SV Pilgrim - 1979 Morgan 382 - Homeport: Beaufort, NC

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Holding Tank and Blackwater Plumbing Complete

The new holding tank and blackwater plumbing system are installed and tested.  The system has gone through quite an evolution.  I posted my initial concept here on the website and on the Morgan 38 Discussion Board.
The original schematic for Pilgrim's blackwater plumbing

Thanks to comments, questions, and feedback from you all, I made a few modifications prior to beginning the project.   Once completed the initial installation looked like this…
The actual layout of the initial installation.

Since Pilgrim is on the hard testing the system required routing the head raw water feed line to a 5G bucket of water.  This plumbing detour allowed me to flush the toilet both overboard and into the holding tank.  The system worked flawlessly during this test. For the next test I filled the holding tank with fresh water via the pump out fitting on deck.   While watching the tank fill, I realized a shortcoming of the design – the Henderson MKV Pump was mounted lower than the holding tank.  With the valve at the tank exit set to offshore discharge the Henderson  Pump the pump would flood.  I questioned whether or not the flapper and joker valves in the pump would operate properly with constant positive pressure from the holding tank.   The Henderson Pump performed the task of empting the tank without issue, but...  my design would leave the valves of the pump submerged in black water anytime the tank exit valve were open to the pump.  I feel certain that prolonged immersion in black water would cause the valves to fail unless they were regularly cleaned.   Monthly or weekly cleaning of the head pump internal valves is not a task I want on my regular maintenance list!

The next (dare I say final?) evolution…
The current, and I believe final, installation of Pilgrim's black water system

Despite my resistance to adding another electric pump to the vessel, mounting the Shurflo 3200 Macerator below the level of the black water tank is within its design specs.  I also inverted the “Y” valve in the offshore discharge line.  Flipping the valve allows all the waste in the line to empty past the valve.  In the previous design a small amount of black water remained in the valve after use.

Using the same methods as above… 5G bucket of water plumbed to the toilet feed line and filling the holding tank via the deck pumpout fitting, I have successfully tested all the functions of this system.

Flushing head offshore the waste follows the path highlighted in red.
Flushing to holding tank the waste follows the path highlighted in red.
Discharging the holding tank via the deck pump out fitting the waste follows the path highlighted in red.
Discharging the holding tank offshore the waste follows the path highlighted in red.
Additional images and notes from the installation can be found in our on line Holding Tank Installation Photo Album - 2014





Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Installing Electric Bilge Pumps - Bilge Modifications Part 2

If you missed the initial post in this series here is a link back…“Bilge Modifications – Part 1

After allowing the lower bilge, formerly the holding tank, over a month to air out and dry, we returned to paint both the upper and lower bilge.  The paint prep began with a TSP (tri-sodium-phosphate) scrub down and rinse.  This was followed by some very awkward one arm, blind sanding.  Once the surface was prepped we applied four coats of Interlux 2000E barrier coat to both upper and lower bilges.  The upper bilge then received a couple coats of white paint. 
Looking down into the freshly painted bilge.
Next step… install bilge pumps.   

Save for needing one 12V Ultra Safety System Pumpswitch Jr.  (anyone out there have one to spare?) we were able to construct Pilgrim’s new bilge pump system from  equipment on hand.  The system is comprised of one manual and three electric  pumps.  The manual, Henderson Mark V, will be installed in the cockpit.  The three electric pumps will be installed in the bilge at differing elevations.
Elevation diagram of Pilgrim's three electric bilge pumps. 
 The daily use pump, smallest capacity and lowest float switch, is a 300G/H Jabsco Diaphragm pump. This pump is mounted under the galley sink.  The float switch & pick up line are mounted in the lower bilge on bracket fabricated from starboard.
Bracket for mounting lower pump pick-up and float switch.
The foot of the bracket rests on the floor of the lower bilge and the top flange of the bracket attaches to the floor of the upper bilge via a couple screws.  This assembly is mounted aft in the bilge with the scrum box resting at the forward end of the lower bilge.
Filter for diaphragm pump on left.  Discharge hose for middle pump and wiring for lower float switch on right.
An inline screen filter for the diaphragm pump is mounted on the cross brace just below the cabin sole

