Sunday, March 28, 2021

Sunday afternoon and I could do with a Beer.

 Fixing the Head

This is our Jabsco Head Pump. We are very careful when it comes to taking care of our head system.

This pump is normally used to pump the poop out of the bowl and to flush the bowl with water, however, I disconnected the water supply to the pump (it was a salt water supply) and we keep a flushing jug in the bathroom. We've tried various jug sizes, turns out the best so far is a 2.44 quart OJ container, we fill it to the 2 qt mark and that helps us keep track of how much is in the tank.

Back to the Pum fix.

Peggy complained about the pump being too stiff last weekend we were out, and it really was. In the past a quick lube with teflon lubricant did the job. But this time there was black sealing rubber coming out of the top of the pump shaft (under the grey handle)

Time to pull it apart and fix it.

The top of the pump is secured in place with 6 screws. But why on earth do they still use Flat Head screws  on anything ??

But they do, so I carry the tools.

The flapper valves are getting old, and I carry a repair kit for the toilet on board.

It only took a few minutes to remove the whole valve assembly, clean up the surfaces beneath that and put the new flapper valve in place.

The big hole in this pic is where the pump does it's job. It looks cruddy but cleaned up with a few Chlorox Wipes got it done.

The big "O" ring on the end of the Pump shaft was next, two pairs of pliers quickly removed the nut on the end of the shaft, but then I found there's no need to remove the O-ring holder. There's a flat on the lower side of the holder that allows for easy removal and replacement of the O-ring.

Before putting everything back together, copious amounts of Teflon lube was slathered on the pump O-ring, and the seal where the pump shaft exits the top of the pump casing. That needs to be replaced, but the kit I had did not include that seal, time to get another kit - with that seal.

Works a charm now.

This is the wrong kit! Ours looks like the center of those 3.

Although the handle is Gray. And the boat was built in 1987, but perhaps the head is newer that that.

Another Sunny Sunday Afternoon, listening to the Beatles Fixing a Hole - how appropo!

Head's fixed. 

See you on the water!

New Bathroom Lighting Pt. 2

 New Bathroom Lighting

What do you do when at Anchor early and there's time to twiddle your thumbs?
Complete the install of the new lighting for the bathroom (head).

Very happy even though I only installed one of the White LED strips and one Red Strip.

The two switches are mounted on the bulkhead just inside the bathroom door with the wires running inside a heat shrink tube that is double sided tape glued to the bulkhead.

Just like in the galley lights, the switches are setup to be Red (Rear), white is the forward of the two switches.

The video shows the None - White - Red lighting.

Oh, and just in case you wondered when I type up my blog posts, Peggy snapped this while I was setting up this post.

It's about 5:45pm Sunday March 28th, 2021, On the boat at anchor at Sunrise Bay. My laptop is networked with my Phone's Hot Spot. Love my T-Mobile service.

The install was completed when we were on Lake Boca yesterday.

What else did I do this afternoon after we motored down the Intra Coastal Waterway from Lake Boca, Florida to Sunrise Bay Florida - I'll post that next - someone has to do it.

See you on the water.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

New Bathroom Lighting

Updating the lighting in the Bathroom (head)

I installed LED lights in the bathroom several years ago with some LED Puck lights

They were a lot better than the original Festoon lamp but I would not install them again. 

The light switch was located on the aft bulkhead of the bathroom where the original power cord passed from the other side of the bulkhead, that's the Port Side Cockpit locker.

After installing the Red and White Galley lamps in 2019, we both agreed that they would be better suited for the lighting in the bathroom and having the Red option would improve our night vision if we had to go.  Go - get it?

This past weekend, Peggy reminded me that we needed to change out the lights, a quick reorder on Amazon and the new lamps arrived this week.

These 12" LED strip lights will mount beneath the cabinets in the bathroom.

I purchased 2 packs, one Red the other White, each pack has 4 strips of lights.

I'll use two of the whites and two of the red strips with switches for each color.

I should be able to mount the switches close to the bathroom door or at least convenient to reach when entering.

The simple on/off switch has VHB tape on the back, so easily mounted, the challenge is to run the wire so that as little as possible is exposed, both aesthetically and so that the switch is out of the way when we take a shower.

I might even mount the switches outside of the bathroom.

The switches were available in various lengths of wire, I chose the longest, 78" that should be plenty.

Of course, I'll have to pull out all of the contents from the Port Side Cockpit locker in order to get to the original wiring.

