Between Carnival and the Wine Tasting

Ready for Glass
    Way back, now over three years ago we repowered Celebration. One small dilemma was getting the exhaust and seawater mixture from one side of the prop shaft to the other. Simple, sure…but finding the exact right elbow to do the trick was fruitless. Custom one?  $4-600, so I went to my favorite speed shop, Summit Racing and ordered up a stainless steel 180 degree header elbow at around $45, Cut it with my angle grinder, aligned it to fit and marked it for welding. A friend stops by and asks “what are doing with that?” “Taking it in for welding” I say. “I have a TIG welder” he answers, “be happy to help.” So for $45 bucks and a bottle of Captain Morgan to the friend I’m done.

Epoxy Setting

     Fast forward to the wine tasting of a couple weeks ago; The men starting talking about their exhaust problems. Two of them had those $500 custom/production boat elbows rot out from the seawater-exhaust combo in under 3 years, both were running new and looking for a backup. I sat thinking about my home spun $45 version, hmmm? Sure enough when I dug down last week to look there indeed was a tiny pinhole in the weld and a bit of pitting in the mandrel lines. What to do?

Sanded, Ready to Reinstall
Back in Place
    Since many boats now use fiberglass for elbows, I thought I’d give it a try and fiber glassed over the stainless using 4 layers of cloth and epoxy resin. First cleaned up the old mess, steel brushed, sanded it to get adhesion, a little etching with leftover hull cleaning acid, acetone wipe and put down the cloth. Here are some photos of the process. I had to sand off a few rough spots to save the knuckles later, but the end result looks fairly similar to the production models. Except for the Steve Kauffmann/Celebration/Nanni custom shape of course. Time will tell how long it will last. Might be good to whip up another one of these when we get back to the US. Of course while in there, dissembled the shaft coupler to grease the bolts so when I really need to get it apart…it’ll come apart, and fixed a small seawater leak in the water-maker intake, domino’s….


Jim P said...

You are the only guy I know who can get me as excited about mechanical solutions as about food and wine. Sadly, as a sailor, I am most successful with the latter.

Anne and Chris said...

Steve, you really need to write some of your fixes/improvements up for Good Old Boat. I'm sure there are lots of others out there with similar problems, who don't have your problem-solving mind!

Steve said...

Thanks for the inputs. As frustrating as all the constant fixing and maintaining gets, it IS fun when it is successful

BruceH said...

Fantastic Steve!