Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Need to Vent?

Despite being knocked on my back with illness late last week, I managed to get some stuff done toward the end of the weekend.

The logical follower to fuel fill lines is, fuel vent lines! All tank vent lines lead up to a small manifold mounted on the bulked near the deckfill. Each vent line has an inline "fuel stop" that prevents overfilling of the tank by keeping the vent line clear of fuel. Basically a check valve.

The combined "out" portion of the manifold leads back to the engine room, to which another hose which snakes up inside the coaming and down to a thru-hull vent fitting in the cockpit, just above one of the cockpit drains. This setup follows "all the rules" with the vents leading to the highest point (coaming) for the loop (reducing the chance of anything starting a siphon), down to an inconspicuous discharge outlet (kick panel of the cockpit), with no sags anywhere in the lines to trap air or fuel.

As each tank has its own vent hose that leads up near the deck fill, there is a greatly reduced chance of any cross-contamination of fuel between tanks. The only way it could happen is if any of the "fuel stop" valves fail and the boat is nearly upside down. In which case, we would have larger problems to worry about.

Also, to keep things tidy and organized, I machined a couple "hose mounting clamps" out of coosa.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Considering Design Changes

I think in some post, way back, I stated that we would not have a 'dedicated' nav station. Instead, we would have the main dinette double as the nav station. My reasoning behind this is 1) I think a 'navigators throne', as they so often seem on boats, is kind of silly. Especially when you have the main dinette close by with plenty of space to lay down your chart. 2) Being the one who does most of the cooking, I would rather have more galley space.

But, I can see the value when it comes to a "centralized" spot for your electronics and electrics. So with that, I am toying with a design idea stolen from a local Westsail 42, 'Aku Aku' (hey Bruce!).

Here, a corner of the forward salon is sacrificed as a small nav station. The table is not big enough to lay paper charts, but it is close to the port side cabinetry to allow plenty of space to mount/conceal electronics and devices with their wire runs. The original layout of the forward salon kind of made this settee somewhat useless anyway, what with the pathway to the forward head.

The seat for the table would be what is left of the port settee, and it would be rear facing, which may be kind of a pain when underway. But, with nav electronics at the binnacle, the main dinette table used for paper charts, and possible electronics repeaters at the dinette, this small nav station may get little use while underway.

Mockups for the table are shown here with the existing cabinetry mockup.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Thats Better

Had a dry sunny weekend, so I moved the fuel deck fill.

I also dropped the distribution manifold a couple inches closer to the tanks to steepen the slope of the main fuel fill hose.

Friday, October 15, 2010

All Runs Lead to the Engine Room

After a few more coats of "Silent Running" (four thick coats, total) I surfaced the engine room's primary  bulkhead with pegboard. 
 No, this is not permanent (one would not want to use this on a boat as, once it gets damp, it will just fall apart.)
 This is to be used as a "reference grid" to help map-out and plan all of the mechanicals and electrics that will ultimately be mounted here.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Aft Hawsepipes are IN!

Well, that took longer than expected. And not necessarily due to weather. For you non-boaties out there, "hawsepipes" are deck fittings that allow things like a dock line or anchor rode to pass-thru the hull of a boat. On a small recreational boat like this, it is usually thru the bulkwark, above the deck.

I already have the forward ones installed. Cast stainless, nested hawsepipes, made by ABI, and as mentioned in an earlier post, they became a casualty of the down economy. So I could not find matching pipes for the aft. I eventually found some chrome plated bronze hawsepipes by Perko. Roughly the same opening size, but with a larger flange, so they look a bit different. No matter, no one is likely to be looking at the front and back of the boat at the same time, right? Turns out these non-nested Perko fittings would install easier than those ABI ones would have anyway. Because...

The bulwark in the aft end is much thicker than the fore. About three to four inches. So a nested pipe would not be long enough. Since it goes through the bulwark, the mounting holes "open up" to the inside of the boat. So the pass thru "pipe" of the installation must be sealed to keep water out. Whats more, the inside and outside faces of the bulwark are not parallel, due to the hull design. The outside face slopes inward just below the toe rail. Again, a nested pipe would not work.

