Thursday, May 21, 2020

Re-plumbing Catalina 34 Mk 1 - part 2

Re-plumbing the Fresh Water System on our Catalina 34 Mk 1

The Plan - Diagram of the Fresh Water Plumbing on our Catalina 34 Mk1

It turns out that despite spending hours selecting the materials for this project, I still had to make a few changes when it came to purchasing them. The 1/2" PEX Barb x 1/2" FNPT Elbow adapters were not FNPT, and I could not find the right fittings, so I had to go with Straight Adapters. Not a big deal, it just forces me to use a 1/2" PEX Barb x 1/2MNPT Adapter.

Everything is on order, and should arrive / be available for pickup at the store in the next week or two.

I'm not in a hurry to rip out all of the existing plumbing, as that will basically tie us to the dock. With our current 'Social Distancing practice, if I get the chance to take the boat out, I will! So patience is the game for now.

First item to arrive was the 3 Way Ball Valve, but it had a defect, it was only operating as a 2 way valve.
ie. The selector handle was limited to routing the central (common) valve opening to one of the 2 valve openings. To me, that's a 2 way valve. It did not allow the 3rd position that would shut off both inlets. 10 minutes with a sharpie knife and it now does act as a 3 way valve. That would be 'Aft Tank, Mid Tank and Off.

Update 4.26.2020 - The materials are gathering in my garage. So far I have a bunch of stuff from Lowes, 2 more items in the pipeline from them. And I just got an email from ACE Hardware that all of the items, 3, from them are ready for pickup. It's Sunday, so ACE will wait till Monday.

I started to put the 3 way valve system together, this part is easy but I need one of the parts that's at not arrived at Lowes yet. I've thought through the whole process, figuring out which way the pipes will run and where the challenges will be, the order in which to build / install each section as some of the joint locations will be difficult to crimp in place. I'm hoping I can make the install really neat and tidy. Ship Shape!

Saturday May 2nd.

The last piece of the puzzle arrived today - the 4 port manifold.

Sunday May 3rd.

Finished building the 3 way valve and the Manifold (Attach the 3/4" PEX Barb to 1/2" PEX Barb)

Monday May 4th.

Headed down to the boat today with the Tools, all of the Piping and Materials.
If I were being paid for doing this, I would be working at least an 8 hour day, but I'm not, and with the current restrictions imposed because of the Pandemic, I'm not in a hurry, so will probably spend no more than 4 hours each day and not every day.

Here's what we got done:
  • Drain the Tanks✔
  • Remove the Aft bulkhead in the Aft Cabin to gain access to the Aft Water Tank✔
    • Had to remove the Aft Berth Port Side bulkhead too!✔
    • All of this was a waste of time! The Aft Tank outlet connection is on the front, center underside of the tank.
    • Decided to keep the hose in place from the Aft tank to where it reaches inside the Galley Cabinet and convert from Hose to Pex at that point.
  • Drill the hole in the Galley cabinet just below the Cutlery draw for the 3 Way Valve. The laminated (Glass,Wood, Glass) galley cabinet is thicker than the max wall thickness for surface mounting the 3 way valve, so I measured the amount of the valve shaft sticking out of the cabinet and planned to trim down the handle in the morning so that the handle would not rub against the cabinet surface. The valve location seems to be just fine. Inside the cabinet it's not in the way of the Hot water tank nor the pump. It's easily reached and is hardly noticable.
Review of Monday:
As power was out on the dock, we had to setup the Generator and shore power cable in order to be able to run the Air Conditioning, Temps were expected to get up into the 90ΒΊ again today. We spent most of the time figuring out where the Aft Tank Connection was located and then reinstalling the Bulkheads! Grrrr! We also spent a while reinstalling the Dry Bilge Pump which is out of the way - which means awkward to get at!
Oh, while reinstalling the Aft Cabin Port Bulkhead, I crimped my pinky finger between the wood and the small metal ring around one of the screws while using my electric screwdriver - that cut out about a 1/8" round by 1/16" deep slice of my finger tip! Luckily I have a Nurse on board! After taking care of that I wore Vinyl gloves to try and keep it clean. Thankfully, I heal pretty quick!

Tuesday May 5th.

  • Removed all of the existing pipework under the Galley Counter.✔
  • Found that the Filters are not 1/2" MNPT but 3/8" MNPT. I have enough to get the Galley area done, but not enough to do the Head. Ordered more from Ace Hardware.✔
  • Removed the existing 1/2" MNPT - Hose Barbed connection on the Midships Tank.✔
  • Removed the connections on the Fresh Water Pump - They are 1/2" FNPT✔
  • I had to totally disconnect the disassemble the Drinking Water Filter System in order t attach the 3/8" MNPT Elbows✔
Review of Tuesday:
Got a late start today, but got right down to business. We used the Dry Bilge Pump to drain the bilge after disconnecting the hot water tank which put 6 gallons of fresh water into the bilge.
Most of the day was spent on demolition. It looked like a huge amount of piping to pull out. There were over 50 hose clamps 12+ Barbed Hose Connections and about 10' of hose in short lengths. The work area looks a lot clearer now.
I started to get some of the new Pipe work put together. It's a case of measure and cut all of the pieces from one connection. eg. the Filter Input, to the next, eg. 3 Way Valve output. Make as many of the joints prior to putting the piece into place in order to minimize the number of crimps to make in place. It is certainly the case that the PEX tubing running in straight lines with Elbows to redirect the next piece in the correct direction is a whole lot neater than flexible poly tube bent this way and that.  
Ordered additional 3/8" MNPT - 1/2" PEX Barb Elbows from ACE Hardware. Also figured I'll need another 50 1/2" PEX Crimp Clamps, but they are available in store at Lowes.
This brings the total cost up to $199.18  The good news is that I will be able to return some of the tubing. 

