Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Getting aHead

Please welcome new contributors Dave and Anke, who are living aboard and simultaneously constructing s/v Wayward, a beautifully constructed sailing barge, in SE Alaska. As I mentioned, Wayward is still under construction; here Dave works out how to fit in a head:

By Jo Hudson
from the SEARUNNER Construction Manual by Jim Brown

Viewed objectively there is nothing more absurd than the usual sea-going toilet of the modern production yacht. What expense and engineering, what a profligate use of space and materials, what a baroque concoction of pipes and valves and pumps and skin fittings, what a sop to over-developed human sensitivities, all for the purpose of transferring a small amount of matter a distance of about twelve inches, from here on the inside of the hull, to there on the outside of the hull.

-- From Mingming and the Art of Minimal Ocean Sailing by Roger D. Taylor

Getting aHead

To date, Anke and I have never built an enclosed Head into one of our boats.

Our boats are small to begin with. Partitioning a chunk off for a room that's in use for a few scant albeit imperative minutes a day seems to needlessly cramp our style. The walls block the view (high crime, in our book) and crowd the remaining space.

Anke and I are mostly alone together, and quite comfortable with our nitty gritty. When friends come along... let's just say things are 'up close and personal'.

So a little more privacy would accommodate the sensitivities of our guests, not all of whom are as... um... earthy as others.

On the other hand, the one thing we've always longed for but never had was a Wet Locker; a place to let our raingear drip dry. Heads are traditionally not too bad for that purpose, though their ventilation is often wanting.

To that end we came up with the following:

Note the Head/Wet Locker at the lower, right (port, aft),
outboard of Companionway steps.

What we're looking at is a row of coat hooks along the wall, outboard of a section of flip up counter. This allows space for hanging outdoor gear, especially raingear, where it can drip harmlessly to a well-sealed floor.

The counter, when horizontal, extends the galley counter by (about) 3ft. It also doubles as the port, pilothouse seat, from which we can steer the boat under cover (workbench shares the same role, opposite).

When flipped vertical - hinged along its forward edge, it locks into position to form a partial wall. A curtain may be drawn across the inboard face, and voila! A semi-enclosed head!

It's not as isolated as the typical Head, but visual privacy is ensured. It's positioned under a pilothouse window, so ventilation is better than most. It's still a bucket affair, but a two bucket compost system isn't out-of-the-question. (Here's a great resource on DIY composting toilets from one of our readers).

Set-up and -down take but a matter of seconds, for those in haste.

So this has been a paper possibility for a couple of years, now, and I've been drawing them into Triloboat StudyPLANS. But if anyone's built one, I haven't heard... until now.

So here's a sneak preview of the as yet untried system, at the roughed-in stage. Stay tuned for trial and error to come!

Looking aft into to the portside Galley.
Head/Wet Locker aft.

Looking kitty-corner at Head/Wet Locker

Anke holding counter vertical...
will eventually have a barrel bolt into a small, partial wall outboard
(Mirror on the underside?)

Oh God!

Scrounged hinges...
installed 'upside down' to reduce gluteal hang-up
(the pronounced hinge curl could otherwise bite us in the A**
while sitting on counter)

Sitting Pretty
(and able to look out,, 360deg)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Good Enough

Over at Dock Six, Brian holds forth with a little philosophy, philosophy that I must confess strikes a chord with me:
A fleet of beveraged sailors congregating to celebrate sundown (and we had some great ones last season:

inevitably leads to discussion deep into the dark hours.  One such confab  meandered through the usual "Cruising versus Racing", "Tiller versus Wheel", "Power versus Sail", "Rum versus Rye", "Dock 6 versus Dock 5" debates to a topic which we discovered is a lot more nuanced:

"Correct versus Incorrect Gear and Installation."

or, "When is Good Enough, Good Enough?"

  One thing all in attendance agreed on:

  The answer, as it so often is, is...

..."It depends."

  Except when it doesn't.

   Electrical/electronical stuff is kinda fussy about how it is connected, for example.  Get yer positives and yer negatives backversed and all the smoke comes out of the wires and you're left pondering how to lie on the warranty claim for your new, but now dead, chartsounderhaildar thingy.

  Same thing with wrapping jibsheets around the winch- it only works one way, clockwise, dumbass!

   On BOTH sides of the boat!

  (At least 8 of you out there just air-wrapped an invisible winch to see if I was right... after you first pointed your finger in front of you like a pistol and then rotated it in the air, lefty-loosey and then righty-tighty, to remind yourself what "clockwise" meant.)

  (( You KNOW you did.  Don't even try.))

   Restringing  6:1 mainsheet tackle takes at least two tries because nobody ever gets the sheave order right the first time and nobody bothers to take "before"  pictures before unstringing the old sheet from the blocks... and, of course, it only works one way.

   Adjusting  the valve clearance on your engine,  and flushing the head are other examples of "one way only" systems, gear and procedures.

