Sunday, May 17, 2009

Dodging raindrops

It was wet outside but luckily the boat stayed mostly dry.

I say 'mostly' because I didn't have hoses on the cockpit seat drains so they drained into the 'galley' area and I found a minor leak on one of the deadlights. Its pretty minor and I am not too worried yet. The deck drains worked. Without any attaching hoses they dumped all the water into the cockpit area and then to the bilge. The bilge drain fitting kept the water level below 3 inches. I have a hole in the very bottom of the boat but all the grinding and water has left a heavy mud like mixture down there and the bottom drain hole keeps getting plugged. I think I will fill that hole next week before I forget about it (before launch day). There is a lot of washing that needs to be done inside.

The deck drain fitting in the cockpit has proven troublesome.

I really wanted to put it in the very front of the cockpit well but the exhaust pipe, exhaust hose, water injection hose, throttle, choke, blah blah keeps getting in the way. I could torture the hose and put it on top of the battery perhaps (the battery box is just in there for demonstration)but I just know I am going to curse that thing every time I want to reach through the hatch. It would block access to everything else. It would also be uncomfortably close to the hot exhaust. The depth is hard to pick out in the picture but the riser (the vertical pipe section of the exhaust) is about inline with the forward edge of the cockpit well. The injection hose is just aft of that a few inches. The throttle is right after that. I have learned from some early plumbing errors not to run the hoses dirctly through the middle of the hatch opening. I curse my potable water intake location under the cabin sole every time I see it.

I decided not to fight it anymore and put the outlet further aft directly under the hatch drain. Its still a very tight fit with all the hoses and whatnot running by there but it does fit. The hose from the deck drain will turn aft behind the battery, meet up with cockpit seat drain hose, and then curve behind the battery to the marelon thru-hull fitting.

I mounted the manual bilge pump back in the original location.

The original holes lined up badly and I didn't notice until I started to reassemble the pump. To make the fix, the top bolts, that can be seen from outside, just go into the backing block. They don't really do much else. The top of the bilge pump is secured with lag screws into the backing block. The bottom mounting screws are 3-1/2 inches long and go through both the pump and pump mounting bracket. It just worked out that way. Sorry I didn't get a good picture of the bottom bolts from the inside. I connected the pump and it seemed to be working. I didn't have quite enough in the bilge for the pump to suck well. To get all the hoses through the crowded area in front of the engine I had to let the bilge pump hose hang mostly vertical. With the screen fitting on the end it doesn't lay low and flat like I would like. There is a low volume electric pump that sits down low and will get the last dredges. It was all part of the compromise. This boat gets smaller by the day...

I continued with the never ending wiring project. So much for a weekend job.

Its basically done. (haven't I said that before?) I need the engine instrument panel in place to make the final checks since the main power goes through the ammeter in the panel. I didn't use the alternator switch on the switch panel because there isn't a simple way to turn the regulator off and on with this self-regulating alternator. When I upgrade (when the big battery bank goes in) I will hook the switch into the system. The little 35 amp alternator doesn't really need a separate on/off switch.

I started to run some tests today only to find out that the battery was stone cold dead. I thought it was working earlier in the year but it definitely is not working now. I read about a volt and a half between the terminals and the battery charger wouldn't even try to work on it. (damned automatic charger- it thinks too much)

The fittings on the counter were installed.

Pretty straight forward. I sealed them in with 4200. They are above the waterline so I didn't go crazy with backing pads. It would have been tough with the exhaust fitting too because the hull is so thick there is barely enough protruding inside to get my required two hose clamps on.

I borrowed a neat trick from a pro that worked out quite well. In the past, when I had a thru-hull fitting with bolts I have always just drilled for the bolt hole. This time, I drilled and tapped the hole for the mounting bolt. That way, I could goop up the fitting, set it in place, screw the bolts into the new threads to secure the fitting, and then at my leisure go to the other side to tighten down the nuts. It is very annoying to have a gooped up fitting fall out when you are running from outside to inside. The tapped threads idea worked out great. I will always do that from now on.

In case I haven't mentioned it. The left hand fitting in the picture (with the lips) is for the engine exhaust. The middle fitting is for the manual bilge pump and the low volume electric bilge pump. The right hand fitting is for the high volume electric bilge pump and possibly the galley sink drain at some point. (don't know if I want to 'dual-use' the fitting for the 'emergency' pump yet.)

I was poised to drill the hole for the fuel vent fitting but at the last second (literally) I started wondering about the windvane mounts and where they need to be placed. They have a very specific location that they have to be in so I decided not to risk it and I will just drill the hole next week after I have looked into it.

I removed the carburetor from the engine to clean it out. After two years of living in a very dusty environment I wanted to give it a good cleaning before running fuel into it.

A very kind Triton owner sent me a possible candidate lever for the transmission shifter. It fits the fitting (mostly) with a nice firm click but the shaft is a bit narrow and the lever moves back and forth about two inches before starting to engage the fitting. I am considering my options.

I am also looking for a set screw for the fitting. I think I had one but I don't now. I learned something this week too. I drilled and tapped the rotating shaft for a longer set screw and I learned that bronze is absolutely fantastic to work with. Cuts like butter. It was so satisfying that I drilled the pilot hole a bit deeper than I needed to. I really wanted to just cut and cut and cut... The trick now is to find a 7/16 x I-forget bronze screw. They don't stock anything that big at the local marine hardware store.

I was all set to install the waterlift muffler shelf when I did a mockup and realized the input hose would have to run nearly level to the muffler which I don't think is a good idea. I re-designed the muffler support to lower the muffler and expect to put it in next week instead.

With a little luck I might actually start the engine next weekend for the first time in about three years.

And that is about it. I got a bunch done on other-peoples-boats which took some pressure off. I also got my lawn mowed which really needed it two weeks ago. Luckily the lawn mower started right up after being neglected all winter (thanks Briggs and Stratton)

I usually post what I hope will happen next week. I have noticed that what actually happens is rarely even close to my projections. Something always comes up and I have to be flexible.

I am still hoping to turn the engine over. With the launch date postponed I have a bit of breathing room but I would rather not have that hanging over me. I also need to get my chainplates back in and start a thorough review of the rigging.

Did I fail to mention my new launch date? June 18, 7:00 am. Cashman Park, Newburyport MA, USA, Earth, Sun solar system, hmmmm... not sure what galaxy we are in. I guess that is close enough for most of you.

Another busy plan for next week. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Oh, and happy Norwegian Independence Day everyone! Ja, vi elsker dette landet... Have lots of icecream :-)


Tim said...

It's the Milky Way galaxy.

brushfiremedia said...

Local Group, Virgo Cluster