Archive for February, 2010

The “Lady Helen” Back from major Overhaul

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

The ” Lady Helen” starts out the new Year with a totally refitted engine room. I have spent the last several months away from fishing and up to my elbows in grease down in the engine room. While I listen to the chatter on the VHF radio about multiple sailfish hookups and Dolphin attacking live baits out on the color change, I am one more turn of the wrench away from hearing the rumble of these rebuilt diesels coming to life. This past Thursday I was finally able to throw off the dock lines and point the ” Lady Helen”  towards the inlet  to begin her first sea trial. The weather was perfect and sunny as it had warmed up from the freezing temps earlier in the week. As we rounded the buoy and headed out the inlet the ocean was calm with a gentle swell. the sun was glistening on the beautiful deep blue gulfstream water that had pushed inshore. I pushed the throttles forward and was again gliding along on “Lady Helen” realizing how much I missed being out on the water
Recent work that I completed included gutting the entire engine room and bilge area. The engines were stripped down to bare blocks then hoisted out. The aft bulkhead was removed to allow the fuel tank located under the cockpit to be slid forward and be removed where the engines had been. Then all remaining wiring and plumbing were stripped out. Next the entire bilge area was steam cleaned and freshly painted.

The process was now reversed. First the fuel tank had to be redesigned and built with a notch cut out of the bottom in order to fit over the engine stringers. Then the tank was slid aft under the cockpit where it is bolted to the main stringers. I had to cut a piece out of the old tank out in order to remove it from the engine compartment.  Next a new bulkhead was installed between the tank and the engine room. The engine blocks and marine gears were reinstalled on the stringers. Then the remaining engine sub- assemblies were installed along with numerous wiring and plumbing upgrades. Finally as shown in the following photo the project is finished.