For the very latest activity, click here: From a Bare Hull

Sunday, October 30, 2011

It's Getting Dark

No, I don't meant the onset of winter, nor the state of the global economy (if you pay attention to that). I am referring to the interior of the boat. With the (black) insulation going up where ever there is exposed hull, it gets a bit difficult to see. Even with the shop lights on.
Overhead of the forward salon (port)

Insulation has been cut and installed in the forward and main salon, including the overhead, under-deck. At the same time, the cleats for the attachment of the final interior cladding (whatever we decide it to be) has been glued and set.
Overhead of forward salon (port) after cleat/insulation install.

The cleats are made from the low density grade Coosa, 1 inch thick, that curves nicely with the deck. Glued with epoxy and set with a couple tapping screws. The cleats have 10-24 tee nuts embedded every six inches. This should be enough to hold up whatever overhead we decide, with some sort of hardwood strip.

Main salon overhead (before insulation)
Main salon overhead (after insulation)
We are going with machine screws instead of tapping screws because we know what happens after you uninstall/install the overhead with tapping screws a number of times (the material gets stripped leaving no bite for the screw).

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Engine Room Boxed In

The engine room is now looking more like a "room". The framing surrounding the area is complete and the wall panels have been test-fitted. I have been somewhat apprehensive about this moment, as, in the early days I 'eyeballed' the placement of the floor supports relative to the cockpit in order to maximize the living space surrounding the engine room (especially the tunnel from the main salon to the aft cabin). This was way back when the deck had not yet been aligned and fastened to the hull, and I was not sure what the pocket door mechanisms would be. In the end, things have lined up pretty good. I may have to shim out the lower pocket door rails with a spacing washer or two to make things plumb, but all in all, it is looking pretty good.
Engine Room, looking to starboard aft.

Engine Room, looking to starboard fwd. An engine will appear here someday.

The design of the paneling is such that they can later be removed, without cutting things up, to maximize openings to the cabin. This is to accommodate large items/equipment that cannot fit through the companionway and, instead, must be passed through the cockpit floor, into the engine room, and out one of the sides into the tunnel or the aft cabin. The panels are held in by machine screws and can be unfastened and removed with one-person/one-tool. Ultimately, one may have to destroy some trim to get to the fasteners in the end. But otherwise, removal should be easy.
Paneling between aft cabin and engine room. Pocket doors are behind this.

The aft panel has a one inch gap for the pocket doors between the aft cabin/engine room and aft cabin/tunnel. I am waiting on some final hardware for the pocket doors and hope to have them test fitted and adjusted soon.
Looking forward through the tunnel. Trying to  maximize elbow room here.

This is by no means "final". The panels were cut an inch or two wider than  necessary to get a feel for things and will probably be narrowed in the end. The interior decor has yet to be decided. But when ready, the panels can easily come out for final finishing.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

'Go Faster' Bits are In


First mentioned back in this post, weather provided the opportunity to glue the shims in to take up the gap between the rudder and skeg (about 1.5 inches). The shims were machined from Coosa, coated with epoxy and attached to the skeg with thickened epoxy. Final shaping fairing will be done during bottom preparation for paint. I expect to gain a full knot from this modification!! (lol, well, who knows. every bit counts)

Lower Shim

Upper Shim

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Shaft Log is In!

Since I broke open a tube of 3M 5200 sealant for the aft deck cleats, I thought I would try and use the rest of the tube for something else before it went bad (in a couple months). With weather cooperating this week, I chose to install the shaft log. I had, some time ago, shimmed and aligned the shaft/aquadrive/shaft log, but I did not permanently set the shaft log.

As always seems to be the case for me, I used WAY too much 5200. There were lots of sticky rags lying around after the job. Oh well, better to use too much than too little on an underwater application.

The important thing here is to keep the shaft centered as much as possible while securing the log and waiting for the goop to set up (couple days). Here the best indicator is how free the shaft will spin. The "sweet spot" has the shaft/thrust bearing spinning a couple rotations under its own momentum with a snap of your hand. If you start to get resistance as you tighten the shaft log's thrubolts, you must back off till it spins freely again.

