Refit:  Winter 2008-2009

Winter 2008-2009 Refit | Friday, October 31, 2008

With some time on my hands during the afternoon, I continued with the forward hatch work and removed all the tape and excess sealant--now cured--from around the edges, completing the hatch job (except for cutting off the four protruding bolt ends on the inside).

I tightened the adjustment on the hatch hinges to allow the hatch to remain open in any position; they'd been a bit soft before.  I was surprised how difficult it was to turn these adjusting screws, given how sloppy the hatch operation was, but I managed to get the adjustment where I wanted it.  Neither a 4mm nor a 5/32" Allen wrench really fit the adjustment socket properly, and I was quite wary of stripping out the head--something to watch for in the future during any needed adjustments.  I admit I was less than thrilled with this aspect of the hatch, and had expected better.  And so it goes.


I wanted to complete the galley sink sump pump installation over the weekend, so to that end I built a small platform for the sump to rest upon in the bilge.  From a piece of 1/4" pre-fab fiberglass sheet, I cut a platform just wide enough to support the sump and its twin mounting flanges (one on each side).  Then, I cut two 1" wide strips of 1/2" thick fiberglass to act as "legs", or spacers, upon which the platform would sit in the bilge, thereby allowing water to flow beneath.

Earlier, I'd determined where I wanted to locate the sump:  in the forward bilge opening, a foot or two ahead of the bilge pump. I determined this location partly for ease of access, and partly by necessity:  my original thought, which was to locate the sump in the after part of the bilge just forward of the engine room, turned out to be less than ideal because of the profile of the bilge floor in that area (with its lumpy protruding encapsulated keel bolts), and because of other obstructions, namely the electric bilge pump hose and the manual pump hose and strainer.  While I could have made the installation work in this location, it didn't seem necessary given the choice of another mounting location.

To start, I laid the two 1/2" spacers longitudinally in the bilge, allowing them to rest where they fit naturally off to the sides of the central keel bolt lumps.  Then, I rested the 1/4" platform atop the spacers, lining up the forward edges, and made some marks on the platform where the spacers were for future reference.  After removing the three pieces to the bench and realigning the spacers beneath the platform according to my marks, I drilled and tapped four holes for 10-24 fasteners, one at each corner, and secured the platform to the spacers with 7/16" long pan head machine screws.

Because of tight access in the bilge, and the way the sump pump's mounting flanges were located (on the sides), there would be no access to these fasteners from within the bilge.  Therefore, for future servicing, the platform would have to be removed in order gain access to the sump fasteners to dismount the sump itself.  So by securing the longitudinal spacers permanently to the bilge, which I'd do shortly, and having the platform itself secured to the spacers with machine screws but no adhesive, I'd be able to easily remove the entire platform from the bilge.

Continuing on, I returned the now-assembled platform to the bilge, and mocked up the sump on top of it.  I adjusted the sump slightly fore and aft as needed to allow screwdriver access to the four platform mounting screws, and also to allow the clear plastic top of the sump to be removed by maintaining screw clearance on either side of a wooden cross member that spanned the transverse center of the opening.  I made some reference marks on the platform, then removed the assembly to the bench and drilled and tapped holes for the two fasteners required to secure the sump to the platform.  I used the same 10-24 x 7/16" pan head machine screws for this.



Finally, I removed the sump again, and with the platform still assembled I applied some thickened epoxy to the bottoms of the spacers and installed the platform in the bilge.  Late in the day, once the epoxy had cured sufficiently, I carefully removed the four screws securing the platform to the spacers, leaving the spacers in place, and applied a coat of Bilgekote to the platform so that it'd be ready for final installation tomorrow.


Total time today:  2 hours

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Glissando, Pearson  Triton #381

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