Saturday, November 28, 2009

There is more to life than sailing... or the Artist in the Family has a show.

Gale warning have been up for the past few days, as autumn arrives for real, which means... raking leaves. It also is time to look around the yard to see what is wanting for attention.

A year ago we had to take a few large trees out. One of them ended up as a totem pole, courtesy of my father's talents. Though we share some small bit of Native American blood, it is not from a tribe that practiced this tradition. Still, it seemed worthwhile, and he worked a few family images into the project.

First we experimented and produced a fine guard for my daughter's backyard fort. Fun.

Then my Dad got involved and crafted this 25-foot totem. More fun. It turns out, after much research that the National Parks Department learned that high-copper paint would be the proper environmentally acceptable preservative for the base. They had it specially formulated. I gather they had never heard of bottom paint. Before the bottom paint they suggested soaking the base in a borax/glycol mixture, which we prepared by dissolving about 2-3 pounds of borax in 1 gallon of ethylene glycol (concentrate antifreeze would work) at about 200F (heated on the stove). Several coats soaked in over 2 days did a fine job; as of 5-1-2015 there is not trace of rot. The glycol mix, after drying for a week, did not reject the paint.

Ken Frye - Watercolorist

But there is a point to this rambling discussion. My Dad opened a gallery show in Vienna, Virginia today. He's been painting and selling water colors and prints, generally of ocean and architectural themes, since I was small. Cape May, New Jersey was a favorite location, became a summer home for us, and influenced in no small way my interest in sailing. If you have visited Cape May, are interested in maritime scenery, or simply appreciate art, give my Dad's blog a gander.

Tired of splicing? Substitue an 85% Strength Knot.

There are circumstances when a splice cannot be beat: chain to rope splice, spinnaker sheet to shackle or other snag-prone spot, or to the becket of a block where a knot would be too bulky. There are other times when a knot is a better choice: a dingy tackle that is easily tangled and frequently re-rove, a halyard that is prone to jamming in the head block, or a halyard that will be reversed or trimmed for wear. I like them on spinnaker halyards since they provide a big ball for me to hang on to (although I understand that on some rigs they can be snag prone at the mast head - it is all a mater of geometry). Many times a simple bowline will do the job; it is easily untied and compact. It is also a mere 45% strength knot and can come loose if tied loosely or with a too-short tail.

Standard figure-8
A common figure-8 is an 75% strength knot that is bulkier and more difficult to untie. It is, however, the gold-standard for mountaineers, and they stake their lives on its security and dependability. Even after a good hard fall it is not too difficult to untie, though saltwater and time do seem to make this more difficult.

Figure-8, Yosemite finish
The figure-8 can be improved upon; take the tail around the standing part again and feed it through the first turn. This increases the strength, makes it more secure against working loose, and makes it easier to untie. Three for one!

This has become my favorite mountaineering tie-in, and I have tested it through more than a few falls, as well as failure-testing it against both splices and standard figure-8s. It is less than line strength, but not by very much.

But what about chafe? A thimble won't work, but there is another solution, well proven on industrial lifting slings and used on my boat for 15 years: cover the wear area - the thimble location - with nylon or polyester tubular webbing. 1inch webbing for line up to 1/2-inch (12 mm) and 2-inch webbing for larger line; a 3-6-inch length will do. The webbing will move with the sharp spots and rope will only feel nylon sliding on nylon, it will protecting this critical area from sun, and eliminate all wear. I believe it out-performs a thimble in many applications and is certainly a safer choice for the beginning splicer, where the thimble many not be as securely positioned as needed and can shift. I have used tubular webbing "thimbles" on mooring lines and high-tec halyards, and the knot or thimble has never been the failure point.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Circumnavigating the Delmarva Peninsula — A Guide for the Shoal Draft Sailor: November 2009 Revisions

     With the passage of one of the strongest northeasters in many years, the changeable inlets of the Eastern Shore have done just what they naturally do in response to stress; they have changed. After a few conversations with some fisherman and one sailor heading south for the winter, I have a few revisions to offer:

     Additionally, I have revised and expanded some Delaware Bay information between the Cohansey River and Bidwell Creek on the Jersey side.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Purpose of Work

An American businessman was at the pier of a small South Pacific island village when a small proa with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small proa was a dorado and several large grouper. The American complimented the Islander on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Islander replied, "Only a little while."

The American then asked why didn't he stay out longer and catch more fish?

The Islander said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs.

