Thursday, April 10, 2014

Construction update, week 60

This is more a preview update than a full update.  The real thing will come in a week so.  Right now I'm getting ready for my 3rd trip to China to do a final inspection.  Of the list of to-be-done items observed during my last visit, 90% appear to be complete based on photos and reports from the yard.  We even have a tentative (very tentative) ship date of roughly May 25th.

Other than some little things, the big open issue is the exhaust system for the wing engine.  Over the last few boats built the exhaust design has evolved, both because the wing engine has changed from a Lugger to a Deere 4050, and to create a design that is more robust against sea water intrusion.  The wing engine is a wet exhaust design, which means that the sea water used to cool the engine is injected into the exhaust stream via a "sprinkler", and exits the boat with the exhaust.  This is quite common on boats, but it opens up a shocking number of situations and scenarios where sea water can find it's way back into the engine.  When that happens, it's pretty much instant death for the engine.  The new design is even more robust in this respect.

Ours is the 3rd boat built with the new approach so they have it down pretty well, but the muffler has been back ordered.  All the exhaust piping is custom cut and fit, so none of that can happen until the muffler is in hand.  So the whole exhaust system remains unfinished.  The muffler is due to ship on April 12, which I now notice is a Saturday.  Ummm?  Anyway, I'll be tracking this closely as it has all the makings of a needless delay.

I'll be in Xiamen next week, so stay tuned for an update.

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