Monday, May 31, 2010

It's been a long time coming, but we finally have an engine in "Second Wind", a 38 hp Betamarine diesel, which is basically a Kubota diesel that has been adapted for marine use. We chose the Betamarine for several reasons, the most important of which is that the parts for Kubota's are widely available world-wide. In addition, it is compact, the ideal horsepower rating for the boat and has several features, such as a manual oil sump pump mounted on top of the block to make changing oil much simpler and cleaner.

Bud Taplin, the "sea daddy" for the Westsail boats currently in use around the world, came out from California to help me install it. Bud was the former production manager for Westsail and has developed a cottage industry helping all of us keep our boats in tip-top condition and has pioneered the upgrades in power plants and sailing rigs.

Bud has done dozens of new engine installations and he made it seem pretty simple. He flew in on Tuesday and we were finished by the end of the day on Wednesday. Of course we were not without a minor crisis or two: the angle grinder for trimming the fiberglass engine room pan died after only a few minutes and we had to dash out and buy a new one, and one of the engine room bolts seized up and I ended having to cut it off with a Dremel tool.

The top photo shows the engine installed, looking from the stern forward. The blue lines are the engine control cables for the transmission and throttle. The black box on the starboard side is for the starter battery. The large red hoses on the portside are the cooling water lines from the seacock to the water strainer and then into the engine.

The second photo is from the engine room door looking aft. You can see the folding shelf I installed above the propeller shaft to make access to the engine easier from the hatch in the cockpit floor, not to mention it's a nice seat to sit on when working on the engine and accessories.

The third photo is of the starboard fuel tank, fuel lines, selector valves for the fuel tank feed lines and return lines. The small box in the center of the photo is the electronic fuel pump (unwired as yet) and the primary fuel filter is visible on the left.

The cockpit drain lines, not yet installed, will run from the round opening at top left down to the bronze seacock at lower left. There is a similar one on the port side.

The fourth photo shows the aft engine room light, the fuel tank (each tank holds approximately 40 gallons), and the raw water strainer. The water enters the strainer from the seacock on the bottom center, then exits from the aft side and loops down and forward to the engine heat exchanger intake at the front of the engine, which you can see in the last photo.

I'm really pleased with the engine installation and all that's left in the engine room are the drains, bilge pumps (manual and automatic), and the engine exhaust and "water-lift" muffler. Then it's on to the final electrical installation and the fitting of the cabin-top hardware, then external painting. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Bud thinks that July 4th is doubtful, but I'm working as hard as I can and I don't think it will run too much past that goal. We're already getting quotes for transporting the boat to the nearest marina, as well as all the way to Jacksonville, Florida. Stay tuned!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I'm excited to show off the "tray" that my son, Michael, built for holding the dishes, mugs, glasses, wine glasses, etc. I designed it to hang above the icebox cabinet and to securely hold four of everything. Michael expanded upon the design and added drawers on each side: one below the beer mug bins, and one below the bin holding the glasses. I'm going to make some inserts for the bin alongside the glasses to hold the flatware, and the similar bin flanking the beer mug bins will hold condiments. Michael built it first in pine to test the fit and jigs for the box joints, then built the final project in teak.

In the second photo you can see the rack for the wine glasses which will, of course, hang upside down on the bottom of the whole tray.

There is also a rack for two small cutting boards, designed to mount underneath and angled down at the back to keep the cutting boards from sliding out as the boat rolls and pitches.

Michael went to extremes and made the dish dividers and the floor of the mug and glass bins as gratings. Amazing worksmanship and I can hardly wait to mount it.

I thought I would add some photos of the plumbing maze beneath the head cabinet. The sink drains directly to the sea, but the toilet discharge is routed through the selector valve to either the sea (when offshore in international waters) or to the 18 gallon holding tank, which is mounted forward beneath the portside v-berth bunk.

In this photo, the holding tank is to the right of the bulkhead and it shows the tank discharge to the sea via the in-line valve, or up the "Tee" to the pump out fitting on the deck above.

the clear line is the fresh water line to the hand pump above at the sink.

I've since mounted holding brackets for the in-line valve.

This photo shows the two-way valve discharge from the toilet. The upper arm of the "Y" valve goes up to a vented loop fitting and then down to the hose on the left and out through a seacock.

