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

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Installing New Battery Distribution & Bilge Pump Switch Panel

We are replacing the original battery selector switch with a Blue Sea Dual Battery Main Distribution Panel.

Photo by Blue Sea Systems.

The 100A Rocker Switch Circuit Breaker will feed to the main DC Panel.  I added a Blue Sea 20A Push-To- Reset Circuit Breaker in the empty spot on the panel.  Our three electric bilge pumps will be wired directly to the house bank via this panel. The upper large pump draws 18A an thus will be wired to the new 20A breaker.  The middle and lower pumps will be wired to the two 15A breakers included with the panel.

We chose to install the new panel in the original location - below the Nav Station bench seat.  The smaller footprint of the new battery selector switch will allow us to install the bilge pump switches in the same location.

Of course the installation began with creating a template with 1/8” luan plywood.  Once pleased with the fit and design, I transferred the dimensions ¼” white starboard.

Overlaying the luan template atop 1/4" starboard

In the image above, I’ve masked the starboard with blue painter’s tape to avoid scuff marks from the jigsaw.

Panel face cutouts completed and luan template modified to represent cut out required for new panel installation.

Once finished with cutting openings and drilling pilot holes in the new panel, I modified the luan template to represent the area to be cut out of Pilgrim’s cabinetry.

Marking the area to be removed for new panel.

The cutout for the new panel is larger than the original.  I used a jigsaw to remove the additional material.

Starter battery will share venue with new panel.

The down side of this location is the potential to have people accidentally come in contact with the switches.  To avoid this pitfall, I added an upper and lower guard to the panel.

New panel assembled and ready for installation.

The bilge pump switches installed in the same order as the pumps (e.g. upper switch = upper pump).  The lower two switches are reclaimed from other projects and include fuse holders unnecessary for this installation due to the circuit breakers in the battery distribution panel.   When wiring the lower two bilge pump switches I by-passed the fuse holders.

The actual panel install went smoothly.  Since Pilgrim is presently without a house battery bank the panel is wired to the starter battery as bank one.  This temporary set up provides power for the lower bilge pump.
New panel installation complete.

The new panel highlights the need to address water damage along the cabin sole… everything in due time.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Adding Above Water Thru-Hulls for Deck & Bilge Pump Drains

We have added two new 1-1/2” thru-hulls above the water line.  The port thru-hull will serve as the discharge for the upper, larger capacity bilge pump (3700 G/H).    

The starboard side thru hull will act as a drain for the deck scupper.  We did not like the long hose run from the starboard scupper to the torpedo tube drain manifold.  We also wanted to rig a method for collecting water off the deck if necessary. 

Prior to drilling any holes we assembled the new starboard deck drain plumbing.
Test fit of new plumbing for starboard deck drain.  Note old drain hose at far right.

Test fitting the new plumbing allowed us to accurately mark the location for the starboard thru hull.   The port side fitting connects to a single flexible hose so identifying the exact location was less critical.

Since the location of the holes was marked on the inside of the hull, I began the drilling using a ¼” bit to drill a pilot hole from the inside out.  The ¼” hole matches the diameter of the hole saw pilot bit.  Next, I chucked a 1-7/8” hole saw into the drill and moved outside the hull.  Drilling the larger hole from outside allows for properly aligning the hole perpendicular to the hull and creates less dust inside the boat.

We drilled two 1-7/8" holes in the hull.

The Morgan 382, 383, & 384 hull’s have a foam core above the waterline.  This is the first time we have drilled large diameter holes above the waterline and subsequently our first look at the coring material. 

Close up of plug offers a glimpse of Morgan's construction techniques.

The hull is slightly over one inch thick… the outer fiberglass layer is 5/16”; the foam 9/16”; and the inner fiberglass layer 1/8”

Placing holes in cored hull’s or decks requires additional effort to ensure water never reaches the core material.  In smaller, fastener sized, holes this can be achieved by over drilling the size of the hole and then filling it back with epoxy.  Larger holes for plumbing fixtures require a different approach.

Using a small flat screw driver and a couple different styles of picks, we removed all the coring material within approximately ½” of the hole.

Foam core removed from the area around the hole.

The plan is to fill the newly created void around the hole with thickened epoxy.  So the next couple steps are the usual epoxy prep… 80 grit sanding, acetone wipe down, mask area...  We used a syringe to apply the epoxy and a plastic spreader to achieve a nice clean finish.

Filling the area around the hole with thickened epoxy.

After a couple days for the epoxy to fully cure, we returned to the project.  Using a #49 cabinet rasp and some 80 grit sand paper, Anne cleaned up any excess epoxy from the holes.  While I cut down the length of the threaded section of the thru-hull to properly fit the valve on the starboard side.

Prior to applying any sealant we dry fit the two thru-hulls and masked the surrounding area.  For the final install we used 3M 5200 sealant. Anne worked the interior and I the exterior.

New thru hull fittings are just above the waterline and five feet forward of the torpedo tube drain on either side of the hull.

