Aft Head, FlyBridge Wiring
05/12/2010, DELTAVILLE, VA
Friday the 7th of May, 2010
I've done many things not documented in this continuing sage.
Aft head - while changing the discharge hose and intake hose to the aft head I encountered more hidden stuff. The old hose was impossible to pull out 20' of it. It had been run in a space underneath the starboard fuel tank. The hose had gotten partially squished and could not be removed except in sections. This is the discharge hose I'm speaking of. So, you can imagine what happened each cut to remove each section. Ran the new hose a different path of course. I had to remove the existing toilet and aft head decking to get the old hose out and new hose run. It smelled bad from 30 years of use. So, decided to change out the urine soaked plywood deck; cleaned and painted the hull underneath the deck area. Nice smelling now. I bypassed the through hull fittings and went straight to the holding tank. Now both head toilets are connected directly to the holding tank. And, now I have two UNUSED through hull fittings. Remove them and fill the hull back in, or, leave them with the seacocks in the off position, that's the question. The yard would like me to believe they need to be filled in. I don't know ABYC's stance on that issue. My thoughts they were ok to be there when needed. So,why would there be some urgency to remove them now they are no longer needed. And, who knows I might NEED them later. Salt water wash-down other, refrigeration A/C intake etc.? I'm leaving them and just and putting end caps on the fittings just in case the seacock leaks.
So, now just install the old toilet on the new deck and hook up the hoses. It just didn't sit right with me to use the old head either. So, I got a good deal on a new toilet like the one I had installed in the forward head. Now we have two nice new heads and good smelling decks.
NEXT PROJECT ISTHE WIRING MESS UNDER THE FLYBRIDGE. Yep lots of dangling wires under the flybridge. So, identify what's working and remove what's not. And, wire management of everything left. That's the plan.
Guess where they mounted the screw terminals for all connections up on the flybridge? Directly behind the hydraulic lines for the steering. So what happens where you put a screw driver between the hydraulic lines to screw something to the + terminals. Well if your screwdriver touches the hydraulic line, you short out the + supply to the grounded (- battery ) connection. I did not discover this by a bad accident, but rather checked my suspicions with my Volt Meter.. So, I wrapped my screw driver with electric tape to insulate it. A future project may be to relocate on install new terminal strips in a safer area under the flybridge.
Boat wiring is a curiosity at best. It seems 30 years ago about the only load for your hose batteries was lighting. And, the theory back then must have been a law of averages. It seems I have at least 200 amps of DC breakers that are cascade fed with #10 wire. #10 wire will safely conduct 30 amps of current. So, 200 amps would burn the wire. Yet that is how my DC breaker panel is wired from the battery switch. So as long as my DC load on all breakers does not exceed 30 amps, or 20 amps on anyone breaker everything will work and not catch fire. Maybe the Albin engineers added up the entire load and didn't see more than 30 amps at any time. And, boating breakers are often used as switches to cut circuits on and off. So, that many breakers are in the off position or are now supplying current. I would rather re-wire this panel so each breaker could carry it's full load. But that will be a winter project. I just keep track of my DC load and make sure I don't exceed that. Oh, yea,, what about the return path. - Negative, ground. I consistently find inadequate negative paths. Negative paths are NOT fused, switched or protected. So, nothing will trip a combined return path if it's overloaded. The entire negative buss at my breaker panel appears to be #8 wire. I will wire it with #2 at least when my winter wiring project starts up
Back to the flybridge. I don't have a wiring diagram of the flybridge. I figured two circuits from the DC panel below. There is also a + supply that I don't know how is run. But for now, I ripped out the old VHFs, depth finders and other dead stuff; fused all positive connections to the radio, GPS and depth sounder and attached the remaining wires in good supports. Nice and neat and labeled. Again the negative connections for everything seem to run back on a single #12 (20 amp) wire.
Faucet and other things
04/20/2010, DELTAVILLE, VA
Tuesday the 20th of April, 2010 I have missed updating the blog from the many events that have occurred.
