Saturday, May 23, 2009

Slogging through the details

At this stage of the game nothing is simple.

I connected my deck drains to the outlets in the cockpit well.

I thought the hose I was ordering was something stouter than what showed up. If I had known how flimsy this hose would be I would have paid half the price and used the stiffer potable water hose I used for the water tank fills and bilge hoses for half the price. It works. I can move the project forward. It isn't exactly what I had envisioned.

You may notice that the smaller hose at the 'T' doesn't have a hose clamp. These plastic connections are terrible.

I picked up a couple up a while ago for this application but I didn't realize how poorly they fit the hose. I don't know what they are designed to fit but the ends are a bit larger than the hose diameter (even though the hose size specs are molded right into the fitting) and its a bear trying to force the hose over the barbs. Once over, the hose is stretched out too wide for my hose clamps to fit. I will have to order larger hose clamps. The hoses fit fine on the metal fittings I have but they don't like these plastic fittings at all. I won't use them again.

Unfortunately, I had built up some fittings last winter in anticipation of using them on applications that I had planned on finishing up this weekend. This fitting was to combine the manual bilge pump outflow with the small electric bilge pump outflow.

I was trying to get a small section of hose over the bottom end to mate it up with the thru-hull. I thought I would give it a little tap and ... Oops. The PVC hose to pipe fittings didn't fit the hose well either. Metal fittings good. Plastic fittings not so good. Funny, the PVC hose to pipe fittings worked fine in my toilet hose plumbing. Definitely a fight with both the white, potable water hose and the black drain hose.

I gave up and just connected the manual bilge pump to one thru-hull and the large electric bilge pump to the other thru-hull. I would like to figure out a way to combine outlets to add in the small electric pump but it is getting late in the game to get bogged down on little details. I cruised last time with just one manual bilge pump. That is how I bought the boat so I guess it is better than what it was. Not as good as I want it but better. I might just have to add another thru-hull but that means more stuff on the counter than I wanted.

On a more positive note, I took the brand new Monitor windvane out of the box last night. I realized that I have been storing it for four years now. Its a beautiful piece of art and extremely well packaged. I bought the expensive Monitor partly on the reputation for good customer service. So far I am very happy. They even included a plastic trash bag to collect all the shipping peanuts so that I wouldn't have a mess after unpacking. I did some reading of the instructions and laid out all the pieces to get a good idea in my head of what will be required. Unfortunately, its rather critical to know exactly where the loaded waterline will be. I am only guessing at this point so I won't be able to install the vane before I launch. It should be relatively easy to do from the float but it would have been nice to have it out of the way before that. The support frame mounts to the aft deck at two points using these pads.

Its a close fit. I could grind down the fittings a wee bit and it would work. Or I could cut into the hatch a bit to make it work. I am beginning to dislike the hatch so I wouldn't mind chopping it up and replacing it anyway (after this season). The hatch, even though its made by Bomar, is pretty low quality. The aft mount holes are right at the edge of the lip and the mounting screws have to be angled away to get a bite on solid material. If the screws go straight down they actually skim the lip of the hatch itself. Pretty shoddy design IMHO. I do like the hinged lid, the latching dogs and I like the low profile. And it fits the location well (though I wish I had thought to check out how the Monitor would connect earlier before I cut the opening for the hatch). Its flimsy but I knew it would be and I don't plan on walking around back there. Oh well, something to add to the 'Improvements' list (along with the deck drains)

After checking out the Monitor I could see that there would be no interference with where I wanted to put the fuel tank vent fitting so I drilled that hole, installed the fitting and connected it all up. The fitting is actually about as high as I can get it and still get the hose on the fitting. It looks low from the outside view but you can see from the inside view that it is right up there.

I could have raised it up an inch but I had to do some guessing and I was worried about having a hole too high and not being able to get a hose on the end. There was no way to measure and figure out exactly how thick the deck to transom joint was. Apparently it is quite thick in the radius. Good enough. The windvane is going to cover it all up anyway. Along with most of the rest of the transom unfortunately. The transom is one of the nicer things on my boat (in my opinion) and I hate covering it up with all that hardware. On the other hand, that hardware means a huge decrease in workload when trying to get somewhere. Its all about the compromises.

I installed the engine instrument panel frame in a thick bed of teak colored polysulfide. Sorry, I guess I forgot to take a picture after I removed the tape and cleaned it up.

The shot from behind wasn't aimed too well. I didn't notice until tonight. The frame is secured with screws through the fiberglass and into the frame. You can see a couple of the top screws in the photo.

I was going to mount the panel but there are a couple of supports on either side that stick out a bit more than I thought. I drove home and cut down the panel to fit between the supports. When I got back to the boat I found out that the supports are also crooked so one end of the panel fits and the other needs a bit more trimming. Oh well, plenty of time tomorrow... (not). I will screw the panel into the frame but I think I will leave out the sealant for now so that I can remove the panel to make it easier to put more coats of varnish on the frame. It will save me a bunch of time taping and cleaning up the panel I think. It shouldn't leak too badly... ?

The schedule for another boat I am working on got pushed up so I will have to spend some time on it tomorrow and Monday. That might prevent me from starting the engine this weekend. I am not sure yet. I am going to keep trying and hopefully get there on time. The rain that is expected tomorrow is going to be another complication to be dealt with. Oh well. I will do what I can.

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