Friday, 20 April 2012

Final Marina Jobs

Hi everyone,
We're making good progress on the final jobs on the to-do-in-the-marina list...
  • Service the outboard
  • Refurbish the quarter berth
  • The big chart sort-out
  • Investigate Google Earth image "charts" for use in OpenCPN
As mentioned in the preceding post, the one problem found during our Easter on Darwin harbour was that the outboard motor was misbehaving.  The motor is a Nissan NS3.5A, purchased new in San Diego in 1997.  On reflection we decided to have a go at fixing the problems rather than rushing off to buy another motor.  So I set to work to dismantle it.

Very dirty carby
Damaged impeller
The carburettor was thoroughly cleaned.  To check the carburetor was functioning OK I ran it in the biggest water container I could find.  That was a bucket!  I didn't want to run it in the marina since the problems being fixed included leaking fuel/oil into the water.

Test environment!

Amazingly the motor started on the second pull.  After the first I attached the HT lead to the spark plug!  Huzzah.  With the carby OK I ordered new impellers from the US.  It appears there are no suppliers in Australia.  Perhaps Nissan outboards were never sold here.

The quarter berth refurbishment has been going on for some time.  I stripped off the old, discoloured foam-backed vinyl and removed the headliner.  The vinyl was stained and the headliner was robbing us of a huge volume of "sitting head room".  It was a long job scrubbing off the contact cement used to secure the vinyl.  This week I finished that job with a final sand, then started painting.  We decided to apply only undercoat for its matt finish.

Refurbished quarterberth
I've had the signal flag set for over 25 years.  At last it has found a home, and it hides the unfaired hull from view.  Interco Uniform Whisky ready to hoist. ;)

The big chart sort-out took about 12 solid hours (in sessions).  We have about 150 charts, most bought recently from Bellingham Chart Printers in the US.  The charts were provided as a number of folios for geographical areas.  They are now all folded in "eighths" which works well on our small chart table; ordered and stowed to suit our route through SE Asia and beyond; and specified in a spreadsheet.

The Google Earth image "chart" library is a very cool idea supported by the OpenCPN PC chart plotter software.  With a plug-in and the GE2KAP software OpenCPN can accurately overlay the images on normal charts.

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