The next bilge pump in elevation is a 2000G/H Rule pump.  The Ultra Safety System’s Pumpswitch mounts directly to the bilge pump.  The float switch for this pump is also tied to a high water alarm.  The pump & switch are mounted approximately 4” above the floor of the lower bilge on a bracket made of starboard.
mounting bracket for middle bilge pump & float switch.
Like the first bracket the foot rests on the floor of the lower bilge and the top flange screws into the floor of the upper bilge.
Middle bilge pump installed in lower bilge.  Base/screen for upper pump is mounted in upper bilge on right.
The top flange on this bracket serves as a base for the upper, 3700G/H Rule bulge pump.
Upper bilge pump installed.  The middle and upper pumps have not yet been fully wired or plumbed in this image.
This assembly is mounted at the forward end of the bilge with the discharge hoses running aft.
Looking down into lower bilge with all the pumps, switches, wiring, and plumbing installed on the lower two pumps.


At present, I’ve temporarily wired the lowest pump to the starter battery and run the discharge out the galley sink drain sea cock.  This set up will deal with the small accumulations of water that find their way into the bilge.  Once we get further along with installing the new electrical system, then I will finalize the wiring.  Plumbing the discharge hoses will likely wait until after the engine install.

For additional images and notes check out the Bilge Modifications Photo Album

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Aluminum Angle Brackets In Salon

On the Morgan 382, 383, & 384 design,  the chainplates for the aft lower stays are anchored to cabinetry in the salon.  To port an installation of cabinets and storage bins that also serves as a seat back provides the anchor point for the chainplate.   
Starboard salon cabinets with new aluminum angle brackets installed.  Note: Lower, aft chainplate is angled metal tang in center.
To starboard the aft lower chainplate is attached to the seat back / pilot berth fiddle.
Starboard salon seat back / pilot berth fiddle with original angle bracket installed.
To structurally tie these longitudinal anchor points into the vessel Morgan Yachts utilized angle aluminum brackets at the fore and aft ends.  The 1/8” thick by approx. 18” long brackets are fastened to both the bulkhead and the longitudinal member with ¼” wood screws on 2” centers .   My initial assessment of this system was less than awe inspiring.   In preparation for painting the bulkheads, I removed forward brackets on both port and starboard.  Unfortunately removing the brackets revealed corrosion along the backside. 
Corrosion on the backside of the port, forward aluminum bracket.
More disconcerting was my discovery that the wood screws installed by Morgan Yachts, were only ¾” long.  The aluminum angle is 1/8” thick + the ¼” teak veneer on the bulkhead = 3/8”.  This means that at best only 3/8” of the fastener was in contact with the structural portion of the forward bulkhead.
Corrosion on the backside of the starboard, aft bracket.
I removed all four of the aluminum brackets, and discovered varying degrees of corrosion.  Unfortunately the ¾” wood screws were used throughout.  The ¼” veneer is on the starboard seat back and both forward bulkheads.  The aft, partial bulkheads and the port side cabinetry are finish grade ¾” plywood so the ¾” screws were more appropriate in these locations.

After removing the bracket from each corner, I used a scraper followed by 80 grit sandpaper to clean the surface.
Starboard, aft corner after scraping and sanding away the corrosion residue.
I then drilled out the screw holes to a full ¼” diameter.  Using a syringe, I filled the existing holes with thickened epoxy.

The old brackets went to the scrap pile to be recycled.  I purchased new sections of 1/8” thick aluminum with  longer sides,  1-1/2”. 
New aluminum angle for port, aft on left and original on right.
The original brackets were cut to remain hidden by the seat back cushions.  The new ones will run the full length of the cabinetry.  The old fasteners were installed at 2” intervals.  I chose to go with 3” intervals on the new brackets.  Since the new brackets are longer they all contain more fasteners than the originals.  I chose to remain with ¼” fasteners, but were possible use machine screws to thru-bolt.
The nuts and fender washers from starboard, forward bracket are visible in the locker forward of the bulkhead.
Where access eliminated my ability to thru-bolt, I used wood screws that took full advantage of the thickness of the bulkhead / cabinetry.  These modifications dramatically increase my confidence in strength of the aft, lower chainplates.