Now, a "typical" hawsepipe is installed by simply cutting the opening on both sides of the bulwark, mounting the fittings,  then inside,  wrapping a piece of rubber, like tubing from an inner tube, around the pipe flanges and securing them with a large hose clamp. The rubber and clamps keep the water out. But I am determined to NOT make this a "typical" installation, of course, by asking the question "What if you wanted to remove the fittings for when you want to, say, paint the boat?" Answer: get inside the bulwark, from underneath, after clearing away any interior bits covering access to the hawsepipes, unclamp the by now old rubber, then remove the fittings from the outside. Sounds like a PITA doesn't it? So I decided to take my lumps now and make this installation harder, so any future removal/installation would be easier.

This was done by machining and fitting matching  "donuts" out of Coosa board to act as a mounting flange for each hawsepipe. These were epoxied to the inside of the bulkwark. Then a similar wedge shaped "donut" to take up the angle difference between the two, due to the slope of the outside hawsepipe, epoxied in between.

Now the 'brilliant' bit. The first inner and outer donuts have matching holes for the mounting screws and have stainless tee nuts embedded in the "back". The epoxied in wedge makes these tee nuts forever inaccessible, but that is ok, as once set, only one person and one tool is needed to remove the hawsepipes (can you tell I am obsessed with this 'one person one tool' thing?).

So there you go. All epoxied, sealed and fittings easily removed/installed. I still need to do some filling and fairing on the inside of the thru 'pipe', but will save that for when the boat gets painted. And, 'final' installation will get a light duty sealant in there too.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Cold War Undersea Technology? or Snake Oil?

Two walls of the engine room have been painted with this stuff:

It is a paint called "Silent Running". Made in USA, this is a paint that is designed to reduce noise and vibration emanating from the engine room and throughout the boat. It does this by converting low frequency sound waves, like those from marine diesel engine vibration, into heat. Sounds like something out of a Tom Clancy novel doesn't it?

I would be very skeptical of this stuff, if I hadn't seen a live demonstration at IBEX a few years ago. It really does work. And since then it has earned some innovation awards. More traditional methods of sound dampening an engine room involve thick foam, sometimes lead-lined, which can be heavy and difficult to install. This stuff just rolls right on. However, it applies much different than your typical paint. It has the consistency of pancake batter. Now it is not designed to look pretty, and it doesn't. This stuff dries to a gray color (I think it is also available in white), and roller marks are obvious. But it is going to be covered up with engine room mechanical bits, so I am not particular on its looks.

Yes, it is a bit expensive, but my cost is pretty reasonable ( for relative cost comparison 1 gal of Silent Running == 2 gal of Bilgekote).

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Fuel Fill Plumbing is IN!

The fuel fill plumbing is in. Well dry-fitted at least. This is the plumbing that leads from the deck fill to the main fuel tanks As there are three tanks, a manifold is required to distribute the main input to each of the tanks. For this installation, I elected to include valves to isolate any one of the fuel tanks. The fittings are 1 1/2" inch NPT bronze pipe fittings and the valves are bronze/stainless ball valves. Included is a Vetus Splash Stop device that helps catch any overflow fuel and redirects it to the tanks, instead of overboard via the deck over your precious deck finish.

The fact is I had all the parts for completing this project two months ago, except for ONE PART, which finally came in last week. Specifically, the bronze 1 1/2" NPT "cross" pipe fitting for the distribution manifold, which, of course, everything joins to.

This is only a "dry fit" to determine where the hose runs will be. They will be concealed by galley and dinette cabinetry. The valves in the distribution manifold will be accessible via a cabinet behind the companionway stairs. Ultimately, the hoses will be double clamped.

Already I have detected an "oops". See that short near horizontal hose run from the deckfill? That's not good. In fact it is unnecessary. All due to the fact of where I spotted the deckfill. I should have put the deckfill closer to the "left" bulkhead. Not sure what I was thinking when installed that deckfill. Maybe I thought the hose would bend enough (it won't. It is double wire reinforced hose). I have decided to relocate it closer to the left bulkhead, ...on the next dry weekend.