The American then asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

The fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a late afternoon nap with my wife, Helia, and then in the evening after dinner I stroll into the village where I sip rum and play guitar with my friends. I have a full and busy life."

The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and can help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats; eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, and soon you would open your own cannery. You would control the production, processing, and distribution. Of course, you would need to leave this small fishing village and move to Australia, then Los Angeles and eventually New York City, from where you could better run your expanding enterprise."

The South Seas fisherman asked, "But, how long will this all take?" to which the American replied, "15–20 years."

"But what then?"

The American laughed and said "that's the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions."

"Millions, really? Then what?"

The American said, "Then you retire. Move to a small fishing village where you sleep late, fish a little, play with your grandkids, take a late afternoon nap with your wife, and then in the evening after dinner, stroll into the village to sip rum and play your guitar with your friends."

Borrowed. I have no idea where this came from; I have seen many versions on the net and edited this one to suit my sense of story telling.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Anchor and Bow Details

rev. 2-15-2010

Many complain that chain  beats up the deck. Place heavy duty non-skid from the roller to windlass.

I've seen all sorts of lashings holding anchors while underway. A simple pin through the chain works very well and is FAST to release. Mine is home-made from 3/16-inch aluminum, but I believe you can buy them. I would not call this a chain lock - it won't take the strain - but it works better with mixed chain/fiber rodes than available chain locks because it is out of the way when open and permits easy man-hauling when needed. With a fiber rode you snub the rode on a cleat, anyway.

In my case, I always use a bridle and the rode is not loaded. With a catamaran the rode would suffer serious abuse and chafe due to exiting the the bow roller at a 40-60 degree angle. To protect the bridle I use 2-inch tubular climbing webbing ( where it crosses the bow chock.

In the picture we have stopped for a swim in fine weather. In serious weather or when we leave the boat for a time, the rode would be cleated-off, as a back-up.

Corner Tramp Lacing Reinforcement on PDQ 32

I've noticed that many of these boats have a problem with the bolt rope being strained in the corner, bringing a premature death to the trampoline. There is not enough lacing support and this is a high-impact area, due to sailors stepping down off the cabin roof. A few extra laces are just the ticket: simply add 3 small stainless straps (1" x 1/8" x 2" 316 SS) with a 1/4-inch hole drilled in each end. Round the holes well to avoid chafe.

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Marine Winterizing, Antifreeze, and Engine Coolant Primer

rev 3-2-2010
rev. 12-16-2015
rev. 9-20-2016

Protecting marine water systems from ice damage is the simplest of aims, but the terms and product claims are confusing. A little education goes a long way. Yup, you can blow the system out with air or drain it; that is not the topic I am speaking to today.

For the potable water systems on a boat there is only one reasonable alternative: propylene glycol (PG), the active ingredient in virtually all marine and RV antifreeze products. Identified by the FDA as “generally recognized as safe” it has very low toxicity to people and mammals and no identified long-term health effects at modest doses. It can be used in toothpaste and foods; over 1 pint/170 pounds is required to be fatal. Ethylene glycol (EG), commonly used in automotive engine coolant, is toxic to people and mammals when ingested; less than ½ cup per 170 pounds is expected to be fatal. Neither is carcinogenic or causes any adverse health effects at incidental exposure levels. Both glycols have a sweet taste. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are a convenient source of information, widely available on the internet.
Marine toxicity is a different matter; both ethylene glycol and propylene glycol are low in toxicity, and there is no established difference between for fish, crabs, or marine grass. Toxic effects require 4-20% of either glycol—levels which cannot be approached with small spills because of immediate dilution.  Biodegradability is also equal; both are as easily degraded as food wastes. Claims that propylene glycol is more biodegradable or friendly to the marine environment are offered without relevant basis or back-up; we have searched high and low—the research says they are the same. See and MSDS information.Thus, for engine and head antifreeze, there is no strong reason to prefer PG over EG. EG MSDS PG MSDS

Glycerin has been suggested as a natural glycol substitute: don’t do it. It is a poor antifreeze agent, is more difficult to rinse off, does not dry, and gets very thick in cold weather. Glycerine is also more toxic than generally understood; better than ethylene glycol, but twice that of propylene glycol. Drugstore glycerine bottles now carry a warning against excessive use on baby's skin. Not all "natural" products are safe.
  • Ethylene glycol, rat oral, 4,700 mg/kg
  • Glycerine, rat, oral, 12,600 mg/kg
  • Proplyene glycol, rat oral, 25,000 mg/kg 

Unavoidably, some glycol will find its way back into the water after launching. Try to minimize this loss; both are pollutants and both lower dissolved oxygen levels when they degrade. 

