Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Deep Dark Place

The bilge on the CD 27 uses up every bit of the boat's four foot draft. Even stretched out as far as I can reach, the bottom of that cavern is unreachable.

This presents a bit of an issue with the bilge pumps.

One: How to install an electric pump when you can't reach the bottom of the bilge to install one.
Two: How to keep the manual pump hose fastened down so it doesn't float when the bilge fills up with water?

I puzzled over this for about a year. Then I remembered the installation I saw on an Island Packet a while back.

So I grabbed some cardboard and starting building some mockups. Fun times.

The idea was to make a rack that all of the bilge apparatus would attached to that could be bolted down or removed from the bilge in one piece.

Here is what I ended up with after some cutting and shaping of some plastic StarBoard lumber.

The Bilge "Rack" Ready to Be Installed
I made a shelf for the electric pump that sits about 2 inches off the bottom of the bilge, which should keep it free of debris and reduce clogging. The strainer for the manual bilge pump is screwed to the bottom of the rack and is meant to sit on the very bottom of the bilge. It has a built-in check valve so water won't backflow into the bilge when the pump stops. I ran the wire in split-loom conduit and attached it to the rack with a cable clamp. The circular cutout is a guide for the manual pump hose.

Using the template the rack was made from, I drilled two holes in the forward part of the bilge and epoxied two short pieces of all-thread into them so the holes at the top of the rack would slide over them. 

Looking down at the rack installed. You can see how the hose guide works and also the bolts sticking out waiting for washers and nuts to secure everything in place.
It's a pretty tidy installation, if I do say so myself. If anything goes wrong with either pump, I can unbolt the whole thing and lift it out.

Now that the pumps were both in place, I was able to finally run the hoses up and out of the way in their final position. Here you can see them running up and over the engine compartment. The other hoses you see are the propane hose for the galley stove and a wire conduit for the water pump and port side cabin lights. As soon as I snapped this picture, I realized I should have painted this section of the compartment before installing the hoses. Woops. So I loosened them up and painted everything out before reinstalling them. Nothing like doing a job twice!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Engine

This is what will adorn than nice shiny space under the companionway. Betamarine 16. More later...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Diesel Dreams

I get all choked up when I say this, but next week we will put down the deposit to have our brand new 16 horsepower, two-cylinder diesel engine built for our new old boat. Weep. Sniffle.

It's true. The Diesel Santa is coming to The Boatyard early this year, and he will leave a crate in the garage that has a brand new, custom built, red diesel engine inside of it. Realizing that the best time to do almost anything to a boat is when the engine is out of its little hole under the companionway, I have been frantically sanding, grinding, washing, and painting everything I can get to.

With the engine out, here is what we were faced with:

Gross. I let that sit there for a while and then in one full day push, I started in on the problem.

First, the prop shaft and stuffing box had to go. No small affair. Everything is bonded to everything else and nothing wants to move. I pounded away at that damn thing for the better part of a 90 degree day before finally tasting victory. After 30 years, everything was perfectly happy where it was.

Then I realized that the old battery "box" had to go. By box I mean rotting plywood platform that apparently served to hold a couple of leaky lead-acid batteries down. Here is what became of that:

That's a nice pile of crap ya got there. Thanks.

Once the old plywood was out, I had to take out the fiberglass tabbing that held that POS in place. Bring in the grinder. I love that thing.

But it does make a dusty mess of everything. Including the operator.

After several hours of grinding and sanding, I had an inch of dust on everything and a clogged up shop vac. What to do, what to do...Why not just drown it?

So off to the garden to get the hose. I washed down each cockpit locker and the engine compartment, sending my dust into the bilge, where it made a lovely mud. No worries. A heavy duty sump pump and some dredging work will take care of that.

Once the water had dried (2 minutes in the heat of the day) I gave everything a nice bath in acetone, sanded down a few rough spots, and got out the epoxy paint.

And when I left today, there was a nice bed just waiting for a new motor. Isn't it precious?