Monday, November 16, 2009

A plan, coming together

The work on the boat is progressing.  My original estimate of two or three weeks looks like it was optimistic.  Boat projects almost always take longer than you think.

The furnace is almost installed.  The installation looks really good, its clean and tight.  There were many options with how the ducting for the Webasto AT 3900 could be run.  The best quality of heat would come if the ducting was run low in the boat, with the outlets close to floor level.  That way the heat is able to rise and the temperature can be raised uniformly.  While this option would result in the best heat, and could be done on my boat, it also consumes the most amount of locker and cupboard space for the ducting.  Everything is a compromise and I chose to install the ducting in a way that minimized the amount of space lost.  As my choice for a furnace came down to either a diesel bulkhead or the forced air diesel I ended up choosing, I think that even with a less than optimal installation in terms of heat, I will still have better heat than a bulkhead furnace.  Bulkhead heaters optimize for other things (simplicity, power draw, cheery flame in the cabin.)

The ducting for the hot air is mostly unseen, runs inside below the side deck on the starboard side, from the lazarette to the forward berth.  There are 5 outlets: one in the galley; two in the main cabin; one in the head; and one in the forward berth.  The first three are always open to guarantee the heater has sufficient airflow, and the other two are closable.  All of the outlets can direct the heat in different directions.  I've been able to test the furnace now and have had the heat on when the outside temperature was 50F, not a very cold evening - but it was easy to get the boat so hot it was uncomfortable.  Sweet!

As far as the other projects go: the tank was pulled and cleaned.  After the cleaning process it was apparent that the tank was in worse shape than we thought.  There is a lot of pitting in the aluminum, and some of the pits with very little prodding resulted in holes right through the tank.

At this point, I'm glad the tank was pulled and these problems found before they caused a problem.  It might be that I could have gotten another year or more out of the tank - but at some point it was going to start leaking diesel which would have been ugly.  We've found the manufacturer of the tank and are having another one built.  We'll coat the new tank in epoxy and it should be good for at least another 20 years.  This is going to take longer than I was hoping however.  The tank manufacturer is:

John Justin
15171 Pipe Lane #102
Huntington Beach, CA
Work: 714-642-8941
Fax: 714-898-0740

The autopilot project is set to start next and appears to have no issues.  Which is to say, there are things to figure out, but nothing looks unsolvable yet.  Its surprising to me that adding all this equipment to boats ends up being custom work for everything.  I used to think you could just order an autopilot and it would be obvious how to install it for the boat.  That's so not true.  There is a lot of experience and craftsmanship required to perform a good installation.  I'm glad to have YachtFitters do this work for me.

The windlass arrived recently and Terry and Justin at YachtFitters did a test fit - and then called me down to the boat.  It turns out that the Maxwell RC10-8 isn't an ideal fit for this boat. I want to have the chain fall as far back in the enlarged anchor locker as possible, with the goal being that I can raise 300' of chain without having to go below to manually flake it.  With the Maxwell, I was going to have to move the deck pipe about 12" forward - which puts it into a shallower part of the locker, further away from the back.  They could install it, but wanted to give me a chance to think it over.  I've now all but convinced myself to go back to a horizontal windlass which can push the deck pipe as back as far as possible.  The best horizontal appears to be the Lighthouse 1501.  Its an awesome windlass, completely stainless seel and rated at a 1000 lb continuous pull.  The people who own them seem to rave about them and everything I've read (blogs, experience reports, reviews, recommendations) sound good.  Nigel Calder has had three, one on each of his last three boats (it might be more now, that was an old article.)  It will probably take a little while for the order to be processed and the windlass to arrive - so again, this is another project that will push the boat into December.

I have a couple pictures of my anchor locker as it is now - the before pictures.  There is quite a lot of space further down in the locker, aft of these photos.  The hole we're looking through is the wall at the end of the forward berth, it has doors on it so you can access the locker.  There is also a hatch at the base of the doors you can open for more access.  Note that the locker is divided into two area - one about 1/4 of the whole volume to the left (port) and forward in these pictures and then one for the remainder of the space.  I'll be cutting this 1/4 section to make it shorter.  Its already too small to hold a long rode and the wall interferes with chain falling - chain piles up against the wall.