Why does this matter?

            Not all materials like polypropylene glycol. The rubber parts (neoprene) in water pumps (impellers) and heads (joker valves and o-rings) are stiffened by PG. Even worse, some plastics, notably polyamide (nylon) strainers can craze and fail. The strainer below was ruined in just two seasons. Because it is in the fresh water system where I must use PG for safety, I now simply leave it out for the winter, but I cringe at the materials I don't know about. However, it is this sort of materials compatibility issues that has completely blocked PG from OEM engine coolants. You can buy them in the aftermarket, sold under the false claim that they are better for the environment. However, they are not good for the car and using them is a risk.

Burst Point
A fuzzy term without ASTM or other industry accepted standard test. It is generally recognized as the temperature where the entire mixture has become solid, though expansion may begin before this. Strong and tough materials (steel pipe) resist the strain of expanding ice better than weak and brittle materials (cast iron and PVC), and yet manufacturers of RV antifreeze seem to be “optimistic” when compared to major glycol producers’ data.
The freeze point has an ASTM recognized definition and test method; it is the temperature where the first ice crystals form. Automobiles and any system that is to be operated in cold temperatures must be protected to the freeze point to insure reliable pumping with no ice crystal present. 
As for those materials that claim -100F or -200F burst point material, there is no science to support it; all EG and PG mixtures freeze solid before -65F is reached. This is lying, plain and simple; notice that DOW does not make such silly claims. Educated industrial buyers know better.
Another word of caution for those that would use the minimum amount; when antifreeze is subjected to freeze/thaw cycling, the ice crystals float, and the glycol rich solution sinks. There will be some separation, and the burst point at the top of a complex pipe system can be much greater that the predicted value. This is common in large, complex piping systems.
Fermentation is a concern if less than 25% (that -50F burst point stuff) is used. With just a few bacteria or yeast and a little warm weather before launching, weak glycol can turn into a repulsive mixture, reminiscent of a half bottle of Thunderbird found under the seat of a used car. Sailors complain about the taste the glycol leaves behind--most often it is the fermentation products they are tasting, not the glycol. Fermented glycol also becomes very acidic and corrosive, with a pH of <5 .="" 25="" air="" alcohol="" an="" and="" as="" been="" brandy="" by="" commercial-scale="" conditioning="" dow="" extensively="" fermentation="" has="" if="" important="" in="" inhibited.="" is="" it="" like="" others="" over="" p="" problem="" studied="" systems.="" this="" used="">

The glycol content of a product is best measured with a refractometer calibrated for the glycol used. Most can test EG, PG, and battery acid—very handy—and are available for about $50. No mechanic should be without one. Glycol content is also listed on manufacturer supplied MSDS sheets, though it is conspicuously absent from packaging labels. Very curious indeed. Please note the price information below is VERY market dependent. Winter 2008 was high, Winter 2009 is much lower and I have not up-dated the table.

                                                Vol. %                   
                                                Propylene    Freeze    Burst  Price (2008)
Product                                  Glycol           Point, F   Point, F    $/lb PG
***Camco Ban Frost 2000     97                  -60           -60         $1.85
Camco Freeze Ban -100          64                  -63           -63         $1.89
Camco Freeze Ban -50            32                    5            -25         $3.84
*Star-brite -200 RV / Marine  97                   -60          -45         drums only                  
Star-brite -100 RV / Marine    60                   -60          -60         $2.45
Star-brite -60 RV / Marine      32                    5            -25         $2.49
Star-brite -50 RV / Marine      25                   10            0            $2.37
Sea-farer -50 Marine               25                   10            0            $1.90

* Concentrate. Use at 30-60% to get freeze point of -10F to -60F.
* * Product names do not always match always burst point claims, as determined from MSDS glycol concentrations and test data.
***For engine use only. Not for potable water systems. Like EG engine coolants it contains corrosion inhibitors with some toxicity.