Here are some before and after images.
Starboard, aft bracket- Before.
Starboard, aft bracket - After.
Port, Aft bracket - Before
Port, Aft bracket - After.
Looking forward from companionway at freshly painted bulkhead and new angle brackets.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Re-bedding The Chainplates

This is the third post in our chainplate series.  Here are links back to the first two posts:

Pilgrim’s six midship chainplates were all bedded directly atop the non-skid with 3M 5200.  To ensure good adhesion with the new sealant all the old 5200 needs to be removed.
Old 5200 residue.  The darker areas are indicative of water intrusion.
Round One: De-bond 2015 and a scraper.  I’m not partial to one brand of chemical 5200 remover or the other.  If possible I prefer to simply use a heat gun to soften the sealant and then scrape it off.  BUT –  heat guns can easily damage laminates, varnishes, etc.  Fearful of overheating the deck layup I went with the chemical remover for this project.
The chemical agent softens the old 5200 and makes scraping it off much easier.
When  using a de-bond type agent to soften old sealant, then be sure to thoroughly wash the area once finished.  Residual chemical can compromise the new sealants effectiveness.

During round one I used the pointed end of my scraper to work down into the thru deck holes.  This removed a counter sink shaped section of the old sealant stuck in the holes to a depth of about ¼”.   My preference would be not to have any sealant down in the holes.  If water ever makes it past sealant on decks, then I prefer it drip on through the deck and serve as a notice to re-bed.  If sealant below the level of the deck stops the water from exiting below decks, then that water will be seeking an exit latterly through the deck coring or the water will rest in a pocket alongside the mission critical stainless steel machine bolts /tangs.

Round Two:  Wire brush chucked into my cordless drill.  I derive great satisfaction from watching the wire brush fling tiny balls of 5200 away from my project area.
Using the drill with a wire brush is a very effective tool for removing old sealants.

Avoid using ferrous metal brushes if possible.  The bristles leave tiny metal particles that will appear as rust spots once exposed to salt water.   Stainless brushes are harder to find and more expensive, but are out there.  I’ve just discovered Dico Nayalox Brushes and have been impressed with their performance thus far.

Round Three - Hand sanding with 80 grit sandpaper.   If Pilgrim’s deck fittings were installed atop paint rather than non-skid, as most boats I encounter, then I would skip this step.   I feel mounting the deck fittings a smooth surface will result in a better seal.  So my intent with this round is to eliminate much of the texture of the non-skid.
Area under chainplate fitting after sanding down non-skid with 80 grit sand paper.  Note: Circular plug of solid epoxy in center of holes illustrates how Morgan filled the core of the decks to prevent water damage.
I realize that on multiple occasions my posts are critical of Morgan Yachts construction techniques and quality control standards.  Allow me now to praise Morgan  for filling the deck core with epoxy around the thru deck bolts.  This extra step prevents core damage when (not if) the chain plates begin to leak.  Each chainplate site matched the one pictured above.  My best guess is that Morgan fabricated the deck with voids in the areas to receiving chainplates.  Once the deck was assembled a 1” hole was drilled in the center of the void. Then thickened epoxy was injected into the void..  Once the epoxy hardened then the holes for the bolts were drilled through the solid epoxy.

For the re-install, Anne worked the topsides and I below decks.
Anne waiting on me to get back to work below decks.

What did we use to re-bed the hardware? 

Well… I am proponent of butyl tape for sealing fasteners, but when sealing one relatively large surface against another (e.g.  hatch flanges, port flanges, sail tracks, etc.) I’ve had buty tape disappoint on multiple occasions.  I loathe 5200 as a sealant.  Use 5200 for permanent bonding, but there are far better sealants available.  My current go to sealant for such an application…. 3M 4000UV.  On Pilgrim’s chainplates, we utilized a combination of 3M 4000UV sealant for the bases and butyl tape around the counter sunk fasteners.
Squish out of 4000UV around the base and butyl tape around the fasteners is a good sign.
We have experienced a couple hard rains since the re-bedding and so far so good.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Corrosion Discovered on Backing Plates

This post is a continuation of previous post– Morgan 382 Chainplates.

The only significant corrosion we discovered was on the aluminum backing plate for the port cap shroud chainplate. This plate is accessed via the outboard cabinet in the head.  The visible side of the backing plate and the six, ½ x 2 ½ ” stainless steel fasteners appeared fine, but removing the plate we discovered…
White powdery residue from aluminum vs. salt water corrosion caked on plywood bulkhead.
This type of corrosion typically occurs when salt water is trapped against aluminum.  Despite recent heavy rains, the area was not wet when we removed the backing plate. So, I’m guessing this corrosion is from Pilgrim’s early days in south Florida.  I’m also speculating that the water intrusion came from leaking port windows that have since been replaced.