I'll run new wiring back to the electrical panel which is another project that is getting closer and closer.

We might get this project underway this weekend, looks like a storm is heading our way and will leave our weeklong trip to Biscayne Bay in jeopardy, baby steps.

Part II of this post will be the actual installation. If we do get to go down to the Bay, then I guess the install will be while we are on the water.

So, see you on the Water.

Speed Transducer failed after just 2 weeks.

 Speed transducer doesn't work

After just 3 weeks, our brand new Garmin DST810 transducer failed - at least, it didn't report our speed through the water - that counts, right?

When we got back to the dock, I pulled the transducer out and inserted the plug.

Looking carefully at the speed transducer paddle wheel, it would turn but obviously had something slowing it down to a crawl.  Looking even closer, we would see a yellow gummy stuff that appeared to be sticky and stopping the paddle wheel rotating on the spindle. 

A quick 'how does it work' ... The four bladed paddle wheel has magnets that when the wheel rotates, the magnetic force is detected by the electronics inside the transducer, the faster the wheel spins the greater the transducer signal to the NEMA 2000 network, the boat electronics translates that into speed.

So, back to the Paddle wheel. The sticky yellow muck looked like it could be washed off, as we looked even closer we noticed that it moved! It was alive! 

A quick wash with some very diluted bleach water and then a rinse with fresh water and the paddle wheel spun easily. A quick test spin and the Chartplotter showed that we had speed. Woo Hoo!

Last weekend, we did an in the water test, it matched our gps speed (taking the current into consideration)

Now? Well, we're pulling the transducer out every time we get back to the dock.

Another reason not to go swimming in the canals! 

See you on the Water.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Companionway Board Storage Solution

Eximius' Companionway Boards

C34 Companionway Board storage

We have tried several different ways to store the Companionway Boards on Eximius, but most involved in storing them in the aft berth or beneath a salon cushion. All were a pain.

Then I figured out this idea of making a baggy that holds one board on each side of the cabin steps. 

The bags are made to measure as the boards are different widths. They are currently secured to the bulkheads with Stainless snaps, they do unsnap a bit too easy, so I'll change them out for Lift the Dot Snaps.

If I need to get access to the engine, simply unsnap the covers and stow the boards elsewhere until engine work complete.

The Baggies have a piece of plastic sponge sewn on the inside of the bottom just to avoid wearing through the lower edge.

Now we can unlock the boards, slide the top open, and lift out the top board, insert it in the Port side Bag (they store on the same side as the handle), repeat the same for the lower panel and we're all set. No boards dropping into the salon and no rattling around when under power.

The bags were made from off cuts of Sunbrella.

See you on the water.



Sunday, March 7, 2021

Change of Command at the Hillsboro Inlet Sailing Club

 Hillsboro Inlet Sailing Club - Change of Command Rendezvous March 6th 2021

I have the Honor to be the HISC Commodore for 2021-2022 

Tough Cap to wear, Dale Kern the outgoing HISC Commodore did an amazing job last year, holding our club together during the Pandemic, even growing our membership. We have a strong club.

The height of the ceremony was the display of the 2021 Cruising Flag.

Normally we have a Circle Raft Up with as many as 72 boats in a Sunflower formation. This year, still under restrictions due to the Pandemic, we're not allowed to raft up, so the Change of Command Circle Raft up was changed to a Rendezvous.

Some of the club members arrived on their boats at Sunrise Bay on Friday Morning, we arrived around 3pm, by sunset there were 7 boats from the club and one more, Past Commodore Dale, arrived Saturday afternoon when he had finished helping out at the club's Youth Sailing Program on Saturday Morning.

It might not be obvious from the picture, but it was raining, no cats, no dogs, but plenty of rain.

Before the anticipated rain arrived, Astrid Hunton allowed me to try out her SUP, first time ever on a SUP, Fell off on first attempt to stand up, water was not so bad, I was laughing at myself. So the rest of the practice was on my knees so that I could figure out the Paddle technique. A visit over to Hector on his boat for some paddling technique advise, I stopped going around in so many circles after that.

We're staying on the lake until around 3pm as our dock is tide bound until 4pm.

This was a great weekend, a much needed break after the hectic preparation over the past month for taking the helm. Thankfully, there are over 60 club members that fill the various committees and board positions to help us stay afloat.

Looking forward to next weekend - St Patrick's Day cruise. 

See you on the water.


