Thursday, December 24, 2009

New LED light test - Bebi Lights...

Just testing a new LED light from Bebi Electronics from Fiji.

Really nice people, including a couple of cruisers who happen to own a Downeaster 38. (We previously owned a DE38).

Fautasi 18 LED -
<0.100 amps (0.078 typical) (undimmed)

Looks very promising - more later.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Off to the Bahamas.....

Just a short delivery from Miami to the Bahamas, helping move a Beneteau 42. Quick overnight to West End, hopefully fly back tomorrow.

Can't complain.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The cobblers children syndrome....

I have been working on every boat except my own but at least I got to dry fit the new tanks in the bilge. They fit but the pipework will be the fun bit.

This stuff has to have many uses on a boat!!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New keel fuel tanks arrived....

Well actually they have been finished for a week, while I was away.

The piece on top is one the coosa board pieces (generously supplied by Rob) on which the tanks will sit.

The next decision is "To paint or not to paint?"

This document makes interesting reading CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Live and learn - Alcohol stoves....

During the delivery I had a chance to use the Origo 6000 "non-pressurized" alcohol stove. I had always accepted the general view that these were a bad idea on a number of levels. Well I must say I was impressed.

Not saying I am going that route, but.......

Great sailboat delivery...

Just finished moving a Hunter 30 sailboat from Sarasota, Fl. to Miami, Fl. The initial plan was to sail via the keys but Hurricane/TS Ida put spanner in the works.

No problem, the Okeechobee waterway provided an alternative route. Mast height limitations on fixed bridges is 55 ft. The hunter 30 has a mast height of 50ft 6ins (+ all the expensive bits owners bolt on the top). All good.... except the Port Mayaca Railroad Bridge, vertical clearance is 49ft.

Time to call Billy Owens (tel:561 262 5200), the mast tipper. That's him and his buddy, along with 2,400 lbs of water ballast and a nervous owner (I was driving).

All in all a fun activity. Nice overnight sail from Stuart, Fl. to Miami. Job done.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Off on a sailboat delivery .......

from Sarasota, Fl. to Miami, Fl. just in time to bump into TS Ida. You have to love boating!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Good companies and knowledge gained....

Went to WEMA USA in Fort Lauderdale yesterday to pick up two of their excellent senders. (Don't forget to use code 551 when you checkout to get 30% off).

While I was there I had a chat with Alan the Operations Manager and the subject of Biodiesel came up. He pointed out that the only gasket material to deal with this was 'Viton". These gaskets cost $6 more that the standard cork/nitrile (Buna-N) gasket.

A quick internet search for "Viton" and gaskets pulled up "Quick Cut Gasket & Rubber Corporation, NY". After a conversation with Pete, a 12" x 12" sheet of 1/8" "Viton" is on its way to me.

BioDiesel info here

Another call to NMA provided a source of "Haysite" which is recommended as a support for the tanks (5200 onto the aluminum - read the David Pascoe article here). They can machine any shape you want. Contact Vick.

Sometime it almost looks like I know what I'm doing.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

More Bilge Pump stuff.....

Main bilge pump, Rule 3700, with Rule Superswitch. The pipe on the bottom right is the "snorkel" from the lower sump pump which only has to pump the 6" from the bottom of the sump to the upper chamber. Tests will be carried out to see if the Rule 3700 is powerfull enough to totally evaluate the hose, or if the back flow of water will cause the switch to continuously cycle. I will not, under any circumstances be installing a one way valve in the bilge line (Later Note: so much for this plan, ouch, that will teach me not to be so absolute in the future).

The Whale Supersub Smart 650 is the sump pump which is activated by its own electric field sensor. The black box on the left is the high water alarm (Johnson ultima electronic bilge switch) which will be connected to the mother of all bilge alarm bells.

When that thing goes off at 3am, if you haven't died of a heart attack, you are wide awake and ready to deal with any problem.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bilge pump system....

Lower sump pump feeds into the upper tank, which activates the float switch on a 3700 Rule pump.

Dummy center fuel tank in.....

At least it fits through the hatch...

and into the keel....

The white tank in the middle will be the bilge pump system.

As a result of the test fit the forward tank will be extended 2" and both tanks reduced in height to 23". Tanks are now gone for construction in 5052-H32 .250 aluminum.

Based on some excellent advice on this blog and elsewhere I will rethink the fuel piping system with an emphasis on KISS.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fuel system piping.....

Fill system: The only deck fill will go to the "day tank" (stbd tank approx 50 gals). A pipe half way down the tank will decant fuel into either of the keel tanks (I am a little nervous of a connection half ways down in the tank but one at the top would require a pump - suggestions???). Having it half way down will prevent draining the day tank fully.

Supply system: The engine will be fed from the day tank (with an emergency valve to allow it to be fed from the keel tanks). Polishing of the day tank will be via the dbl Racor with their own pump.

Full system.

The deck fill and vent will use this Vetus system;

Now I'm off to watch U2 on YouTube!!!!!

