Pearly Miss No4 Restoration

A dedicated area to showcase your ongoing and completed restorations.

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Rapier
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Re: Pearly Miss No4 Restoration

Post by Rapier »

Even I don't get it right..the moundings for the rowlocks prevented the cables from being run down the gunwales and no amount of lateral thinking could shift them further. Cue a serious beating session with blocks of wood and a persuader to free them from their corroded mounts...Finally got them off and into acid.Then had to drill out my careful rivets holding the rear sheaves in, as the 4mm cable is just too stiff to tweezer out past the roller - I'll tie string onto the ends next time. Then I discovered that the cable (smelling of mothballs, so suspect was an early CV-19 disinfectant) was 1m short - could have sworn 10m was the correct length. A day has passed.. :tumbleweed:
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IMG_4530 (Large).JPG
IMG_4531 (Large).JPG
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Re: Pearly Miss No4 Restoration

Post by Rapier »

Time has passed in a blur...Firstly No3 went to a great new home, complete with a nice freshwater 70s Evinrude 25hp electric - sourced and sold by another member.

I re-ordered 15m of cable, but when it arrived it was a too thick / unwieldy 5mm diameter, not 4 - frustrating, as I knew what it was in it's packet and assumed I'd be able to start the job over a weekend. So, work stopped again, while I ordered another 15m of 4mm from another supplier who was on the ball with a quick delivery. Everything had to be properly setup by the 11th, which was Waterbouy's grand launch date at Lechlade, for Miss Isle.

For anyone who hasn't done this job there is plenty on the net to show how to. My only wheeze (because come steering wheels only have one keyway) is to strap it in an upright position around the boat, so that tugging on the ends, while tensioning it all up, won't have any effect on the wheel.

Important points are: duct tape the cables on the spool, so they come off the top of the spool, don't cross them over in the same groove (they'll drag at each other), if you have a non-grooved spool make sure the cables come off in the right direction ( :giggle: ) and tape the ends so that any wire parts don't catch on the internals if sliding them down a metal tube. At the transom end, gear it down - direct steering is unpleasant at speed - and only one spring is needed..two will set them up against each other. Nowadays you can get lovely slim turnbuckles in stainless steel for peanuts, add one to the other side and use cable ties to tension the spring / keep cables from flying around while you're tightening it all up. As for the engine side pulleys..they're OMC and typically come in a box with the standard OMC engine side connector. As Se7en said over the weeked - the yjust look so much nicer than the plastic Aqua Marine versions. If you can find black plastic versions, are much nicer than white which shows the grease / mould etc.

When it comes to tensioning it all up, work evenly from side to side, and test how much tension you need in the system- too much and it'll drag against pulleys / sheaves and the bolts that hold the rowlock mountings and also begin to get squeeky and rumbly. On some boats uncoated cable can be used; on Pearly Miss the geometry of the steering means that if bare cable is used, it will saw through the gunwales of the boat eventually.
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Remove these BEFORE threading the cable inside the gunwales & replace BEFORE tensioning. There's no other sheave / guide in there, so they'll get trapped behind the two mounting bolts. Mine were horribly corroded (stainless mounted into ali...) and needed some serious pounding from below to give up their hold.
Remove these BEFORE threading the cable inside the gunwales & replace BEFORE tensioning. There's no other sheave / guide in there, so they'll get trapped behind the two mounting bolts. Mine were horribly corroded (stainless mounted into ali...) and needed some serious pounding from below to give up their hold.
Wheel 'clamped'
Wheel 'clamped'
Starboard side
Starboard side
Port side
Port side
Just about done..
Just about done..
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Re: Pearly Miss No4 Restoration

Post by Rapier »

Took the boat to Lechlade last weekend, ostensibly to do a full on-water test.

The 1960 Mercury 300 motor failed to start on the starter motor - changed the loom (they got old) without any joy. The motor also has a pull starter - they're easy to pull over despite being 4 cylinder, and general start 2nd pull, so I was disappointed then not to find to fire to the plugs...Removed the cowlings and distributor / magneto to find the points were very dirty; initially assumed the magneto, points, or condensor was u/s, the whole lot is about £150 to replace! Once clean I bench tested the magneto which produced the requisite crackling blue spark. Put the motor back together, filled the drum a water; it started easily, but refused to pump water... I'd replaced the mid-section on this motor awhile back, but couldn't remember whether I'd run it up with the old leg, or the new. Hence sat static on the dock when at the Thames.

