Tuesday, April 30, 2013

More useless Internet videos

Just another useless Internet video cluttering up the Interwebs.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Exhaust(ive) Lessons

The titles suggests I might have worked on my exhaust recently but first I would like to talk about my water system.

Every week I think I will be "done".  Every week I decide "next week I will be done".  So it goes.

Last weekend I went out with fresh boxes of parts and started "finishing" the water system for the galley.  The first issue I noted was one I vaguely remember pondering last fall.

I had drilled two neat holes to route the freshwater supply and pump output through an original partial bulkhead under the starboard settee. As you may notice, the pump outlets are right up against the bulkhead.  I did this to get the pump handle as far aft as possible and "out of the way" of normal foot traffic.  I figured, I could pull the pump forward, connect the lines and slide the pump aft into position.  So much for figuring.

The pump can't slide straight aft because the shaft has to go through a small slot in the front face of the settee front.  Making that hole bigger is out of the question as it would look horrible to have a gaping hole in the front face of the settee.  So I made a larger cutout in the bulkhead where the lines go through.  I will patch it up later with something removable.  No I didn't take pictures.  It is ugly so you can use your imagination. 

Why cover the hole at all?  That is probably a good question.  Moving on.

With the pump hoses routed and connected I ran the freshwater hoses to the water filter.  There is not enough room to replace the filter with the housing mounted where it sits now but my thinking is that the filter will be changed once a season and for that one time a year I can unmount the housing and position it where I can pull the bottom off the housing and change the filter.  Trying to find room to change the filter without moving the filter housing was giving me headaches in my small Triton interior and I just decided on the quick install and not worry too much about it.

As per usual, I didn't bring the right sized drills for cutting the holes in the countertop for the faucets so I stopped short of installing the faucets.  That black hose is my drain hose for the sink.  I somehow managed to not have the clamps I needed for that one either.  Then I realized I had completely forgotten about the water tank venting.  Hose has been ordered for that.  My original idea for the venting of the water tank in the bilge was to run the vent up high somewhere in the galley area.  After thinking and thinking and thinking I decided there was no way to make it look good enough for me cosmetically.  Plus, if the boat ever heeled way WAY over water was going to come out of the vent line and make a bad situation that much worse.  I decided to run my vent line all the way forward to the anchor locker where my V-berth water tank vents.  The lines will terminate higher than the fill point so I don't have to worry about overfilling the tanks and flooding my cabin.  If the boat does heel a bit too far the vent will drain into the anchor locker which drains into the bilge.  Maybe I will even put a valve up there someday so in bad weather I can completely seal off the water system.  Probably not though.

So, a quick look at my "service area" in front of the engine.

I feel like with some more time and planning I could make a neater job of it all but in the interest of getting it working and ready for launch this is what it is going to be.  There is another valve down there that switches the supply between the two water tanks.  The hose at the bottom left is the salt water supply from the pump to the faucet.  The hose higher up just on the other side of the water strainer is the freshwater supply line that makes a turn and goes to the foot pump.

The "must do" job of the season was replacing the engine exhaust since it broke off in my hand last fall.

My original idea that I have mentioned many times before was to replace the crappy looking and short lived black iron piping for a nice custom stainless exhaust.  I ran into two issues with this plan however.  One roadblock is finding someone around me that could actually do the work to the standards I wanted.  Another issue would be the cost.  The more I looked into it, the more expensive it was going to be.  Since cost has never been a strong factor in my boat decision making this played a minor role in my thought process but it was there so I am mentioning it.  The real turning point for me was while reseaching this option I started hearing opinions about how wrapping stainless piping is a bad idea as stainless likes to "breath" or be exposed to oxygen.  In a non oxygen environment stainless will corrode.  I really felt I needed to wrap the piping as it is routed quite close to a lot of flammable stuff like fiberglass structure.  Without the wrap I was not comfortable with the amount of heat and close proximity to the boat structure that the piping would exhibit.  So, I backtracked and decided that black iron had worked before and it would continue to work again.

I did some shopping at Moyer Marine and ordered some specialized fittings.  I think I could have found cheaper sources but I have found Moyer has decent quality stuff that works.  They know Atomic Fours better than anyone and if they say their product works on A4's then it works on A4's. I ordered a new flange fitting that bolts to the engine exhaust manifold and a special water injection fitting that utilizes a "T" fitting in the black iron piping.

I am not terribly happy with Moyer's water injection fitting being made of bronze for the disimilar metal issue but like I said above, if they say it works, it probably does.  Or maybe I will be replacing this fitting in a few years.

So as for the "exhaustive lessons" part of the blog, I have learned that in fact the exhaust piping is not 1.5" but 1.25".  That meant a second trip to Home Despot to return all the fittings.  I also learned that no one sells sections of piping longer than 12 inches and my riser is 18 inches high.  That meant having the piping cut to length.  No problem except Lowe'(est quality every time) requires that you buy a full section of piping (10 feet).  I was at Lowes after not finding everything I needed at Home Despot so now I have 8 and a half feet of 1.5 inch piping that I can't do much with.  And then to rub in the salt it turns out Home Despot will cut and thread what you need and you don't need to buy a minimum length.  So that was my "exhaustive lessons". Well, that and the fact that I needed to go back a third time because I forgot to buy enough union fittings.  I guess my counting skills are a bit rusty.

I need to place an order with Hamilton Marine anyway so I will get the bronze fittings to connect my engine raw water to the water injection fitting.  Next week, I hope to tweak the exhaust and then wrap and install it in Jenny.  The piping has been unsupported in the past and I should probably look into some way of securing it better and taking the strain off the engine exhaust manifold.

And that is where I am right now.  Still too cold for varnish.  Water and Exhaust are "nearly" done.  Rigging is "nearly" done.  Time to revisit the windvane and see what I need to finish that "nearly done" project.  I guess I am "nearly done" which means it will be a race to get the boat launched by the end of May as usual...

Em Tasol Wantoks.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Milking the mouse

This stuff is great.  I am really glad I remembered to soak the rusty old bolts holding my exhaust to the engine last fall.  It would have been a real shame to start pulling the engine now so I could drill out some broken exhaust flange bolts. Access was a little challenging but with not too much effort I was able to remove the bolts holding the exhaust to the engine and pull out the exhaust for complete replacement.

The pipe failed through the short coupler fitting at the top of the "loop".  The whole exhaust piping is in pretty rough shape.  The plan is to find someone to make a replacement with something more durable.  I realize "black pipe" from the hardware store is acceptable for some boats but I think I can do better.

I am actually just recovering from my illness now and about two hours at the boatyard was about all I could do before going prone again. 

In addition to removing the exhaust and a quick evaluation of the boat's condition in general (just fine but maybe a tad dirty and stuffy inside) I spent a few minutes at the mast making sure my new hardware fits the mast and to see how long I need to make the halyards.  Now that I have the lengths I can cut and whip to fit and use the ends to make up my genoa sheets.  I can do that from my sick bed.

The Garhauer blocks are going to work well. 

If I had been smart I would have put one of those "D" shackles with the pins through the middle inside the eye splices I made last week - capturing the "D" shackles on the halyard lines forever.  But I am not smart, I am learning, so I will have to worry about dropping and losing the shackle everytime I disconnect the sail from the halyard.  Thankfully, that won't be too often but I know I will forever be thinking I could have done it better...

Oh well.

...and access to Jenny has greatly improved in the past week too.  I can actually get to her now without requring any technical climbing gear.

That's the update :)