The right arm of the "Y" goes up to a hose into the holding tank.

The smaller black hose is the raw water intake for the toilet, or "head" and it also goes up to a vented loop and then back to the toilet.

Just figuring out how to route these lines cleanly took many hours, sketching, measuring, and fitting. I'm pleased with the results, but the proof will come when we flush the toilet!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Time has flown since I last updated the blog, but a lot has been completed. The interior is very nearly complete, except for the breaker panels for AC and DC electrical circuits, the teak doors and drawers are finished and back in, and the teak interior trim is installed. At this point I'm installing the detail parts. We put down the light blue laminate countertops late last Fall and then I fitted the access hatches in the countertops with teak edging. The dark blue cushions which Barb washed at least six times to get rid of the oily smells are finally fresh smelling and wrapped up in plastic until the job it finished.

The reading lights and fans have been installed, as well as the brass signage that my children gave me (very humorous). The AC outlets are in and wired, as are the DC jacks. The door jambs are back in, the teak trim has all been finished, and we're getting down to the final details.

When we were in Marquette MI this past summer I saw some "burned copper" AC outlets that I thought would look interesting in the boat. I found some copper plates on the Web and did my own "burning" with a propane torch and then coated them with clear lacquer. Each is unique, since the flame brings out the colors differently each time. The plates seemed to be shallower than the more conventional ones and I had to make plastic spacer plates to give enough clearance to properly mount the plates over the outlets. I think it gives a little touch of color to the overall wood finish surrounding them.

We were stationed in Bermuda with the Navy back in the early 70's and it was our favorite place to live, so I couldn't resist laminating an old nautical chart of the islands onto the dinette table top. We poured on two coats of clear epoxy "bar-top" finish and we're delighted with the results. The leg is actually the original teak leg but I added ash pieces to the outer edges to give it more stability. The small portion of exposed hull is problematic, but for the time being we're going to go with a small piece of off-white carpeting to cover it.

The medicine cabinet in the head is finished with twin teak doors. I originally made it about 12 inches deep, but it was too much for practical use and I shortened it to 7 inches. It's removable to expose the void behind it for access to the toilet plumbing. The plumbing was a huge challenge for me and now the marine toilet will discharge either to the sea or into an 18 gallon holding tank beneath the V-berth (directly behind the bulkhead to the right of the photo). The sink fixture is a hand pump for fresh water. We felt that hand-pumping would promote water conservation.

The head doors have been test fitted and the one shown here is the aft door which is normally latched closed to create a stub wall. The forward door swings out to close off the V-berth as well.
The toilet is located directly below the bottom edge of the photo. This door is normally kept latched. It's important to have it hinged to give access to the toilet for servicing (sooner or later it will give us trouble, either from a child using too much paper or a technical malfunction).

The oars for the dinghy are stored on hooks suspended from the overhead in the main cabin. I found the bronze hardware on-line and fashioned blocks out of SeaBoard, a thick plastic material that works like wood, to mount onto the coachroof beams. A simple pin holds the hooks in position and allows for easy retrieval of the oars. The screw head in the light blue overhead panel will be concealed by teak edging.

The swing arm mounting for the Garmin GPS/Chartplotter/Depthsounder is now installed. The swing arm allows the navigator (me) to read it either from the nav station or from the cockpit just by swinging it to the right of the photo. I need to come up with some sort of simple latch to hold it in either position. The wires above are for the dome light, which for the nav station, is switchable from red to white. The lower horizontal trim strip is off while I run the power and depthsounder leads.

The V-berth is done, with dome lights, reading lights, fans, DC jack, etc. all installed and functional. The overhead panel above one's pillow is upholstered in a polka-dot pale yellow fabric with two layers of batting. It adds a touch of home and color and the two long overhead panels on the sides of the main salon are similarly upholstered. Now Barb needs to make up some interesting and colorful throw pillows and pillow slip covers for the bunks.

Finally, I've started fitting the cabin top fittings. Shown here is the dinghy in it's test position. It's rather high, and it obstructs the forward view a bit, but keep in mind that for inshore sailing or when anchored, the dinghy will be towed and it will be stowed in it's chocks only when we're on an off-shore passage.

In the next update I'll show the progress on the engine room, more on the topside fittings, and the electrical panels.

The engine has arrived and goes in during the week of May 24th! We can hardly wait!