Yesterday managed to drop the l/u, check the pump impeller, the priming tube and the outlet to the water tubes..all OK. Ran the hose up the water tube in the leg and noticed a few bits of leaf but still no water running out of the telltale, then fired up the compressor and used the airline and water pressure to blow up the tube, which had the desired effect. Using the hose again produced a steady stream of water from the telltale. Ideally I'd like to open up the water jacket and take a good look at the channels, in case there's an old bit of impeller floating about. I noticed exhaust and water blowing past the shock mount, so assume a grommets blocking the shock mounts have perished with heat and age. I took the starter apart as well and gave it a good service checking continuity, or not - fired right up later, so assume my tlc on the commutator and armature did the trick.

While on the water I noticed a typical Pearly Miss leak around the stern seam. This area is susceptible to damage and I suspect the seal between the two skins dries out over time. I was at a loss as to how to check where it was leaking, until I noticed silt (old ali boats...) running out of the loose rivets - were 7 in total. All were along the small bilge keels; a difficult place to repair, as the skin is up to 3 layers thick and difficult to access with the buck and riveter - I tend to use set screws and nyloc nuts, tightened up with a dose of Duralac. Sure enough a re-test produced a slow drip.
Attachments
Bottom wetting.
Bottom wetting.
Pitot glueing
Pitot glueing
Seam sealing
Seam sealing
Loose Rivets
Loose Rivets
More loose Rivets
More loose Rivets
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Re: Pearly Miss No4 Restoration

Post by Rapier »

Started on the final few jobs yesterday. A visit to the metal shop to buy checkerplate ( :hilarious: ) first. Have fitted a manual Whale type bilge pump and bought an automatic 600gph version...the junction box for the wiring for the switch is glued onto the box section under the splashwell.

Today realised my checkerplate dimensions were out however...the edge catches the seat hinges ..either I wait for the shop to open on Monday, or do battle with the grinder / cutter. Spent most of the day fitting the windscreen, frame and brackets - the former two are sourced courtesy of the Hillman company, the latter appear to be beautifully custom-made in stainless steal in the style of Aqua Marine.

It's a tempered glass car rear screen, pushed against the brackets, with a rubber extrusion glued to glass with the bracked slid over the top (to prevent hard spots on the glass..). The front brackets are coat / hat hooks cut to size and angled enough to push the screen home into the brackets. The tips of each have a plastic washer glued to the tip ( again..to prevent hard spots) with a blob of aquarium sealer, dried proud, in the center of each washer. These brackets are mounted flush onto and screwed through the deck. It's not all quite right, as it doesn't sit flush, despite looking good - will do for the Hamble Rally next week, then I'll look into using the screen as a mould to make a perspex / acrylic version with the correct camber.

A temporary Airguide speedo is now mounted. It's a late 1960s 35mph accurate Contralog version and not quite period, but also will do until I can work out how to mount the Smiths version, without cutting an 80mm hole through the dash...
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Makeshift external deck angles
Makeshift external deck angles
Screen clamped and sealer drying
Screen clamped and sealer drying
Different view with speedo and pitot tube installed.
Different view with speedo and pitot tube installed.
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Re: Pearly Miss No4 Restoration

Post by Rapier »

The last few jobs involved fitting a hinged plate between the box section (still contains the nasty polystyrene bouyancy) under the splashwell and the back of the rear seat. For all my boating life I've shown great distain for checkerplate on boats, but I finally broke my own rule and had a piece cut to size by the local metalwork firm and fitted it to provide a flat surface for the battery box, flares, extinguisher and spare fuel. The space to hide these essentials is limited in Pearly Miss (some models have more space than others though..), so is a tight squeeze. I don't like the fact that all the gubbins are visible, as the seat back doesn't hide the contents (unlike the GRP Deluxe and my Love Potion full ali deck version), but at this stage I'll just put up with it.

After I'd cut the excess off with a cutting disk, the plate was mounted, hinged at the rear, with a bent L shaped piece riveted into the rear seat base. The hull is accessible to clean / dry out and I'll fit a catch to prevent it flying up on bumpy water. At the moment I've fitted a full size leisure battery for starting and a smaller Odyssey 680 beside it in the battery box, to run the automatic 600gph bilge pump, such was my concern about water ingress! I've also fitted a manual Whale style gusher pump.