Some pics:
The Drinking water filter system.
The connections were push to fit 1/4" tubing, so I removed those and found that the filters have 3/8" fittings.
The UV lamp system is not yet reinstalled, that will come later.
 The old Tank selector Valves - Plural! are removed.
The shaggy looking foam on the right side of the pic is the additional foam the PO put around the fridge freezer.

I hope to clean up the surface of the plywood that supports the Fresh Water Pump

 The white cylinder is the 'Whole House' water filter, that too has 3/8" connections.

The UV lamp housing for the Drinking water filter system is laying on top of the Hot Water Tank.

The first piece of PEX white pipe is between the two filters. not connected yet, just sizing it up. That will go to the 3 way Tank Selector valve.

Thursday May 7th.

  • Made up white piping from Midships Tank to 3 way valve.
    • This included a 1/2" MNPT to 1/2" PEX Elbow and 3 PEX Elbows.
  • Made up White piping from Aft tank hose to 3 way valve.
    • This included a Hose Barb to 1/2" MNPT connector - a 1/2" MNPT to PEX Barb adapter.
  • Made up White piping from 3 way valve to Whole House Filter
    • This included the 3/8" MNPT to 1/2" PEX Barb Elbow that I installed yesterday and 2 1/2" PEX Barb Elbows
  • While putting the piping from the Whole House Filter to the Fresh Water Pump inlet, I found that the inlet is not NPT! Grrrr. So that put a stop to the work in the galley as I really wanted to get the Pump inlet system complete before working on the Manifold and the Hot Water Tank.
  • Dissemble the Fresh Water connections to the Head Faucet and the Shower Thermostat. Pics below. 
Review of Thursday

Everything went well today up until I found that the Pump inlet connections are not NPT, but rather than stop there, I made progress by dissembling the fresh water system in the Bathroom. The hoses run from the Sink faucet, down and aft of the engine bay, through 2 holes in the aft face of the engine bay floor support, then under the engine bay floor and forwards to inside the galley cabinet where they connect to the Pressurized Hot and Cold water supplies.

The existing system has 10 components between the Faucet and the supply hose and 6 hose clamps. The new setup will have 3 components and 4 clamp crimps. That's a reduction of 12 components and 8 clamps and does not use any hose clamps. 

It will also run much neater under the cabinet. I'm hoping I can put some sort of chafe protection where the PEX piping passes through the holes at the back of the engine bay.

It will be fun trying to get the piping to run through those holes and up to the galley cabinet, there is not a lot of room and the PEX Clamp crimps will need to be made up prior to running the piping.

It was much cooler today, so we didn't need to run the Air Conditioning.

Here's the Midships Water Tank supply outlet.
That's a 1/2" MNPT fitting with pipe thread tape and a PEX Elbow where the pipe turns aft.

One surprise was that while tightening up the fitting, the tank shifted! It looks like there's nothing holding the tank down besides gravity, I think I'll remedy that! Some wooden bars at the ends to hold it down, not that I ever intend to be out on water where we might turn turtle. But!!!!!

Here's the inside of the 3 way valve, the pipe on the right in the pic is the Aft Tank Connection. The Left Pipe is the Midships Tank Connection and the Center pipe is output of the valve that connects to the Whole House Filter before connecting to the Fresh Water Pump input.

Here's the sunny side of the 3 way valve. The Cutlery draw is currently removed as is the Galley counter cabinet draw set removed. I'll put labels to indicate the 3 positions Aft - Mid - Off.

Back at home I took a trip to Lowes and found a suitable connection for the Fresh Water Pump it's a 1/2" PEX Barb to 1/2" FNP rather than a 1/2" FNPT. I grabbed two of them but will look to see if I can find them in and Elbow format. I found them online at Lowes and ordered them, should arrive by the date that the additional 3/8" connectors arrive at ACE Hardware.

So, today was not as productive as I had hoped , I'm forever the optimist. But what progress I did make was good work and I'm very pleased with the way it's turning out, very neat, very clean and a huge reduction in failure points.

Friday May 8th

There's more demo to do in the bathroom:- Remove the hoses from the Thermostat and to the Shower head control valve. That will take about a 1/2 hour. I should be able to re-plumb the Shower Control valve to the Thermostat and that will take about an hour, it involves removing the cabinet over the shower seat, the Control valve and the Thermostat in order to connect the PEX fittings. Definitely going to be a challenge wiggling around in the cramped area of the bathroom.

I went down to the boat today while Peggy stayed at home to practice her Guitar lessons. My intent was to start on the bathroom demo and review the galley and bathroom plumbing plans. I'm really into visualizing a project, it helps make the decisions on what and how to do things. Today was an eye opener.

When I was planning this project, I focused on the schematics and the types of fittings needed. Then I focused on each part of the project as I begun them, figuring out which route the pipes would follow and the order in which each connection needed to be made. Today I was focused on how to run the pipes from the galley to the bathroom. My initial thought was to use the existing pipes as messengers for the long connection between the two cabinets. I had thought that the hot and cold pipes ran from in front of the hot water tank, beneath the flooring, under the engine and out of the rear of the engine compartment. Turns out they took a detour coming up through the floor on the port side of the engine bay before continuing aft and through the engine bay's aft bulkhead. PEX piping would not bend sufficiently to follow that route, at least, not the Red and Blue PEX piping, they do make a white pipe that is more flexible, but I really wanted to be able to identify the pipes by their coloring.

So, plan B.

I have two choices:
a) Use the existing 33 year old poly pipes between the galley and the bathroom with adapters on each end to change from hose barbs to PEX fittings.
b) Use PEX piping but run it on a straight line, under the floor, from the Galley to the Bathroom - the same route that the Bilge Pump Hoses follow.

I ran a test pipe under the floor as per choice #2 and it was easy to get the pipe in place. It will be a bit of a challenge to get the PEX fittings on to the ends of those long pipes, but I can see how to do it. It will maintain the pipe color coding and consistency of fitting types (PEX) and not use any Hose clamps.

