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 One of the immediate realizations with Satori was the freshwater system was severely outdated and likely very unsanitary.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!

Things are slowing down

I’m entering a lull period with Satori. I’m doing several coats of varnish on the floor of the bathroom with several days of curing in between coats. Perhaps I’ll get four coats in two weeks. The countertop still needs another coat too eventually but I’ve moved on to other projects now. The Bukh 36 engine actually runs pretty well but it did leak water over itself when it was running. There is quite a bit of corrosion where the muffler leaked for who knows how many years. Fortunately Satori has not been very active and her motor only has about 550 hours of use. The previous owner lived on the boat which I’m sure helped keep the interior dry and mildew at bay. It could have been much worse. Since the motor wasn’t run very often the leaks in the muffler probably didn’t seem like a big deal but the engine block and mounts would tell you otherwise. I thought it would take a long time to pull the muffler but it really wasn’t bad at all. It came right off, although it’s a perfect fit.

Bukh 36 stainless muffler. Probably original.
Bukh 36 stainless muffler. Probably original.

Once removed, the next day I dropped it off with a local custom fabricator recommended by Mark from Auxiliary Engine. I’m still waiting to hear back from him on how long and much but since the mountains are getting snow and sailing seems colder fun than skiing it’s okay with me. I heard something around $500 which seems like an awful lot of money for a hunk of stainless but as long as it goes back in the same way it came out, that’s worth a million dollars from where I’m concerned. I had contemplated getting a fiberglass one but the pipe is too short and I’m pretty sure there would be heat issues not to mention the accuracy that is needed to fabricate another one. MFCP in Ballard seemed like a great place and I’m pleased with dealing with them already.

MFCP in Ballard; Marine hydraulic and pneumatic dealer with an in-house stainless fabricator

The next order of business was to wrap up some of the detail work in the bathroom and call it good so I took a few hours tonight to snap some photos of where it’s currently at.

 

A panoramic of Satori's completed bathroom
A panoramic of Satori’s completed bathroom

As you can tell by the photo, the floor isn’t yet finished but as I mentioned in the beginning, that’s going to take some time. Another cool factor is the retractable faucet for showering. I’m going to make sure the shower is functional which means adding a tub sump but for now at least it’s ready to flow.

Shower mount

Really there isn’t much to do until the muffler gets back. I’m not ready to start the freshwater plumbing project yet. Maybe beginning in January I can start planning but that’s it. For now I’ll just enjoy the holidays.

Embracing Winter

I’m still pecking away at the bathroom but am down to just a few touchup tasks. The final coat of varnish, countertop paint and the port light wall just needs to be complete. Otherwise I get to rest on the bathroom project. I’ve been thinking a lot about some other projects and have tinkered on what to do next. Instead of disassembling the stove I decided to connect the fuel line and get it running just to help out with keeping the boat warm when I’m there working. The other night it was about 25 degrees and I was able to get the cabin up to 70 after killing most of the draft coming from the companionway. I was also able to make swapping out the bilge pump and switch by adding a terminal block. This kind of modification taught me that terminal blocks are most definitely the way to go over butt connectors. Primarily because it’s very easy to swap out a component such as a pump, radio or whatever without needing to cut the existing wires running to the panel but also because it’s very easy to see corrosion and remedy it when necessary.

The bilge pump terminal block tucked high and out of the way
The bilge pump terminal block tucked high and out of the way

Yesterday I took the pup and a friend up to Snow Lake at Snoqualmie Pass. Once thing we have going for us Seattle folk is the ease of getting out into the wilderness. An hour from home is a winter wonderland and although the conditions are bitter cold up there, it’s also sunny and snowy. It’s nice to embrace what we have and take advantage of the weekends for getting outside. Before my obsession with sailing I spent much of my time as an alpine climber and skier which naturally goes well with sailing. I have an arsenal of knots and understanding of rope mechanics, I have a decent understanding of weather and am not put off by remoteness or self sufficiency. The primary differences I can tell is how important it is to be mechanically inclined and be able to repair or replace anything on a sailboat without having to pay someone else to do it, aside from making a brand new sail. Even then, I’ve seen several examples of people sewing up their own sails from a kit.

An icy day up at Snoqualmie Pass
An icy day up at Snoqualmie Pass
Friend and pup on the way to snow lake
Friend and pup on the way to snow lake

Today I’m going to head down to Satori and start working on the engine. The muffler has seen better days and it seems to be the only issue with the engine right now aside from some corrosion in the seawater cooling system. Hopefully it’s a simple task to remove the old muffler and get a new one made. I am dreading getting the boat warmed up but at least it’s sunny outside and the Olympics are within view.