Saturday, February 13, 2021

Installing a Garmin DST810

 Garmin DST810 Depth, Speed and water Temperature Transducer.

When our Garmin DST800 Depth, Speed and Water Temperature Transducer failed last month, I made the decision to replace it with a DST180 Transducer.

The new model has improved electronics and additional features. We do not have the electronics to use the additional features, but if we had to upgrade other equipment on the boat, those additional features might be useful. Of course, this assume that the new Transducer lasts longer than the previous 2 in less than 5 years.

Ok, so the installation consists of 3 parts. Sourcing the new Transducer, Installing it and Testing.

Sourcing the DST810 Transducer

Garmin (Airmar) DST801 Transducer Kit
    After extensive search web wide, I found that the best deal was actually from Garmin. The Transducer is an Airmar DST810 but is branded by many of the Marine Technology companies. West Marine does not have it on their website at present (February 2021) and West Marine does not provide Extended Warrantees on Transducers ( Somehow I was able to purchase a 2 year extension from West Marine when I purchased the previous replacement in 2019.)  So the only benefit from the various companies selling the Transducer would be their shipping charges and price. Garmin came out on top. I was able to verify that the DST810 was available to fit in the same thru-hull as was installed for the removed DST800. The DST800 was a standard length Transducer, but it was available in a Short version, so I asked Airmar to confirm the Part number of the suitable DST810 Transducer.

The new Transducer arrived on time from Garmin.

Installing Garmin DST810 Transducer.

    Because we had a DST800 Transducer installed, installing the DST810 Transducer should be easy.
  • Connect the Transducer to the NMEA 2000 network and verify that the display shows Speed when the paddle wheel of the transducer is spun.
  • With the transducer connected, establish a blue tooth connection to the Transponder from a Table or Smart Phone.
  • Now that we know the transducer is working, disconnect it and route the transducer wiring into the boats looms.
  • Before inserting the Transducer into the Thru Hull, it has to be painted with Bottom Paint and the O-rings have to be lubricated with the lubricant supplied with the Kit.
  • Finally insert the Transducer into the Thru hull. Note. The thru hull is currently occupied by the Dummy Plug to keep the water out of the boat. So the 'insert' function has to be done pretty quickly, water pours in at somewhere around 1+ Gallons per second. Remove the 'Plug' that currently fills the Transducer thru hull and quickly insert the new Transducer. Before screwing down the securing ring of the Transducer, make sure that the Arrow on the top is facing forwards towards the Bow. Tighten down on the securing ring and use the locking wire to lock the securing ring from unscrewing by threading the wire between the hole in the top of the securing ring and the hold in the ring of the Thurhull.
  • All of that went without a hitch. Plus I completed the wiring run using tywraps and tywrap wall ties to keep the run neat and tidy. I left enough slack where the Drop attaches to the NEMA 2000 Backbone to facilitate moving the hub of the backbone when I upgrade the DC Electrical Control Panel later next month.

Testing Garmin DST810 Transducer

    The pre-installation testing only tests the Speed and Bluetooth functions. Once installed we need to test the speed through the water, Depth and Water Temperature.
    Depth is pretty easy. With the boat electronics energized, the current depth at the dock should be displayed on the Chart Plotter.
    Water Temperature. This is Florida, the water temperature is an easy one to test, we'll just put a thermometer into the water near the Transducer and compare that to the temperature indicated on the Chartplotter.
    Speed - we need to be moving through the water. We can compare it to our GPS speed, but this requires that we are moving - time for a trip in the boat. We did a spin test of the Transducer before putting it into the Thru-Hull. 

Blue Tooth functions

    To be honest, I really didn't know which data will be available via Blue Tooth, but we already use our Blue tooth enabled phones and tablets to utilize the data from our Victron System (Solar Regulator and Battery Sensor). So this is going to be interesting. The Blue Tooth data is access via the Airmar Cast App.
    Well that worked out pretty well. With the Transducer already identified via Blue Tooth during the pre-install testing, we knew that we should be able to connect with it installed.
With the Install complete, we flashed up the Garmin GPS Chartplotter and confirmed that we were getting water temperature and depth. Using the Airmar CAST App on my phone we started the calibration setup.

    Installation complete, testing complete (except for Speed Calibration) all wiring secured and I'm ready to sign off on this project. Over the next few weeks we'll check the speed calibration.

See you on the water - Soon !!! (Working on the new cabin cushions, the refinishing of the companionway hatch-boards.

Stay safe folks.