Installed 2nd bilge pump on the former sump pump circuit.
Changed the transmission fluid as there is still some evidence of water in the transmission
Forward Head - Installed new deck and head. Vinyl teak flooring looks good
Wired 3rd connection of the battery charger to the inverter batteries
The most frustrating project so far has been replacement of the galley faucet. So, the one that was to be replaced was plastic and leaked all over everywhere when turned on. Susan and I figured we would get a replacement that was a single lever type with a pull out spout. They are very common at this point in time. I didn't want Delta as I'm finished replacing those springs and washers in those things at our house. So, we settled on some brand I never heard of from Lowes. It said "5 MINUTE RELACEMENT" We all know that is impossible as it takes that long to fight anything out of it's packaging these days. Way too long a story of all the adapters and then the thing was defective. Returned it to Lowes and got another similar faucet and of course this one hooked up the way the OLD faucet hooked up and now lines were too short and needed extending. More stuff from Hurds hardware and yes some cussing was needed but the thing is on and works. I don't know if I mentioned above somewhere that the fresh water pump pressure switch quit and it was so old I could not get another. So, I replaced the pump with a new one that has reduced pressure 30 PSI is the cut off. That is ok everywhere except the new faucet which has a water restrictor to save water. Well, that makes the new faucet trickle just before the new pump cuts on. Susan says it's fine.
April 18, 2010 Mark & Priscilla Romers came down for a look at the boat. Mark had been wanting to come down to see the "before" picture of the boat. I had told him to wait until the weather warmed and it had this day. We had a nice cruise just to Stove Point and back. Great first trawler ride for Mark & Priscilla.
Initial Boat ride for 2010
03/22/2010, DeLTAVILLE, VA
Friday the 19th of March, 2010
Susan & I went to the boat to continue working. My objective for today was to mount the starting and house batteries in new boxes and mount them to the deck in the bilge. I needed to extend the aft head electric wires that was connected directly to the house battery. The wires have always been too short. So, I took out several butt splices and got back to some decent wire and soldered an new positive and negative wire to the existing wire and shrink wrapped it up. I tried a few different ideas about the battery boxes and finally mounted them with the negative terminal toward the fuel tank. Things can just happen sometime and I envisioned a rouge wave situation breaking the battery strap loose; tossing the batteries into the side of the tank and having a positive terminal somehow come in contact with the tank and causing a big spark, fire and explosion. Not likely. But, with the negative battery terminals facing the tank it just seemed better. So, after getting all the wires on the starting battery and house batteries connected and neatened up with wire ties, I strapped the batteries into place. I bought better straps than come with battery boxes. These straps were longer and had a better buckle.
So, then Susan and I looked at each other and decided to take LIQUID THERAPY out for a brief run in the Piankatank River for out initial 2010 operation. I wanted to operate my engine pushing the boat after all the things I have changed on it. So, we took it out of the slip and putted on out Jackson Creek into the Piankatank. I ran the boat a several RPMs and didn't have the GPS hooked up on the fly bridge. I was keeping track of the boat below with my MacEnc software and would review the results later. The boat didn't seem too slow. The cold water it has been sitting in all winter had not fowled the bottom or running gear. No vibration nice ad smooth. I finally ran the engine up to 2500 RPM. That's the max for the Lehman 120. I found out after reviewing my track that we hit 8 KTs. The new exhaust was very quiet. All gauges were great 180º temperature. We slowed down and went back in. Now for the initial docking backing back into the slip. Susan took her position up on the stern and was ready with the boat hook. I threw the wheel hard over to starboard and began shifting and goosing the engine to rotate the 90º to back into the slip. I got it pretty close to 90º and backed in never touching the wheel again. I felt the tug on the forward spring line and I knew we had another successful docking. My definition of a successful docking maneuver is" ANY DOCKING THAT DOES NOT INCURR AN INSURANCE CLAIM" We actually looked like we knew what we were doing. We will have to wait until the next time to entertain the dock watchers with something to gasp about.
