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Project Log:  Friday, July 20, 2012

I was never a fan of doing jobs over again, but from the moment I'd installed it I knew I'd have to redo the several short lengths of 3/4" potable water hose that had connected the tankage manifold to the strainer, filter, and eventually the electric pressure pump.  The problem with the hose was that it was just flat.  It was flat when it came out of the box (which should have made me throw it away immediately), and it was flat during and after installation.  It wasn't just that turning corners was kinking the hose, but even the straight runs were oblong, and the hose walls simply didn't seem able to support themselves.  I'd noted this during the original installation.

I found another type of potable water hose that had a thicker wall, and, in addition to the normal nylon strand reinforcement found in this type of hose, also featured a wire helix.  This hose would make tighter bends without kinking, but most importantly it just managed to stay round on its own.


So I removed the offending hose, and replaced all sections with the new, stiffer hose.  This worked much better, with no flattening or kinking.


Next, I installed the fuel supply and return lines to the center and starboard fuel tanks, completing the main portions of the fuel system.  All that remained was to run short hoses to connect both ends of the fuel system with the engine's supply and return connections, but I'd wait to do that till later, since these hoses would just be in the way short-term.


I moved on to the rudder feedback sensor for the autopilot.  To begin, I cut a square block from 3/4" fiberglass to support the feedback unit and bring it even with the height of the main steering arm.  Then, I played around with the location till I found where I wanted to mount it, with the block just at the edge of the plywood platform that supported the rudder gear.  Aligning the feedback unit with the rudderpost and tiller arm as required by the instructions, I measured and cut the excess length from the connecting rod, a simple mechanical connection that just turned the feedback arm in direct accordance with the rudder's movement.


After marking the center of the connecting rod's attachment point, I drilled and tapped the bronze rudder arm for the mounting stud, using a drill and tap bought just for this purpose (and which I'd likely never use again).

Then, I dry-fit all the components to check the orientation, and swung the rudder through its arc from side to side to check for binding or other issues.  I'd do this again before final installation.  While the connecting rod was aligned perpendicular to the center of the rudder arm, the designed position of the steering cylinder (slightly offset when the rudder is centered) makes it look like something's misaligned, but this is not the case.


To prepare for final installation, I applied a coat of gray paint to the new support block so I could install these components in the near future.

Some garage door maintenance earlier in the week had given me an opportunity for a different perspective of the boat while up a ladder at the front of the shop, so I brought up a camera.


Total Time Today:  4.75 hours

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