So, my choice is to go the straight route using PEX. I'll put Swivel connections on the end so that it's easier to make the end connections.

While at the boat I looked at what was needed to refinish the Fresh Water Pump mounting shelf. I removed the pump, 4 screws, to examine the shelf. It just needs a quick surface prep, sand and prime then follow that with a coat, or two, of some high gloss white paint.

I also looked at the plumbing for the Bathroom Sink and Shower Sump discharge. Ideally the through hull stop valves would be rotated slightly in order to make them easier to operate, but that's a job when the boat is out of the water - I made a note for the December Haul Out. The Shower Sump and Head salt water supply hoses were both on the same thru hull stop valve, but we don't use salt water to flush the head, so that is being disconnected along with the T joint so that Thru Hull will only act as the Shower Sump drain, making more room in the under sink cabinet.

In the Pic the Clean White tube down by the shower sump pump is the Test PEX piping that is routed from the aft most bilge access by the Hot Water Tank. Plan is to run the pipe upwards close to the shower seat bulkhead 

Back home I received an email from ACE Hardware that my latest order (3/8" MNPT to 1/2" PEX Barb fittings) had arrived. A quick trip and I had the fittings and a small can of primer and high gloss white paint for the Fresh Water Pump Shelf.

Next trip to the boat is planned for Tuesday May 12th. Hopefully the new Swivel joints will have arrived. 
I hope to get the shelf prepped, primed and 1st coat of high gloss. While waiting for primer to dry I'll start the pipe runs from the Galley to the Bathroom and perhaps some of the bathroom fittings.

The gloss requires 6 hours between coats, so 2nd coat will have to be Wednesday.

I'll look into re-routing the bilge pump hoses while I'm in there, the current layout is nasty to say the least.

Tuesday May 12 (we took a day off for our Wedding Anniversary)

Got to that boat around 10:15am and set to prime the Fresh Water Pump Shelf - a quick sanding and the primer job was done in less than 20 minutes.

Then on to the Bathroom Plumbing; First I removed the Shower Thermostat in order to determine if I should replace the ploy hose with PEX or adapt. I chose adapt.

I made up hot and cold water setup.
In the image one can see the Hose barb connections on the left and the Faucet connections pointing down in this pic. The long PEX tube will be positioned downwards when the setup is installed. The lower end of that tube will have a Swivel fitting and attach to a 1/2" PEX to 1/2" MNPT adapter. That will allow for the future removal of that setup if ever needed.

  • Before we left, I applied the 1st coat of Hi-Gloss white to the shelf. It's looking good but will add a 2nd coat Wednesday.
  • This now shows where the Fresh Water Pump will be relocated further forward of the cut out that allows access to the Galley Sink Drain Thru hull. It should be a lot easier to open/close.

  • The pic also shows the final position of the (Blue) Water Tank Selector valve handle. And there is enough room behind the new location of the water pump to allow change of the Whole House Water Filter (White) 
I'll sort out the electrical cabling as I finish up in this area. The Water Manifold will be located forward and above the Hot Water Tank. That will allow future removal of the Hot Water Tank without having to disconnect any of the Manifold connections.

Wednesday May 13th.

Just a quick trip down to the boat today. 2nd coat of High Gloss on the pump shelf. Test run of PEX pipe from below the galley to the bathroom cabinet under the flooring. Clean up the electrical spaghetti just forward of the hot water tank and then home.

The electrics have been updated many times during he 33 year lifespan of Eximius. This is a typical view of the electrics, in fact it's not so bad compared to the disaster behind the electrical control panel. There's one heavy duty cable, no markings, not even a wire size among that wad of cables. It is not connected to anything and, I found out by opening all of those wire ties, it runs down the inside of the cabinet and then under the flooring via a glassed in conduit and into the aft end of the holding tank locker.    I was able to locate where it arrived inside that locker and started to ease it out of the tube, but it's really jammed in there and is not that easy to reach down and get a decent purchase. It can wait till another day, I did cut it off so that when I re-organize the bunch of cables it will not be included.

Thursday May 14th.

Made great progress today:
  • Fixed the Fresh Water Pump in place on the newly finished shelf
  • Connected the Pump intake piping from the Whole House Filter
  • Connected the Pump output to the Manifold
  • Connected the Manifold to the Drinking water filtration system.
  • Connected the Manifold to the Galley Faucet Cold water.
  • Ran the pipe from the Manifold to the Hot Water tank's Cold Water input fitting location (still waiting on the final fittings from Lowes.
  • Ran the pipe from the Manifold to bilge area where the elbow where the pipe turns aft to go under the floor to the bathroom
  • Ran the Hot water pipe from bilge area to the bathroom
I also cut the piping needed to connect the Hot Water from the tank to the galley faucet. I ran out of Elbow's and clamp crimps. 

When I arrived home, I realized that I had configured the pipes for the hot water outlet of the hot water tank the wrong way around (they were configured to the cold, input for the tank)

Luckily, I did not crimp the clamps! So when I go down to the boat again, I simply need to reconfigure them, about 10 minutes of work. Even better good news is that the new configuration will be even neater.

Picked up the 1/2" PEX Swivel adapters from Lowes, but the 1/2" x 12" MNPT adapters have not arrived yet and they are crucial for the connections on the hot water tank.

If the final parts arrive today, I should finish the system on Saturday, we'll wait and see.


Peggy asked why I was being so detailed when writing this post. I have promised the editor of the Catalina Mainsheet, C34 association that I would supply an article on this for the next edition. I'll use these posts to compile that article.

Friday May 15th - Nothing, poured with rain all day - did some baking.

Saturday May 16th. - Still waiting for the 1/2" MNPT x 1/2" MNPT adapters for the Hot Water Tank. 

Monday May 18th. 

Stopped by Lowes over the weekend to get stuff for another project, while there I picked up a few more items that I knew I needed for this one.

