The day started with rain and dropping temperatures.  Ah the sweet herald of victory.

Bud was on the way.  He had boarded the flight from California that would carry him to Dallas and then on to New Orleans.  That gave Dani and I only a couple of hours to finish the last remaining task we needed to do before he arrived.  After a final conversation with him he told us to go ahead and pull the old engine bed plates.

This process began with a mad rush to the boat since we took yesterday off to prepare for the ordeal.  Once there our ongoing battle with rust and corrosion in the ancient engine room continued for its final chapter.

Behold the last standing offender.
Westsail 32 Engine motor mount

I was vigorous and unrelenting in my assault.
Tate pulling up the old engine bed
Removing the old engine bed

You can see the nastiness under the plates.  One side cleaned thrice the other only once.
Bolt remaining in old engine bed

We tossed the old nasty plates into the junk heap, finished up cleaning up the boat, and made haste home to put on presentable clothes.  We ran over to the airport and picked up Bud and went to lunch.

Bud told us that today’s labor was the hardest and most time consuming of the entire engine installation process.  Today’s labor was to put in the new engine bed plates.  We started by taking measurements of the existing studs and Bud proclaimed that they would not fit and would not suit us and so they must go.  This resulted in flames.

I cut and ground off all the old studs.
Tate sawing off bolts in engine bed
Clean engine bed

Bud got down into the boat and continued to measure and plot.  Of course the engine pan (a fiberglass structure on which the engine is mounted) was not going to accommodate the wider plates required by the new Beta.
Bud measuring new engine bed plates

More grinding was called for.  Frito Bandito.
Tate with a hankerchief around mouth

For this part of the grinding, I had to cut out the fiberglass to make room to slide the plates wider.  This was an extremely messy job which sent tons of fiberglass into the air.  Obviously I wasn’t well dressed for this type of work but c’est la vie.  Dani snapped only one photo before she and Bud fled to the deck to escape the cloud of fiberglass.
Angle grinder engine bed

Here are what the cuts looked like.
Cuts on side of engine bed

With the plates able to be put into the correct places we marked the holes from the top with the plates in place and then I had to drill them out.  Some of the spots had metal backing behind the fiberglass and others did not.  I tapped the two holes that had metal backing and simply drilled out the others.
Drilling holes for new engine bed plates

The holes that didn’t have metal backing required a washer and nut to tighten up the bolts.  But there was no obvious way to get in there.  Well there was but it wasn’t obvious to me.  It required the drilling of holes with a hole saw next to each of the bolt holes by which we could slip a fender washer and nyloc nut in and get it started.
drilling side holes to allow nut access
Tightening bolts
After getting all the bolts tightened down we vacuumed up the mess for the sixth time.  Bud proclaimed that there was no more work to be done for today on the engine and so we moved on to some other projects.  One of which was the stuffing box which Bud handled.

I had always known our packing was bad since we had a steady leak through the box (like a lot).  It was to the point that I fretted over it when away from the boat.  When Bud opened the stuffing box we discovered why.  There was no packing at all!

Bud put new packing in and tightened.
stuffing box packing

The finished (for today) product!
New engine bed plates

As a side note… We also finished fixing that pesky sight gauge fitting that we couldn’t get in place the other day.  We acquired a 1/2″ NPT Tap which was not easy.  Had to be special ordered.
Pipe tap 1/2"

We ran the tap into the bung and tried to put the fitting in but it wouldn’t work.  It turns out Bud showed us that I just hadn’t put it in far enough.  I had to put it in a LONG way before it properly cut the threads to start the fitting.
fuel tank fitting

But we finally got the fitting in!
got the fuel tank fitting to fit

We cleaned up and went to dinner and now I’m about to turn in.  Tomorrow we have a long day.  At 8am we’ll be installing the engine.

Despite a shower I still itch everywhere due to fiberglass dust.  I have a nasty burn on my leg with a blister the size of Texas from grinding without long pants on.  I ache everywhere.  However, I’m a very happy camper.

More to come on the morrow.  Peace.