 Fortunately the plywood bulk head is not damaged and the pitting on the plate is not serious enough to warrant replacement. 

Using  a scraper followed by 80 grit sand paper, I removed the white powdery residue from the bulkhead and backing plate.  The backing plate then when home with me for an overnight soak in vinegar.  The next morning, I used a wire brush chucked into a cordless drill to clean the plate.
The aluminum backing plate after a visit from the wire brush.
I followed this up with a soap and water wash down.  Finally, nearly 24 hours after it’s extrication, the backing plate was ready for a few coats of zinc chromate.  The zinc chromate chemically etches the aluminum.  The etching process forms a chemical bond that makes the surface much more resistant to corrosion.
Allowing three coats of zinc chromate to air dry.
After allowing the zinc chromate to dry for 48 hours, I applied a few coats of tan spray paint to the backing plate. 
The backing plate painted and re-installed.  Note the white creamy substance on the bolts is
Utra-Systems Tef-Gel
While in the process of painting the salon, I removed the aluminum angle brackets that join the salon bulkheads to the outboard cabinetry.  The salon cabinetry serves and an anchor point for the aft lower chainplates.  Thus these short sections of angle aluminum are critical.  Unfortunately I found similar salt water corrosion along the back side of all the brackets.
Corrosion on the backside of the port forward angle brace in salon.  Note - Inadequate 1/4" dia x 3/4" long fasteners to left of bracket.
Much to my dismay, I also discovered that the screws in all the angle brackets were only ¾” long.  Hmm… the aluminum angle is 1/8” thick + the ¼” teak veneer on the bulkhead = 3/8”.  This means that at best the screws only protruded 3/8” into structural material!  Guess I need to add replacing the salon aluminum angle brackets to my project list.


But first re-bedding the chainplates…

For more images and notes check out our Chainplates Photo Album.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Morgan 382 Chainplates

WARNING: Technical sailing jargon ahead.  This post dives head first into the tangs and bolts of sailboat rigging.  An attempt on my behalf to define all the nautical terms below would render this post as palatable as a tall glass of salt water.  This one is for the sailors out there….

Pilgrim’s standing rigging and mast were replaced by the previous owner in 2002.  This was done while the vessel was based on Lake Erie and since the re-rig she has remained on the lake.  Subject to six month sailing seasons on a fresh water lake the rig is in excellent condition.  The new mast is an Isomat NG80, double spreader rig few feet taller than the original.  Pilgrim’s original cap shroud deck fitting was replaced with a new fitting capable of accommodate the upper stay. 
The components of our cap shroud chainplate.  Top - Deck fitting for cap and upper stay.  Left: Below decks bracket.  Right: Backing Plate.
Over the past couple weeks we have re-moved, inspected, and re-bedded all six of Pilgrim’s midship chainplates.  Fortunately we discovered very little corrosion and no stress cracks or hole elongation.  Other than the two cap shroud deck fittings, we believe all the chainpate hardware was original equipment.  I highlight “was” since we replaced all the thru-deck fasteners in the system.

Thru-deck fasteners?  Yep.

Port cap shroud chainplate installed.  Note rusty nut on thru-deck fastener. 

Cap shroud chain plate with thru-deck and thru-bulkhead fasteners in place.
 We were surprised to discover that the rig loads are transferred thru the deck to the chainplates below via four 3/8” stainless steel machine screws.    Initially I was shocked and worried by the unfamiliar set up.  Is this system strong enough?  Why are the thru-deck fasteners 3/8” and the thru-bulkhead ½”?   

Time for some internet homework…Stress Terms defined via Wikipedia


A:  Compression = Squeezing the material =  The stress state caused by an applied load that acts to reduce the length of the material along the axis of the applied load. 
B:  Tensile = Pulling the material = The stress state caused by an applied load that tends to elongate the material along the axis of the applied load.
C:  Shear = Faces of the material sliding relative to one another =  The stress state caused by the combined energy of a pair of opposing forces acting along parallel lines of action through the material (e.g.  cutting paper with scissors)
In terms of relative strength of stainless steel fasteners they are able to tolerate the greatest about of stress in compression, followed by tensile, and finally shear.  Thus a M382 thru-deck fastener’s, under tensile stress, are 3/8” while the thru-bulkhead fasteners, under shear stress, are ½”.