Inverter Battery Boxes
03/16/2010, DELTAVILLE, VA
Tuesday the 16th of March, 2010
The goal for today was to mount the golf cart batteries. I almost had this done last visit. However, I'm using group 24 size battery boxes as they are as close as I could find. The golf cart batteries are taller than regular 24 size batteries & the strap is too short. That was not the real trouble though. The connecting 4/0 cable and battery terminal fuse were really causing a tough fit. So, I modified the box top to accommodate the needed space. I bought ratchet type straps at Lowes and that took care of the strapping and securing the batteries in a rolling condition. I was not satisfied with just the strap and added two wooden strips forward and aft of the boxes to keep them from wiggling forward and aft. Other things - I added some weather stripping to the sliding door that closes to far pinching our fingers. Same door I added a hasp, so we can lock the boat. I finally got the light up in the forward hanging locker. The self stick tape would not grip the overhead of the locker. I contemplated the new flooring for the forward head and decided to bring it home to re-deck.
I turned the fuel valve on to start the engine a little later and set out to lengthen the too short electric cable that connects to our house battery. I then noticed fuel dripping at the newly replaced fuel line. It appears I didn't tighten the brass coupling enough and it was dripping. THAT has been where air has been getting into the system when I cut the engine off. I tightened the coupling with opposing wrenches and rechecked the leak. It was still dripping. You are never supposed to over tighten a brass fitting. I tightened it to where I thought it would strip and felt the two pieces bottom against each other. The leak stopped.
03/12/2010, DELTAVILLE, VA
Just another view of the new muffler
03/12/2010, DELTAVILLE, VA
Thursday the 11th of March, 2010
MUFFLER IN DAY
Drove to the marina this morning to fit the new muffler in it's place and measure for the connecting hose. A beautiful day, Warming up and the frogs were out. I think Spring just might be here in Virginia.
I got on the boat and proceeded to measure, figure and remeasure the hose lengths to connect the 90º elbows, muffler and the existing hose. It was a good time to paint the exhaust elbow on the engine.
Apparently someone replaced the exhaust elbow on the engine and didn't paint it. So, I wire bushed it, wiped it off with lacquer thinner and sprayed it with RustOleum inhibiter and after that flashed off, RustOleum Regal Red paint. That is the Lehman red color!. While the paint dried I headed to American Diesel ( http://www.amerdsl.com ) to get the hose cut to my measured lengths. Brian was much less sick. I informed him that the muffler was the last thing to fix on the engine. We did discuss a 2nd alternator for the inverter batteries. I'll wait and see if that becomes necessary.
After returning to the boat it was relatively simple to hook the hoses together now double clamped. The mounting studs are inside the base of the new muffler, but with large fender washers over the studs they grab the base of the new muffler. So, securing the new muffler has worked out without having to drill new holes.
The moment of truth now. Let's start the engine and check for exhaust leaks. Turned the fuel valve on at the Racor and gave the engine a crank. It didn't immediately start. I checked all the tank valves and hit the manual primer on the lift pump a few strokes. Tried the starter and the Lehman came alive. Great to hear that sound. I had one small exhaust leak and readjusted and tightened the clamp. A good day!
So, other things. I had unhooked the shore power cord to let the inverter work and see how the batteries held up. It worked all day long with the light load I had on 120V. So I got out the 1500w hair dryer and watched the 12V drop to ~ 10.75 while running the hair dryer. You have to realize that in a 100% efficiency this would cause the inverter batteries to put 125 AMPs. The inverter is not 100% efficient so the amp draw is probably more like 150amps while that hair dryer is running. That's tough even with golf cart deep cycle batteries. I threw the switch that connects the inverter battery in parallel with the house battery while the engine was running. When running the hairdryer, I saw the engine amp meter go to ~40 amps. As soon as I cut the hairdryer off, the amps dropped back slowly to ~ 15amps. This is perfect. When a short large demand is placed on the inverter batteries, the engine alternator should be able to recover the batteries in time.
That's all for now.