Bowels of a boat

Another item on the ‘prep for paint’ list is solving of all the plumbing runs, especially as they relate to fitting around cabinets, bulkheads and the hull sides. As to be expected, everything starts at the throne.

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We originally wanted all the pipes hidden, but the space is proving too tight. Some of the piping and the deck port for waste pumping will live behind this cover.

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With the toilet plumbed we moved on to drainage for bilge and shower sumps, then the two sinks. More holes in the hull!
While at sea, the sewer tank gets pumped out just above the waterline, and the holding tank vent is the smaller hole below the port hole (vent has an inline smells-filter)

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Moving aft about five feet, tucked inside a cabinet behind the shower, are the bilge and shower sump exits, with the fresh water tank vent above.

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And the last two were drilled just forward of the aft beam – one for the propane locker vent and the other a discharge line for the desalinator.

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Most of the needed bulkhead pass-thrus were cut to route pipes/tubing. Then it was a trial fit of the propane system, which fit the new locker nicely. It’s all done to ABYC standards, including a propane fume alarm system as we’re forever haunted by my grandparents’ near-tragic monoxide incident aboard a boat 50 years ago.

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Charlie’s visit to the shop yesterday delivered very nice dyneema strops to anchor the twin mainsheet system. RickH, I think this Vee is going to work as advertised. We hooked it up to the shop rafters and by controlling the two ends of the sheet we got both mainsail trimming and traveler functions working well. Next stop – let’s see it with a huge sail in play :)

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Speaking of sails – they’re done and will get on a truck next week. That’ll be an exciting delivery!

Get back in the box

We last saw the new propane tank sticking up from the cockpit lazarette storage bin. Here we are post-surgery.

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The propane tank, regulator and solenoid valve will live inside this dedicated locker, with a vapor drain tube at the bottom, running straight to its own thru-hull about 18″ above the waterline. The new locker invades the equipment room – it’s the purple foam panel in this shot, with the still-open fridge sitting to the right.

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The freezer compressor will get a shelf below the propane box.
And back up in the cockpit, the propane locker gets a waterproof lid that sits 2″ above the lazarette bottom.

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Some of the finish parts are flat pieces that can’t mount directly to curved surfaces. We saw that months ago with building up bases for two winches. Here’s an inspection port for the forward section of the port float. Cut the 10″ hole in the curved deck, wrap the part in non-stick plastic and press it in to a bedding of epoxy/cabosil putty. Carefully trim the edges and let it cure.

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After some finish sanding that should look just right.

The same technique is needed on the last two opening portlights. We already cut the hull and made Lexan fixed windows, but later decided more ventilation is needed, so we bought a Vetus port for each side. The hull is curved at the top so we’ll do a buildup before installing the port.

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In that shot you can just see the original cutout – wider, shorter and with steep angles that match the stern shape. The new ports aren’t as sexy, but the occupants of that stateroom will be happier campers. The aft cabin is nice and bright now with all its holes cut.

The shop goes dark for the next six days as the builder grabs his bike and sets off with 4 friends riding to Santa Barbara. With a little luck we’ll be on the train home Sunday and slinging epoxy again next Monday. 350 miles down Hwy 1 should really raise the eagerness level for sailing this boat down the coast in Sept!

Boxes of goodies

This past weekend was the big annual Oakland sailboat show and we caught up with suppliers. Quality parts came home with us, and 4 boxes arrived from Defender in CT. We also made a deposit on a discounted Viking ocean life raft – the price locks for a year; we don’t want the raft certified until we need it this fall, this extending it’s service interval 4 months or so. Next we handed the BottomSiders folks patterns for the cockpit cushions.

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It’ll be five pieces around the horseshoe shaped benches. Similar vinyl dipped, closed cell cushions have been on Origami for 10+ years and still look new, so that was an easy choice.

Parts were sorted out today by theme. Lighting will be almost all LED; one incandescent steaming light (only used under engine power) was a $16 Hella find, and we already had a few halogens we may still use.

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The two spreader lights won’t go on the mast; one will mount on the hardtop facing the foredeck and the other on the stern tower to light the steering gear and boarding area when needed at night. RickH, we’ll have small red lights under the hardtop to illuminate the sail controls and instruments area underway at night.

Keith wanted the largest possible bow shackle on the mast hound as this will hold the forestay and side shroud dyneema cables (one shackle connects all the mast support lines). It’s huge, bigger than one’s palm. RickWS, I like this better than the other solution you showed me, but we’ll be plenty careful about seizing that pin!

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Some of the many plumbing parts… A 1-1/2″ seacock / ball valve combo unit is much bigger than we realized so it changes the waste plumbing plan a bit (it won’t fit under the shower floor as planned). We keep finding more thru-hull needs, but still just two under the waterline. Latest adds are watermaker discharge line (97% of what goes to a reverse osmosis unit is bypassed back overboard, so says the Spectra salesman), and a propane locker vapor vent.