In order to connect the Blue Pex Pipe to the 3/8" MNPT Elbow on the Drinking Water Filter System, I had to remove the filter system (easy, just lift it off the holding screws. Must remember to secure it back in place after testing). But it wasn't sufficient, so I crimped a new piece of pipe to the elbow and will join that with the piece already in place using one of these.

$9.98 pack of 5

I also purchased a pack of these (10), I'll replace the nails with SS screws to secure the pipes in place in several areas.

For certain, at least one will be used to support the piping near the Manifold as that has 5 pipes attached to it.

Another will be used to secure each of the PEX Pipe ends where they connect to the Faucet flexible pipes.
Lowes(Link)  $2.68 pack of 10

In addition to those two items, I also picked up another 20 PEX Clamp Crimps and a 5 pack of PEX 1/2" x 1/2" Barbed Elbows, I have used up nearly all that I purchased originally.

When the 1/2" MNPT x 1/2" MNPT PEX Adapters arrive, I'll also pickup the new Filters as now would be a great time to replace them. I may have mentioned that earlier.

Monday May 18th.

At last, the 1/2" MNPT to 1/2" MNPT adapters arrived at Lowes. While at the store I picked up 4 new Water filter inserts and two new Water Filters for our house. The filters for our current home under sink drinking water system are $35 each and are the type that are encased in a heavy plastic tube, they are changed out by just turning the water off, twisting the filter units and releasing them, the new are as easy to replace. However, I really don't like that I have to toss out a big chunk of plastic that will last 4E4 and even then will not decompose. 
The new filters are the same as used in the boat. So to change the, the filter housing has to be unscrewed (water pressure off), removed and the old filter extracted, new inserted and the filter housing screwed back in place. It may take 5 minutes more to change the filter, but the new filters have far less plastic and are $15.99 a pair!!! that's 25% of the price. On the plus side is also the fact that I now only have to maintain one type of filter for both the boat and the house.  
Oh! The dual filter systems available typically cost about $150 to a lot more, but they really are only a pair of the simple single filter units attached together in series and attached to a metal or plastic 
mounting piece. The two single filters have all the bits needed to connect them and each has it's own mounting plate. The single filter units are $36, so only $72 a pair. No brainer!

Tuesday May 19th.

House work day. Installing the new kitchen sink drinking water system and doing some yard work, a couple of banana trees have fallen due to the heavy rain over the past few days and they are laden with about 40lb of bananas each. And tomorrow is a big day! Due to being pretty well stuck at home except for trips to the boat and the store where I wear my facemask, tomorrow is big garbage day! Must be Wednesday. Sad, we note what day it is by the events that happen every week.

Thursday May 21st.

Installation Complete!
We were down at the boat by 9:30am and quickly got on with the remainder of the installation work.
Completed the Hot Water Tank - Hot and Cold piping connections including the Checkvalve in the Cold water line to the Hot water tank.

Completed the plumbing in the bathroom, it took some creative effort to get too much of my torso inside the bathroom cabinet (with the door frame removed). 

I had to detach the 3rd bilge pump hoses in order to be able to make the connections of the hot and cold water pipes, however, the access inside the bathroom cabinet is already much better and when I re-route the bilge pump hoses the access to the thru hulls will be much cleaner. I could not connect the shower cold water supply hose without getting a kink in the hose, so I'll have to install and barb elbow joint where the kink is.

So the plumbing install is complete and ready for a leak test tomorrow, Friday. At that time I'll also reinstall the 3rd bilge pump hoses, the Shower Sump pump hose to the thru hull, organize and secure the electrical wiring in the area of the forward midships corner of the hot water tank.

The replacement fan for the bathroom arrived, so we'll install that as well, assuming that no leaks eat up our work time on Friday.

So Friday plan:-
  • Fill the midships water tank
  • Pressure test the system
  • Flush the pipes out (should be clean, but better to flush them)
  • Fit pipe holders to secure the bathroom piping and the galley under sink piping.
  • Reinstall the Bilge pump hoses
  • Reinstall the Shower Sump Pump hose to the thru hull
  • Dry up the bilge. 
  • Oh! And take loads of pictures to include in the wrap up post.
It was a hot and humid day, by the time we got back home it began the afternoon pour down. Temp got to 92ΒΊF on the boat. But we got it done.

That's it for this post. It should provide plenty of material for the article in the MainSheet magazine.

We could be out on the boat as early as Saturday! WoHooooo!

See you there - just stay 50' away  :)

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Re-plumbing Catalina 34 Mk 1 - part 1

Re-plumbing the Fresh Water System on our Catalina 34 Mk 1

Stuck at home, keeping a Social Distance from friends, neighbors and our boat, I have plenty of time on my hands. What to do? Plan projects of course!

We've had our share of plumbing failures over the past 5 years and each time I have repaired the part that failed, or updated the part that needed it. But the issues of having reinforced poly pipes that expand when pressurized linger on. So, it's time to re-plumb the entire system.

Tank Selector

Here's an example of 'why' do this. This is the Tank Selector which I made just over a year ago. It shows 4 hose clamps, which looks a whole lot neater than the disparate valves and connections we had previously. 

All of the other hoses in the system have double hose clamps, There are more than 100 hose clamps on the Fresh Water hoses that supply the galley and the head/shower. Each one is a point of potential failure.

The various fittings in the system require multiple adapters to convert from the fitting to the reinforced hose. So there are multiple fittings that can be eliminated by using simpler adapters. eg. 3/8" Faucet connecting to 1/2" piping.

Using PEX and PEX crimps, will dramatically cut down the number of connections,  eliminate hose clamps and reduce the number of additional adapters.

My goal is to replace all of the pipes and pipe fittings of the Fresh Water System. 

The good news is that the Faucets, Shower head and Water Filters are all new items replaced or installed in the last 4 years.

I will not be replacing the Fresh Water tanks - that's a whole different game - involves too much dismantling.

