January 21, 2021
Lively Heels Phase 3-9
First thing, I reconfigured slightly the new potable water hoses and valve system to change the alignment of the hose connection for priming and winterizing, returning it to its original orientation.
Several years ago, an accident damaged irrevocably the starboard water tank, leaving it without a top. With tank repair or replacement in kind not practicable, the owner used the remaining plastic bin for storage in the meantime, but for his future plans hoped to add at least a bit of extra potable water storage on board to replace the missing volume. His idea was to install a bladder tank inside the old shell, with whatever capacity it could give. Studying the available sizes of these tanks, we eventually settled on a 13-gallon model that would fit physically in the space; others with larger capacity were the wrong shape, too long or too wide to work here. I test-fit the tank to be sure it would work, and to get a sense of where the fittings should go.
Before I could install the new tank, I had to install three fittings: fill pipe, vent, and supply. This was a straightforward, if occasionally frustrating, process involving cutting holes of the exactly correct size and pushing flanges larger than the holes themselves somehow through the holes, before installing clamp rings and washers that secured the parts together and provided a watertight seal. I installed the fill and vent near what would be the top edge of the tank, and the fill down near the bottom.
Now I could lay the tank in the clean plastic remains of the old water tank (this would cradle the filled bladder very well, with no sharp edges or rough spots to worry about), and connected the fill, vent, and supply hoses, installing new, longer hoses as needed for the supply and vent. After temporarily moving a wire bundle to make room for the new supply hose installation, I resecured it where it belonged.
An upcoming project on the boat was to add some shelving and improve storage in the large locker across from the head, which now had only two widely-spaced shelves. To that end, I measured up the space so I could get materials ordered, and to give the owner some sense of the available shelf space for ordering storage bins to maximize the utility of the revised spaces.
With the regular arrival of the shipping courier, I could get back to work on, and finish up, the engine bypass/heating system plumbing in the engine room. Specifically, I’d been awaiting a replacement hose nipple with female threads to fit the water heater coolant outlet so I could attach one of the existing hoses leading to the coolant recovery tank next in line. I had also needed a splice fitting so I could interconnect the remaining two hose ends, which would complete the circuit from the coolant tank to the pilothouse fan heater and beyond. This new plumbing plan greatly simplified and cleaned up the chaotic, tight space around the water heater. Note that the clear potable water hoses still dangling are the way they are here because of how the owner winterizes the water system by bypassing the water heater when running through antifreeze; the two clear hoses dangling from the tank itself normally get connected to the ends of the loop dangling low.
After some final cleanup in the area, I could reinstall the removable platform with the electric bilge pump, and reconnect the pump’s hoses and wiring. I’d removed this early in the process to improve access to the after corner of the engine room.
With the work in the engine room wrapping up, and a little time left in the day, I reinstalled the port battery box, then installed the batteries and their watering system. I’d finish up the cable reinstallation next time to complete the work here.
Total time billed on this job today: 5.5 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 12°, partly clear. Forecast for the day: Partly sunny, 27°