Freshwater gone bye bye!

I’ll admit that when you have lingering priorities that are all stacked up beyond comprehension it’s impossible not to just make excuses so you don’t have to do them. Especially when each project is so big, complicated and expensive! One of the immediate realizations with Satori was the freshwater system was severely outdated and likely very unsanitary. Clear vinyl tubes were no longer translucent but black with algae growth. Perhaps a few decades worth of growth. The entire system needed to be taken out and everything needs to be replaced with a modern freshwater system. I’m sure back in 1975 just having a storage tank was sufficient for what the original owners intended to do with Satori but now I own her and have a little more ambitious plans to sail her into remote parts of the world where clean water is probably not always readily available. If you’ve ever been to atolls or cays before you’ll remember the rainwater cisterns or desalinated water that tasted like rubber bands. I have a chance to build an intelligent freshwater system and even use hot water to keep the boat warm from radiant heat so I dove in this evening and pulled everything out including the holding tanks, pump, hoses, etc. It took a few hours to yank it all out. Likely it will take about a month to install everything brand new.

Both tanks removed, bilge drying out.
Both tanks removed, bilge drying out.

One great thing about this project is that I can now reach the shower drain and replace the drain hose with a sump system which would complete the shower. How nice it would be to be able to shower inside the boat! I can also do some deep cleaning under the shower and bathroom floor while the tanks are removed. Both the bilge and the under floor areas have been neglected for quite some time so it’s nice to have a winter and some time for this project.

Red hose is the old shower drain. Finally access to this area.
Red hose is the old shower drain. Finally access to this area.

I might actually repurpose the old pump as my deck wash down pump. It’s in great shape and I have some parts for servicing the diaphragm and replacement belts, etc. I was considering using it for the new freshwater system but I’d like a higher volume pump that’s a little quieter than this one.

The old freshwater diaphragm pump
The old freshwater diaphragm pump

Now that everything is removed, I can start making considerations for either reusing the old tanks or buy new bladders or vinyl holding tanks. Either one will be better than the steel rusted tanks that came with Satori. I wish I could reuse them but after some further inspection I can see a number of welds completely rusted out. I’m not one hundred percent on my decision until I consult a steel fabricator on the cost and what they can accomplish with the old tanks. Let the next project begin!

Sink and faucet install

I took a break from the boat projects for a few days but went back to it yesterday and today to make some progress on the bathroom. I didn’t spend all day but I dedicated a few hours to it and part of that was my first discovery of Second Wave in Fremont. I can’t believe I didn’t visit this place sooner. Plenty of very useful parts for any mariner and great prices. I was at a loss with my sink drain fittings so I thought I would goof around and put it all together from there. Instead of focusing on the task at hand I just wandered around amused by the giant inventory of random parts. Ideas sprung up and I ended up walking out with some nice brass handles and accessories. I could have spent more but I just wanted to enjoy walking the isles and check out all of the cool stuff. I did solve a problem I’ve thought about a few times before. The door that divides the cabin requires a person to hook it open and has a brass hook to keep it in place. I reinstalled that part after refinishing the toilet platform but I found a great little door latch that the folks at Second Wave gave to me for free (found in a random bin) that will catch the door with a spring and then will release with a push of the trigger as seen below. I kept the hook as the latch isn’t that strong so in the event it fails I have the hook as a backup. I’m not sure how well the design will work but it seems to do what I was hoping. It should also catch the door should someone forget to secure it and it goes swinging around.

Latch for the door
Latch for the door

Anyways, I never did find that perfect fitting for the drain. I even went to Home Depot to restock on sand paper and brushes but didn’t find it there either. After some consideration I decided on the best approach to the sink draining to the thru-hull below waterline. Just measure the diameter of the drain and put a hose on it, then step it down to the barb at the ball valve.

 

New faucet and sink drain
New faucet and sink drain
A new bathroom sink drain pipe
A new bathroom sink drain pipe

 

I spent some time polishing the drain fitting to bring back the shine and with some Dremel help it was just as shiny as the rest of the new bathroom. A nice contrast to the new stuff. I also installed the new faucet using the old hoses until I dig into the freshwater system later. The sink is finished aside from finding a new drain stopper.

Fittings for the sink drain and faucet
Fittings for the sink drain and faucet

I also tackled the holding tank strap install over the weekend and tested it by filling the tank with seawater. It’s only 10 gallons but I wanted to be sure the tank isn’t going anywhere in rough seas. I was originally going to use a wood frame to hold it in place but while at Home Depot I thought of a better less permanent idea using ratcheting tie-down straps and the ‘D’ rings used to secure the hooks of the tie-down straps. I simply drilled them in a place that could easily hold the tank from both vertical and horizontal movement and then ratcheted the tank in place. Easier to write this than to contort my arm and drill around the already installed tank. Lots of profanity and dropping of tools but it’s installed and works great.

Tie-down straps to secure the holding tank

The final touches are all that’s left. A little more sanding, several coats of varnish, a little more paint and a couple of bling items like the toilet paper holder, towel holder and door handle and that project is done. I can move on to the muffler and stove projects. I’ll give the rest of December to finish it as the ski season has begun and weekends are not the best time to work on boats.

 

 

Sink and trim

I spent a little time today on the sink, pulling silicon sealant and removing the drain. The drain seemed to have been leaking so I’m getting all new fixtures and sealant. The holding tank arrives next week for the head so I can start working on the countertop fixtures. I’ve ordered a nice combination shower and faucet from Skandvik. I wasn’t able to find this model anywhere online so it had to be custom ordered. Upon taking apart the sink drain fittings, one part crumbled when I torqued on it. Luckily nothing is needed from the old fixture when reinstalling.

removing the sink drain fittings
removing the sink drain fittings
Parts crumbled from being torqued
Parts crumbled from being torqued

I’m also on the third coat of varnish for the bathroom trim. My friend Ryan Davey shot some photos of the progress today and was also responsible for the first two coats of varnish on the trim. I’ve never used varnish before but from what I’ve read about some ideas on varnishing wood I think I get it. The first coat was penetrating epoxy which filled the wood at a deeper level than the varnish can reach. A mix of 2/3 varnish to 1/3 varnish thinner coat gets applied to a cleaned surface. After drying, sand down the bumps and create a lightly textured surface for the next coat. Apply the next coat of either  5/6 varnish to 1/6 thinner or 100 percent varnish. Let dry and then check to see if there are voids. If so, repeat the same process of sanding and coating until voids are mostly if not completely gone. I chose high-gloss Epifanes Gloss clear spar varnish and a two-part penetrating epoxy from Restor-It.

A third coat of varnish on teak wood trim.
A third coat of varnish on teak wood trim.