The Plan.

After much research, I have decided upon PEX piping and crimp fittings. Here's a diagram of the water system and the pipes which are color coded: Red = Hot Water, Blue=Pressurized Cold Water and Black/White  = Un-Pressurized cold water, Amber = Temperature Controlled water.

I'll use Pex Elbows to ease the routing of the Pex Tubing. eg. The tubes that connect the Aft Tank to the Ball Valves is not a straight line, so it will likely require two or three Elbow fittings rather than try to bend the pipe in a tight radius.

Note: I asked C34 owners which was the best size for the piping, general consensus seems I could use 3/8" tubing. But as the tank connections appear to be 1/2" and the pipe runs have to include several elbows in order to avoid hard turns in the pipe radii, I'm going to use 1/2" pipe and fittings. Water pressure at the faucets and shower are not really an issue. The current piping and the number of connectors/adapters does not reduce the water flow significantly, and I wouldn't be opposed to a reduction in water pressure - saves water usage. 


PEX Clamp Crimp Tool Kit

Some of the fittings will require a wrench, but this is the tool I'll use to make the crimp connections.

It's not the easiest tool to use in tight spaces, and this is a boat! That's everywhere. I have used it in my garage. Plan is to make as many of the crimp connections before running the pipes. It doesn't require gorilla strength.

Nice tool! The crimper does both crimping and crimp removal.

I guess I'll have to keep it on-board with a bunch of spare crimps, you know, just in case 😏

The PEX pipe cutter is just a bonus.
Tool Cost: $34 at Amazon.


PEX Clamp Crimps
This is the type of Crimp I'll use for all of the PEX piping connections.

It's 304SS but I'm pretty sure all of the existing Hose Clamps are also 304SS.

SharkBite 25-Pack 1/2-in dia Stainless Steel PEX Pinch Clamp Crimp Fitting

Cost: $10.58 for 25

SharkBite 25-Pack 3/4-in dia Stainless Steel PEX Pinch Clamp Crimp Fitting
Lowes: (These came with the PEX crimping tool) I only need 2 + Spares.
Cost: $6.98 (Pack of 10)

PEX Piping 

The PEX Tubing is available at my local LOWES store in 20' lengths and 10' lengths.

Probably have some left over, but I'll take the same route: buy more than I need and return what I don't.

Cost $6.98 for 20'
Cost $8.00 for 25'

5' Length of 3/4" White
Cost: $3.26

1/2" PEX Barb X 1/2" MNTP Pipe fittings that I believe should fit the Water Tank Outlets, 3 Way Valve and the Filter housings

Cost: $5.72 (5 Pack)

These are the 1/2" PEX Barb X 1/2" FNPT Elbow Pipe fittings that I believe should fit the Water Pump and the Thermostat in the Shower line.

Cost: $10.97 (5 Pack) (need 2 packs)

I spent hours searching for a 3/8" MNPT to 1/2" PEX Barb adapter Elbow. I had given up and decided to get the Brass 3/8" MNPT to 1/2" FNPT Adapter and then use a 1/2" MNPT to 1/2" PEX Barb adapter.

Gave it one last shot and found the 3/8" MNPT to 1/2" PEX Barb Elbow on

Ace Hardware:(Link)
Cost: $5.59 (5 Pack) 

I could not find a 3/8" MNPT to 1/2" PEX Barb for the Faucets pipe connections to the PEX tubing, so I had to get these 3/8" MNPT to 1/2" FNPT Adapters to connect to 1/2" MNPT to 1/2" PEX Barb.


Cost: $15.25 (5 Pack)

3 Way Ball Valve FNPT connections

I looked all over (the Internet) but could not find a PEX Barbed 3 way valve. But I did find this item.
It's has FNTP Connections. That's 'Female Nataional Threaded Pipe. So I believe that the 1/2" Pex Barb to 1/2" Pipe Fitting will create the transition to the PEX piping. I'll most likely use Straight for the output and elbows for the inputs.

The handle can be removed to facilitate panel mount, so I only need to drill a hole about 1/2" dia in the face of the galley side and two small screw holes to secure it to the panel. Max panel thickness is 0.17".

US Plastics Corp (Link)
Cost: $20.66
Shipping: $15.00
Cost Total: $35.66

Another item I could not find: 1/2" PEX Barb x 1/2" FNPT Elbow. So I'll have to use Straight connectors and add an Elbow to the piping.

Cost: $7.99 (5 Pack)

PEX 1/2" Barb 4 Port to PEX 3/4" Barb Manifold

Rather than make a manifold by connecting T fittings, I found this 4 port manifold online.

4 Port 1/2" PEX Barb Manifold with 3/4" PEX Barb input connection.

It will require a 3/4" PEX Barb to 1/2" PEX Barb coupling to connect the input to 1/2" PEX piping.

Home Depot: (Link)
Cost: $12.98ea.

PEX 1/2" Barb to 1/2" NPT Adapter

Pex 1/2" Barb to 1/2" NPT Pipe adapter.
I'll need one of these to connect to the Output port of the 3 Way Ball valve. The rest of them will most likely be used for the faucet connections.

Cost: $4.67 (pack of 5)

PEX 1/2" Barb to PEX 3/4" Barb Adapter

The Manifold has a 3/4" Pex Barb input. This Coupling connects 3/4" Pex Barb to  1/2" Pex Barb that will fit the Pex Pipes

I'll have to get a very short length of 3/4" Pex piping to connect to the Manifold.

ACE Hardware:(Link)
Cost: $3.95

As per the diagram above, I need 3 of these 1/2" PEX Barb 'T's

ACE Hardware: (Link)
Cost: $3.59 (5 Pack)

PEX 3/4" Piping
3/4" Pex Piping (White)
The shortest length I can get is 5'

Cost: $3.26

This 1/2" Push to Connect Check Valve will replace the existing check valve that is connected between the Hot Water Tank Inlet and the Cold Water Supply.
It prevents hot water back flowing from the hot water tank into the cold water filters and faucets.

