Hold on, this is not a Royal Enfield, blimey, it is an Atomic 4!!

A few years back I decided to cut my teeth on motorcycles.   Being the yahoo I am my friend Ray told me about Royal Enfields. A Brit bike now made in India that at the time no one had.   What could go wrong.

My 95 Royal Enfield.  The first year they were brought into the states by Classic Motorworks.  Now they make a much improved version.

My 95 Royal Enfield. The first year they were brought into the states by Classic Motorworks. Now they make a much improved version.

Suffice it to say the bikes, I now own 3 Enfields and 1 Harley Davidson and one of the Enfields even runs, taught me how to wrench on motors.

I have had cranks rebuilt, replaced heads, rebuilt transmissions,  configured carbs, replaced chains,  you name it I have done it.   Funny thing is most of these things did not break on their own,,,  well some did, possibly 40% or so broke.  A lot of the work I did because I wanted to learn the ropes.  Now I am greatful I did.

Atomic 4 Time!!

I am making progress on the tear down.  I had hit a roadblock of 2 corroded and stripped bolts behind the starter that were keeping me from removing the flywheel housing.

Stripped stainless bolt with a liberal application of PB blaster

Stripped stainless bolt with a liberal application of PB blaster

Monday I got my Craftsman stripped bolt remover tool in the mail.     As a skeptic and from experience with motorcycles I worried that the tool would be more of a gimmick and I would end up grinding, drilling and tapping the bolt and hole.

The tool worked like a champ.

Bolt and extractor/removal tool.  Craftsman #7

Bolt and extractor/removal tool. Craftsman #7

Allowing me now to remove the oil pan and  have access for removing the crank.

Cranks and pistons

Cranks rods and pistons. The clock is now upside down with oil pan removed.

Things look pretty good inside the crankcase.  There does not appear to be any apparent corrosion on any of the innards.

Aft end of the crank with oil screen visible.

Aft end of the crank with oil screen visible.

Funny thing, on my Enfield the oil filter is cotton gauze wrapped around a metal tube.  At the time I thought it was quite a cheesy setup (the motor was designed in the UK in the 1950s).   It turns out the Atomic 4 has no oil filter,  just the screen seen on the above pickup from the sump.

I now need to remove the crank and pistons and then I will place another call to the Machine shop in Titusville.  I plan to reuse the pistons and just replace the rings.

I am very much looking forward to the rebuild process,  I want to do this right and get it done.


I guess I will be calling Westland Marina again and asking them to take my mast off the stand.  I actually like the place but I have had to ask them 5 times and they still have yet to take it down so I can paint, rewire and rerig it.  Uggg..nup


Last summer I bought some Orange oil as I had read it not only cleans but kills bugs in addition to preserving wood.

Nature's Wisdom Orange Oil Concentrate by Nature's Wisdom
Nature’s Wisdom Orange Oil Concentrate
by Nature’s Wisdom
Link: http://amzn.com/B0012YEKAE
I had not used it until this past winter when on a lark I put some on a towel and wiped away a drip of Navy Blue paint on the side of the Bell.  It worked well,  I then started to use it to clean my hands after painting.   Also worked like a champ and is not toxic.
Now I have been using it to clean oil and grease off my skin when working on the motor.    Wow, it is wonderful stuff, and it smells good and is non toxic.

UPDATE!! Yes, I have been tardy.

Knocking the rust of my the blog.   Were to start..

Dog Days Of Summer.. A New crew member.


 Charlie, our 2+ year old Jack Russell is no longer with us.  He was attacked and killed by a Shepard Mix on July 6th.  A pretty horrible experience.

Lori and I miss him greatly and rather quickly we located another JRT.   Abby was 4 months old when we bought her.  She is pedigreed and papered but we don’t plan on breading her.

Abby on a car ride.

Abby on a car ride.

Abby climbing the furniture.

Abby climbing the furniture.

She is pretty awesome but we had forgotten how much work puppies are.

Boat work.

Not much has been going on.  Plodding along on the Bell.

Our new tiller and cover has arrived. 

New Tiller

New Tiller, Pretty laminated wood.

No sooner had it arrived in the house than Abby had the idea it was a good chew toy for teething on.  It now sits high out of reach of the toothy puppy. Lucky for us she did not do any damage besides scaring us.


We finally finished the cockpit floor.   Applying a layer of Kiwi Grip and painted the gunnels.