The whole lot need to be wired in, along with a modified Mercury cobrahead style loom - the insulation had perished close to the switch (a Mercury trait), so it can't be used in a MerControl any longer...The pump wiring works off a 3 pole switch on the dash. As this model of the Pearly has no deck running down the gunwales, the pump wiring, pitot tubing, 2 remote cables, kill switch and loom needed to be neatened up. Under the splashwell the pump wires, battery cables, extra loom (length) and bilge piping makes for another crowded area. Somehow I managed to get it looking OK, but not to Solitaire standards!
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Spagetti junction
Spagetti junction
Rear seat mount
Rear seat mount
Splaswell mounting for floor
Splaswell mounting for floor
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Re: Pearly Miss No4 Restoration

Post by Rapier »

In preparation for the Hamble rally, I'd decided to mount an old Mercury 300 that I'd done some work on awhile ago. These motors were only made in 1960; the 1961 model being rebadged 350 (despite still being a 39.6cid motor..). They're lovely to own, if you can find one now - seem to be few and far between in the UK. This one has had a long life, so rattles away merrily - despite that is an easy starter and idles very smoothly. I did battle with a near period white MerControl which jambs at a certain point, eventually replacing it for a later '67 pattern. I will put a working OMC 40hp on it, until I can strip the Merc and give it a birthday.

The proving trip to the Hamble was very successful - the motor ran well, but could do with a 12/13 pitch prop rather than the 11 on it. Pulls easily to 25mph, but revs are way too high. Of greater surprise was the lack of water ingress...I've had 6 aluminium boats and they have all leaked to some degree. On the Saturday it rained from 12 til 5pm - the boat was without a cover, so the few gallons of rainwater were dealt with by the pumps. On the Sunday the wind was around 20mph, so a comfortable ride up So'ton water was not possible.

My only concern was the boat became a large anode at MDL, with significant burn marks to the ali and a transom plate that now has a serrated edge to it. I'll have to have a word with a certain retired anode salesman...Once I'd scrubbed and washed the salt off the boat all appears normal.

So, what next? At the end of the 5 month renovation I'd probably change the motor, repaint the deck, or possibly cover it (the jury is out, but the deck flexes when run in choppy water..so a few of the flush rivets are now showing their edges). The screen isn't quite right and the wood will probably get a few more coats of varnish. No doubt a few hull rivets will be loose by the end of the season; this boat was worse than No3, with evindence that they'd been 'tightened up' before.

Would I do it again? Mmm, not for awhile. It was fun, but is hard work doing one from scratch. My plans for a warm and dry new-build garage / workshop / storage were long put on hold by Brexit and CV-19, which means most of the work is done outside and subject to our maritime climate.
Attachments
The inspiration for the names...
The inspiration for the names...
Dash.
Dash.
The 'finished' article.
The 'finished' article.
1960 Mercury 300 (with MK55 wrap) -  IL4, 39.6 cid, disty ignition.
1960 Mercury 300 (with MK55 wrap) - IL4, 39.6 cid, disty ignition.
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onno
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Re: Pearly Miss No4 Restoration

Post by onno »

you have done a good job!

two years ago i purchased a Pearly Miss with a polyester deck in the netherlands. No engine and with a trailer for 300 euro.
I think the boat is from 1960.

it runs with a 20 hp Honda 4 stroke engine (shorttail)and topspeed is about 25 kph/ 15.5 mph, which i consider too low, because we sail on a river with a current of 5/7 kph.

I will also try to put the engine a bith higher on the transom as the anti-ventilation plate is below the bottom of the boat, to reduce drag.

Do you know the maximum engine size ? I might consider a modern 3cylinder engine 30 to 40 hp.

I dont know if there's a difference in strength between a 40 hp 2 stroke engine or a 40 hp 4 stroke engine?

under the rear deck i've fitted a small Elvström selfbailer, as the boat has a small leak.
In the seatboxes I want to fit 0,15 cm Round inspection covers under the wooden seating, for inspection and a bit of extra storage space.

With 2 passengers the boat will easily plane, but with 4 people onboard it wont.
I fitted flaps to get the nose down and the rear up, doesnt work, so i will take them off .


I just joined this forum to get more info on the Pearly Miss boats.

Regards,
Onno Wielinga

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Re: Pearly Miss No4 Restoration

Post by Rapier »

Apologies Onno..I somehow missed this months ago.

To answer some of your questions:-

The Pearly Miss was rated to 40hp, old style hp and 2-stroke (so at the powerhead). They are capable of being powered to 55hp, but a light 2 cylinder, short-shaft (short tail). 4-stroke 25hp is too underpowered (canal/river use only), and higher 4-stroke hp will add a weight premium. Don't raise the motor too high as the central keel creates too much turbulence around the propeller, so the flow / air bubbles create a problem. My Deluxe (the fibreglass deck version) was powered with a 1970 Mercury 400 and later a Yamaha 6H4 40hp 3 cylinder short shaft - it was the best option with 30+ mph and very reliable pull start every time. Another colleague had one powered with the 1980s 50hp Evinrude twin. The Elvstrom bailers are great if you have leaks and the seats make great storage, but keep some bouyancy..maybe a storage bin style locker.

Hope this helps.
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