Saturday, July 21, 2012

Jolly Good Perkins!

Listening to "Holiday in Cambodia" by The Dead Kennedys

For some reason I imagine that, if our engine ever started to talk, it would be with a British accent.  Don't ask me why it would suddenly burst into chattiness, but our Perkins 4-236 85 HP diesel engine calls to mind a rather natty British gentleman who, though silently keeping to the background, is none the less always ready to push up his sleeves and help with the task at hand.  

Perkins engines are dependable.  They are known the world over for their endurance, longevity, and also the ease of finding replacement parts.  Well today ours is getting a new suit.  Buckle up Savile Row, we're heading down!  (okay, Napa Auto Parts, but that doesn't quite have the romantic ring, does it?)

In case you haven't already guessed, I am starting the process to paint our engine.  There are so many things on Paragon that I cannot do without close instruction from Drake, or at least the promise that he will stay close at hand for consultation.  Yes, I took the head apart when it stopped working and rewired the power cord, but both were only after watching Drake do similar tasks over and over.

brushed and ready to be degreased

The galley spoon I have commandeered.  Poor thing doesn't know its cushy life has ended.

From what I understand, painting the engine is a job that is simply going to be dirty and most likely a bit uncomfortable.  I may have to do a certain amount of what I like to call "Boat Yoga".  These are the Cirque du Soleil like contortions you need to do in order to reach whatever it is you are working on including, but not limited to, wedging yourself into small spaces while hanging upside down.  

I'm going in

Cleaning the pan under the engine

I shouldn't complain.  There are many things that are difficult to reach on Paragon, but the engine is not really one of them.  Unlike most, we have an actual engine room that is quite spacious and gives us almost universal access to most sides of the Perkins.  

Now I've spent the morning with a wire brush and a scraper removing any loose paint chips and other gunk from the surface.  I've also cleaned up the mire in the pan underneath the engine and removed *shudder* all sorts of unidentifiable objects.  Let's just say I am glad I was wearing gloves.  Time to strap on a respirator (I'm rather fond of the brain cells I have left), spray some engine degreaser, and let that soak for a bit.  


To be continued...


  1. You do love cleaning up anything grungy. Love the way you write.

    1. Thanks D. I'm getting into this and find that I enjoy it very much. As for the cleaning, I actually took the galley sink drain apart so I could wipe out the gunky stuff. *grin* It is a problem....

  2. That is an awesome huge engine room !!!

    1. Heh, thanks Capt. Dean. There are many difficult areas on Paragon, but the engine room is not one of them. My boyfriend, Drake, has an entire work bench and tool storage set up, but also sometimes drags back a chair and uses the space as his office/private getaway. It is lovely!

  3. This is a job I've been putting off on my boat for a year. Maybe some pictures of the bright and shiny Perkins will motivate me.

    1. Heh, would you believe that I haven't gotten around to this yet. I think as soon as we get back to Oriental (we're at anchor in Ocracoke now) I'll tackle this job. We just don't have enough fresh water on board at the moment to do this, but I'll post pictures of the shiny, newly painted Perkins as soon as I'm finished.