Cockpit Floor done, not the missing tiller.

Cockpit Floor done, not the missing tiller.


We also installed some Pyramid 4″ speakers in the cockpit.  They work very well and we tried to place them so they would not be blocked when people are lounging about.   You can see them in the first picture.

We also installed the original crib boards to replace the rotten plywood swing doors on the companionway.  

Hinged crib boards, also not the rotten weather board fell of the hatch above.

Hinged crib boards, also not the rotten weather board fell of the hatch above.

The top two hinged boards lift off the hinges.  Good, as now we can remove them and install our companionway screen when out on the hook.  The plywood doors were fix with non stainless hardware so in addition to rotting they were rusting.  I am glad they are gone.

Motor work.

I actually have been working on the motor.  My last post I mentioned I had bought a second mill on Ebay.   I have been working on breaking it down.

Head removed, valves pulled, studs removed.

Head removed, valves pulled, studs removed.

Transmission and water pump removed.

Transmission and water pump removed.

Transmission guts.

Transmission guts.

Flywheel removed

Flywheel removed

With a lot of the weight pulled off the motor I felt safer tipping it up and draining the oil out of the pan.

With a lot of the weight pulled off the motor I felt safer tipping it up and draining the oil out of the pan.

This afternoon I attempted to remove the flywheel housing.  Unlucky for me two of the bolts are seized due to corrosion.  I hit them with PB blaster and hope to get them out in the next day or so. Once the flywheel housing is removed we can flip the motor over and remove the oilpan, crank and pistons.  Once that is done it is off to the machine shop for new sleeve and then we start rebuilding it.  Sweet. 

Mast Work

The mast was scheduled to be put down on barrels last Friday.  I had to work last weekend so do not know if it has been moved of the storage rack or not.  Hopefully this weekend we can start prepping and painting it.   We will be rewiring and placing new spreaders, antennas, lights and other hardware.   

Fiberglass work. Just a bit delayed.

Ok, I should write a little more but we have been very busy.

Fiberglass Work

Before busting out the saw..

Before busting out the saw..

We finally decided it was time to fix the cockpit floor. I had water in the plywood core and had a feel similar to stepping on a waterbed.

I broke out the grinder and circular saw and cut it out.

Weapons of choice

Weapons of choice

After cutting a slot about 1/4″ deep around the entire edge of the floor I peeled up the deck and exposed the rotten ply.

Old deck on dock

Old deck on dock

Wet Ply wood

Wet Ply wood

After removing the funky rotten ply I had standing water. I shop vacuumed it out and set up our blower to dry out what was left.



Standing water

Standing water

The remains are what is a wood and stop rot epoxy combination. It seems the previous owner had poured stop rot down the hole in the deck to firm it up. Of course there was no way to control how it flowed. It appears the boat had a Port list when they poured it due to the the way it flowed in.

Stop Rot wood mix

Stop Rot wood mix

The stop rot had only penetrated the bottom portion of the plywood. Leaving the top 3/8″ to rot. I started to grind it away but after an hour decided to leave it in place.

Stop rot grinder

Stop rot grinder

To compensate for the now 2 separate levels I had to buy both 3/4″ and 3/8″ balsa core to build up a level base to glass over.

Balsa wood core

Balsa wood core

I had to prep the area around the opening, grinding it down to bare polyester glass (what the boat is made of) that the new glass can adhere to.

Edge prep

Edge prep

After prep and cleaning I put in the the new core.

Balsa Core, placed with Polyester resin the 2 distinct areas can be seen.

Balsa Core, placed with Polyester resin the 2 distinct areas can be seen.

New core

New core

After putting the balsa I put some matting and then glass cloth. I currently have 2 layers of cloth and one of mat on the floor.

The first type of Polyester resin I used was a gallon of Boaters Choice.

Resin with balsa

Resin with balsa

This stuff was horrible. Although it works it had a lot of odor and always seemed to have a slight tacky feel after setting up. The bottles the hardener it came with were hard to measure from and messy to handle.

The second gallon I have been using is Boatyard, it seems a lot better in all aspects than the cheaper Boaters choice. I imagine West Systems is better yet but have yet to try it.

Ongoing work but almost done

Ongoing work but almost done




I left it at this point, with enough glass and resin in place to keep water out of the core. We had tropical storm Arthur brewing off the coast so further work was becoming impractical due to high wind and rain squalls.