Make sure there are no gaps between the stern tube flange and the shim. Small gaps, say less than 1/16th of an inch, is ok as long as it is filled with 5200. Let the goop setup for a couple days. Before it is fully cured (not tacky but still flexible), gently tighten the thru-bolts making sure the shaft can still "freely spin" within the bearing.

Previously shimmed and prepared stern tube.
Aquadrive with 'temporary' shaft and coupler.
Notice the centered shaft, standing on its own, not touching the sides of the tube.
Test fitting the shaft log with cutless bearing.
Gooping of shaft log footprint with 3M 5200
Gooping of inside flange of shaft log to ensure a good gasket seal.
Inside the hull. Sealing of shaft log and bronze thru-bolts.
Outside of shaft log with a generous fillet of 5200 around the edges.
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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Aft Deck Cleats Are In!

Installed similarly as the forward deck cleats: secured to a threaded aluminum backing plate gooped to the underside of the deck. The bulwarks here are not as high, so the cleats must go flat on deck. Still, they are not ankle-biters and minimal toe stubbers when folded down. And keeping with the theme of other deck hardware, they are removable by one person with one tool.
Port side cleat.
Both cleats
Cutting the backing plates.
Backing Plates
Backing plate under deck glued in place.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Aft Bilge Pumps are In!

Previously, in this last post, I had the pump assembly test fitted. This weekend I did the final wiring and plumbing. Again, there are two pumps here. One high capacity 'crash' pump and a smaller 'dry' pump. The high capacity pump is a Jabsco heavy duty diaphragm style pump that can more easily suck up debris without damaging the pump. The pump is not submersible sits up higher in the boat located underneath the aft cabin berth for easy access and servicing. All wiring complete and tested. I still need to do a "wet" test.
Pickup assembly in the bilge. The green thing is the Aquadrive thrust bearing and shaft coupler. 
Pump on the left. Eventually will be covered by berth cabinetry.
Pump 'in' and 'out' plumbing left, discharge seacock right.
It occurred to me, that despite the "easy" servicing nature of the pickup assembly, in practice, the prop shaft will need to be decoupled from the Aquadrive and slid aft in order to fully service the assembly. Things are just too cramped and deep in the bilge. Oh well. At least the Aquadrive make things easier, a traditional long straight prop shaft would be harder to deal with.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Tank Management and Pump Control

This last weekend I started working on the first control panel for the engine room. This panel will have the bilge pump controls and tank monitoring functions.
Cutting the panel from plywood
Rather than have a gauge for each and every tank, I am using a couple of these units (from WEMA) that can monitor up to seven tanks with one gauge. There are seven selector buttons that can be programmed to indicate fuel, water or waste levels. An optional feature is the unit can activate an alarm when a fuel tank nears empty or a waste tank nears full. I have more than seven tanks, and there are two more waste tanks yet to be installed, so there are two of these units for monitoring up to fourteen tanks total. There will be a couple monitoring circuits left over.
Two multiple tank monitors
Also on the panel are the controls for the bilge pumps. In the picture, the top left and top right are pairs of switches for the aft and forward bilge pumps. One switch for the crash pump, one for the dry pump, fore and aft.
Bilge pump switches above the tank monitors.
I still have to place some more switches on the panel, hence the wide spaces between the devices. The panel has hinges so can be unbolted from the top and hinged down to easily get at the wiring.
Opened to get at wiring. Still need some bits to help manage wires.
This is a "test" panel, made from quarter inch plywood, to determine if I have the right electrical bits to do a nice and tidy installation. It is also a test to determine the best layout for all the switches and stuff. I since discovered that I am out of some primary wire and butt connectors. The final panel will be cut from plastic laminated half inch plywood.

Ultimately, I will be monitoring tanks electronically via the (future) NMEA 2000 network. The analog gauges will provide a backup. It is behind this panel where the NMEA interfaces will be placed to connect to the tank sending units.