We are still waiting on hose to connect the bilge pump to the new fitting on port, but we wasted no time installing the new starboard deck drain plumbing. 

New deck drain w/ option for filling water jugs installed.
Since the installation we have weathered a couple heavy rains.  The starboard deck scupper is performing much better with the new system.

What was that you said? 

Why yes that is a new battery selector and bilge pump switch panel in the image above.  I’ll post more info on that project very soon.

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Mental Exercise Prior to the Physical Progress

Spending time to fully plan out a project, or at least one component of a large project, prior to making that first cut, boring a pilot hole, or applying an initial layer of epoxy is a wise investment. 

The time I devote to creating templates and testing designs is definitely increasing as my experience working on boats expands. Or perhaps as the size and cost of the boats on which I work is increasing.  I vividly recall the trepidation with which I approached drilling a hole for a drain plug in a new plastic whitewater kayak over twenty years ago.  Now I find myself boring 1-7/8” holes in the hulls of custom built offshore sailing vessels that are closer to 100’ than the length of that long ago kayak.  Perhaps expending time planning prior to action equates to wisdom gained through time and experience, I am, at least chronologically speaking, what most Americans consider middle age.   

Ok, enough philosophical musing.  Let’s talk boat projects.  I’m in the head scratching, throw pasta at the wall and see what sticks, scrap that idea and move on to the next portion of three different projects.

Ice Box Lids…

Test fitting lids after completing modifications to the box.

The fabrication of a new ice box is complete, save for those damn lids.  I cannot figure out how to best add insulation to the inside of the lids and insure a good seal along the opening.

Notes from experimenting with various methods of insulating the lids

Never thought the lids would be the most difficult aspect of the re-build.  See our Ice Box Rebuild Photo Album for images of the latest progress.

Plumbing Drains…

Myriad of plumbing fittings.  Remind anyone of days spent playing with Legos or Tinker Toys?

In an effort to reduce the length of hose runs and not feed too much water to the drain manifold (see – New Deck & Bilge Pump Drain Manifold) we are adding two 1-1/2” thru-hull fittings above the waterline on opposite sides of the hull.  The port fitting will serve as a discharge for the upper, 3700G/H bilge pump.  The plumbing associated with this system required only minor experimentation.

The starboard thru-hull act as a drain for the deck scupper.  As with our previous vessel (SV C’est la Vie) we want the ability to fill water jugs from the deck scupper. The ability to collect (then filter) rain water off the deck proved very helpful on our last extended trip in the islands. 

Test fitting the final draft of the new starboard deck scupper plumbing.

The mechanics of the plumbing took some time to work out. We definitely want to have the details worked out prior to drilling the hole in the hull.  See our Quarterberth Re-fit Photo Album for the current progress on this project.

Electrical Panel…
Designing the inner workings of the electrical panel from scratch is both enticing and daunting.  I began by creating cardboard templates of the space available.

Cardboard templates of the space available for the electrical panel wiring. 

I then experimented with the layout of terminal strips and busbars atop the templates using different color pens to illustrate AC & DC wire runs.

Experimenting with the layout of AC & DC wiring, terminal strips, and busbars.  

Once satisfied with the layout, I taped the templates into position.

Test fitting the electrical panel template in position along the hull.

Then made a few more modifications to the design.  

See our Navigation Station Re-Fit Photo Album for images and notes current progress.

The planning continues.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Plumbing Bilge Pump Discharge Hoses to Drain Manifold in Cockpit Locker

Last September we installed three electric bilge pumps in Pilgrim (see – Installing Electric Bilge Pumps.) The two pumps located lowest in the bilge discharge to the drain manifold in the aft portion of the cockpit locker.   The Morgan 382, 383, & 384’s designs have a unique drain system. If you are unfamiliar with the system check our July 30, 2014 post – New Deck & Bilge Pump Drain Manifold – for more info.

The discharge hoses for the lower two bilge pumps run up from the bilge to the area under the galley sinks.  Next they pass under the stove and under the ice box before reappearing along the foreword bulkhead in the cockpit locker.

Bilge pump discharge hoses run vertically along the new cockpit locker bulkhead

To prevent possible back flooding the discharge hoses must run to a siphon break located at point in the vessel that will remain above water level in all conditions.  We chose to install the siphon breaks in the hollow interior of the port cockpit combing.

Two siphon breaks mounted in stacked formation.

The siphon breaks are stacked vertically. The lower, 300G/H, pump requires a ¾” id hose.  The middle, 2000G/H, pump requires a 1-1/8” hose.  The middle pump discharge hose diameter is increased to 1-1/2” at the siphon break and continues at the larger diameter for the remainder of the run to the drain manifold.  90 degree elbows (pictured above) keep the hose runs compact, but elbows decrease the flow and can create back pressure that will reduce the effectiveness of the pump. Increasing the size of the discharge hose on the downstream side of the siphon break allows for the use of elbows without creating back pressure on the pump.

