Sunday, October 15, 2023

Fall Projects Completed, Might Just Have Time for One More

When I bought the boat at the end of August, I had a rough plan of what I wanted to get done before it got too cold.  Of course, just getting the boat tucked away with a good cover was a project in itself, but I really wanted to get some actual progress on the refit.  I know this is a long term project that will last until Spring of 2025 (that's the plan now at least), but tangible results are key to keeping motivation over the winter (I'll be rebuilding the engine this winter in my shop).

Despite the many contortionist positions I've folded into while doing work aboard the boat so far, I'm really loving this refit so far.  Obviously, there are frustrations along the way, but compared to the Alberg 35 I restored, this is mostly a pleasant experience so far (read: grinding decks off is bad, installing systems on a clean boat is good).

Anyway, the projects on my list seemed simple enough: paint the bilges and install the seacocks, but as with any boat projects, even the most innocuous task can be challenging. Fortunately, the biggest challenge with painting the bilges was moving stuff around and crawling into corners with a respirator.  Now that it's all done, I will say that the bilges look amazing.  I've never had a boat with bilges that clean and shiny and I'm not sure why my wife isn't as excited as I am when I show her the photos of my work for the day.

The seacocks on the other hand were not as simple as I thought. I've installed seacocks before, but they were direct replacements, but several of the seacocks on Velorum were different makes and sizes from the originals. So, as in my previous post with the transducer, some surgery was required.  The last two I had to install were the drain for the head sink and the engine raw water intake.

The raw water intake was a 1" (original was 3/4") so I had to enlarge the hole in the hull, which was pretty straight forward, but the real problem was that the new seacock (Forespar Engine Flush) was much wider than the original and I needed to cut away some fiberglass liner to give me enough room to spin on the seacock to the new backing plate and through hull fitting.  The head sink drain was the same size (1"), but similar to the raw water intake, I needed to do some surgery to the surrounding fiberglass liner to be able to screw on the seacock.  All in all I ended up doing a lot of head scratching trying to figure out the best solution, but I'm happy with the end result.  

So even though I've finished what I had planned for this fall, the weather has been pretty good and I've started installing the sanitation system. I posted about the holding tank install a few weeks ago, but I think I have time to get the rest of the system installed and hooked up before the weather really turns. Stay tuned.

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