I want to apply 3 more pieces of glass cloth and then level it out with resin and micro balloons. I hope to only have one more solid day of work before priming, painting the entire cockpit and applying KiwiGrip nonskid to the floor.

Motor Work Continues

We bought another Atomic 4 on Ebay for $120. This one is in a bit better shape on the waterjacket side with no major corrosion failure. I plan to take it down to the block and get the cylinders resleeved. I will be using the lower section and transmission from out 64 motor and choosing the best parts from both for the rebuild. A lot of work but we should end up with a very nice motor.

Facing the music and finding a reason to dance..

I guess it is time to face the music.  We will be very fortunate if the Bell sails before September.

Motor work

I Took this week off from turning wrenches on the motor.  I needed a break.

I can say it is not really a surprise what I found last Saturday,  just that I am glad we had the motor failure before placing it on the boat.


I went to the local Dollar General and purchased 3 butter knives for $1, to be used to shim the head so I could remove it.


Knife shim

Knife as shim


After removing and inspecting the head I found I had broken a valve thanks to my using excessive force with the pry bar.

Broken valve at bottom of head.

Broken valve at bottom of picture.

Here is the head.



After examining things I could not find the source of the water coming out of #3 cylinder but there was evidence of water there, just no apparent gasket failure or crack. I then proceeded to turn the motor with a big spanner on the output shaft. Sure enough I found the leak in #3.

Perforated cylinder wall

Perforated cylinder wall

If you look at the photo on the right hand cylinder wall there is a black spot. That spot is a hole. The water jacket side of the cylinder was so corroded it blew out. Causing the water leak.

Inquiring online and at the boatyard the consensus it I should take this motor to the Stradley’s Machine shop on Main street in Titusville. The re-sleeve will cost roughly $500 and possible another $250+ for new pistons and rings. The good part is we will have basically a new motor when done, the bad, aside from cost, is I have to tear down the motor to a bare block for them to work on it. I will start by next week, everything has to be removed, studs, valves, crank, pistons. A lot of work.

Cushions and Blinds

Lori bought some cushions last week for the Bell.


She purchased them at the Christmas Tree Shop for a fraction of the cost of “Marine” custom cushions. The fit well and tolerate moisture , UV and stains as they are for patio furniture.

We also installed the rest of the Mini blinds, a project we had started last year when the Bell was still in the water.


Lori also purchased LED string light that are solar powered, they give a good mood lighting to the cabin and don’t even draw on the main batteries. We stuck the small solar panels behind the forward most blinds. The setup seems to work well as the panels are not even noticeable.


Before leaving the Lori Bell last Sunday Lori and I took a bottle of champagne up onto the cabin top. It was twilight an getting cool enough that I had to wear a sweet shirt.


We poured ourselves each a small cup of champagne and said a prayer asking the Lord to bless the Bell and all who sailed on her. We drank our portions and gave the rest to the water.

Pouring Champagne down the side of Lori Bell

Pouring Champagne down the side of Lori Bell

The entire evolution was quite enjoyable, romantic and traditional.

Notes on Boats and Priorities
Lori and I have been very busy with multiple other project besides the Bell that a quite a bit more important to both of us. We did do a push to get her done but we are not quite there yet.

We have discussed it at length and we are grateful for the chance to work on her and get it right. However we are more grateful we have good friends and family we hope to share her with in the future. Every day is a blessing and we wish to share our days with others, that is part of the reason for getting a bigger boat and all of this work.

For all of you who follow this blog and have supported us in all we are working on accomplishing here and elsewhere Lori and I offer our heart felt thanks.


Boats and Trains, A Very Good Day

Boat Moving

After Church last night we visited Walmart to get some champagne and a paint roller. Why you ask? So we can put the Lori Bell back in the water.

We rose early this morning and I dawned my painting garb and gloves ant waited for the lift to appear.


And here it comes.


Once on the lift I had to scramble around with the roller and touch up the bottom under the stand bunks.


And then she was off to the water.

We move to head her off at the pass and record the events..

My fiddling below at the end there is to check for leaks with all the work we had done. Before pulling off the harness they like to know she will not sink. Our neighbor put his boat in and had a seacock left open with no hose attached. He found it unsettling having that much water filling his boat, it had been on the hard for five years.

After we had her in the water we pushed her into her new slip next to our old neighbor.

