11/21/2011, Hayden Island, Columbia River
Installing the airhead toilet required removing a pedestal that previously housed a foot pump (for the fresh water in the head sink) and supported the old Jabsco flush toilet. There is also an electrical componant. This was a complicated job, so I was fortunate to get some help from Clint, a Jack of All Trades who works for Independent Marine. He removed the pedestal and built the deck sole back up to match the height of the existing grate. It's a perfect match.
The Airhead is just about ready for final installation, but we need to agree upon the type of exhaust vent that we'll be installing on the cabin roof, and agree upon the location. Cutting a hole through the boat - the idea of that makes me want to be damned sure we get this right the first time. Bit by bit, things are moving forward.
Will we be ready for the passage to the San Juans in July? That's our goal.
11/13/2011, slip 40
Yesterday, I began removing the old AC wiring from Wilparina. This task isn't all that easy. I would say that the original installation was done very well. It is very securely attached, with wire ties, and sections of plastic conduit and vigorous wraps of electrical tape. All of this makes it difficult to remove. It's crazy; this all seems very ironic to be putting in such an effort to remove the most secure wiring on the entire boat. Frankly, there are numerous wire rats' nests on the boat, yet the first thing we start tearing out first, is the system that at least looks the best of the lot.
Interestingly, there is another set of DC power lines running parallel to the AC lines. Next to every AC outlet was also installed an DC outlet. Other than a couple of"cigarette lighter" connectors, we really don't need the DC wiring, so out it goes.
Electrical Dave hooked up an auxiliary AC connection so during the work this winter, we can have some lights and an electric heater working. For the moment, there is no DC source to recharge the battery. I started and ran the diesel for 30 minutes on Saturday. The batteries still have some juice and will run the bilge pump, but at some point soon, we'll get the battery charger back on line. We have parts on order - the isolation transformer and new circuit panels will arrive soon.
Coming in the next wave of electrical work will be new batteries, and a new charger.
11/05/2011, Tomahawk Bay Marina
I met with marine electrician, Dave this morning. Dave did a survey of our electrical systems. We are entering the third phase of our restoration project. From the beginning we knew that the wiring and electrical systems were in pretty poor condition. It's to the point that most of the wiring will be completely replaced. The photos in the gallery - "Wired for Nightmares" - paint a pretty good picture of her condition.
Behind the original Tayana electrical panel lies trouble waiting to happen. There's a spaghetti-mess of wiring, a water pump installed directly behind the electrical panel, and of prime concern, the circuit panel with terminals that are rusty-brown with oxidation.
To focus our efforts, we going to consider safety. We'll work on the AC systems first. We will replace the shore power receptacle, install an isolation transformer, install a new power panel, and replace every piece of AC line on the boat.
While we're at it, we'll also move the water pump to a prime spot (where the recently extracted generator used to be). And we'll replace the wiring to our bilge pump.
From the very beginning, we will establish a uniform labeling system. And as we go through the boat, I'll work with Dave to create user-friendly documentation (i.e., something I can understand).
Coming later in the spring will be new batteries and a battery charger.
Also noted is that our refrigerator doesn't work. The hot water heater has signs of rust, and the water lines that transfer heat from the engine block are not connected.
We relaunched Wilparina after 2 1/2 weeks on the hard. She's back in the water, with two fewer through-hull fittings, and 500 lbs lighter without the old generator. We stopped at the pump out station for the LAST time. The Airhead composting toilet has arrived. We no longer need a holding tank, nor all the worry and maintenance that goes with it.
Since the holding tank is located in the keel, underneath the engine, there's no way we're going to remove the old tank, at least not until the engine is removed or replaced at some future date. ( Hopefully that will be well AFTER we've resettled on land years from now.) Still need to determine what's the best way to deal with that empty space. Fill it with water or some other liquid? Leave it empty?
10/15/2011, Hayden Island, Columbia River
Visited Wilparina this afternoon to check on the progress of repairs. Still need some fiberglass work done. The old generator has been removed.
Yikes. Woke up to nasty weather out this morning. We're supposed to move Wilparina over to the boatyard this afternoon. I hope we get a break from the rain.
SEVERAL HOURS LATER
Later in the afternoon, we moved the boat, in spite of threatening rain. Got her to Danish Marine and hauled her out. By the time we got to the boat yard, it was sunny - for a little while anyway.
First Mate, Katie Marie McKern Verigin, was there to help bring Wilparina in safely to the travel lift. That's the boat "flying" skyward behind her.
Let the work begin.