Engine Coolant
Most RV (propylene glycol) antifreeze products are not designed for use in operating engines, and they are not optimized for corrosion protection. They contain only small amounts of corrosion inhibitors, and not the additives required in engine coolants; those additives are too toxic for potable water systems. There is no such thing as a “marine” engine coolant, in the sense that it is formulated specifically for or is better for marine applications; automobile and truck manufacturers have research this subject since the beginning of engines, and you should chose according to the engine type you have:

Gasoline or light-duty (not wet sleeve liners) diesel engine
PG or EG engine coolant                    *  Long-life type, 5 yr., typically yellow or red.
                                                              *  Conventional type, typically green.

Heavy-duty (wet sleeve liners) diesel engine
PG or EG engine coolant                    *  Long-life type, 5 yr., typically yellow or red.
                                                             *  Conventional type, typically green or pink.
                                                      Both must be rated for diesel (heavy duty) use. Some contain an SCA pre-charge of nitrite, while many of the newer formulations are nitrite-free. Nitrite-free has certain advantages for road use (nitrite can form ammonia in situ in certain brazed aluminum heat exchangers) but this makes little difference in marine engines.

Change interval. The coolant interval ratings are stated above. However, in marine applications the conventional wisdom is to change the coolant every 2 years, because of the risk of seawater contamination (0.2% is the condemning limit based upon chloride) due to heat exchanger internal leakage. Seawater is about 25,000 ppm chloride, and is also high in sufate and hardness.

(water requirements from ASTM D3306)
Contaminatant in Water                     Maximum PPM
Chloride                                                  25             
Sulfate                                                     50             
Hardness                                                 20             

(I designed and built this plant in 1995. Chemical engineer by training.))
Recycling is always best, and because of the high value of glycols, used antifreeze has a value to recyclers. Both propylene and ethylene glycol are recyclable, and they can be commingled in collection tanks at your marina, county collection center, or service station. The best recyclers distil the spent antifreeze under vacuum and produce glycols and coolant products meeting all virgin engine coolant specifications; much of the recycled product finds its way back into the cars you drive as factory fill!

Bottom Line
  • Buy antifreeze by the pound of glycol. In 2008, Camco -100 for water systems and Camco Ban Frost 2000 for engines are the best deals; several others are very close, but Camco -100 has the safety factor to handle water left behind.
  • If your engine has a glycol cooling system, buy at the auto or truck parts store, either EG or PG. Long-life formulas are cheaper over time, though they should not generally be mixed with or used to replace conventional green antifreeze; there can be compatibility problems. The new “global” or universal” products have solved most of these issue. However, remember diesels should get diesel engine coolants; that peculiar diesel rattle produces vibrations and cavitation corrosion that automotive coolants cannot protect against.
  • Be wary of skimping; freeze/thaw cycling separates glycol/water mixtures and can cause bursting of complex systems and horrible fermentation problems. Be cautious with weaker products if there is any water remaining in the system. PG concentrations in the system of less than 34% are questionable at low very temperatures—the burst point curve is very steep in that range.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Removing and Replacing the Engines in a PDQ 32

 I wanted to choose a humorous title, but there just wasn't enough humor in the topic to pull it off. Or as I am fond of saying in unpleasant straights, "all's well that ends."
I recall the first engine troubles I had on my PDQ; just shortly after our delivery trip home the starboard engine would refuse to start. It would run just fine on ether, so it was clear it was getting no fuel. It wasn’t the fuel pump — enough was coming out the hose. I replaced the pump with a spare anyway, just to be certain and because it was easy to get to. Soon enough, after a few conversations with others, it became clear it was the carburetor, and the carburetor is just plain tough to get to on the starboard engine. I was sure I needed to pull the engine to see what was going on. Thankfully, a wise old PDQ sailor, Page83, came to the rescue with a manual and with the help of the manual I found it was actually quite simple to pull the barb off, after which cleaning and re-building it on the bench is a snap. No fuel injection, no computers. I grew up on old cars in the 70s and so it all looked familiar - just like my 76' Pacer. I hesitate admitting to that choice, but a college kid will buy anything that has reasonable milage, is cheap, and runs. Actually, the profile resembled the PDQ 32. Every so often I read of a PDQ sailor that is going to pull and engine to work on something minor, like like a carburetor cleaning. Please don’t. It's not that much fun.

During our last Delmarva trip I noticed that the starboard engine was beginning to drink oil. Where previously a few ounces would last a year, now a pint would last only a few hours, and eventually, perhaps only 20 minutes. While I was considering my options, it seized. Later investigation revealed that it did not seize in the sense that metal welded to metal; I think the combustion chamber somehow filled with oil, preventing the piston from going up (I found the intake manifold and carburetor full of oil during tear down. After draining, it turned easily). At the same time, the port engine stopped cooling. Oh, a very small portion of water was getting by, enough to just prevent overheating in cooler weather, but not enough to be safe. Because the pump had perhaps never been serviced, the lower casing refused to separate easily, or not even with heavy persuasion. 
Both engines had failed at the same time.