  Most of the other stuff on your boat?

  Not so much.

  Which is kinda reassuring.

  When I am not sailing, and boatbuilding and boatpart building and wordsmithing, I am a gearhead.

   But not as gearheady as I used to be.

    Back in the day, BB (the era Before Boats),  I was a die-hard 24/7 VW freak.  Since I was 16, I owned 'em, fixed 'em, bought 'em, built 'em, sold 'em, lived 'em, and, sometimes, in 'em.  At last count I had owned 47.3 of them.

 The .3 is still in the backyard of Stately Jones Manor.

  (NOT the backyard of SJM, but at times, it was close.)

 I've laid hands on some of the rarest of the rare,

    ...and rubbed elbows with some of the coolest of the cool.

    At the top of my "I Shit You Not" Stories list, I helped a bunch of local Canadian high school kids build a race car that ran in the 2005 Baja 1000:

 As the old NASCAR joke goes, I wasn't involved, I was committed.  (Look it up.)

Occasionally my wheeled obsession met my keeled obsession.  Little known fact: my first dinghy , Chirp , built back in 2009, was sized to fit inside my VW Vanagon Syncro.

     Confession: I haven't wrenched on a VW in 5 years.

   What happened?

    I  discovered the "good enough" freedom of boats, and realized the math worked.

     See here's the deal:

     Old VWs  are not just collectible, they are appreciating.  Like crazy.  Like, a -$5000 -price -tag -on- a- rusty- dented -non-running- project- bus- that- needs -everything -is -a -steal kind of crazy.

   The shit got serious.    And when the shit gets serious, you gotta get serious about the shit- an incorrect part, an ill-fitting aftermarket panel, a wheel with the wrong date stamp, is a step backward.  A perfectly serviceable, but incorrect, $100 aftermarket muffler might cut the value of your pride and joy by $150.

   And there are plenty of enthusiasts who will happily let you know, at every show and swap meet you attend with your incorrect ride.

   As the value of the vehicles rose, the price of original and good aftermarket parts rose accordingly,  stretching my always tight fun budget.

   Meanwhile, in Old Boat World, or at least the part of it I discovered and happily reside in, nobody gives a shit about whether there are period correct bolts holding the stanchions to decks that are covered with unscuffed original non-skid.  Having peeling decals on the air filter will not hurt the value of my boat at all.

    Owning a floating summer home that will likely not appreciate in value, but will just as likely not depreciate much either, is kinda liberating.

    I was spending more time messing around with boats, and less time in the garage.  Finally, I had to face the fiscal reality:

  My fun budget can support messing around with boats, or messing around with cars. Not both.

   For now.

So, back to the original question. What was the consensus that our confab reached that night?

  When is good enough, good enough?

   We came up with the  "Good Enough" rule of thumb:  Every part, part replacement and modification on-board must answer  "Yes" to three questions-
  1. Does it work?
  2. Is it safe?
  3. Is it durable?

   That's a standard I can meet.

Thanks for stopping by.  Feel free to "Talk the Dock" and pass the word.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Exposed Wiring

Over at Sail Delmarva< Drew cleverly fabricates a cover for some exposed wiring...

This exposed solenoid always bothered me. Non-AYBC compliant, non-USCG compliant, and a short looking to happen, the backside of this anchor windlass breaker has high-amperage exposed terminals.

I fabricated this simple cover from 0.09-inch FRP (the same materials I used for the window covers. Cut by score-and -snap, trim with disk sander, fillet corners with Epoxy + colloidal silica, finish with orbital sander and paint. In stead of screws (holes would show), attach with 3M Dual Lock.

The finished product looks factory. I think I will be using a lot of Dual Lock during the AC installation.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Making It Bigger

This post originally appeared on Windborne in Puget Sound

If you do your own boat work, there is a situation that you have undoubtedly faced:  making a hole bigger.  That sounds trivial until you are faced with a 1.5" hole in your hull that needs to be 2"... say to install an upgraded speedo sensor like I had to do way back in 2005.

Back then, the only way I saw to make the hole larger was to epoxy a wooden plug into the existing hole and then drill a new one, with the hole saw pilot bit cutting into that wooden plug.  That worked fine but was messy and time consuming (yard time = $$).

As in most cases, whenever you stub your toe you need to view this as an opportunity.  Someone has.  Multiple someones in fact.   Enter the hole enlarger:

This tool is really quite simple - the nut that holds the hole saw on the mandrel is replaced with a nut that has its own mandrel, allowing a second (smaller) hole saw to be mounted inside the main one.  Because the fancy nut is made in such a way that the inner hole saw protrudes beyond the primary hole saw, it acts as the pilot.  To enlarge a hole, you install the new larger size saw on the primary mandrel, and a saw matching the size of the existing hole as the inner saw.  Simple, really, now that you see it.

These are available from Bosch, Vermont American, and even Sears.  You should be able to find one for less than $20...  I paid $4.95 for mine.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...