I could not find a PEX Barbed Check valve.

Lowes (Link)
Cost: $15.98 each.
Pex 1/2" Barb to Pex 1/2" Barb Elbow

These 1/2" Pex Barb X 1/2" Pex Barb Elbows will be used to assist in running the piping around the corners rather than try to bend the piping.

Cost: $2.91 for pack of 5

The Reconstruction:

Galley Cabinets
I'm considering relocating the tank selector valves: They are currently inside the Lower Access of the Galley Drawer unit. My Admiral has an issue reaching the water supply selector valves.  It would be nice if I can relocate them to be on the exterior of the Galley Cabinets. 
To relocate them, I will have to drill a couple of holes in the galley cabinet side in such a location that they won't be shin catchers. The big plus of having them on the outside of the cabinet is that it's obvious which tank is selected or if they are turned off. 

I'm pretty sure it will fit just inboard of the lower drawer front and beneath the cutlery draw

Three Way Control Valve

This valve has a handle that cab be removed and replaced in any of 4 positions.

Using this, I can add Nice labels to show where the handle should be to select:- Aft Tank -- Off -- Mid Tank.

It looks much nicer than the bent metal handles that are on most of the valves that I found.

That pretty much describes the Why, What, With and How.
I estimate the total cost to be as shown in the Sheet below:-

The (Demolition) Process:

  • Drain the tanks: And while draining them we will flush them in the hope of removing much of the crud that has accumulated in the past 32 years. Basically we'll use a pressure hose inside the tanks.
  • Disconnect the Mid-ships water tank (easy)
  • Disconnect the Galley Faucets
  • Disconnect the Head Faucet, Shower control valve and Thermostat fittings.
  • Disconnect the Hot Water Tank and the 3 Water Filters.
  • Except for the Aft tank water hose, remove all of the old water hoses and run messenger lines where needed. (some are just a few inches long)
The Aft tank hose to the ball valve is the longest single hose. It runs from the forward lower edge of the Aft tank and runs below the Aft Cabin, under the Galley floor and into the Galley cabinet locker. I'm hoping I can remove and replace this hose in one step rather than go dumpster diving multiple times. With luck I'll be able to use the old hose as the messenger for the new.

So, that's the plan. Time to order the parts!

Stay Safe!

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Pandemic - Face Masks

Making Face Masks so we can venture outside.

1st batch of Face Masks

Tapes/Ties are made from 1.75" material folded over twice and Ironed into strips.

Mask is made from two layers of fabric 10" x 7", sewn with 3 pleats.

This size fits Adult Male, it's just too big for my wife (a retired Nurse of 40+ years) and way too big for Kids.

Pirate material is left over from a previous boat project.
Blue is left over from another boat project 15 years ago! 

Tape is made from material a buddy from HISC gave me when he was clearing out.

Working on Medium and Small sizes this morning.

Changed tack slightly. Rather than waste any of the material for the ties, I cut a bunch of them, sewed together and then folded them. That way I can cut each one to length and not waste the end of each strip.

Making the ties is the most time consuming part. But the stores are all out of elastic, so for now it's Ties.

The material was donated, so I'm putting it to good use.

I use a 25mm binding maker which speeds up the ties manufacturing, but still a long task.

Then I sew them together at 45ΒΊ and trim the seam allowance to make easier to pass through the binding attachment.

The binder folds over the two edges to create a standard width binding, then that's folded in half to create the ties.

The new method results in a very long strip of tie material, about 5 yards, it's unwieldy to handle much more than that.

Then the long strip is cut into pairs. 42" for the Male Adult masks and 38" for the Junior Masks,

Here's some of the 'Lobster' material that I had puchased for the boat window curtains, I have plenty, enough to do the windows is left over.

Finished Junior Mask, only two pleats but still has the nose piece, it's just a straightened Paper Clip with the ends turned over to prevent them piercing the material (they are also inside of 6 layers)

After they are sewn, they are pressed with the steam iron and ready to launder.

Latest finished batch of six.

the fabric is cut to 8" x 6" for the Junior version.

I'll make one more version. Female/Teenager using 9" x 7" fabric. I have some stars material that I can use.

I'll post an update when the first batch of F/T masks are done.

Stay safe everyone.

Latest Batch.

So far distributed to family and friends (neighbors)

Next batch will go to distant friends, just need to get the appropriate addresses.

Probably have enough materials for about 50. Made 20 so far.

Purchased new blades for my Rotary Cutter - game changer!

Purchased spring clips for holding materials together (pleats) kinder to my hands ( 😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎)

I have templates for 3 sizes now.

More later.

Another Batch,  13 made today.

That used up all of my material for the Ties :(

Delivered some and Mailed some to Family in Florida. Neighbors and their family. 

Thought I had an issue with my machine, turned out it was the Posi Drive Pin not quite in place

Monday, March 16, 2020

St.Patrick's Day Cruise

St. Patrick's Day HISC Cruise 2020

Despite the current pandemic, the St. Patrick's Cruise turned out great!

Here's my review, it covers the details of our short journey to the venue and the return as well as some of the highlights during the stay at Sunrise Bay

We have the process of loading the boat down to an art form. I have a spreadsheet on Google Drive that we use for the daily meal planning. It also has our perishable and non-perishable lists which we use to load coolers / vitals bins.

This trip we didn't have to leave the dock until nearly mid-day, so no need to preload the boat, we just took all that we needed down to the boat on Friday Morning for an 11:30am departure.

The journey down the New River was another day of wonderment! No traffic from the Dock until we got to the Fork, and then it started! There were two sizable motor yachts holding near the Fork for a Cape Ann Towing with a Barge and huge Crane coming from the South Fork. We passed ahead and towards 7th Avenue Bridge, several smaller boats passed us because they could get under the bridge without it opening, others just joined the line.

