New Ballad owner

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prjacobs
Posts: 228
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:06 pm

Re: New Ballad owner

Post by prjacobs » Fri Nov 09, 2012 3:54 am

My thoughts, when I bought my Vega, were to sail her as she was for about a year. Luckily there were no previous "improvements" to worry about, and being #1331 of over 3400 built, I figured that the builders must have known what they were doing by then. The only exception was the roller reefing on the main ... what a disaster. After the first sail that was changed to two slab (jiffy) reef points.
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I''ve followed the same philosophy rebuilding the Ballad. The most previous owner had removed all the "improvements" previously made, and although we never met I could tell that he was a simple sailor. Things like a sounding line, no lines led aft, hank-on jibs, etc. made this clear. My first months of sailing will be in her almost original form, allowing any future changes to be compared with the performance of the original layout. Again, slab reefing will be the exception. After all, after building that many boats before mine I trust that Albin Marin had most of the "bugs' were ironed out!

Bob McGovern
Posts: 280
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:08 am
Location: Wyoming, USA

Re: New Ballad owner

Post by Bob McGovern » Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:03 am

Our new/old Ballad has arrived from Chicago. Getting if off the trailer was tricky, but it is now propped and lashed behind the shop.

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It took over two days to clean many years' worth of junk (including a wakeboard!) out of the boat. Also, the holding tank had not been emptied for a while, so removing that and all the toilet plumbing was a filthy job. Now we have the boat empty, we can assess what needs doing. One soft spot on the decks just behind the fore cleat. A little core damage indicated around the chainplates, but not too extensive. Some blistering under the forward portlights, suggesting water inside the laminate. And all the plumbing and electrical has to come out. The old seacocks are frankly scary -- I broke off the raw water through-hull with my hand!

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The engine is the enigma. It's the original Penta MD6A, with optional alternator, and it has a water-jacket exhaust. I would prefer a water-lift muffler, but I understand the water-injection elbow is no longer available? Maybe we should begin with a compression test and go from there.

But the boat's bones are good, and now I can spend a winter gently teasing apart the interior and planning everything out. We need to honor the boat for what it is, while making the changes that will suit our intentions for it.

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prjacobs
Posts: 228
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:06 pm

Re: New Ballad owner

Post by prjacobs » Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:52 pm

Congratulations on getting the boat home. she looks good.
I had a similar raw water intake, complete with Vetus strainer, in the bilge. The Vetus info says the strainer must be at least 15 cm (6") above the water line, which makes sense. I glassed over the keel water intake and knotmeter impeller holes. The engine now gets it's water from the galley salt water through-hull, which is a very short run to the strainer (now located on the aft side of the galley bulkhead and 6" above the waterline) and a short run from the strainer to the engine water pump. If I need salt water in the galley I'll use a bucket.

On the exhaust elbow: In the past I've made my own for Yanmar. Not sure if it would work with Volvo as I've never seen one. I used black pipe and brass pipe. In the image below I added a short piece of threaded black pipe so that a threaded coupling could be used to join it to the brass. This particular piece is still working well after five years of regular use.
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Bob McGovern
Posts: 280
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:08 am
Location: Wyoming, USA

Re: New Ballad owner

Post by Bob McGovern » Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:36 am

Nice. I know people fabricate their own wet exhaust elbows, so that is an option. The water jacket looks in good shape, but from what I understand a) they are much, much louder than water-lift systems; B) they run much, much hotter. Indeed, you can see major gel-coat crazing around and below the exhaust outlet. The only place on the hull with that sort of alligatoring, & I have to think it is entirely down to hot exhaust.

You aren't worried about de-zincification in the brass fittings? I'm thinking any decent muffler shop could bend a riser, weld on a flange, and add a side-feed nipple for the water injection. Might be harder to find a good stainless welder, tho, if you want it in stainless. Probably cheaper to get three of 'em made in standard exhaust pipe. I'm a lousy welder, myself.

What's you feeling about draining the engine of all coolant for the winter? I'm half-tempted to fire up the engine, run out the antifreeze the haulout marina (allegedly) put in the block, followed by some water. I've never seen or heard the engine run. Then drain it completely using the coolant drain plug. Is that an invitation to freeze-damage or corrosion? I probably won't pull it completely until Spring. Need to engineer a heavy-lifting system. Wish my buddy had kept his portable crane....

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prjacobs
Posts: 228
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:06 pm

Re: New Ballad owner

Post by prjacobs » Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:49 pm

Bob,
My thoughts on the brass: An exhaust riser is a "consumable" item, like tires or brakes on a car. When it wears out I'll replace it. I might try stainless next time. I'm not a stellar welder either, although I have good equipment. I usually do the fabrication myself, tack it together, and take it to a welding shop for a proper job.

On the engine coolant: I'd drain as much as possible out then re-fill with fresh coolant, as it has corrosion inhibitors in it. I guess it gets pretty cold where you are, so put in a strong solution!

You probably already have them, but there are engine manuals at this site. The one labeled MD6A seems to be an owner's manual, and the one labeled MD6 MD7 is an overhaul manual ... great resource!

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