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Systems:  Engine Raw Water System

Earlier, I chose a location for and installed a bronze seacock for the raw water intake, adjacent to the engine on the starboard side.  With that in place, I began final installation of the raw water system by choosing a location for the bronze raw water strainer I had selected.

My first choice of location was a nice spot inside the engine foundations--a location that was out of the way, convenient to access, and close to the seacock and engine-mounted raw water pump.  However, I presently discovered that the Groco sea strainer mounting bracket was designed by fools, as the holes in the bracket did not allow screws or bolts to be inserted from the strainer side, complicating installation.

This meant that I had to through bolt the strainer, inserting the bolts from the other side of whatever structure, and to then secure the bolts with nuts squeezed into the space inside the bracket.  I was so annoyed at this poor design that I threatened to return the item, but had unfortunately already thrown the box away.  I had originally chosen this particular strainer because I liked the large wingnut on top, making servicing easy, but now was less happy with it.  You can only tell so much from pictures in a catalog.

In any event, installation wasn't hard in the end--just overly complicated.  I eventually decided to go ahead and install the bracket in my chosen location, after considering several alternatives first.  I happened to have some 5/16" x 3" bronze bolts on hand, which were about the right length to penetrate the engine foundation.  I had to enlarge the holes in the bracket slightly, as they were intended for 1/4" bolts.

I marked the locations of the bolt holes in the bracket, ensuring that the bracket was plumb (for looks only), and drilled the holes from the outboard side.  To allow the bolt length I had to work, I then countersunk the holes to allow the bolthead to pass into the foundation enough to come out the other side, so that I could bolt the bracket to the resulting studs.  With a dull countersink on hand, and hard plywood foundations, this job took too long, but eventually it was done.  I applied plenty of polysulfide sealant to the bolts where they passed through the foundation, and covered the heads with more sealant afterwards.  I bolted the sea strainer in place, and continued with the hoses.

Using 3/4" wire-reinforced water/exhaust hose, I installed the two pieces needed to complete the system, clamping the hose securely in place.  I added a cushion clamp to hold the hose into the foundation on the forward side, just to keep the hose more out of the way and improve the looks of the installation.  To finalize the installation, I added silly red plastic tip covers to the tails of all the hose clamps in the engine room and elsewhere.  The devil is in the details.

The raw water system was complete!
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