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We’ll detail the propane system later, but of course step one is cutting the lazarette floor to make room below for a sealed propane storage locker. This fiberglass and plastic tank is 1/2 the weight of the steel ones under your BBQ at home, plus it won’t corrode and is easier to take in the dinghy for refilling. See here how the tank needs to drop down at least a foot.

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Also in that photo, the fresh water fill (black and blue disk) was installed next to the port coaming winch, and the outdoor shower on the cockpit bench bulkhead. That’ll make a nice senior citizen shower – just sit down safely and discreetly in the cockpit, lather up, and rinse it off thru the scuppers :)

The shop went quiet for some days while Greg took a consulting job, then joined Griffin to have a look at the University of Mississippi. If you haven’t seen an SEC football school, the TV-deal money translates to huge, attractive building projects on these stately old campuses. The Ole Miss folks are very charming to prospective students. Big decision due this month. From CA, you fly to Memphis, so before the flight home we walked along the Big River watching the barge-push skippers do their amazing jobs. And yes dear, the fried pickles are good.

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Three degrees of separation

Not talking about Kevin Bacon here, but rather the need to rake the mast back three degrees from vertical. This tilt of the mast helps the sailing responsiveness and has been factored in to the exact mainsail shape (which is under construction in Maine right now). So we need to get this right.

We can’t stand the mast up, so we’re doing the math at 1/25th scale (2′ vs 50′). The cardboard wedge is 3 degrees wide:

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We need a hardwood wedge under the steel mast foot to create the angle. The wedge is greater than the 3 degrees because the deck slopes away from level. Based on math measures, here was the first cut.

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The alder hardwood block was planed to that black line but that yielded a 5 degree tilt, so some trial and error in hand shaping got it right.

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The wood wedge was then clad in two layers of 12oz BD fabric. This piece was vacuum’d in an actual bag, not on the flat table. The bag pressing in on all sides if done right will put the excess glass right in the middle of each edge for an easy trimming job. This one went pretty well.

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After some fairing putty, we tested it on deck today and hit right on a 3 degree rake at the mast foot.

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We talked today about adding a piece of steel atop the wood wedge with the mast base you see above welded to the new plate. That way the bolts holding the whole thing to the deck would pass through steel. As it stands now, the steel square has to be bolted to the wood wedge and the wedge then bolted to the deck. The steel square isn’t wide enough to span the dagger slot and be bolted directly to the deck. Anyone have experience or engineering perspective on this?

Today was spent on holes. First, a big one in the pocketbook, striking a good deal with Defender Industries. This order covers most of the big areas left – ports, plumbing, propane and remaining deck fittings. We did better here than Port Supply or other local sources. It’s been an incredibly rigorous and time consuming process to equip the boat, but the best part is going direct to manufacturers with the help of experts. We’re getting great gear from Lewmar, Colligo, Blue Sea electrical, New England Ropes and Garhauer. Thanks for your help guys!

After giving Defender the Amex number, we tackled the first through hulls. We’ve made plumbing decisions such that there’s only one below-the-waterline plumbing hole (for a seawater manifold) and one for the depth sounder / speed sensor. They are going in tandem placement, just starboard of the daggerboard.

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Here’s the thruhull inserted upside down to check the depth; we needed to cut off about a half inch of threads. In the second photo you can also see the Kevlar outer skin in the ‘shadow’ of fairing compound – that’s about two feet wide from the bow back towards the stern.

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Further up the hull side, over on port, is the first above the waterline thruhull. This one is the galley sink.

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All of these holes are being cut too big and then re-edged with epoxy/cabosil putty. We’ll also add back some glass on the outside and fair it in. I decided to do this instead of trying to dig out cedar core in between the original inner and outer glass layers. We’ll see more of the thru hulls during the post-painting fit out.

The main cabin is getting final furniture building. Here’s a cardboard mockup of a backrest cabinet for the seating position on the starboard day bunk. The base isn’t very wide and the hull curves in steeply, so it’s a tough balance to preserve lying down comfort yet make the backrest functional for sitting up. It doesn’t extend to the bulkhead in the left of the photo because that’s the most comfortable spot, leaning back on that locker wall with your feet up on the bunk. Thanks Charlie for the idea to make the backrest swing up to reveal a small storage cabinet.

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During the cabin buildout we think ahead to wiring – here the chart table gets surgery in the form of a big 4″ series of holes to route cables between the batteries and the circuit breaker panel. This stuff will get clean face plates screwed on to hide the wires after installation.

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And we’re spreading mahogany dust all over the driveway as the portable mill rips and planes repurposed baseboards and casings in to lovely boat interior trim. The boards on the right end up as excess stock when cabinetry clients change their minds. Good neighbors to have during this build!

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And so the pile grows, with a couple more days of fitting trim pieces inside, and when complete they will all get sanded and finished in the shop before bonding in to the boat. Painting day 1 inches closer…

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$#!? rolls down hill

The bathroom is never big enough, right? Because our hull bottom is so skinny, the head compartment is cramped and every inch of space needs to be used efficiently. So what goes under the toilet – well, the holding tank makes sense. Thank you Mike L for insisting on that one :). One wants the “black water” tank as large as possible for lazy cruising days, so as to minimize trips to the dreaded pump out station. Rather than buy a expensive, too small tank, we made one that fills the space available. First the blank canvass …

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Now line it with plastic, but NOT like this. Using the loose bag produced nasty ripples along the bottom. Had to cut those out and redo with form-fitting plastic tape instead applied to the hull shape.

