Monday, 31 December 2012

Lightning - a double entendre

International Lightning Class + hydroplane....get it? Oh well - I tried.

Busy week this week in the boatshop - in fact by popular demand there were crews out Saturday and Sunday! Saturday was mostly on the Lightning, the centreboard winch got fully sorted and installed permanently. George had taken the little pully that the board haul-up cable runs over, installed a bearing in it and came up with a better bolt to act as axle.

It looks good and should work!

The centreboard is a steel plate of about 200 lbs and no piece of cake to manhandle - however with a crane? - no problem. We put a dolley under the boat so as the board dropped into place the bottom landed on the dolley and made it easy to adjust position and move the boat around. Scott and Ray got the bronze bolt intalled with new leather gaskets.

One flying centreboard...

and landed - just need that stopper...

Once that was done, we carried on checking the fit of the coamings and headed off an error we were about to make - whew! Looks as though they are going to look OK. There are a couple of spots where it is tempting to replace the originals but so far we are resisting..we'll see.

Then on Sunday it was Gas-Hopper Day! We moved the shop around to make space under the crane for the raceboat then hauled it around the building and poked it into the front of the shop.

Let there be light(ning?)
pointy end out - Scott & Anton ready.

Once under the crane we had to rig lifting gear without damaging anything. The engine is a Ford 6 - much hot rodded. It has some interesting features - the distributor is off a 12 cylinder engine and has two coil wire sockets. In this case it is wired up so the two coils only have to run 3 cylinders each - giving a hotter spark. The cylinder head is aluminum and finned, there are triple Stromberg 97 carbs, the ports are polished.

Anton wrenching, Ray and Scott worrying
really tight fit coming out.

Another interesting mod is the oil cooler which is welded into the pan and has fittings that go UNDER the stringers from each side. they had to come out first and you can't actually see them.

Turns out it was good decision to pull the engine - it has condensation in some locations in spite of the wadding Dave had jammed in various openings. However the essentials seem to be in very good condition and major expenses are not forseen on the engine - so far.

the 12 cylinder ignition - with 6 wires!
engine on stand - stage one done!

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