Along with those big things, I've been treating my time at YachtFitters as a kid treats his time in a candy store.  I've added a number of things to my original list: a plexiglass companionway slat; a new teak fiddle for the galley; teak liners for the deck hatches; two d-rings added to the cockpit to clip into; a couple of rainwater leaks have been identified and are in the process of being fixed; added a anchor swivel - a WASI PowerBall.

I've taken what I thought was my Genoa down to Schattauer Sails to have the UV cover repaired.  They rolled it out in the sail loft and labelled it a Yankee.  They say there is no clear dividing line between the two - I thought it was a high clew Genoa, they call it a Yankee - its a Yankee.  The sail is 114% - I thought it was a 120%.  They are happy to do the work and I feel confident that their quality will be top notch.  When it comes time to buy new sails, it would be sweet to be able to buy some from Schattauer.

I'm having a ready bag made for my Staysail so that I can hank it on to the inner forestay with bag attached so its ready to be raised when I need it.  I'll do this if I'm sailing in conditions where I may want it.  Otherwise I'll keep the staysail stay back by the port shrouds as they are now and sail as a sloop.  Terry added a small snatch block to make storage of the staysail stay even more convenient than it was.  This is a nice setup, its Terry's own design.  Its simple, robust and doesn't lose any deck space.  One of the many advantages of working with YachtFitters is that Terry and Justin have worked with these boats many times before, so I am able to benefit from how they have improved other Pacific Seacraft 37's.

Everything above are the things that others are doing for me.  Some of the things I'm doing myself are to continue with the regasketing of all my portlights.  I think I finally have a set of steps which result in the quality I want.  I have three portlights one step away from done.  I'll then have seven more to do.  This is probably a few weeks of work.

With the tank out, I was able to finally clean the last part of the boat.  The boat has always had a slightly musty odd odor.  The bilge on the boat is deep and connected, from the anchor locker to the rudder post The anchor locker drains into the bilge as does the aft compartment below the rudder post.  Anything that gets into the bilge from forward moves down to the deepest part, aft of the tank beneath the companionway stairs.  This means that mud or other material can accumulate beneath the tank and this is what happened.  After the tank was pulled, I saw the final part I hadn't yet cleaned and got to it.  It took the most part of a day and a half.  The result is a fresher smelling boat.  The first picture is of the bilge looking aft, the second forward.  You can see seven of the 1" stainless keel bolts, there are three more in the section forward of the tank area.   If you cut down you would run into the lead keel - its right there.  Note how clean it all is!

During the furnace fitting Justin moved the fresh water accumulator to test fit a duct (for an earlier plan which wasn't used) - I took the opportunity to sample the water hose.  I've always had a problem with the water quality on the boat.  The water had an odd chemical odor and taste.  It turns out that the hose has the same odor.  All of the hose was also sticky - it seemed like the plasticizers had separated or something to that effect.  Anyway, I've taken the opportunity with the fuel tank being out of the boat and all the hoses being exposed to replace all the freshwater plumbing.  I bought two rolls of hose, each 50' and have used most of it.  There are a couple of areas where I've left the old hose in.  The water to/from the hot water tank is the old hose - replacing this appeared to involved yanking the tank - I never drink from the hot water tank anyway so it should be fine.  There was also one section from the forward tank to the manifold beneath the sink that was hard to replace - from the forward locker under the berth through the head to under the sink in the head.  I just couldn't bring myself to try to yank hose through this section - if I had taken the hose out and couldn't get it back in again it would be extremely hard to fix.  So there is about 8 feet of old hose in this 25' run.  Its better than it used to be.

While I was replacing the fresh water plumbing I thought I would also replace the fresh water pump.  I've gotten rid of the old pump and accumulator and have bought a new Jabasco Sensor Max 14, which has a variable speed drive.  The new pump doesn't need an accumulator, it will speed up and slow down to deliver water as needed.  The claim is that this new pump is very quiet - I'll find out when my installation is done.  I'm hoping this will be the last I see of the fresh water plumbing for quite some time.  If the water still tastes bad, the next step would be to somehow coat the interior of the fiberglass tanks with something, perhaps some sort of water safe epoxy.  I'm hoping it doesn't come to that...

I plan to blog about the portlight project soon, other owners which have the same old portlights might find something useful in there.

Sigh.  I'm looking forward to the time when I can post new photos of my sailing Luckness rather than my working on her....

1 comment:

  1. Hi Craig,
    Nice to hear you are mastering you baby. Keep up the good work. See you down south soon I hope.