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Project Log:  Thursday, October 6, 2011

To promote adequate ventilation for the refrigerator in its enclosed compartment, I needed to provide passage through the bulkheads and, ultimately, the countertop.  The back end of the refrigerator--the end that would be against the hull--contained the compressor and numerous ventilation louvers, so this was the area of the cabinet I concentrated on.

The narrow space between two bulkheads adjacent to the refrigerator cabinet was a perfect portal for ventilation.  I'd already cut a hole in the cabinet front for a cherry louvered grill to provide airflow into and out of the space, and now I installed a number of round vents in the cabinet behind the range, just to provide additional means of air ingress, as well as to promote healthy overall airflow throughout the boat's lockers.

I temporarily slid the refrigerator into its cabinet, and made some reference marks on the forward bulkhead to indicate where the side louvers on the refer were located.  I also marked the far extent of the refrigerator itself, for future reference in installing power outlets a little later.  Sometime later, I planned to install an additional wooden vent in the countertop directly above the back of the refrigerator  and its back vents, but I held off till I could determine the best layout for the upper lockers above the countertop, which would influence the positioning of the vent (or vise-versa).  The countertop material was on order, and I hoped it'd be in soon before its absence led to delays in the continuation of the galley construction.

I also found that the additional thickness afforded by the installation of the galley front gave the refer latch and handle the extra clearance I needed and that I'd been concerned about earlier.


Thusly marked, I installed six louvered vents in the bulkhead directly in line with the refrigerator's side vents.  Unsure whether natural air flow would be sufficient, I also planned to install one or more small 12-volt fans (probably computer fans) to circulate air through the vent system.

The refrigerator required a means of plugging in, both for its main power supply off the ship's batteries (DC), and for AC shore power, should we ever find ourselves in a situation where it was available.  Taking advantage of the clearest access I'd have to the space, I installed a box for a standard GFCI 120V outlet, plus a hole for a 12-volt receptacle beneath (the actual outlet was backordered).  I'd install the wiring to these outlets sometime later in the process; I'd be able to reach the back sides as needed through my access hatch in the bulkhead, even when the countertop was installed.  I temporarily installed the GFCI outlet for display purposes, but then removed it for safekeeping till it was time to wire it up permanently.


While access was open, I provided a hole through the bulkhead behind the stove for the propane supply hose, and lined it with some rubber hose as chafe protection.

Next, I shifted gears a bit and turned my attention to a couple new through hull fittings:  for the galley sink drain, which would go somewhere in the galley cabinet near the sink; and for an additional salt water intake fitting to service the galley salt water pump and, ultimately, a deck wash system.  I wasn't yet ready to commit to locations for the other through hull fittings the boat would need (engine intake, cockpit scuppers, etc.), but I decided to take care of these two now since they were in close proximity to one another, one would be inside the galley cabinet and easier to install before I closed things in more permanently, and I liked to install multiple fittings at once so as to waste as little sealant as possible, since polyurethane sealant doesn't last long once the tube is opened.

To begin, I cut out a pair of backing pads from 3/4" G-10 fiberglass, and rounded the top edges and sanded the cuts smooth.  For the through hulls, I selected bronze flange adapter mount fittings with bronze ball valves, tailpieces, and mushroom through hull fittings.

With various shelves in place inside the galley locker, and accounting for other obstructions, I determined the best location for the through hull fitting, so it would be accessible and convenient.  I made sure there was ample room to operate the valve, twist it on and off the flange fitting, and other considerations.  The final location was a few inches away from the old fitting that I'd removed and patched.  I drilled a hole through the hull in the appropriate location, then sanded away any paint that remained in the area where I'd be bonding the fiberglass backing pad.



For the salt water intake, I eventually decided to install it at the forward end of the hanging locker (between the galley and the forward cabin).  I'd debated with myself over the need to install a dedicated fitting for this purpose--versus creating a sea chest to service multiple needs with a single through hull in the engine room--but decided that the hose runs would become unnecessarily complicated and long, and that the extra fitting would prove to be a much better and more convenient solution.  It was already proving to be a challenge to route hoses and electrical from the engine room to the galley, and with limited options I thought it best to minimize what I actually had to run.  One reason I chose to remove and path all existing through hulls on this boat was so I could have full confidence in all through hull penetrations when all was said and one, so I had no reservations about the extra fitting.

I chose to install the intake fitting forward of the sink drain fitting, so that in most situations there would be little chance of drawing in contaminated drain water.

In any event, to locate the fitting in the hanging locker, I began by deciding, spur of the moment, to remove a flimsy thin "floor" panel from the original construction that had somehow survived my earlier unbuilding efforts.  It took approximately 14.7 seconds to remove it and its half-rotten support cleats, exposing a small remnant of silt-covered hull laced with hidden grinding dust (which I then cleaned up). 

Then, I determined the location for the new through hull, and marked its position on the hull before drilling the hole and sanding away the remaining paint from the bonding surface.


After cleaning the areas, I installed the backing pads in beds of thickened epoxy.  The pads seemed to want to stay in position on the angled hull, but rather than take a chance that they'd slip during initial cure, I held them in place with some scrap blocks hot glued beneath them.  I left these to cure overnight.


Total Time Today:  4 hours

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