As luck would have it, Page83 had a pair of Yamaha 9.9 engines that he had swapped out in favor of 8 hp engines with power tilt. The Yamaha tilt system on the PDQs is always a sore spot with the owners, and must finally have exceeded his tolerance. Or perhaps his wallet was just heavy enough to tip the balance in favor of ease. Either way, I became the owner of a “new” pair of moderate hour Yamaha 9.9s. After a few evenings of tuning, maintenance, and minor part replacement, they were purring in a 55-gallon drum.  Of course, they were only beside my house instead of Page83’s house; they were not in the boat. 
Enough rambling over how the situation evolved. Down to details. 
Pulling the Old Engines 
I considered dropping them out on dry land. I gave that up for a number of reasons: I had just painted the bottom with 2-year paint in August and had no other reason to haul; it seemed to me that the hole in the bottom was not quite large enough to drop the engine through—close, but not quite; several owners have described hoisting them up. In fact, it was a reasonable 1-person job. Putting them back in with 2 people was better, but could have been managed by one person with a little more time. no step was strenuous or required 2 people.
Would I haul the boat and do it on dry land, given the choice?  No, I don't think so. It wouldn't be easier; it would be different. I think it was easier sliding them onto the dock than it would have been lowering them. It would have been nice to get under neither once or twice. Either way.
* Duct tape over the drain hole in front of the mounts. Bolts and tools are strongly attracted. 
* Bring lots of old quilts for padding the boat! There it no slamming involved, but there is much scraping potential. 
* Knee pads are a must. There is a lot of time spent leaning into the well to reach things. 
* Disconnect the starter, charging, and control wires. A prudent person would take the positive cables off the batteries. A cautious person will merely be very careful not to touch black to red while disconnecting. It may only be 12 volts, but the amps are nearly unlimited.
* Disconnect the gasoline line. I my case I had to remove a Raycor fuel filter just forward of the engines.
* Disconnect the shift and throttle cables. The linkage ends are simple slide-clips. A single bolt (10 mm wrench) underneath the clamp where they enter the engine, where you can’t see it, is all that secures them to the engine. There is a rubber grommet - I slit it from underneath with a knife and removed it that way. There is a grove at the end of the cable that fits in a pair of slots next to the 10 mm bolt. If there is not enough slack to pull the cables out, don’t force them - they will come out easily enough when the motor is lifted a few inches. The only real reason to get them out now is to provide better access to the transom clamps.
* Disconnect the tilt lock lever extension. 4mm allen wrench.
* Loosen the transom clamps. In my case this step took about 2 hours of painful work for the first engine, including lubricating the bolts several weeks beforehand. There is little space to work and no wrench fits those stupid little plastic handles. It required the use of vise grips and 2 different small pipe wrenches, each one specializing in one a small arc of a full revolution. I have been told that a self adjusting socket (Sears Gator Grip or Gemplers Self-Adjusting sockets will do the job; the plastic handles will need to be removed first.  PB Blaster (penetrating oil available at most parts stores) is also a HUGE help. I discovered it just in time for the second engine. Just as tight as the first; after giving the PB Blaster 60 minutes to work and a few tough turns... I could turn the clamps with my fingers!
* Remove engine cowling and install a light chain lifting bridle to the flywheel. Three short 8M bolts are required.
* Position two 2x6 planks across the hard top with one end above the skylight and one hanging over the back. Lash them together, but not too tightly; you want to be able to reposition the tackle by sliding it (unloaded, of course). This will create a fore-aft adjustable mounting for your tackle. No, they do not need to be this large for strength, but it does help spread the load. (see photo below)
* Attach a 3:1 tackle between the engine and the planks, connected to the genoa winch. I used the port winch for both engines, since it is less crowded than the starboard side. You must winch through the genoa turning block to insure a good lead angle to the winch. By the way, the tackle is not needed for power; it helps slow the lifting, reduces the stress on the hardtop (140 pounds vs 220 pounds) and reduces the side pull on the planks. 
* Try to minimize the stack height of the tackle and bridle so that the motor will lift clear; measure the lifting range and compare it to the length of the motor from transom lip to skeg.
* Crank away. Be aware that the winch, with a 3:1 tackle, has enough power to break the hardtop in half. Don’t force it! Be warned that the transom bolts may be driven into the mounting; rock it loose by hand and without the winch first. Any time you feel any resistance through the winch, look to see what has caught. You will start and stop many times and go up and down a few times if working alone.
* There are some clearance issues. You will need to rock the lower end to the outboard side as it comes up through the hole. Be very careful with the carburetor and the ignition wiring panels. A second person underneath would be helpful, but it is not too bad from above.
* Disconnect the engine tilt line as it comes into reach. 
* Once clear of the well, set the skeg on the seat behind the well, disconnect the
tackle,and lift/slide/boost the engine up onto the padded aft cabin roof.

