Monday, September 12, 2016

Progress on the freezer and refrigerator

Deena and I decided that we should go ahead and re-insulate the original icebox to make a proper freezer and refrigerator out of it. We installed a Cool Blue cold plate unit in it a year or so ago and it has worked great. But with us heading down to Cabo San Lucas and the Sea of Cortez we knew we needed to replace the insulation with something that has more R valve than the insulation that was installed in 1975. We knew it would be a big project and would take some time but we were up for the challenge. I had hoped to be able to save the fiberglass insert but soon figured out that I would not be able to without having to tear out some of the cabinets. We did not want to do that so we decided we would make a new insert out of fiberglass ourselves.....that soon changed.

I had to remove the copper lines.
The cold plate was mounted on the settee side of the icebox. This caused condensation on the outside of the icebox.
This is the original icebox with the divider I put in when we installed the Cool Blue refrigeration unit.
Cutting with a Fein tool.
The start of removing the liner. It was harder to remove than I thought it would be.

Starting to make progress!

You can see the foam was not really in all the cracks.

Finally removed the liner and was able to see exactly how the insulation was on the bottom. Not much and just a mish mash of foam pieces.

Here Deena is cleaning out the icebox shell. There was mold on the foam and it was wet.

All painted and clean. We tagged the hull so it would be a surprise for the next owners. You can see I made templates of the sides to see exactly how big I could make the new liner and still get 2.5"- 3" of insulation in.

More patterns for the two drop in boxes. I would leave 1" space between them for insulation to go between the frig and freezer.

The insulation I used was 10 mm Spaceloft and it has a radiant barrier on it. It is rated about R4 for the 10mm (3/8") thickness. I needed to get the highest R value I could in the 2 1/2"- 3" of space available. With 3" I can get I was shooting for 3" of space with the new liner. Just a side note that the insulation is dusty and it gets everywhere. It does not itch but it does dry out your skin and feels "sticky" but it isn't. It is hydrophobic so it does not absorb water. After a day of working with it water would literally run off my hands under the faucet. It does not itch so that is a big plus! A big thank you to the guys who got the insulation for know who you are!

The roll of spaceloft. (248 sq feet)
Here I am laying out patterns and cutting the insulation.

I ended up with 7 layers on the three sides. 9 layers on the hull and bottom.
We were planning on building a fiberglass liner to go in the box. But I could not build a support system for it and get the space I needed for the liner and keep the box the same dimension inside as it was. So Deena suggested we do it in stainless steel. It would look better and be easier to clean. So stainless steel it would be.

I drew up the two liners and PPC, the company I used to work for made the stainless steel liners for me. They did a great job and everything fit as planned. I must say it was difficult getting the liners in as it was a very tight fit. At one point I was standing in the frig liner getting it to fully insert to the bottom insulation. Thank you PPC for the liners and other items you made for the boat. I really appreciate it!

The liners before they were installed. The one on the left is the freezer section and goes near the hull.
A minor modification was needed and I sealed all the seams with aluminum tape just in case.

The liners in place and ready to trim out. You can see all the cloth Deena put up to try and keep the dust from the insulation off of everything.....nice try....we still are cleaning dust from some places!
I installed the cold plate on the bottom this time. There is over R32 below it and it gives us more room.

I ran 12 volts to the frig section shown here and 12 volts to the freezer also. We had a small battery fan in the frig before that helped keep the temps pretty even through out the refrigerator section. I figured I would run a small 12 volt computer muffin fan instead of replacing batteries every two months.
 On the lids I used 3" of urethane foam  glued to the plywood. I then covered the under side of the lid and foam with fiberglass cloth with epoxy. Then they received 2 coats of white paint.

I decided to use 3" of urethane foam for the lids. I cut lids out of plywood then sealed them with epoxy.
We thought were were going to go back to wood tops for the lids.  Deena saw some glass accent tiles in Home Depot and bought a couple to see how they would look. We thought they would look very nice and be more functional than wood as she could set hot pans on them if needed. We decided we would trim the tops of the lids out with wood and put the tile in the middle. I re-used some handles we had. We mounted them on the lids then laid out the tile.
The freezer door is on the left. You can see the handles in the location they would be mounted. 

You can see the tile laid out on the removable door behind the stove. We made this door larger than it was before for ease of getting the pots and pans out that are stored back there. We were getting excited about the tile as just this little bit laid out looked promising!

Deena laid out the tile ahead of time so once we laid the adhesive down we could just lay them in.
All the doors grouted but not yet cleaned.
The finished product turned out much better than we thought it would. We knew it would look nice but WOW it looks REALLY good. Not too bad for our first tile job! Check it out below.


In the picture above you can see one of the two baskets that sit on shelves in the frig.
All in all a great job if I say so myself!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Baja Ha Ha and Alado Roller Fullers

We received the official notice that we are in the Baja Ha Ha! We are so excited to be going. If you don't know what the Baja Ha Ha you can click on the name and follow the link to read about it. Basically it is a rally of sailboats that meet in San Diego and then sail down to Cabo San Lucas in about 12 days with two stops along the way. At last count there were 103 boats heading down. The Rally is October 30 thru November 12. We can't wait!

