Saturday, February 16, 2008

Work Proceeds Apace

There's been a hiatus of sorts. It's been cold, but not really, and the holidays are pretty much over. I've been hunkered down and if I could hibernate, I would.

As February comes to a close and I can feel spring coming, if not externally, certainly internally. I feel pressed to start installing all the things I've purchased. That includes a holding tank, new VHF radio with hailer and fog signals, the TV antenna (which has been shelved since the cover went on), manual bilge pump operable from inside the boat (a SOLAS requirement), a radio/cd player with speakers in the cockpit and down below, and a bunch more stuff.

Anyway, I was putzing around the Pearson 424 site and one of the things another owner did was to put access hatch in the outboard wall of the shower. There is a HUGE amount of wasted space there - I knew it was a big volume, but I didn't realize how big. A small person could live there!

So today, when I got finished installing the new holding tank vent lines and through-hulls and the waste pumpout fitting, I figured I'd install this hatch.

I purchased a 11" x 15" waterproof hatch and cut out the hole for it and installed it in about an hour and a half. There's a tool called a Roto-Zip which is like a Dremel tool on steroids. It fits between the Dremel and a full-blown router. It spins a little bit very, very fast and will cut through fiberglass with speed. The only downside is that until you get used to it you'll cut lines that are as far from straight as they can be. I use it all the time. Of course, it works with wood as well.

Anyway, that's what I used to cut the hole that I marked from the pattern supplied. Cutting fiberglass is a MESSY job. Another tool I bought last year is a wet/dry vacuum powered by a 24v Li battery made by Rigid. They make great battery powered tools that are guaranteed for life. No joke - my friend Leigh had an old one (18V) and the battery crapped out. Rigid sent him a new one, no charge. Highly recommended. I use the vacuum now whenever I work on the boat because it's so easy and I clean up after an awful job like this in a heartbeat.

As I've mentioned, I've started the holding tank job. There will be a whole entry on that. One of my flashes of brilliance has struck. The holding tank is normally pumped out through the deck. I'll be installing a macerator pump for those times I'm offshore, but what about when the electric pump fails? Ah ha! I'll install a manual pump, too. But get this: when inshore, those pumps will take a suction on the bilge. That way the manual pump serves two purposes!

So far, I haven't thought of a downside. Maybe someone will. Let me know. It seems like such a good idea...

While I'm about the holding tank project - I decide to install the new tank level sensor I got from Sailor's Solutions. You know I've raved about them before. Well, I had a question about the sensor placement and on a two minute call I got the name and number of the person who designed the system. In two shakes of a lambs tail I got the answer and life is beautiful. I will say this: Put the strips on before you install the tank. It will make your life much easier.

It turns out that one of the 424 owners is part of the group SCADtech who designed the tank monitor and Sensi-bulb. That's pretty cool.

Now that I'm on a roll, I hope to get the holding tank installation finished in the next couple of weeks. Unfortunately, work gets in the way of messing about in boats.

Spring is nearly here. I know it doesn't seem like it. But soon, I'll be seeing you on the water. I can't wait!

1 comment:

Kirsten McLinn said...

Hi Bob,

I'm a fellow Pearson 424 owner and was wondering if you have ever replaced the lining of wall in the head. We still have the original wall paper and was searching around to see if others had found a material they liked.

Best,
Kirsten