seeing the process unfold in the future. More importantly, though, the engine:

The Red Cloud‘s engine and engine rooms look almost exactly like the Maris Pearl‘s, too. Walking around as Rick showed us through the boat was like walking through a ghost-twin of the Pearl – all of the major equipment was in the same place, the rooms were the same shape, and it “felt” the same, minus ten years of conversion. The main difference is the color and the round cam windows (rather than the Pearl‘s square windows) — and how the Red Cloud really isn’t ready for cruising yet:

Nothing a little clean-up won’t fix, though.

There is one big barrier to getting the engine going again, though: Cosmoline.

Cosmoline is the trade name for a specific petroleum distillate that’s used as a rust-preventer. It’s sort of like vasoline, except that it has long-chain hydrocarbons that make it waxy as well as greasy. The military and plenty of other people smear it on metal things – guns, jeeps, engines – to keep them preserved for years or even decades. It works really well to keep the rust from eating a mothballed engine long before the boat is activated again.

The problem is that cosmoline is very hard to remove when the boat is reactivated — and it’s hard to know where it is and where it isn’t on an engine. It’s hard to remove from any engine, but the Red Cloud‘s engine is covered in cosmoline. I think that the Navy workers on cosmoline duty hated their jobs and they sprayed it everywhere out of spite while they were mothballing the boat (here‘s a dark blurry picture of the cylinder heads; the dark yellow greasy stuff is the cosmoline). It’s going to be really, really hard to get it out of the engine, since every little bit has to be removed before starting up the engine. I know of cases of cosmoline-filled oil lines that prevented oil from getting to the bearings that in turn destroyed the engine.

The only way to recondition the engine safely is to completely disassemble the engine, clean out all the cosmoline, and reassemble it once you’re sure it’s all out. The stuff doesn’t disolve in oil, so it’s really easy for chunks of it to come off, circulate through the engine, get stuck in the oil lines, and destroy the bearings. One of the only chemicals it’s soluable in is laquer thinner, which makes it hard to clean out of a system. There’s a few tricks to make it a little faster (I might circulate laquer thinner through the engine using the prelube pump), but it’ll still be a nightmare and you have to ventilate the entire engine room with explosion-proof pumps.

Bringing the Red Cloud‘s engine room back to life is going to be a big job what with all that cleaning up after the Navy, but just think how great it’ll be to hear that DMQ-8 rumble back to life. Make sure to invite us to the party, Rick!

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1 Comment

Filed under enterprise, sticker contest, week in review

One response to “2008 Week 14 In Review

  1. RE: cosmoline in the engine.
    I left a voice mail on your’phone commenting on the use of cosmoline by the military, unless there was someone
    incredibly stupid, there should be an oil soluible comp-
    ound wich is circulated thru the engine to coat all surfaces and then drained. common instructions that Ive found dictate to add regular lube oil to the engine and
    run normal thru the first oilchange interval BTY-change
    or at least check the filters.
    let me know what you find, there should have been a tag on the engine throttle advising which compound was used and how to deal with it.
    jdk 443-854-4311

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