Nothing Ever Goes As Planned…With Boats Or Blogs

I was supposed to have a new engine by now. I was supposed to have a new blog post about the conversion from a diesel to an outboard. I was supposed to be back in the Keys…or at least on my way. I was supposed to be done with the training I’m doing at Wealthy Affiliate. But nothing ever goes as planned! I’m still not done with the engine project and I just realized it’s been over a week since I’ve written a new post.


Fun With Fiberglass

The fiberglass work that I needed to do to patch the holes from the Sillette drive and the exhaust for diesel took longer than planned. This isn’t anything out of the normal. Depending on the temperature epoxy can take hours to cure. Especially when you’re patching a large hole and/or building up a thick area, needing to mix a few more batches of epoxy to give the repair a flat and smooth finish can easily add a day or two to a project.

Then of course after having the holes drilled for the mounting bracket for the outboard I realized I forgot an important step. Since the transom of the boat is wood cored I had to enlarge the holes and then coat them with epoxy. This extra step is to ensure that the wood doesn’t get wet which would eventually cause it to rot, which would be a major repair. Not to mention the potential for losing the new engine.

The Giant Hole In My Dashboard

I was all set to go with mounting the ignition switch for the new engine and connecting the wiring harness. It was a very simple part of the project that just required cutting a hole in my dashboard where my wind instrument used was. Then I got a message on eBay. I’ve been trying to see the Westerebeke for months, and of all the parts to go, someone wanted to buy just the admiral panel.

I’d have to have been crazy to turn down a few hundred extra dollars in my pocket, but this meant I now had a huge hole in the dashboard that needed to be covered. I decided the best solution was to cut a whole new dashboard that covers the hole from the panel and the existing dash. Thanks to the locations of the fuel gauges that have long been removed, this also required…you guessed it…more fiberglass work.

old dashboard
The old dashboard with the hole cut for the ignition switch before the panel from the Westerbeke diesel was removed

Rigging The Engine

Getting the engine on the boat wasn’t too hard of a task with Stu helping. Although it was a little heavier than expected, and we did scratch the shiny new cover from moving it out to the boat in the dinghy. Getting everything connected was pretty easy, but there were a few things we were unsure of.

Since remote outboards are usually installed by a dealer they don’t give you any instructions, so connecting everything required some head scratching and a phone call to the dealer. The hardest part was we couldn’t find where the wiring harness connected to the engine. After about an hour I finally noticed 2 wires going up the pull start (not an electric part).

The plugs had come off of the post that holds them in place and moved up behind the pull start…right in front of our faces.

Things That Go Splash

While we were working on the motor we heard a small piece of metal drop. We weren’t sure if we heard splash after that or if it was in the cockpit. Well just when were about to put the last few screws back in the motor Stu realized what it was. The plate that holds the control cables in place, which of course isn’t secured in place, had fallen overboard.

After snorkeling around for a while I couldn’t find it, because so much time had passed and the boat was starting to swing. The good news is it’s a cheap part. The bad news is most people don’t hang a motor with the boat in the water, so no one carries it in stock. Add another few days waiting for the new part to come in. Add to the list what was forecasted to be a short shower or two turning into a day of rain as I type this post!

Putting Other Things On Hold

While all of this work has been going on I really haven’t been doing much with my website. Partially because I’m planning a big post about the inboard to outboard conversion. Partially because I’m exhausted after working on the boat all day.

It’s been over a week since I posted anything new. It’s also been more than a week since I’ve done any of my training on Wealthy Affiliate, the website where I’m learning how to do online marketing. I’ve been stuck on the last lesson on level 4 of the training, because part of that lesson requires me to write a new post.

So here it is! Now I can finally go on to level 4 or the training…or maybe do some more fiberglass work?

8 Responses to Nothing Ever Goes As Planned…With Boats Or Blogs

  1. hi Chris
    Oh boy I can totally relate! I have been crazy busy with new work and have not been able to update my site as often as I used to. And finish my training at WA. I have done the majority of it. Just a few lessons left. But there are only so many hours in a day! Sooooo…and things certainly go awry in life. I wish you good luck on the boat and lots of fun 🙂

    • Emily, it seems like every other lesson requires us to write a new post. So if you ever get busy with other things that put your site on hold it unfortunately it also puts the training on hold. I finally started level 5, but alas…lesson I need to write a new post. Hopefully tomorrow I can get it done after finishing…or at least almost finishing the motor install.

  2. Hi Chris,

    Sounds like you’ve been having a lot of fun with your boat. One thing for sure the training isn’t going anywhere. It will be there waiting when you have time to do it. I’m so busy creating new post and making comments on other peoples posts that my training is on hold. I’ll get to it when I get to it. After all this isn’t an overnight success business. Cheers

    • Ed,

      Now that the work is done…well at least mostly done, we’re having fun again. The training is the easy part. They both kind of go hand in hand. If youre adding a lot of content, you should be able to cruise through the training too, since every other lesson seems to require you to write a new post. I’m slowly getting back on track.


    • Thanks Dave. We finally started moving yesterday. Still need to finish the engine install, but I rigged it temporarily just to get moving.

  3. Hi, Captain Chris. Boy, you have had a hard week. I didn’t realize how difficult it is to maintain a boat, thanks for the input. Best wishes to you now that you have one less thing to do this week. Great post!

    • Yes its been a rough one. This is way beyond normal maintenance, though, Peggy. This is a full re-powering converting from an inboard to an outboard engine, so it is a pretty big project.

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