Ok so back to the boat.  All six of the M382 midship chainplates are of similar design.
Chainplate assembly for starboard, forward lower stay.
Relying on the four 3/8” stainless steel machine screws to transfer the rig loads.  None of the screws displayed signs of fatigue or elongation, but they all possessed a small degree of surface rust.  We also discovered surface rust covering a couple of the interior nuts.  Since we expect these fasteners are original to the vessel – 35 years old – we replaced all the thru deck fasteners with new 3/8” machine screws with nylon lock nuts.

Starboard cap shroud chainplate re-installed with double nuts on the thru-deck fasteners.
The new fasteners for the cap shroud chain plate were a bit too long.  Rather than cut off the excess we chose to add a second, lock nut, to the assembly. 

Personally I would prefer the vertical, bulkhead, plane of these chainplates to be longer.  I believe a longer vertical section would distribute the loads over a greater area of the bulk head.  But there is not history of issues or failure with the original design.  On our Morgan these primary bulkheads are nearly 2” thick.  They consist of outer layers of ¼” plywood fa├žade surrounding 2 layers of ¾” plywood. 

While the chainplates were absent we also took care of some structural (tabbing) and cosmetic (painting) projects in the salon area.  See our “Paint In Lieu Of Headliner” and “PaintIn Lieu of Headliner, The Portside Story” post for more details.
Port aft lower chainplate (fore ground) and cap shroud chainplate (background) re-installed.


I will discuss corrosion discovered on the backing plates and re-bedding the chainplates in upcoming posts.

Check out our Chainplates Photo Album for additional images and notes.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Paint in Lieu of Headliner - The Port Side Story

Over the past few days painting the interior of the side decks in lieu of the headliner has migrated to the port salon and back into the galley.

The effort began with the removal of the cap shroud chainplate from the bulkhead
Port chain plates - Fore ground: aft lower tang.  Background: Cap shroud chainplate removed from bulkhead.

New we removed the aft lower chainplate …not so fast…  When we began to remove the lower, interior tang portion of aft chain plate I noticed  the surrounding deck sink by  1/8” to 3/16”.  The bulkheads and the cabinets along the port side neither touch nor are tabbed to the deck above.  It appears the two chainplates support the side deck. 

My solution…  Add sections of tabbing between the bulkhead and the underside of the deck to each side of the cap shroud chainplate.  Plus, add a long strip of tabbing along the entire length of the joint between the top of the port salon cabinetry and the underside of the deck.   To prep for the new tabbing I ground down the surfaces, added a series of #8 counter sink screws to the veneer along the bulkhead, and masked off the surrounding area to minimize the mess.
Ready to install new tabbing.  The tang for the aft lower was left in place to support the deck at the proper height.
Masking over the entire face of the cabinets proved to be a worthy endeavor as the long strip above the cabinets was tricky to install. 
A section of 1708 cloth applied on either side of cap shroud chainplate and 6" wide two strips of lighter cloth run the length of the cabinet face.
The new tabbing successfully supported the side deck with both chainplates removed. 

While set up to work with epoxy in the salon, I also filled holes from old fixtures and faired in some gouged areas along the forward salon bulkhead.
Taped off sections of bulkhead in preparation for epoxy filler

Sanding down epoxy filler - a messy job in the cabin.

prep work complete - taped and ready for the first coat of primer.
 90% of successful paint jobs is the prep work.   We applied two coats of primer and two coats of paint.  Below are the results…

Port salon bulkhead freshly painted.
Looking aft along port side of salon.  Note new tabbing between underside of deck and masked cabinet face.
Looking aft along port side of salon after painting.  Plan to install trim along both sides painted surface.
Interior of side decks in galley ready for the first coat of primer.
Fresh paint in galley.  Plan to add a section of trim between the painted surface and the cabinet face.

Looking forward from galley at newly painted bulkheads.

For more images and notes about work in the salon check out our - Salon Refit Photo Album.

For more images and notes about work in the galley check out our - Galley Refit Photo Album.

I still plan to pen a post sharing our experiences removing, servicing, and re-bedding the chainplates - stay tuned.