Boat Yard CXXXI


      I had to take a couple weeks off to visit my folks in Minnesota so I haven't updated my site lately but I'm back to work again. I pretty well have everything ready for paint now, I have the primer on my shelves for the steering locker, and I have the bilges in the engine room all sanded and cleaned up and the steering locker is ready for paint. 

     I've also been busy getting some loose ends cleaned up. I needed to get my isolation transformer installed because I have contacted a marine electrician to come and wire if for me. I have read everything I can find on the subject, and I'm still not sure I understand the AC system bonding and how that affects the way the transformer is wired so I decided I had better call in the experts. As you can see, in the picture to the left, I installed the transformer in a cabinet beside the stairs going down into the forward cabin. I chose this location because it is right under where the shore power comes into the boat so it will be easy to access the wire here. The transformer does generate some heat, so I needed to ventilate the compartment. I installed some vents, one in the door of the compartment, picture to the right, and one in the side of the compartment, picture below. The location of these vents will provide natural air circulation through the compartment keeping the transformer cool. 


      I've completed the painting of my shelves for the steering locker and I have just about run out of things to do (It's called Procrastination) so I guess I will have to get back to my painting. I got a slight reprieve because I ran out of thinner and I had to order some more; it's a special thinner for this aliphatic polyurethane, but its here now so I don't have any more excuses. I have managed to get some more done on my mast while I waited for the thinner. I pulled the last of the wires through the mast for the deck light and when I painted my shelves I also put a coat on my mast and boom but they need another coat so I will get that done before I start on the steering locker.



     I've been pretty busy the past week. I have finished the painting, steering locker, engine room bilges, mast and boom. Now while I'm waiting for the paint to completely set up, takes about four days, I have been working on getting my mast all put together. I have it completed as of today so it is ready to go up on the boat deck behind the fly bridge. The only problem is the building roof isn't high enough so I will have to cut a hole in the roof to set the mast up. I don't want to do that just yet because I have a lot of work to do up in the fly bridge and I don't want to get wet if it rains while I'm working up there, so I think I will have to wait awhile yet. The only reason I need to put the mast up at all at this point is so I can get the dimensions for the fore and aft stays, locate the eye bolts for connecting them and to rig the mast and boom with the winches in place. Otherwise I would wait until I get the boat to the water to put the mast up then.





      I have finally finished putting my mast together. Here are a couple of pictures showing the finished mast. To the left you can see the TV antenna mounted to the port yardarm and the GPS antenna mounted to the starboard yardarm. I have the mount for the radar installed and the VHF antenna. You can also see the masthead navigation light on the front of the mast, and the anchor light mounted on the top of the mast. To the right is another angle of the top of the mast. In this picture you can also see my deck light mounted to the starboard yardarm. 









     Here are a couple more views of my mast. To the left is a view of the hinged step installed on the bottom of the mast. You can also see all the wires and antenna leads that run through the inside of the mast. To the right is a view of my boom swivel mounted to the mast. 








     I've finally finished the steering locker. I have all my shelves installed and braced, and since it was a little dark down there, I installed a couple of lights in there so I can find what I'm looking for. I have also started wiring my ISO transformer. I didn't understand how to hook that thing up so I contacted a marine electrician to come and show me how to do it but it would have cost $400.00 just to get him here and back to his shop so I decided I needed to do a little more research on the subject and see if I couldn't do it myself. I called the manufacturer and talked to one of their technical folks and he explained what I couldn't seem to understand. It wasn't really all that complicated once he explained the two different methods of wiring it up. He told me the method most often used and that turned out to be the easiest way to do it so I'm working on getting it all wired up. I'm having a lot of fun working with that #6 wire I used for the shore power line. I wish I had used something a bit smaller but now that its in there, I guess I will have to hook it up.



          Iíve been working down in the steering locker the past few days, and I finally have it all completed. Iím sure glad to be done down there, because there just isnít enough room in that place to turn around, literally! I have all my shelves installed and braced and I also installed a couple lights down there because it is a little dark over on the starboard side of the locker. Once I finished in the steering locker, I started on the wiring of my isolation transformer. That is the thing that had me really stumped but I contacted the supplier and he explained a few things to me so now I think I can get it wired correctly without hiring an electrician. It really turned out to be simple enough, I just couldnít figure out which way to wire the thing since there is two different ways to do it. I should have that done in a couple more days, and then itís on to more loose ends



          I still donít have my isolation transformer installed. I ran out of wire, so I had to order another two feet of the 6/3 before I can finish hooking it all up. It shouldnít take too long once I get my wire. In the meantime I have been working on a few loose ends on the bridge and in the salon. I had to put some cabinet door latches on the doors under the bench seat on the bridge and I also close everything up in there so I think I am done with that part of the boat except for a final cleaning. Then I finished sealing the decks in the forward cabin area and I had one more coat to put on the salon deck so I got that all done. Then I moved to my entertainment center where I needed to put a couple latches on the doors there. I ran out of latches (thatís par for the course) so I decided to install the antenna booster. That turned out to be a bit challenging because the coax inside the cabinet wasnít long enough to put the ends on outside the cabinet. I finally got them all installed and then I had to run some wire for the DC circuit that powers the booster. I donít have any DC in the salon except for the lights in the overhead so I had to run some wires all the way from the forward cabin to the entertainment center, and that took a while. I should be able to finish that up tomorrow and then I think I will work on my anchor rode. Iím going to mark it so I can tell how much I let out when anchoring. I just have to pull it all out of the anchor locker, measure it, and mark it. That shouldnít take too long so I will have to find something to do when I get that done. Iím getting close to running out of things to do. 