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The L shape means the tank is both under your feet and under the toilet base.

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That whole unit lifted out after some prying, and the top pieces were made on the vacuum table. Along with some heavier laminations for the floor and shelf that will sit just above the tank.

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Rather ugly for my first ever tank build, but it held water under testing.
The outlet to the sea is at the bottom, while the inlet / dock pump out, the breather vent, and a spare clean out port sit on top. Rather than installing an expensive and wire-consuming monitor system, there’s a visual level gauge on top – a window we won’t inspect too closely!

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After sealing it all up, the tank slides in place. The hull-facing wall is inset 3/4″ to allow for a bonded-on high density bolting flange (on the wall, not the tank) that will take the weight of the toilet and user, as opposed to actually pushing down on the tank.

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The black pen circle is where the toilet will sit on the shelf just above this tank, but the toilet is not connected to the tank. An exit hose runs from the back of the toilet, up through a pump and a loop up above the waterline, then down in to the tank. The good news is this design means no waste stays in the pipes, which is usually the cause of nasty smells. We’ll see the head installed and the shower floor come together in the next post, and maybe some cardboard mockups of vanity counter / cabinets.

Back on deck, we hung the near finished boom in place and set up the Delta Vee main sheet. Well… The long-tiller steering isn’t going to clear so it makes sense to build a linkage steering system. Messed about with the geometry today until getting the right pivots and control arm lengths.

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The steering action is fast and the tiller throw much shorter; this is a much better solution than the first, including a nice way to attach an electronic tiller pilot independent / redundant from the wind vane system. Farrier’s plans call for all this gear to be inside the aft cabin, but I saw that on a completed F39 and it really interferes with the cabin living space. Other owners would not like the steering gear exposed on deck, but I like the simplicity and obvious inspection ability of the gear in plain sight. Thinking of using a flanged rudder bearing to anchor the tiller pivot, and some combination of carbon bars and stainless steel rods & ball joints for the linkage. Type 304 SS ball joints are easily found – thinking we’ll use those and carry extras vs. hunting for rare type 316 SS ones. Any comments back about that?

Goodbye Golden Gate (transit, that is)

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That my friends is the 72 pulling up the last time for the 65 mile ride SF to Santa Rosa. All those commuting hours sure cut in to the boat work time :). But now it’s Monday morning, day 1 of full time building – very exciting indeed!

Met up with Cal in the Strawberry Village parking lot to exchange a wad of 100’s for the military surplus diesel furnace kit. This was supposed to be installed in a large Abrams troop transport vehicle, but supply was greater than demand. “Craigslist Cal” speculated on a pallet of 4 kits, and had enough proof that I’m convinced it is not nefariously obtained.

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This is hydronic heating, meaning that the small diesel fed furnace will tap in to the main engine fuel tank to heat the same radiator fluid system as the engine. Pipes will run this hot fluid through a water heater tank (for sink and shower) and through hot air radiators with fans on them. That hot air will be ducted through large tubes just like a household furnace.

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This is the Espar D10 model, intended for buses and boats up to about 49′. Since this unit was kitted out for a truck, I have to order some different exhaust parts and other marine tidbits. But overall well worth the effort as I saw these at the boat show with installed prices of about $5k. We’ll get this all done at about a third that much. And having a heater a little too big sounds just fine for the Gulf of the Farralones or a few weeks on the Irish coast, right?

Time for the shop now, back to beam fairing. And if I get mad at the boss today, I’ll have to look in the mirror – it’s a whole new ball game.

window recut and fridge

One thing learned about this project is it has to be OK to make changes, before things get too late. For example, two months ago it seemed wise to solve for the non-parallel big ceiling bands to get covered with a nice mahogany veneer symmetrical box that would also house the saloon lighting. So I cut the windows to line up with this (future) box, and left that part of the ceiling un-faired. But here in August, really looking at all that, the box idea is unnecessary weight and building complexity. We’ll do a simpler wood trim. And so the 6 windows needed to be reshaped on all 12 sides. That meant temporarily securing back the original cutouts to grab more tapering width on some edges and re glassing those pieces back in. And making deeper angled cuts on other sides. Then glassing all the window edges to cover all the final cutout sills. Now the windows are in synch with the asymmetric ceiling bands, and I like the new ‘leaning forward’ look better than before. So that’s about five hours of fix instead of probably 50+ for the original idea.

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Here’s this evening’s work on the refrigerator. The whole thing is sort of a deep triangle as the bottom follows the hull contour. You can see the four inches of solid foam core on the sides. Under the pink layer glued in here is another 1.5″ foam layer. Next up is glassing in that bottom, fairing and painting, then building the back where the clamps are here.

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