Earlier in cockpit locker refit we installed a ½” panel along the inside of the vertical cockpit seat back.

Purpose of panel along inside of port cockpit seat back is for mounting hose and wire runs.

The sole purpose of this panel is to provide a mounting surface for hose and wire runs.  We used sections of the retired aluminum angle from the salon (Aluminum Angle Brackets In Salon) to attach the plywood to the forward bulkhead and to panel we installed on the aft wall of the cockpit locker.

Siphon breaks and hose runs viewed from aft looking forward.  Hose on left is port deck drain.

Downstream of the siphon breaks the hoses remain elevated across the length of the locker. Upon reaching the locker’s aft wall they drop down to the drain manifold.

Drain manifold from left to right:
1-1/2" black hose is discharge for secondary 2000G/H bilge pump
3/4" black hose is discharge for primary 300G/H bilge pump
1-1/4" white hose is gravity fed port deck drain

More images and notes from this on-going project are available in the Cockpit Locker Refit Photo Album

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Cockpit Locker Engine Access Panels

One of the primary issues with Pilgrim’s original cockpit locker cabinetry is that it did not provide for easy access to the engine compartment.

Pilgrim's cockpit locker with floor removed circa February 2014.
Red handled pump, upper left, services ice box.
Circular object on upper right is engine raw water strainer.

The panel between the locker and the engine compartment was thru-bolted to the side wall of the cockpit foot well.  The floor of the locker was then mechanically fastened to a nail strip along the vertical panel.  Thus to access the engine compartment the locker floor had to be unscrewed from the nail strip.  Then the vertical panel had to be un-bolted from the cockpit wall.

Our new cabinetry allows for easy access to the engine compartment via two removable panels.

Two removable panels provide easy & nearly unrestricted access to engine compartment.

The panels are ½” marine plywood with teak trim on the locker side.  They are held in place by the lip of the floor at the bottom and by 4 sliding latches at the top.

Four slide latches across the top secure the panels in place.

Despite the upper panel being tabbed to the hull, we did leave three of the original thru-bolts in place.  On these we installed stainless steel ring-nuts to provide attachment points for yet unknown gear.

The engine compartment side of the new cabinetry is still a work in progress.

1” thick sound proofing panels will be installed on the engine side of the two panels.

The original engine raw water thru-hull and strainer are visible in the first image of this post.  Last summer we relocated this system to the starboard side under the quarterberth deck.

Modifications to the quarter berth layout includes the installation of the engine raw water thru hull and strainer, lower right.  The new location provides much easier access and places the intake lower on the hull.

For more images and notes on changes to the quaterberth check out our Quarterberth Refit Photo Album.

Next up we plan to install the lower and middle bilge pump discharge hoses & syphon breaks in the cockpit locker.

More images and notes from this on-going project are available in the Cockpit Locker Refit Photo Album

The new Google Photos Application is wreaking havoc on our existing photo albums.  If anyone discovers a dead link, multiples of the same image, or other issues with our on-line albums, then please leave a comment.  Thanks.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

New Shelf for the Cockpit Locker

Adding a shelf outboard along the hull in the cockpit locker will provide some additional storage possibilities and a platform on which to mount the refrigeration compressor.  

The fore end of the shelf will rest upon the top of the new bulkhead. 
Test fit of new 1/2" plywood shelf in cockpit locker.

Tabbing a ½” plywood panel to the upper, aft interior of the cockpit locker (upper, left in image above) allowed me to easily attach a bracket to support the aft end of the shelf.

The shelf will be tabbed to the hull along the outboard side thus another round of grinding to expose the fiberglass hull.

Pile of gel-coat and fiberglass dust after grinding to expose bare fiberglass. YUCK!

I am eager to be done with grinding fiberglass inside the boat.  It creates a huge mess and fine dust spreads throughout the interior.

We created the new shelf using the 1/2” prefinished birch plywood.  Unfortunately the nice finished surface must be ground off in the areas receiving tabbing. 

48" run of 1708 cloth tabbing between the hull and the new cockpit shelf.
For people familiar with the M382, yes, this photo was taken from below the helm seat.

We installed a 48” X 6” strip of 1708 cloth .  The tabbing stiffens and strengthens the shelf significantly. 

Next, we applied two coats of primer and two coats of paint to the shelf and the upper sections of the cockpit locker.

Ahh... the satisfaction of fresh, unmarred paint.

Our plan is to mount the refrigerator compressor near the aft end of the shelf.  Then install one maybe two vents in the cockpit side wall to provide the unit with fresh air. The forward end of the shelf will store cleaning, maintenance, misc supplies in plastic bins.  To keep the plastic bins in place while the boat heels we added a tall fiddle along open face of the shelf.

Teak fiddle installed on the shelf and deck drain hose secured to underside of shelf.

Next up is installing the engine access panels and plumbing the lower and middle bilge pump discharge hoses to the drain manifold.

More images and notes from this on-going project are available in the Cockpit Locker Refit Photo Album