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Project Log:  Sunday, November 27, 2011

After several weeks away from the project, between houseguests, vacation, and Thanksgiving, I was looking forward to a full day of work.  As it happened, I was disappointed in my progress for the day, with other distractions affecting my focus, but in any event it was a critical day to reacquaint myself with the project and prevent momentum from spiraling downwards.

I realized I couldn't do too much additional layout on the new pilothouse bulkheads until I received some critical parts for the heating system and engine, namely the two expansion tanks required for these systems.  Both of these tanks would have to be installed somewhere behind the new bulkheads in order to ensure that the tanks were the high points in their respective systems, and I'd need access hatches in the appropriate areas, but I didn't know the dimensions of the tanks, so that would have to wait.  It had been about eight weeks since I ordered the engine, so I expected its delivery pretty much anytime; the heating system had been delayed in shipment, but I expected it in the coming few days.

I did complete some additional preliminary layout, striking a few level reference lines on each side.  I also used the side panel from the original helm console to make additional reference lines, though my new console might be differently shaped depending on how I chose to lay things out.  Critical to the console layout were the choices I was making for electronics, which I planned to build in to the design, so I was pursuing that avenue as time allowed, and was nearly ready to commit and purchase the electronics suite.  

Finally, the layout of this area also depended on my electrical service panel, which I planned to install either in the bottom portion of the helm console or in the port pilothouse bulkhead.  So I'd started working out my electrical system needs so I could begin to pursue a custom panel, the size of which might dictate its location and/or the construction of the helm console.  As always, one decision or layout hinged upon one or more others, but the various pieces would soon fall into place.

As part of the pilothouse panel layout, I decided to install the fuel and water tank fill/vent fittings in the molded recesses I'd built some time earlier.  There was no particular need to do this now, but I had to install the fills sometime, and since I was working in the area and had no other clear direction as I tried to get re-involved, it seemed a perfect day to complete this task.

There were five fill/vent fittings to install:  three for fuel, and two for water, to service all the tanks in the engine room.  The fill for the final water tank, in the forward cabin, would be located somewhere on the foredeck, and I'd deal with that later.  Each fitting required a roughly keyhole-shaped hole for installation, which I made with two hole saws as needed after using the supplied template to mark each location.  I protected the painted surface of the recesses with tape.  Once the large holes were ready, I inserted each fitting and drilled and tapped the four screw holes for pan head machine screws to hold the fills in place.


The fittings were nylon or plastic of some sort, so to permanently install them I chose butyl sealant, since I wasn't sure if polysulfide was compatible with the plastic, and I avoid silicone at all costs.  As always, the butyl was messy to install, and I got fed up after installing two fittings in the starboard recess, so I called it a day once I'd cleaned up the excess sealant there; I'd finish the final installation on the port recess in the near future.


I liked these fittings, despite their plastic construction, which I'd normally avoid in favor of metal.  But the integral vent seemed like a convenient idea for my installation, since it would minimize hose runs; in addition, the vent fitting opened into the fill pipe itself, theoretically directing vented fuel back into the tank instead of overboard. I also liked the caps that didn't require keys to open.  Time would tell how these fittings worked in practice.

Total Time Today:  3 hours

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