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Project Log:  Monday, May 28, 2012

I spent a good part of the morning preparing orders for standard materials to replenish some of my electrical stocks, reviewing installation manuals, and tracking down various pieces and parts I needed for the steering system and elsewhere, specifically fittings and additional hoses for connecting the autopilot hydraulic pump and steering cylinder, including shutoff valves (for maintenance purposes) and related fittings.  In order to tie in the autopilot pump, I required tee fittings in the main steering lines; these I had on hand, but needed some adapters and other connectors.  This is the Simrad RPU80 autopilot pump, along with a collection of connectors.

Up in the boat afterwards, I started to complete the steering hose run to the aft compartment.  I ran the two main lines through the bulkhead, and started securing the hoses along the run.  At this point, however, decided I wasn't happy with the hose route I'd chosen from the console down through the engine room.  I didn't like their proximity to the diesel heating boiler exhaust outlet, though the clearance was probably OK, but I was also concerned that the lines dipped too low at their forward end, creating an overall downhill orientation from the stern (not including the height of the helm).  The installation manual suggested that this situation could make bleeding air from the system more difficult.  In addition, the current route required the hoses to run across an open part of the engine room, where regular maintenance to other installations could potentially cause damage, or at least require extra care to prevent such damage.

Original location of steering hoses from 25 May 2012

After looking things over, it occurred to me (and perhaps I'd had this thought months ago during my most tentative planning stages) to run the hoses out the side of the console and into the space outboard of the port bulkhead.  This would accomplish several desirable things:  provide a cleaner, more logical run for the hoses inside the console itself; keep the hoses out of the engine room and away from various heat sources; provide a constant uphill angle from the stern to the helm; and keep the hoses clear and out of the way throughout their entire run aft.  As things turned out, this new route would also give me about a foot or more of extra slack at the aft end, though this was less critical than I'd thought a couple days ago.

Not wishing to fight anew the stubborn nylon compensating line that I'd previously run aft, I decided to detach the hoses from the helm pump instead.  This gave me my first opportunity to test the "finished" access to the inside of the helm console.  My goal in systems (and other) installations is to always allow access with relative ease, if not always perfectly wide open.  Certainly I'd not planned to be disassembling the helm anytime soon, but nonetheless I found the access to be satisfactory, and simply unbolted the helm and pulled it through to the exposed side to access the hose connections.

After removing the hoses, various clamps, and wire ties, I pulled the hoses out through the bottom of the console and led them through a space at the aft end of the port bulkhead.  Inside the console, I drilled  2" hole through the side in the appropriate place (which I'd marked after judging by eye the best location based on the old hose route), and ran the hoses back into the console through a length of 1-1/2" white hose for chafe and kinking protection.  I resecured the three lines to the helm pump, and bolted the pump back in place.


I secured the hoses in a couple places on their route through the utility space outboard of the port bulkhead, securing cushioned clamps to a bolt stud beneath the engine's coolant reservoir and to a section of the fiberglass bulkhead aft (with the hoses run through lengths of chafe gear for added protection).


Continuing aft, I installed a length of split hose to protect the steering lines from rubbing against the bottom of the cockpit, and then through a final length of hose leading through the bulkhead into the after steering room.  When all was said and done, I had plenty of extra hose length for the final connections I'd need to make within this space, though that wouldn't happen till I got the steering cylinder mounted.


This process took quite a long time when all was said and done.  Afterwards, and while I was in the space, I resecured the collar connecting the two sections of the rudderpost; then, since it was already driving me crazy in its looseness, I determined the location for and installed the microphone holder for the VHF radio, since the mike was permanently attached to the radio, as they all are these days (mikes used to be, years ago, removable; who decided that this was something that needed to be changed, I wonder, and why?).


Total Time Today:  6.75 hours

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