Trying to avoid an "Oh Sh1t!!!" moment......

Anyone who has ever worked on a boat has had at least one of these. The work of art that won't fit through the hatchway etc. etc. As I am about to invest a bunch of boat bucks in aluminum tanks that cannot be returned I decide to mock them up, in cardboard and hot glue, first. I will see if they fit tomorrow. I did learn, however, that you should resist the urge to spread hot glue with your finger.

Question for the experts? I need to rest the finished tanks (after epoxying them etc.) on 2" wide by 1" high stringers. What should these be made of? I would like to bolt the stringers to the keel bed and then 5200 the tanks to them, so that rules starboard/kingboard.

Click here for a good article on installing fuel tanks.

Gread advice from followers and an apology.....

Blogs are a curious exercise in self indulgence. Glancing at the "Feedjit" map on the right hand every day gives one the feeling that I have followers all over the world. Closer analysis, however, indicates that many of these hits are for my posts on "sea cocks". I hereby apologize to the gay community, and possibly some single women, for confusing their search for love on the high seas. It was not intentional.

For people like Jerr Dunlap (check out his web site), a boat builder on the west coast, one question, why are you not on the East Coast? I will take your advice on painting the bilge. How do you feel about Interlux 2000E, which I have used before with some success.

Ref the bilge pumps. You are aboslutely correct. The lower pump is only for nuisance water. I will have a Rule 3,700 GPH above it. See my post on bilge pumps here, and again thanks for the input.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The bilge works.....

well it was hardly a high tech project;

Bilge full

Bilge empty....almost

There is a small lip where the two epoxy/sand pours joined, but it serves to trap water on the sump side, so I just pretend that it was part of the plan.

BTW the sand/epoxy mix is never coming out. I tried to grind a little to level off the sump and lets just say it took a while.

This is what I plan to install as a sump pump;

The Whale Supersub smart 650.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bottom of keel in...

Seems like years ago I decided on an mix of epoxy and sand to raise the bottom of the keel to support the fuel tanks and to provide a sump. Well, its done.

My excuse was that I had to wait for a day that wasn't so hot that I would pass out and be found face down in the epoxy, as in;

On a rainy day where the bilge fills up with water. As it was, I just finished before the rain started. The concrete block will, hopefully, be removed and provide the sump to take a small bilge pump.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Temperature drop in Miami.......

57 deg F tonight. (that's 15 deg C in old money). Panicky trip to the basement storage to recover "blankie".

Seriously though, this is why you live in Florida......WINTER.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Still too hot to work.......

but not too hot to pull things apart.

The lockers in the aft heads were not too bad. Just a little de-lamination due to chain-plate leaks etc. (big surprise, not). However, the bottom right hand corner contained an above water bilge drain, which could only be serviced by leprechauns with very long arms. I find hiring these to be very very expensive and will have no fitting on-board that cannot be serviced by an overweight, extremely lazy, aging cruiser.

I also have plans for the sink area which may or may not materialize.

So out came the sink, the bulkhead between the head and the Engine room and the front face of the lockers.

As they say, so far so good. Now if I can just put it all back together.

Should I install a diving board?

Probably not, the water in the bilge looks a bit shallow. Still its nice to have access like this to a "real" engine room.

BTW you are looking down through the cockpit sole.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I havn't been kidnapped....

I spent the last week onboard my friends Patrick and Lisa's Whitby 42 "Gaia" sailing on the Chesapeake and visiting the Whitby/Brewer rendezvous. Great sailing, great boats (10), great people and great program. What more needs to be said.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Stbd. Fuel tank out....

The original Stbd. fuel tank appeared to be in pretty good shape despite the fact that it was foamed in. The lid did have a slight bulge and it was in dire need of serious cleaning.

If, however, anything happened to it in the future (pinhole leak etc.) it would be a major saga to replace it. The decision was therefore made to remove it now, while the engine room was empty.

It can be pried inwards if the front of the fiberglass box is cut away. It is foamed along about 1/3 of its bottom and outboard side. It can only be removed via the engine room lid.

Still way too hot for this nonsense....

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Aft Bilge....

Despite the heat I tackled the aft part of the bilge with the epoxy and sand mix. This is the hardest part to reach as it is narrow. It also contained a nice layer of 30yo bilge crud.



Using an angle grinder with a sander disk at full arm extension is always fun, but at least I did not grind through the hull. The epoxy mix went in easily and leveled out well. I had moved 200ft of chain to the stern to provide a slight slope when it sets. Tomorrow I will glass over the wooden dam and fair off the edges.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Too hot to work.......

In Miami, you know you are in trouble when people talk of the temperature cooling DOWN to 87 Deg F. Where I come from that's 30 Deg C. On the the very rare occasions that happens in Ireland we lock ourselves in the back of Pubs and worry about the end of days. Sheep spontaneously combust and the government bans the watering of lawns.

Onboard TIH 87 Deg F. means that I sit on a chair under the A/C and plan things.

