Catching up with my news
08/17/2010, Frisco, NC
Thursday day the 1st day of July, 2010
Lots going on around Liquid Therapy. I got the window back in the port side galley window frame last week. That was very difficult. Getting the glass turned into an ordeal by the guy that normally just replaces car windshields. I did find who I wil use from now on on the window stuff.
Danny's glass in Gloucester, VA. They do lots ofboat windows. I ended up getting some very nice stainless window track from them and they cut it on the spot too. So. I got the windows in and the sliing potion works fine. I still need a few more screws and bongs to cover the screws in the window frame.
Next projects. THE TRANSMISSION, BIMINI, AND FORWARD BUTTERFLY HATCH. And they all need to be done before my son and friends come for the 4th of July weekend.
We went to the boat yesterday to move things around so that our guests area that we just use for storage would be available for their stuff when they arrive late Friday night. We stopped by to see how our CANVAS people were coming on our bimini. It's not going to be ready. Gave them the deposit in April and they are just having issues with the projects ahead of us.
We decided to check on the transmission with the yard as we leave the boat to come home.
Friday the 30th day of July, 2010
It's been a while since I updated the blog, or blob as my Mom says. $6,100 later and the transmission is fixed. Well it's back in and works. However, the yard said they could only get it aligned back up within .005" of aligned and I need to have the motor mounts changed to really get it aligned. Well I'll have that done soon. But, not now. Trying to recover financially before the next thing. The unexpected transmission cost have postponed some of our other upgrades
It's Friday night and Liquid Therapy is a nice place. We went out for a short cruise 5:20pm to 7:40PM
101.7 fm playing some great beach music. Wish we could get this Kilmarnock station in Mechanicsville.
Fast forward to August 7th. Lindsey and Jim came up from Columbia SC to visit us and go to the Crab Feast at the Deltaville Fire Department. Flashback, the band I work with, played the event and I invited the band to the boat prior to load in. Tommy, Sharon, Butch, and Chris Coloughan came by and we had Subway sandwiches and drinks. Sharon loved the boat so much she took a nap to get ready to belt out those songs as she pours hert heart and all her energy into each performance. The crab feast and band performance were great. I convinced Chris Salamone, the sound engineer, to spend the night on the boat as he had been driving almost continuously since before Flashback played Friday night 8-6-10.
When Chris and I arrived to the boat after loading the band trailer it was about 1:30 AM and Susan, Jim and Lindsey had made Chris look like he was stepping into a nice hotel room with the dinetter table down and turned into a bed. Towels and tooth brush and two wine glasses. Well Chris and I didn't read the note, but thought that Susan was planning on Chris having an overnight date. That didn't happen, but Chris Coloughan came back to the boat to relax and straighten up a bit before his drive back to Richmond. We tried to get his to spend the night, but he left about 5am . Musicians and the hours we keep. I'm 61 years young and seem to be acting the same as I was when in my 20s. Chris and Carter Clements came down from Solomons MD with their boat for the event too. More about them next time.
06/13/2010, DELTAVILLE, VA
Friday the 4th day of June, 2010
While the transmission was being fixed one of the projects that just will not go away is the holding tank plumbing. As I had said in previous posts, I have run new discharge hoses from both newly installed marine toilets. I bypassed the old through hulls and the discharges hoses are directly connected to the holding tank on separate connections. Further I had installed a new ball valve in the discharge of the macerator to fully cut off the macerator and prevent the pump out connection from sucking air when trying to empty the holding tank. So, the last time Susan and I went to the pump out station only a little of the holding tank emptied. What gives? When I took the suction hose off the deck fitting I could hear it suck. But, when I reconnected only a small amount from the holding tank would pass through the sight glass of the pumping fitting. Blockage? Yuck, Maybe the vent. Yep maybe the holding tank vent hose, the only hose I had not changed was kinked or clogged. Yuck again.
