2015 – Ultra smart AssemblY of SOLE MINI 33 (by Frank)
These were the preparations I made before Marc came from southern Germany in oder to work through the last steps together. Now we were ready to cut the opening for the saildrive. Having done that the sanding was completed. The next task was to glue in the saildrive support and to prepare the hull with some layers of epoxy and glass in order to provide a good durability aginst heat, oil and diesel. This is a job that can only be done by two people. One is permanently mixing the epoxy and the filler, preparing the glass fiber sheets and handing over the material. The other one is applying that stuff. All epoxy jobs were done „wet in wet“. So there was no need for sanding between the layers (I hate sanding). We didn‘t want the water coming in from behind of the cockpit to be collected under the engine. So we glued in 2 hoses that would guide this water towards the bilge.
The last layer was white epoxy gelcoat. One day hardening and we were ready to install the engine.
Because of the limited space in the engine compartment the saildrive had to be positioned in front of the engine instead of the standard direction which is vice versa. So the direction of the propeller had to be changed. No problem with our saildrive. Modification instructions could be obtained via internet. A crane truck lifted the „Eisenschwein“ out of the boat and the new engine into it. After only half an hour the new engine hung over the cockpit instead of the old one.
The new engine went into the boat the same way the old engine got out. The installation of the saildrive was a little bit more tricky: It could not be mounted in one part. Instead the lower half of the saildrive had to be separated from the upper half. First the lower half was losely put through the saildrive support close to its future position. Then the upper half of the saildrive was mounted to the engine. At last engine and upper half of the were lowered down and mounted to the lower half of the saildrive. Allmost done. The saildrive could now be monted to the saildrive support.
Unfortunately the connecting dimensions of the saildrive engine were not the same connecting dimensions as those of the „normal“ engine that were published. Quite a surprise when we tried to connect the engine to the rear engine support. Luckily with the correct engine mounts (of the non-saildrive engine) everything fit together. Latter came a few weeks later.
That was almost it. The installation of the Bowden cables for the saildrive and the injection pump were no big deal. The gauges for the engine functions and instruments were placed where the old ones had been. Also we took the opportunity to renew some engine periphery (VETUS exhaust pipe, MORSE 1-lever control gear, TELEFLEX control cables, etc..). Of course also a new propeller was required and our choice was a 2-bladed 16″ GORI CRUSING folding prop with gear. One new AGM pack consisting of two 70 Ah VARTA MARINE PRO deep-cycle batteries had already been acquired and installed in 2014.
All this work was finished within ONE week – we did a really good job!