     My wire arrived and I finished installing my isolation transformer. It came on and started humming when I through the switch so I guess I got it installed correctly. Everything is still working as it did before so the AC is getting to the main distribution panel like its supposed to. Then, I pulled all the anchor line out and marked it every 20 feet because I have 20 feet of chain so I just continued marking at 20 foot intervals.  Now I just have to watch the markings as I let out the anchor and I will be able to tell how much rode I have out so I get the right scope for the depth of the water.

      I filled the fresh water tanks with water, and turned on the water pump. I started checking for leaks, and it seemed like the pump wouldn't pick up the water from the tank. The pump kept pulling air from somewhere but I couldn't figure out where. When I turned the pump off, I saw a dripping of water at the output side of the filter. That's where the pump was picking up the air. I couldn't see the leak as long as the pump was running. I also had a slight leak at the galley sink drain which I fixed with a little tightening of the drain connection to the trap. Then I checked all the rest of the sinks and the shower and everything seemed to be good. Then I noticed quite a bit of water in the bilge. I pulled the hatch cover over the sump pump and it was really wet. My sump pump wasn't coming on and the tank was full and overflowing. Once I turned the sump pump breaker on the water in the tank was pumped out and back to the gray water tank. I was sitting in the engine room and I could hear the pump coming on just slightly every so often. So, I figured I must have a leak somewhere, I just had to find it. I finally found the leak in a tee fitting under the galley sink in the hot water line. I got that fixed and then I noticed a leak dripping off the cold water line where it runs through the deck to the galley sink. I checked the lines under the sink again and they were all dry, no water anywhere and that is the line that the water is dripping off below the deck. I haven't found that leak yet, but I will have to keep looking until I do. Other than that, everything in the plumbing system seems to be functioning as advertised. I just have to find the last leak.



     I've spent the past three days chasing water leaks and I finally have them all fixed. I think my hoses must have dried out and shrunk because almost every hose clamp was loose but once I tightened them, the leaks stopped. Now I have pressure on the whole system and it holds the pressure overnight without any leaks anywhere.

     Once I had my leaks fixed, I tried to get my water heater to work. Needless to say, I can't seem to get it to fire off. I know I have gas in the line, because I have lit all the burners on the cook top and they all work fine. I couldn't seem to get enough water flow through the water heater because you need at least 0.4 GPM for the heater to come on. I removed the water pump and took it apart to see if there was anything clogging the pump and it was fine. Then I took the restrictors out of the faucet in the head and that gave me a little better water flow. Now I can get the heater to come on when I turn the hot water on, the fan anyway, but it still won't light off. I'm still not getting enough water flow with just the galley sink faucet turned on, so there must be a restrictor in that one somewhere but I can't find it. I can't figure out how to take the aerator off which is where the restrictor usually is. I took the front panel off the water heater and I have a flashing green LED which means the system is operating normally. Next I think I will have to crawl under the sink again and see if I can look into the igniter hole to see of the sparker is working. I hear a click when the fan starts up which I think is the sparker but I don't know if I'm getting a spark or not. That is the only thing I can think of at this point that would keep the heater from firing off. I'll have to check that out tomorrow. Then I need to figure out how to remove the restrictor in the galley sink faucet and I should be good to go, hopefully that will give me enough flow to start the water heater, if not, I don't know where to look next other than a restriction in the hot water line somewhere. Good luck finding that! Building a boat sure is a lot of fun!!!

     I know all this text is a little boring but there just isn't anything to take pictures of while I'm working on testing these different systems out. I will post some more pictures as soon as I can.



     I finally got my water heater working.  I went down to the local gas company, the one that sold me the regulator for my propane tanks, and they said I wasn't getting enough gas flow with that regulator so they exchanged it for a full flow regulator and said that would do it. Well, it didn't so I called the manufacturer of the water heater and  the tech guy said it was probably the gas modulator valve that was stuck. He said that if they dropped the water heater during shipment that would cause the valve to stick and the heater wouldn't light. I don't know what a gas modulator valve is much less where it was on my heater. The guy walked me through finding it, and said to tap on it with the handle of a screwdriver and that should do it. I did that, and everything worked as it is supposed to. Now I have hot water on the boat.

     I picked up the stainless steel I had ordered for my winch mount the other day, and I have been working on putting that all together. I ordered the stainless steel cut to length and there wasn't two pieces the same length so I had to grind then all down so they were all the correct dimension. I started welding them together today. Some of the experts said you can't weld stainless steel with an oxy-acetylene torch but some said you could. I found a video on u-tube that showed how to do it. I did it the same way, and it works great. There is a trick to it but once you master that, it welds as well as mild steel. I will be working on that winch mount for some time as there is a lot of welding and fabrication to do on that thing.