Sunday, August 18, 2013

Decreasing entropy

Things aboard Vector are starting to take on some semblance of order, as we enter the second week of our fourth month here at Deltaville Boat Yard. The saloon is mostly cleaned up and squared away, with the notable exception of the new inverter, still in the box, stowed behind my chair. And as of yesterday, we have two working sinks and a working shower on the lower level, as the new gray waste system is finally complete. The master shower still needs to be reassembled with some Starboard replacing the rotted boards on the port side (would that be Starboard to port?).

Bumper and cleats on swim step.

Before we splashed after our mini-haulout, I wrapped up a project that had languished here in the saloon for lack of better access, to wit, adding a rubber bumper all the way around the swim step. Previously I had added a pair of small nylon cleats on either side of the step as well, for tying up the dinghy. It had been something of a pain to handle the tender when pulling up to Vector, requiring one of us to carry the painter onto the swim step, shove it through one of the hawse holes, and make it fast to one of the large cleats. The small ones right on the step will allow either of us to tie off the dinghy single-handed when arriving. The bumper, which is really just a strip of automotive door trim, is to protect the aluminum step from the bow eye on the tender, which has already been responsible for one ding in the paint. It should also help with the occasional bump against a dock -- the swim step swings the opposite direction from the bow, and I can't see it from the helm.

"Spurs" brand line cutter installed.

We ended up spending an extra night in the slings, because the special custom zinc for the line cutter broke during installation, and a new one had to be ordered overnight. The direct overboard drains for the anchor locker were also wrapped up during this time. They now have aft-facing stainless cowls on them, since they are immersed in our bow wave under way. I had some concerns about putting these drains in, until I discovered our sister ship, Antipodes, has them in exactly this position. I think the first owner of our boat omitted them because he wanted to use the locker as a ballast tank.

Port anchor locker drain before cowl installation.

Now that the gray sump is complete and most of the galvanized gray water plumbing has been removed, I spent most of today crammed into the two center bilges cleaning up other piping and re-wiring the forward head to make it easier to get to the adjusting timer. Here I discovered that what ought to have been a pair of high-point vents for the two former gray tanks actually got repurposed as the inlet for the master shower sump. This explains why the sump would cycle every time the gray tank got close to full. That sump has been removed, and all the drains from both sinks and both showers run all the way to the new sump system in proper sanitation hose. We also plumbed both condensate drains for the stateroom air conditioners to this sump -- previously, they simply dripped into the bilges.

4-gallon gray water sump system. One of the black tanks will be on the frame above it, covering the hoses.

I needed to wrap up in the bilges, because I expect the plumber will be starting on the black tanks tomorrow. Once those tanks go into place, accessing anything down there will become much, much more difficult. Unfortunately, I don't think I will have the chance to rip out the galvanized water pipes and change over to PEX before the tanks go it, which means I will be doing my contortionist routine at some point in the future.

Flybridge scupper. Paint needs touchup.

They still need to paint around the outside edges of the hole, but at last we have a proper scupper at the corner of the settee on the flybridge. This is a low point on the deck, and we'd accumulate 3/4" of water here every time it rained. There was no way to get rid of it, either, except maybe to squeegee it to the other side of the deck (tricky with the rough-textured deck) or mop it up with numerous towels. A section of pipe epoxied inside the under-settee locker leads the water to a freeing port on the outboard side of the settee, which should keep the locker mostly dry.

Leader pipe for scupper, under settee.

The black waste system is the last major stumbling block to moving back aboard, and I am hoping that will be finished by the end of the week. We should have the anchor roller back on the boat early in the week, and I have asked Line-X to come out Friday to spray the locker, which would let us load the chain on Monday or so. I ordered parts this weekend for the 3" vents we are installing in both the anchor locker and lazarette, and we have the trim for the fairlead we are adding ahead of the warping drum on the windlass. I would guess that all of these projects will at least be started this week, as well as wrapping up with paint holidays and starting on our punch list. With a bit of luck, today will be our penultimate Sunday in the yard.


  1. So, did you think it would be this much work going in? Or did you think of it in a similar fashion as when you completely redid Odyssey?

    1. Bob, we knew it would be a lot of work, but I am going to say that we are at about double the time and money we had figured on when we bought the boat. That said, it does not hold a candle to the bus. We've spent, working on the boat, only about 20% (in both time and money) what we did on the bus. I'm speaking here only of the project work -- the boat, unsurprisingly, cost more up front. Of course, when we were done working on the bus it was 100% done to our own specifications and design, and the boat will never be that way. Still, I prefer it this way (and that had been the plan for the bus, too, until it all went off the rails).

  2. enjoy the blog and always thought what you are doing is something I would love to do (even though I have absolutely no experience) but after reading all you have been through I think I will stick with my RV...


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