I’ve been up in South Carolina on the boat for the past two weeks.

While the engines were out, I took the opportunity to do some projects that were easier with the engines not in the way.

Kissed Some Frogs.com - Beneteau Power Relays
Engine Battery Disconnect Relays

First, we’ve been having an on-and-off issue with one of the main engine power relays. Occasionally, it would just vibrate or buzz when trying to start the engine. The most likely cause was that the contacts inside had worn over time. It was the starboard relay, which is the one closest to the wall, so both had to come out. Since I had to unhook the port relay anyway, I decided to replace both as they are the same age.

Usually, you would have to contort yourself behind the port engine to get to the switches, but with the engines out, it was easy to get to them.

While I was at it, I took the time to clean all of the contacts, and apply some battery contact protector spray to all of the electrical components and battery cable connections in that area.

Painting the Engine Compartment

My big project was to paint the engine compartment and the bilge. Each side took a couple of days. First, I had to remove the JENGA wood bracing that the mechanic put under the engine to be able to roll it from the sides to the middle. I moved it from Starboard to Port to get it out of the way. I need to put it back in the same configuration for when the engines go back in, so there were lots of pictures and notes.

(Click gallery images to enlarge. Touch/Mouse over for captions.)

Then it was a day with a vacuum, a respirator, a can of paint thinner, several cans of brake cleaner, and lots of scrubbing to get years of grime, belt dust, and fluid residue cleaned up, then let it dry overnight.

In the morning I put the first coat of Total Boat, Epoxy Bilge Paint on. I did the edges, around fittings, and stringers with a brush. Then the open flatter areas with a 6″ paint roller. Again, I had to wear a respirator as the epoxy paint is pretty nasty! The actual painting only took about an hour for one side of the engine room, then I let three large fans run for the rest of the day and took off to let the fumes from the paint vent.

(Click gallery images to enlarge. Touch/Mouse over for captions.)

The next morning I tried to put a second coat on, but the first had not cured enough so it started to crinkle when I rolled on the fresh paint. I left it to dry another day (48 hours total), and it was fine after that. The second coat went on very smoothly. It looks great!

I let that coat dry for about 24 hours, then covered it all in plastic and reassembled the wood bracing.

KissedSomeFrogs.com Beneteau Swift Trawler Engine Room Painting

Then, repeated the whole process on the Port side.

Transmission Update

I drove to Charleston, SC, and picked up the transmission on Wednesday of last week while waiting for the paint to dry. Talking to the mechanic, it was a large bolt that came loose. He said that the threads had probably been strained during assembly. I think he didn’t use Loctite or torque it well. The good news was that we caught it early, and there was no internal damage to the transmission. PHEW! So, a bolt, a seal, and a bottle of Red Loctite (the strong stuff) later, and it is ready to be reinstalled.

Chain Clamps

Having something to lock the prop shaft to keep it from turning while we were running on one engine saved the transmission. I just bought two Vice Grip style Chain Clamps and some rubber pads (so that I don’t mark up the shaft and it will hold better) that will go into my engine room toolbox JUST IN CASE I ever need to restrain the shafts again.

The port engine is completely rebuilt. The Starboard engine is apart, and being cleaned today, and hopefully will start re-assembly tomorrow. Yes! The mechanic is working on the weekends! He is trying to make up some time as he injured his arm when a wrench slipped while torquing a bolt and has been on light duty for a couple of days.

If everything goes to plan, he will test-run the engines in his shop next week and we may get at least one of them back in by next Friday.

KissedSomeFrogs.com Beneteau Swift Trawler, Yanmar Engine
All painted up and ready to go back in!

Oh, and while at the boat, I got company! The marina cat kept stopping by to see what I was up to. (And perhaps get a treat)

(Click gallery images to enlarge. Touch/Mouse over for captions.)

Kiss Some Frogs To Find Your Prince
Thanks for visiting! –Tom & Brenda

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