While waiting for the bridge to open, we heard on VHF that the FEC Railroad bridge was down. That meant that all of the boats, big and small, had to wait upstream from the Railroad bridge! Including the Towed Barge! it quickly packed up, we decided to head back towards 7th Ave Bridge as all of the others were congregating closer to the rail bridge. We cannot hold position very well when there is a current running and a wind coming and going. So we just do a few doughnuts in our corner of the river.

Once the Rail bridge opened, everyone plied their way past it. Of course, Andrew's Avenue Bridge was also slow to open due to road traffic and pedestrians, so now all of that traffic is stuck between Andrew's Ave Bridge and the Rail bridge, it got a bit tricky, but it's almost normal now.

Once past Andrews, 3rd Ave bridge opened and everyone moved forwards. The barge did not have a lot of lateral clearance though that bridge.

Once past 3rd, it was out intent to turn by Smokers Park for a Pump out. We tried to communicate to the vessels close to our stern, on VHF #9, but no response - no big surprise, it seems that most power boat owners don't monitor #9 despite all of the signs along the river to do just that! So I had to resort to shouting to the skipper of the boat that was about to hit us from astern if we slowed and turned. It was only when he was along side of us that he got the message and turned on his radio. Have you ever tried to shout nicely?

We easily docked at Smokers park and completed a pump out in about 25 minutes. Then back out to the river.

The rest of the trip to Sunrise Bay was uneventful, we passed under Sunrise Bridge during the 14:00 opening. Peggy took the helm and turned us into Sunrise Bay. I picked out an anchor spot on the southern side of the bay well eastward of the other boats that were already there. Diversion (Bob & Joyce) were the only HISC boat in the bay.  We anchored, digging in really well, I would not have to worry about dragging this weekend. My new Snubber was quickly deployed and my Anchor Day Signal was hoisted.. Winds were pretty light. 

As it drew near to 5 o-clock somewhere, several other boats arrived. Sully & Loraine aboard Pegasus arrived and rafted up on our Port side, then Peder & Marie aboard Dalecarlia arrived and rafted on our Stbd Side. I dinked Dalecarlia's anchor out and dropped it forward and starboard of Eximius' anchor. Two anchors are better than one, especially when 3 boats are rafted together, and we were expecting one more for the Raft - A big Catamaran. 

During the afternoon, I got a voicemail from Paul on the Catamaran which said they were not coming due to possible exposure to the pandemic earlier that day.

Our club Commodore turned up in his Boston Whaler to chat, he would bring his boat down on Saturday.

We had drinks aboard Eximius and were joined by all those club members that were in the Bay. As always, it was a great time to chat and tell stories.

Dinner was Tuna Salad and Crackers, simple, easy, prepared at home, very little cleanup.

Saturday morning, after a couple of cups of Coffee, we tidied up the boat and started prep for the Party that evening. WindPunk arrived with Commodore Dale and Mirsa, they rafted up along side Dalecarlia Port side too. So now we were 4 boats on two anchors, but they were very well set and despite just a couple of anchor alarms (due to short alarm setting) during the night, we had kept a short arc around our two anchors.

Abu Rayah, Michael Tayah's Catalina 30 arrived and anchored to the north and west of us. Dale dinked over for a chat and to bring Micheal over to the party.

As 4:30pm was the party time, I started heating the Corned Beef and the Smashed Potatoe that we had cooked at home on Thursday. The Beef was heated with it's cooking liquid in a pan on the stove, the potatoes were heated in the oven (a 12.75" x 9" foil pan fits easily) and were ready by 5pm.
Sully had set up a Table on his Pullpit aboard Pegasus, Dale had brought an additional table that I setup on the Bow of Eximius. I setup the serving pans and cutlery holders by using sticky tape to hold them to the table. It worked well. I tied a roll of paper towel to the Anchor Day Signal line above the table. Napkins would just blow away.

At five, I announced that dinner was ready. No body moved! Then I helped myself, and the smell got everyone off of their butts and the food was going quickly. 10lb of uncooked Beef turned into 5.5lb of cooked beef! That's enough for the crew of 6 boats, taking seconds! 5lbs of Smashed Spuds were nearly gone too.

Kokomo and Alebrije arrived and rafted together nearer to the Coral Ridge Yacht Club and dinked over to the Host Boats, I'm not sure if they had any of the Beef and Smash. Next St. Patrick's day cruise we'll cook more beef, the pandemic should be over by then and we would expect more boats to attend.

The 'Game' was 'No Body Knows'. The idea was that members would visit each of the other boats and find out something that nobody knows' about the crew or boat. And then at the Party each of us would ask the rest who knows that (what ever). I started the ball rolling (what's the nautical equivalent?) and asked everyone:- So, one of our club members likes to sunbathe nude on their boat at Maul Lake, nobody knew (except the guilty) but everyone one thought it was them! and they wondered where Maul Lake was located. Bob Tiger gave us the lowdown on Maul Lake - I can see a cruise there in our future (not to see the nude sunbathing!)

We learnt a lot about each of the members, turned out a great game. It would expand greatly with more participants, there's always next year.

Desserts for the Party turned out Brownies, some ingredients included Guinness and Jameson's Whiskey.

Several took a dink ride over to Kokomo, we could hear them playing fiddles, Uke's and having great time. The host boat crews enjoyed a few more drinks and stories and some valuable boat lessons.

I showed Sully how to get route data to display on his Garmin 741xs (same as ours) and he explained how he had a list of his systems including their electrical power draws. That would help in identifying faulty equipment early if the power draw changed. He also explained how he treated his AC system for cleaning by pumping Barnacle Buster into the system and letting it soak for a day or two, rather than circulating the BB through the system for 1/2 hour. I'm updating my spreadsheet of equipment to include the power draw and modifying my AC cleaning process. Thanks Sully!