So, I have to move my inverter batteries to gain access to the holding tank and there the old vent hose is. I undo the hose clamp while resting one arm on the top of the holding tank. And, as the rusty clamp falls apart gas rushes from the hose as the weight of my arm presses down. Methane or worse smell. I thought I might die before I could get out of the bilge. In the scramble of exiting the bilge I knocked my favorite tool behind the holding tank and it fell out of reach and site. It is my KLEIN 11-IN-1 TOOL. A screw driver tool with interchangeable bits. Never mind it now, I'm fighting for air!!
I opened all doors windows and hoped no one would walk by our stinking boat. After a good while and the gas cleared I figured that YEP THERE IS a vent problem. I decided to check the vent on the outside of the hull and sure enough the vent was so corroded I couldn't even tell where the holes were that were supposed to let the gas out. Now I'm sitting way out passed the end of my finger pier and am working just below the rub rail on the fitting with an ice pick. And, I find where the metal had closed up on 3 holes of the fitting. Splush was the sound as my needle nosed vise grip toll fell into the drink. This was not the day for tools, as I had lost my favorite scraper earlier in the day working on one of the broken windows. But that's another story, that the giant magnet on a rope, that the dock master loaned me to go tool fishing with,, didn't pan out. I didn't even try the magnet to find the vise grips.
To fix the vent, I slipped a small bit into my drill and drilled out all 3 holes of the clogged vent. While I was at it I checked the vent fittings on the two fuel tanks and found one of them completely blocked too. I had a terrible time taking on fuel in one tank and I'm sure the clogged vent was the reason. Drilled the holes out on the 2 tank vents too.
After all that time had passed I figured the bilge was probably free of gas and climbed back down into the bilge. I cut off 1" of the old vent hose and struggled to get a new hose clamp started on the fresh area of the hose. It was after hours and no new hose could be purchased. So, I'm guessing a fresh cut on the old hose would do for now and really for a long time to come. Cleaned up the area, put the deck back into place and slid the inverter batteries back to their strap down area and once again feel the satisfaction of another dirty job finished on Liquid Therapy. Now all I need is a transmission to move the boat to the pump out station to see if the holding tank will empty.
On - to try to retrieve my 11-in-1 tool. Just decided that maybe I could reach it from a forward cabin bilge access hatch. I removed the hatch but could only look down at some small amount of bilge water. Couldn't bend my body in any direction to get my head to look aft. IDEA POPS INTO MY HEAD. CAMERA. CAMERA. CAMERA.
STICK THE digital camera in the access hatch and take an picture in the aft direction. Did just that and I could see the relative distance I needed to reach my 11-in-1. Stuck my hand where my eyes could not view except with my camera eyes and pulled my 11-in-1 the first try. Yep that is the Klein 11-in-1 tool in the right side of this bilge picture. Hum cleaning the bilge next trip down. Yea, saved one tool today!!
05/22/2010, DELTAVILLE, VA
Saturday the 22nd day of May, 2010
Well bad news,,, Sunday May 16, 2010 we went down to measure a cracked window. It was too windy to go for a ride. I needed to hear the engine run. So, I started it up. To help warm the engine up I put the boat into reverse to have a little more load on the engine for exercise. I left the boat in reverse tugging on the forward spring line for a few minutes. I then moved the gear to forward and the transmission did nothing. I reved the engine up and it went in gear. Seemed weird but when I tried reverse again nothing. Nothing in forward, nothing in reverse. Nothing. Seems strange the transmission let go in our slip. But that seems what happened. I am glad I was not out in the bay crossing the shipping channel. Anyhow the yard has pulled the velvet drive, sent ugly pictures of broken springs and gook from the water that was never flushed from the transmission , no matter how many times the fluid was changed. Besides the extreme expense of this repair, the boat may be out of commission for 6 weeks for the transmission to be sent off for a rebuild.
Oh well we can clean the bilge, fix cracked windows and other projects in the slip.
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.