In her slip next to Betty once more

In her slip next to Betty once more

After that we returned to our now empty spot and gathered what was left of our stuff.

empty spot

No one home

We loaded up the trailer with our dinghy and the ladder and take it home.

Dinghy trailer

Loaded up Escape

We forgot to christen the boat with the champagne, oopppss, well there is always our next trip.


Lori and unloaded and returned the trailer and decided to take a train ride on the new SunRail. It is free thru Friday.

We road it down to Church Street Station, were Lori and I met each other 22 Years ago.

We stopped by The Exhange, were we met on the 3rd floor.


Exhange. 3rd floor

Lori and I standing on the spot we first met.

After that we went and had dinner at a Tiki Bar on Wall street. They had a neat gator, stuffed.

Tiki Bar


After that we road home. Love the SunRail, so easy and no stress of traffic, we will be riding again.

What is in a Name?

Naming Weekend

We got out name on this weekend.

Pretty easy compared to all the other things we have done.

We ordered our letters from ebuysigns.com out of Lake City, Florida. The transom is Celtic lettering and the registration numbers are Final Frontier. We ordered the Reflective Navy but they do not reflect all that much using a flashlight.


After cleaning the hull as best we could we taped the decals still in their papers to the hull using painters tape.

Registration Numbers

Registration Numbers

Here is a video of the pealing away of the transom.

A bit stressful.

SY Lori Bell

All the decals were about $127 delivered. We are very happy with them.

Interior Work

We also did some prep work last weekend for the motor.

This included removing the bar with the sinks and the gimbled stove mount.

Interior stripped

Galley with no bar or stove mount

We stood the bar up to allow the motor to be dropped into the bay, in which I finished prepping and installing the engine mounts.

Galley bar standing on end.

Galley bar standing on end.

Engine bay

Engine bed with mounts installed.

Motor Woes Continue

We received the new manifold for the A4 from Moyer Marine pretty quickly (Friday as promised by Ken). I installed it yesterday (Monday) and after fixing an oil leak at the base of the fuel pump and finalizing the motor mount brackets (gold wings visible in the following video) we ran her up.

Unfortunately it appears that water is blowing out the exhaust port of the new manifold. It is also flowing out the exit hose atop the manifold like it should, however the exhaust should be dry. We may have received a bad casting, I will have to leak test it in the sink tomorrow before calling Moyer for a replacement. She ran with a dry exhaust last week with the non flowing manifold so I think the head is fine.

We will most likely drop the motor in as scheduled Thursday, manifold or no, I will just have to fix it in place. Uggg……

Motor, Water, Letters

Just a quick note this morning.

I finally was able to get the motor to idle. I appear to have a failed exhaust manifold that requires replacement. Our new manifold should be here by Monday.

The old one was cracked and exhaust gasses were flowing through the water jacket.


We now have new letters for naming the Bell. This weekend we will be putting them on , hope they look good.


Next Friday, the 16th, at 9am the Lori Bell should be back in the water.

We have a busy weekend ahead. Lettering, finalizing the motor mounts, upgrading the automatic bilge pump, wiring in the bilge blower and starting on the motor wire harness.

Add to the list a friends graduation party and mothers day dinner and our schedule is pretty full.

Masts and Parts

We have started to order parts for working on the mast.

New anchor light
New steaming and foredeck light
2 new VHF antennas (2nd for AIS)
2 rolls of lmr400 coaxial cable
New windex
1 flood light.

I stills need to get a backstay flag halyard and a pennant halyard for the spreader.

Spoke with Dennis the rigger, once I get the mast painted he said they can rerig and restep in one day. I just need to call him. I would really like to get it done before June but may run out of time.

The thought is to go full time on mast work after next Friday. Once we get her rigged we can sort the motor, companionway doors and cockpit floor out. It will be tight to get her sailing by July but all we can do us try.

Another C30


I leave you with this photo of a C30 that sat about 6 boats down from us.

Talking to the owner he said her last owner had been transferred out of town and put her out on the hook to save money. She split her line and ended up on her side in the mud for 4+ months. Suffice it to say her interior wood work and motor are shot due to water damage. He got her for a song.

I noticed that her keel seems about 8 inches shorter than ours, like someone cut her down. Not good, I did not mention this to the owner, he has enough on his hands.

The boatyard moved her out of her spot, sitting here here in the middle of the fairway. Now a catamaran sits stored were she was and her owner has an outboard strapped to her transom. I wonder if she still be there this weekend.