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Project Log:  Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Earlier in the week, I sanded the epoxy-filled holes in the masts and, after a day's rain delay, applied a second coat of filler as needed.  I overfilled the holes so I'd not have to reapply a third time, as I hoped to use a weather window late in the week to prep, prime, and paint the spars.


I received a shipping crate containing my new center pilothouse window and sliding door, which I'd ordered from AJR Windows.

This is the new window.  I test-fitted it in the opening to check the size, but didn't manage any photos of it in place at the time.


This is the new sliding door, made of aluminum with a powder coat finish.  There was a little abrasion damage to the finish where the cardboard surrounding the pilothouse window, which had been wedged inside the same crate, had rubbed during transit, but I'd not addressed or resolved this issue as of this writing.

I spent most of the day on plumbing, both the potable water system and heating system.  To begin, I made up a series of shutoff valve assemblies that would isolate certain components--specifically the water heater--from the system for potentially easier maintenance.  There were shutoff valves for the potable water cold and hot tank connections, the heating system in and out, and two others that I'd install in the heat exchanger lines running from the engine.

To begin, I installed fittings on the water heater for each of the four connections required:  potable water in and out, and heat system in and out.  Earlier, I'd determined that three of these connections required 1/2" NPT female adapters, while for some vexing and unidentifiable reason the hot water discharge required 1/2" BSP threads.  The illogic of component manufacturers will forever make me shake my head in wonder. 

In any event, the way I wanted to plumb the tank required that I use an expensive BSP to NPT adapter for this one fitting, which I'd sourced and ordered earlier.  This is the fitting seen on the far right, just above the hose barb.

On the cold water supply, located to the left in the photo above, I installed an aquastat sensor, which required that I use a bronze tee fitting.  This sensor would monitor water temperature, and trigger the boiler to turn on when it noted cold water entering the tank.  My advisor at the heating system supplier suggested that this tee and sensor should be well insulated, which I'd do later.

Next, I completed the potable water runs to and from the tank, installing shutoff valves in line.

Over the past months, I'd slowly adapted my own heating/water system diagram from the basic guidance in the instruction manual, to reflect exactly the situation I had on board.  With so many components and no past experience to guide me, I'd chosen to let things mostly work themselves out along the way, and indeed they had done just that, though not without plenty of careful consideration and planning along the way.

At some point I'll create something readable for public consumption, but from my rough sketch I determined the heating system runs to and from the tank.  These lines would provide the heat transfer required, and the system coolant could be heated either by the engine heat (through a slim heat exchanger specifically designed for this purpose), or from the diesel boiler itself.

At the outlet of the separate engine heat exchanger, I installed a drain/fill valve for the heating system, as this represented the low point of the system.  This valve included a garden hose hookup for convenience.  From here, I led a hose to one side of the water heater, with a shutoff valve just before the connection.  From the other side of the water heater, I led a similar hose to one side of the summer 3-way valve, which I'd mounted earlier.


From the final side of the summer valve, I ran a hose up and around to the inlet side of the pilothouse fan heater, beginning the actual heat runs.  From here, another hose would eventually lead to the main cabin fan heater, before returning to a new tee fitting that I installed on the other side of the summer valve.


To provide engine-heating capacity for the system, I needed to connect the engine's cooling system to the boiler's heat exchanger.  So from the outlet side of the engine, from a fitting installed specifically for this purpose, I ran a hose (with shutoff valve) to one side of the heat exchanger.  Then, I prepared a stub with shutoff valve from the other side of the heat exchanger.


This was the end of the day's work, but later I'd continue that outlet hose up to the remote engine expansion tank (the red tank located on the port side of the pilothouse behind the cabinet), and then finally back to the other side of the engine's own heat exchanger, completing the loop.  Complicated and convoluted?  You bet.  More so than I wanted, but such are the realities of systems installations in small boats. 

Total Time Today:  7 hours

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