Sunday morning, lazy rise. Breakfast of Granola and Milk, Coffee, Toast (fried) and Brie (thanks whoever brought that for the Party) and more coffee. We tried the new Creamer from Chobani™ Coffee Creamer because it came in a Screw Top container. Last weekend, we spilt coffee creamer when it laid on it's side, it was a snap top creamer bottle - they leak!

After breakfast we cleaned up the inside of the boat and discussed plans with the others in the raft up. Sully would be the first to leave, they also had the furthest to their dock. WindPunk would be next, they had to get back before mid afternoon. Dalecarlia next, no hurry, we couldn't get back until between Noon:24 or 16:24 due to tide restrictions at our dock. Abu Rayah left after breakfast. Alebrija and Kokomo also left mid morning. Diversion was staying put, we left for the 12:30pm Sunrise bridge opening.

Well, it seems Sunday Noon is not the best time to head down the ICW, at least, not this Sunday!

Boats were piling up in line for the Noon:30 Sunrise Bridge opening, we were near the back with a couple of much bigger boats ahead of us, one coming out from the Marina on the North West side of the Bridge and other coming up astern from us on the ICW - it got crowded pretty quickly and a strong current coming north, that meant that we should all give way to boats coming up the waterway.

Finally the Sunrise Bridge opened and all of the bigger boats, us and those astern of us, let the boats heading North through the bridge. Then we all pushed against the current and headed towards Las Olas Blvd bridge. That was delayed only a minute or so, but the same issue - lots of boats lined up for passage and some coming North. We had to hold back and once passage was clear, we put the pedal down and pushed towards the bridge.

We slowed to let some of the bigger boats, astern of us, pass and then pushed ahead. Our goal was to be back at the dock by 14:00. We decided we had time for a Pump out at Smokers park - Mistake!

As we approached Smokers Park, we got clear of other boats and moved over to the South side of the river as we passed the Tunnel, then tried to come along side, Port Side to. Wasn't going to happen, there was 2 knots of current going around the corner and our back end was easily pushed away from the dock. I took over the helm and fought the current, unsuccessfully. Our Port side crunched the stern, big hunk of steel boat putting a ding just above the rub rail of Eximius, the steel boat wouldn't even know we touched it. Fortunately, an experienced guy was ashore and took our lines to help pull us towards the dock, we rubbed along the very mucky stern lines of the steel boat and have a nice black mark to prove it. Eventually we were secure on the dock close to the pumpout.

The good news is that the damage to Eximius is very minor, about an hour or two to clean up the 4" long area, application of some resin and top coat of gel coat. The rope marks should just buff out, it's just dirt.

Once we had the boat secure, it only took 20 minutes to complete the pumpout, then it was time to get back into the river. That current seemed to have gotten even stronger. I attempted to move the boat astern using the dock lines, it took a huge effort and didn't get far. We added a 3rd line, attached it to the port stern cleat, that made it possible to move the boat in order that we could get out into the river without being moved towards that big piece of steel ahead of us.

The move was successful and we easily got back into the stream, we called 3rd Ave bridge for an opening and just as we passed it, we heard on the VHF that Andrews Ave Bridge was unable to open due to a malfunction - this is not good! 4:24pm is our cut off for getting back into the canal where our dock is located.

With the news that it would be 10 minutes before a tech would be on site to fix the bridge, we hung around the area between the bridges with a 2 knot current flowing upstream - our direction. Not easy, especially when the Riverfront Cruise boat and many smaller boats are all in the same boat if you get what I mean. When the Bridge tender informed us via VHF that it would be longer, I decided we should go along side and tie up. We turned, moved over to Port and easily docked along side. There were pilings and cleats, I put out fenders and had lines ready. Peggy at the helm and we made a perfect docking. Of course, there was nobody around to applaud, unlike the small crowd of pedestrians that were on the opposite side of the river when I was struggling to move the boat aft at Smokers Park! Ain't always that way!

We ended up being tied up for nearly an hour when finally the Andrews Ave Brige tender announced that the bridge was going up. He cleared us for passage, we were ready, within a minute we had loosed the lines and were pulling off the dock to turn around towards Andrews, we could see it was open - Then the FEC Rail bridge informed everyone that that bridge would be down for the passage of two more trains. So now, all of those boats that we held up because the FEC bridge and Andrews, it got really crowded. There were no dock positions we could occupy, so we did about 10 long doughnuts between the two bridges, along with about 20 other boats. The power boats do not get moved around by the current or wind as much as a sail boat with a 5' 7" keel and a big mast up top. We could not stay in one place, so doughnuts were the only solution. Fortunately, Eximius almost turns on a dime, certainly within 40'

While we ran circles around the other boats between the bridges, boats were lining up on the up-stream side of the rail bridge, lots of them. The bridge clearance is only a couple of inches when it's down, so every boat and their dog were waiting.

Of course, the smaller boats don't have a clew! When the bridge opened, they decided they would get through first, meanwhile the bigger boats are dealing with a strong current. The current flow had started to shift, so now the downstream boats should pass through first. Those small boats are ignorant of the protocol and headed towards the bridge from both sides. That caused a problem as the bigger boats were trying to line up to pass the bridge and the smaller boats were going for the middle of a pretty narrow opening. We have a 50'+ mast, so we cannot go too close to the hinge side of the bridge. Passing was a very fraught situation. I was very happy when we passed that bridge - most of the other boats headed into the dock area for the Pirate Republic restaurant on the South West Side of the bridge.

The rest of the trip to the dock was easy - Phew! We got back just after 4pm, enough water under the keel at the entrance to our canal, life was good.

We left the boat facing West so that I could go back to the boat Wednesday to start fixing the ding.
Unloading the boat took about a half hour and we were on our way home.
HISC - Cruising 2020 Flag
We have 3 points towards our 10

The trip to and from the Bay was 'interesting' but well worth it to be part of a great club cruise.

See you on the water.