We are in contact with Steve and Sherri Brenner on SV Pablo down in Mexico. They have a Westsail 32 just like ours. We have been following them on Facebook since before they did the Ha Ha last year. We have been asking lots of questions as they are the "Pros" now!

Our good friend Rob will be going with us for the trip down to Cabo. He is a sailboat racer and can teach us a lot so we are pleased he said yes when we asked him to join us. I think this trip was on his bucket list so it is as special to him as it is to us. Thanks for joining us Rob!

Recently we installed our Aldo Roller furlers. The process was simple and easy. I think they will serve us well. I installed them on the two head sails. This will allow us to deploy the sails, reef or store them all from the cockpit. It will be safer that way.

We ordered a kit from Sailrite to change the sails from hank on to furler. Now we can roll the sail around the wire in order to store them or to deploy them. It makes it so much easier than having to get out on the bowsprit in heavy weather. (I know this first hand!)

We have  a lot of projects going on so stay tuned as we prepare for our Sail away date of October 30!

Oh and Deena says I need to change the background to something brighter. So watch out for a different color scheme!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Fabricating a wet exhaust system

This is an older write up that was never published.

Being the frugal (cheap) guy that I am and that I like to build things I decided I would say some money and build my own wet exhaust. (Just so you know if I feel I can't make something that is equal to or better as far as being safe...I'll spend the money and buy the part.) What is a wet exhaust you say? Well it is simple, like a car the boat has an engine that has exhaust. To get the exhaust out of the engine room you run some exhaust pipe to the back of the boat like you do a car. But the exhaust is really hot. So hot it could set the boat on fire. Yea not a good thing. So you "inject " water into the exhaust and it cools it down so you don't get a flaming sailboat...the best kind...not on fire! There is more to it than that but that is the basic idea.
Yanmar wants $350- $500 for the pieces for the wet exhaust elbow. The wet elbow is the expensive part of the wet exhaust system. I'll make that part. The rest of the system will be off the shelf from Home Depot using 2" galvanized pipe. So here goes.

This is from the Yanmar catalog.  Assembly #4 is what I will be making. The the other items will be bought from Home Depot. FYI item #7 will be a regular elbow then a "T" below that to "inject" the'll see.

This is the exhaust port on the engine. It is the back of the heat exchanger.

I need to make a template of the exhaust port so I take heavy paper, tape it on and lightly tap with a hammer, end of a chisel, etc to "cut" the paper on the edges of the exhaust port.

Here is the finished template.
I purchased a 1/4" plate 3" wide and 36" long as scrap from a metal supply house. I choose 3" wide so I only had to make a single cut as the total side for this part is 3"x3". I am make two so that is why I have two in the picture. I laid the template I made over these two pieces and marked the opening I need to cut/drill. You can see I already rounded the corners of the plate.
Here I am drilling the holes for the bolts. 
Now the test fit for the bolt holes.

 I don't have a picture of it but to cut the large middle hole I drilled a series of smaller holes near the edge of it and then cut it with a jig saw.
Here is a 2" x4" galvanized nipple that I cut in two. I know some of you will say not to use galvanized piping on the exhaust due to the galvanizing out gassing when heated and making me sick. Well the galvanizing has to be really  hot like welding hot to give off gases that make you sick. I have actually seen this happen to some welders I worked with. I'm in the sheet metal trade so we deal with welding galvanized stuff all the time. Some don't take the proper precautions...the first time...LOL. They do after that!  FYI, drink milk and it will make make the illness go away.
Here is a test fit of the nipple mocked up on the plate to check for clearance.
 And wa-la the nipple is welded on the plate. I did grind the galvanizing off the nipple. It makes for a better weld and I keep from getting sick!

Here is the back side. I didn't get as pretty as a weld on this side but it will work. The 2" nipple is actually bigger than the exhaust opening but I went ahead and smoothed the weld over for better air flow.  I had actually spaced the nipple about 1/2 way into the plate and welded it there. This gave me a good place to weld on this backside without building up too much to grind off.

 Since I was fabricating stuff I went ahead and bought a sheet of exhaust gasket material. I made several gaskets as the cost for one was about $14. Now I can make many for only $8! 
Here is a picture of the material I used.
As I said before I am making two sets of wet elbows so I can carry a spare when we are out sailing the world. These things do rust out so I'll be prepared when it falls apart from rust!

So I wrote about the west exhaust awhile ago. The wet exhaust has worked great. I  wrapped the whole thing with header wrap I bought from NAPA. The header wrap will help me keep my skin. It insulated the hot metal exhaust from my arms because sure as water is wet I would burn myself if I didn't insulate it. I have found now that I have had it installed for awhile that the header wrap is really itchy. I found I have to lay across the engine from time to time working on the engine of the forward part of the engine room. So I think I will sew a cloth cover out of scrap sunbrella that I have to go over the header wrap. That should stop all the itchiness and should not catch fire as the insulation gets warm but not hot.

When I get back in the engine room I will take a few pictures to show the final installation.