“The fuel tanks are leaking”….No boat owner wants to hear these words. No boatyard service manager enjoys saying the words to an owner. The owner of MOON STAR a Kadey-Krogen 42, Hull #94, built in 1986, had noticed a small amount of fuel in the bilge, and was expecting to be told that a hose or fitting was loose and needed to be replaced. The boat was being decommissioned for the 2010-2011 winter storage season when the mechanic doing the work made the discovery. The owner discussed the time intensive project that he was facing with Yankee’s management team. Upon hearing the extent to which the engine room would have to be dismantled in order to replace the fuel tanks, he saw the opportunity to accomplish something he had been thinking and dreaming about for some time…….A Complete Engine Room Refit.
MOONSTAR’S engine room had been added to, and improved over the years. Upright brackets had been built and installed to hold pumps, strainers, and various components.
Hose and wire runs had been added often with function taking precedent over form. The result was a very busy engine room requiring a series of body positions and creative maneuvering to move about and perform routine tasks. Too frequently one emerged scarred by the many exposed hose clamps & other sharp bits.
The owner was thrilled at the chance to gut (literally) 90% of the engine room space and start from scratch. The general idea going into the project was to update and improve access to every system, and create a clean, safe, and possibly even comfortable engine room work space. To really make the project impressive the owner and head of mechanical services at Yankee decided this would be a good time to add an aqua-drive and drop the hydraulic PTO pump for the stabilizer & bow thruster systems onto the lower pulley on the front end of the engine, creating a flat deck that would surround the engine.
“Make me say, WOW!”
“I want to look down into my engine room and say, ”WOW!” With that charge from the customer, the project was initiated before the Christmas break of 2010. The engine room was photographed, the boat was prepped with protection, and systems were methodically unplumbed, unwired, labeled and removed. Next the engine, generator and bulkheads holding the tanks in place all had to be removed.
The tanks came out with a considerable effort. The old tanks were cut into thirds, to allow them to fit through the existing engine room hatch in the salon. Thru hulls were removed, and cabling that was potentially going to be reused was labeled & coiled against the forward engine room bulkhead that was being left mostly intact.
With the tanks out of the boat, measuring and ordering, the new tanks were possible. It was decided to reduce the size of the tanks by 100 us gallons each. Doing this allowed the new tanks to be fit without altering the existing engine hatch opening. It gained additional space for placement of pumps and water heater as well as more stowage for bulk oil and large items. Structural supports for the old tanks were removed and new ones built. The grinding and glassing part of the project also involved the filling and glassing of old thru hull holes.
New longitudinal stringers were built to support the tanks. Old plywood/glass platforms, often soggy with moisture and oil residue were replaced with newly-built structures on each of the engine with hatch covers to access new seacocks & strainers, as well as handy stowage for supplies and spares. The lower bilge & sump were re-glassed and the drip pan redesigned to ensure any and all drips and spills would be captured. A dripless shaft seal now allows a bone-dry sump.
Composite construction materials were utilized to prevent any future chances of rot. A heavy glass support was built aft of the engine to mount the Aquadrive.
The engine and genset both got a touch up paint job while it was out of the boat. New engine beds were glassed in to hold new mounts. New bulkheads were constructed with vacuum bag high-density foam core platforms and fiberglass laminations finished with gelcoat. Thru hulls and strainers were relocated and installed. Three new custom battery boxes were built to hold the engine & house banks as well as port & starboard inverter banks.
The tanks took a long time to come. When they did arrive they were painted with Amercoat 450H for corrosion protection. Sylomer urethane strips were then glued with 5200 to the underside of the tanks to seat them against the fiberglass.
A lot of hands were needed to lift the tanks into place!
Tank bulkheads were installed with fasteners. With the space created by reducing the tank dimensions, custom fiberglass platforms were built at the aft end of each tank, the starboard one would become home to the new water heater tank.
The system components could now start to be relocated and installed, paying particular attention to hose runs & wire runs. The fuel tank bulkheads were each installed with an easily removed panel across the top edge of their full length, allowing wire runs to be accessible but hidden. This will help avoid future cutter as changes and additions are made. Aft of the fuel tanks Panduit was installed to contain all wire runs to the aft bulkhead.
The fuel delivery lines to both the engine and generator had been copper piping with inline valves along the fwd bulkhead. The new layout with easily accessed and labeled manifolds on each tank with fuel lines routed out of harm’s way.
The hydraulic PTO was relocated to the stabilizer pump and the relocated thruster pump powered off the stabilizer pump with in-house fabrication and welding. The pump bracket was fabricated, aligned and installed with spare belts in place for ease of servicing.
The generator was installed further aft than the original location and spun 90 degrees to improve access for servicing.
A custom platform was fabricated to create a level surface at the curvaceous aft end of the engine room. Doing this permitted the inverter battery boxes to be mounted further outboard than the original location, really opening up the aft space.
The finishing touches included new Soundown, sound-deadening material throughout the engine room. A Lonseal commercial vinyl flooring product was installed over gel coated flat surfaces & hatches. White powder coated aluminum grating was installed to cover the Soundown overhead completely, making the overhead easy to keep spotless. New LED light fixtures, and a red custom Krogen “K” in the hatch step finished things off nicely.
The project was completed during the scheduled winter & spring layup period. An ongoing dialogue with the owner was maintained to ensure that we were meeting his needs, budget and scheduling to the best of our ability. Creative input came from all those involved.
MOON STAR was sea trialed in the spring of 2011. The mechanical and electrical technicians made a general overall check underway for any leaks from the dozens of new water, fuel and hydraulic connections that had been made. A very close inspection was made to check the alignments on the Aquadrive and jackshaft connecting the PTO hydraulic pump to the engine pulley underway and under load. They also confirmed voltage outputs from the engine alternator, generator and inverter system. With all systems operational, MOON STAR and her owners enjoyed a full summer of cruising.
Plaque placed in engine room at owner’s suggestion.
Her owner sums it up:
“I now have an engine room that is clean, bright, safe and designed to stay that way. I’m delighted.”