Building Logs

Fitting the dagger case braces.

I am a bit paranoid about hitting something with my daggerboards down and it acting like a knife and cutting a neat slice down the middle of my hull, so I have made the daggerboard cases stronger than the design specs call for. I have used 19mm duflex instead of 13mm, used 25mm ply back to the case instead of 16mm and rapped the outside of the cases with 3 layers of duflex at the bottom rear and top forward face to ensure the dagger could not ever exit the case any way other than up. To finalize this strengthen work I am running cedar planks 60mm x 50mm x the 2020mm from the back of the case to the next bulkhead. I placed 12mm ply pads between the end of the plank and the bulkhead to minimize any point load. I had pre fitted them dry yesterday and today I glued and glassed them into the hull soles. I am not going to resin coat the entire plank as I figure that the inside of the sole is dry and if those planks ever get wet then I have bigger problems than eventual wood rot! I will have a hole in my hull!!

To show how much more convenient this size inspection port is I did a dry fit and had an 8 inch port that I sell, to show the difference in size between it and the port I have made. There is nothing wrong with the ports I sell but being so small I think that trying to maneuver a pump into and out of the sump would have been more difficult. On top of that, most inspection ports sit proud of the surface, these are very low profile but would still need to be recessed about 6mm to be flush. I figure it would have taken me as long as it did to make the ports as it would have to recess the ready made ones.

I also glued and glassed the aft cabin drain pipe into the sole, through each web divider and through the bulkhead into the sump. Once the glass had tacked off a little I gave the inside of the sump a good thick coat of white epoxy so as to be absolutely sure that it was completely sealed and also so that I have a smooth easy wipe surface so that the water moves easily over its surface and is easy to keep clean.

To finish the underside of the sump base I gave it a final light sand to make sure there were no sharp shards of glass to scratch me when I put my hand into the sump. The thick white layer of epoxy covers most of them but here and there a shard still sticks out and a light sand later and smooth as a babies bum (or so I’m told!). I placed the finished sole in place to stop dust from settling in the setting white epoxy in the sole.

I tested the strength of the lid by jumping up and down on it. It didn’t budge and the lid is easy to remove with the slots I cut into the ply top that I inserted into the top of the lid to keep it flush with the floor and there is also a pad of ply inside the lid and the 2 are screwed to each other. I wont glue these in though, I will just give the ply a coat of resin, as I may need to switch the lid if it ever shows signs of fatigue.

standing on sump lidsb sump looking fwd

I placed the starboard bedroom outside hull side kickboard in place over the sole in order to ensure that the sump lid would still be easy to open with furniture in place, I placed a timber plank down the inside hull side to replicate where that furniture would be leaving a 500mm path down the hull (the doorways are 500mm wide) to show where they sit in reference to sump. All good. All in all I could not be happier with this little project. I will replicate it for the port sump and also for access through a bulkhead into the well I have forward of the walk in wardrobe in the port hull.

I cant glue the starboard sump lid down yet (and as a result I cannot proceed with the furniture yet). I have purchased 3 auto bilge pumps with built in float switches (1 for each shower sump and a spare, the bilges are dry so they dont have pumps) on eBay in the US (AU$50 each delivered) and have to wait for them to arrive so that I can fit one into the sump before closing it all up. My plan is to figure out some easy release system, perhaps a rubber strap or belt of some kind that will allow me to remove and replace the pump easily for regular cleaning and maintenance.

I also bought 2 water pumps, 17 liters per minute, enough for 4 outlets at 40psi, for $58 each delivered. I will have separate pumps to pump water to each hull. I like redundancy, if one fails not only will I have spares (I will be buying 2 more, 1 for a salt water deck clean, 2 outlets and 1 spare) we can still access water from the other hull depending on which fails before I have to start maintenance work to restore the system, as it may not be convenient to work on it for a little while, during a passage for example.

Finally I also splashed out (poor choice of words!) for a toilet this week. I am going with Lavac vacuum toilets so at some point I will be buying another one. At $1000 each they are about double the cost of a Jabsco electric toilet and triple the cost of a TMC budget toilet, but I am sold on them for 2 reasons. First they have no moving parts, and dont require a macerator (the vacuum action acts like a macerator, that ought to be enough information!) but just as important to me is that they use very much less water than a regular toilet. This is important to me because I am using fresh water not salt. come. I believe fresh water toilets smell much better than salt water and it is one less through hull to worry about. These toilets also come with both an electric pump and a manual pump that are both in line at all times so if I have reduced power capacity I could still manual pump them out. (A total power failure for me would render the toilets inoperable anyway because of the use fresh water in them).

When all of this plumbing gear arrives (the water pumps are here but waiting on the bilge pumps and toilet) I will be able to finish the plumbing around the boat, or most of it and glass down the rest of the soles and finish the furniture in each hull. I am hoping to use the holiday period coming up to get all of that done or at least most of it. Then will come the wiring.

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Paul