Sunday, December 31, 2006


Replace Hoses, 12/2006

Rubber hoses deteriorate over time. They become dried, cracked, or brittle, which can cause them to burst, which would be bad!

The surveyor called out our engine intake hose as needing replacement. The worst part of this replacement (aside from the cost of 10' of 1 5/8" wire-reinforced hose) was routing it through to the seacock. I have some plastic chafe protection surrounding the hole in the bulkhead to keep the edges of the wood from wearing through the hose.

The surveyor also suggested replacing the air conditioner intake hose and the plastic fitting on the pump. In this case, the hose and fitting were in fine shape, but not the right type for below the waterline. Regular plastic fittings shouldn't be used, so I replaced the elbow with marelon. And the hose, like the engine intake hose, is wire-reinforced and resists bursting and collapse.


Blower, December 2006.

An upgrade required by BoatU.S. Insurance...

Blowers are generally used to evacuate gasoline vapors from the engine compartment before starting the engine, so that the vapors don't ignite and explode. Diesel powered boats don't require blowers, because diesel vapors aren't explosive. Nonetheless, BoatU.S. required that I install one.

Meh, blowers are cheap and easy to install, so I didn't bother fighting. I can use it to evacuate heat after shutting down the engine. I installed it inline in a vent hose close to the DC switch panel, and ran the wires to the panel. Piece of cake, compared to all the other wiring I was doing.

Saturday, December 30, 2006


Electrical Wiring, 12/2006

In general, the electrical wiring on this boat was done pretty well (well supported, chafe protected, etc), but in a few areas it was suffering from 20+ years of vibration and exposure to salt air. This was most obvious in the cockpit courtesy lighting, where exposure was the worst and the wire had become so brittle that the lights weren't even working consistently. In a few other areas, repairs were made with household wire and wire nuts, which (to me) are unacceptable on a boat, just begging for further deterioration. One such place was the bilge pump wiring. Wire nuts on bilge pump wiring? Yikes -- if there were ever a place for waterproof connections, it's the bilge!

I tore out the wires to the courtesy lights and ran new Ancor 16 GA duplex safety wire to the cockpit and wired in both cockpit lights in parallel. (At the same time, I ran a wire for the stern light that I plan to install in the spring, to complete the navigation lights.)

I also replaced the various wire nuts with waterproof heat-shrink butt connectors. While tackling that, I changed the bilge pump wiring a bit. It was set up so that the pump could be turned on manually or set to "automatic" with a switch at the helm. That setup required the main battery switch to be on all the time to provide power to the pump. I changed it so that the battery float switch is now wired directly to the deep-cycle battery (with its own inline fuse). Now I can turn off the main battery switch, and the pump will still have power if the float switch is activated. This is a much safer setup: the main battery switch is off, so nothing else is accidentally left on, possibly draining the battery, or possibly even starting a fire. The only downside is that you can't turn the bilge pump completely off; the float switch is always supplied with power unless disconnected from the battery.