The boat came with three brand new shiny Hood hatches, still in their cartons. Fabulous, just pop out the old ones and in with the new. Something else I won't have to buy.

An early attempt on the old saloon hatch proved inconclusive. The screws came out, but the bedding compound resisted all attempts at removing it. No problem, defer for a while.

Looking at the old hatches again today, got me thinking. They are Atkins & Hoyle (two are XR200 one smaller one). While the Lexan and gasket is shot the hatch body is perfect, if just a little oxidized. So we are on to plan B, refurbish the existing hatches. Anyone want to buy some very nice Hood hatches???

Hood hatch -
19 1/2" X 19 1/2" (495mm x 495mm)

Monday, August 24, 2009

My kind of boat heads.....

But I have been told that people find me weird enough already!!!!

Check out;

Homegrown Evolution

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Its good to talk to experts.......

In order to get the sump mentioned below I will have to raise the floor of the full keel (except for the sump bit) by approx. 3 inches. I was not exactly sure what to use for this so I e-mailed the folks at Gougeon Bros., the West System people. Jim Derck e-mailed me back with a solution he had used before, which was;

"I made up a sample of 105 Resin, 209 Extra Slow Hardener and added it to play ground sand at a ratio of two parts sand to one part epoxy. I poured this mix to depth of three inches and monitored it with a digital thermometer. After an hour it was no warmer than 130 degrees F which is no problem for the laminate or the curing epoxy. "

Isn't the internet grand! Thanks Jim.

My new motto is going to be "I don't know much, but I can e-mail someone who does."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

And we have a winner (subject to me changing my mind once again)....

1. Rotomoulded tanks just won't fit.

2. I can't locate a source to make fiberglass tanks outside the boat.

3. Building a fiberglass tank in-situ is just too expensive.

So we are back to the dreaded aluminum.

No major problems sourcing tanks. They can be built of the correct material, heavier walled 5052 aluminum, supported on starboard strips and kept dry. This will involve installing a sump below the tanks with an automatic pump. I will have to raise the inside of the keel by approx 3 inches to make this sump.

The problem was, where to put the sump. Forward of the tank would have required moving stuff later (batteries etc.) to change it out. Aft of the tank would require major contortions to get to it and it would live directly under the transmission. The solution was to split the tanks and have a 6in gap between them at the forward end of the engine room. This gap should allow for a two pumps mounted vertically on a suitable frame.

The two tanks should give me about 70 gal. fuel capacity. There will be no direct fill tubes in these tanks, they will be gravity fed from the 50gal day tank on the Stbd. side.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Just getting psyched up to make a bilge decision...

"It's imprudent to pay too much, but worse still to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money; it is true, but that is all. But when you pay too little, you risk losing everything, because what you have bought is not capable of doing the work for which you acquired it. The common law of business says it's not impossible to pay a little and obtain a lot: it cannot simply happen. If you deal with the cheapest supplier, you should make sure you provide a certain reserve to cover yourself for the risk you are running. But if you can do this, you certainly have enough money to buy something better"
JOHN RUSKIN 1819-1900

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Just bilge cleaning......

Spent a few days cleaning the bilge. This is just as much fun as it sounds, especially in the high 90's of a Miami summer. I must be one of the few Whitby owners who have walked inside the keel from the engine room to the galley. If you haven't done this you have missed nothing.

Still undecided about how to progress the keel tank project.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

What to do with a large empty keel?

Well, actually I have a number of options;

1. Have Bob build a full tank inside the keel using vinylester. He has done this before and it would offer the largest capacity. Downside include complexity (therefore cost) and no means of testing tank integrity before installation.

2. Build fiberglass supports inside the keel and install pre-made tanks of;
a. Rotationally molded, cross-linked polyethylene plastic or
b. Vinylester or
c. Aluminum (not foamed in and kept dry).

While I might loose some capacity with the second option it might prove safer as I can pressure test the tanks prior to installation.

PS. Should have stated that the tank will be for diesel.

The 1000lb gorilla is no more......

The tank is out!!!!!!!

Anyone following this blog will know that the keel fuel tank in the Whitby is a source of concern. This is an aluminum tank that was foamed in place. All but a handful of boats have tanks that leaked and are no longer in use. After several initial attempts to cut out the tank I gave up and left it for another day.

Then along came Bob Campbell. Bob used to own a Whitby and has worked on the tanks on a number of them. He was therefore given the job of removing the original tank. It put up a valiant fight but the tank came out in two parts. The complete operation took one very long day.

The following photos show some of the numerous holes in this 30 yo tank.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Interior lighting test - White

Not a very scientific test as the camera adjusted for the light level. The color of the Alpenglow certainly looks nice. I might be inclined to use the Hella where I need sharp light e.g. over workbenches / Engine room etc. Dr. Led didn't make the grade.

Alpenglow 9W - $97 from
Power consumption .82 Amps.

Dr. Led Mars Dome light - $84.99 at WM
Power consumption .25 Amp.

Hella EuroLED - $129 at WM
Power consumption less than .33 Amp.