Sunday, April 10, 2016

Houdini, hoses and a box.

Using the list of materials that I put together for the new and upgraded bilge pump systems, I pulled out the credit card and got to the real work. Ordering stuff. I’m good at that. Actually putting the stuff into and on the boat, Less so.

A few days later the hose that I ordered started to arrive. Three boxes of 50’ each, 1 inch, 1-1/8 inch and 1-1/2 inch respectively. With those in hand I cut segments of each and went over to the boatyard and had Charlie order some Scandvik 316 S.S. hose clamps and Ancor cushion clamps. Included in that order was a Forespar Marelon vented loop/siphon valve for the new Rule 2000 bilge pump system. Other orders coming in had new cockpit Marelon cockpit drains, two new Marelon thru-hulls, one for the existing manual Whale pump and the other for new Rule bilge pump. The Whale Super Sub Pump 650 pitched up on my porch too.

Armed with my "box o’ bilge supplies", I started making short trips to the yard to get some measurements and ideas of how to run things. In-between those trips and because the weather in the Mid-Atlantic region has been awful for weeks, I continued to work on the storage box project in my shed.

Taking the sheets of 3/16” FRP I ordered from McMaster-Carr, I cut out the side panels and a floor panel using an old dull table-saw blade. Worked pretty well actually. With the pieces  assembled I “tacked” the structure together using some West System Six10 that I had lying around. With that set up I ran some fillets along the inside corners using Awlfair so that there wouldn't be tight corners that were hard to clean.

Wear a respirator!

Cheap blade

Not enough sides

After getting the entire box put together I started applying strips of 4” tape along the edges to give it some structural integrity. That was a mistake. Trying to get a bond between the glass and the sharp corner was unpossbile. I stopped and set that project aside for later work.

Don’t try this at home.


So, back to the bilge systems. Like many of the items on the project list, I always assume that the effort required will be, well, effortless. 

Pulling that new bilge hose put paid to that nonsense. Running the 1” line from the small Whale sump pump, no problem. Running the 1-1/8” line from the new Rule 2000 alongside the motor and aft to the transom, a bit more effort.

Then is was time to replace the 1-1/2” for the original Whale Gusher 10. Lord, that sucker kicked back. With a combination of external ribs, intrinsic stiffness and a very shallow bend angle, I spent 2 hours pushing and pulling. And to make matters worse, trying to run the same route as the original was a bust. Because the new hose was unable to navigate some tight turns it ended up kinking badly. I had to start sawing away at little bulkhead into the bilge in an effort to get a direct line through but that wasn’t going to work no matter what.

I also had to cut the hose in order to get (force) it through that opening. That hose size prefers to run in straight lines. One connector and four hose-clamps later I had the line rum from the front of the bilge back to the pump location near the wheel. And I have the scratched and bloody arms to prove it.

Starting to look okay.

Hole saw work

With the hoses pulled I started to dry-fit the connections and pumps. I placed the cushion clamps to get an idea of ideal locations but will not secure them until later when all the pumps and connections are finished.

Should work.

Clamp placement

More dry fitting

The next day I came back to the boat to start in on getting the new bilge pump system (Rule 2000) in order. To do this I needed to crawl underneath the cockpit and get to the stern. I’ve mentioned previously that this requires one be a top-level yoga instructor. And thin.

I grabbed as many tools and supplies that I figured I would need and started to contort and wiggle my way aft. Once there things went well. I pulled the hose and secured it in places with clamps. Those that went into core were drilled and filled with caulk. After that was done I started to figure out the placement of the vented loop. I thought that securing it to the stern would work fine. And it would except for the fact that the mounting screws would poke right through the transom and my new paint-job. Okay, time to stop.

I went home and grabbed some wood, cut and painted it so that the vented-loop screws into it. After the paint drys I will once again make the journey to the stern, epoxy it into place and when the epoxy cures, secure the hose.

Oh, and once that effort is done, I need to start obsessing about drilling a new hole in the hull for the discharge. Oh boy.

It’s stuffy in here.

Tight fit