Engine Mount Repair
It seems PDQ could have put a few more layers of glass into this area. On both of my mounts the transom clamps had punched in about ¼-inch. This results in water getting into the core, necessitating repair. Additionally, it allows the motor to rise a bit during hard reverse, increasing the chance of sucking a lifting line into the prop (I'm guessing that the mount damage actually occurred when the hold down latch failed, allowing the line to wrap into the prop and placing a huge strain on the bolts, something they only see in reverse). The previous owner had made some ineffective repairs with Marine-Tex or something similar. The aft surface of the mounts were fine—the force is distributed over a much larger area.

A permanent repair is a simple matter of epoxying a section of ¼” pre-laminated FRP to the damaged surface using thickened epoxy. Grind everything down smooth, fill the holes, slather on a nice thick layer, and clamp it down to cure. Easy and much better than new, I think. Do confirm the maximum clamping range of your engines; This repair took me to within 1/8-inch of the maximum. If I ever need to do something with the aft surface of the mount in the future, I will need to grind off some glass and go in with something stronger instead of something thicker.

Getting Engines on and off the Boat at Dock

A piece of cake, as it turns out. A single section of an extension ladder with a piece of plywood fitted between the rails makes a nice gangplank with rails such that the engine cannot slide off into the briny.
* Secure the plywood to the rungs (a few holes with cable ties).
* Lash the ladder to the rear railing openings. It works best if you extend the ladder on-board until it touches the aft cabin roof; pad all of the contact points well. With enough padding, it is simple to spin the engine so that it goes prop first to the ladder, and then slides down the ramp. Pull it with a rope around the prop, as needed. Be careful, but the ladder rails should do a good job of keeping it centered.

Because getting the engines on-board was up-hill, we used a winch with a turning block extended from the aft hard top support. Take the cowling off the engine and use the chain lifting bridle to bring the engine up head first (to prevent the oil from going places it shouldn’t). Easy. Again, always lots of padding.

Installing the Engine

Much like pulling the engine, only more delicate… but you can see where the connections are better this time! I will discuss only those steps that are different.

* Remember to reconnect the engine lifting line! I forgot on the port engine until it was too far in to turn back. I ended up going for a swim to get it reattached. In the Chesapeake Bay in November this is not a lot of fun, but with a wet suit it wasn't really bad - just those first few moments as the water filled the suit. I have also done this from a tender before—swimming with a wet suit in 55 degree water was better than that torture. Fortunately, the water in my slip is only ~ 4 ½ feet deep, so it is more wading that swimming. 
* You may need to insert the shift linkages while still a 2-6 inches above the mounts. It was different on each side. However, do not attempt to attach the cables until the motors are clamped in place.
* Lube the shift and throttle cables, while you’re at it. IF you are replacing them at the same time, there are some tips here.
* The cables may require adjustment for proper operation; mine were perfect the first time. There are threads on the end for this purpose. Take a good look at them while the engine is out, so that you understand the operation.
* Use lots of anti-seize on the transom clamp bolts! No-Alox is my favorite for aluminum joints (see comments below).
* Clean all of the power cable connections completely with emery cloth; not just the ring you removed, but the entire stack. Coat with heavy terminal grease (any auto parts store), or better, No-Alox by Ideal . It is a corrosion preventative for cable connections (synthetic grease with zinc dust), specifically for aluminum wiring, but applicable to tin and copper as well. Waterproof grease is not as good in this application.  I have tested these products in a heated salt environment chamber, alongside both grease and aerosol products for a year for a sailing magazine article, and they were the winners. High resistance connections are the leading cause of cars and boats failing to start, right behind dead batteries and empty tanks!
Go sailing! You have earned it.