Stainless Steel Things

It’s purely a coincidence that I’ve been photographing the biggest stainless steel components on Satori recently. I pulled the leaky muffler and brought it into a fabricator (MFCP) to have it rebuilt brand new. The results were pretty impressive both in quality and price. $660 later I have a new muffler that should last another decade or two.

MFCP fabricated muffler
MFCP fabricated muffler
Detail of the water lift muffler
Detail of the water lift muffler

The flange was the original and they blasted it to remove the corrosion which turned out awesome. I made a minor planning mistake by delaying the gasket replacement. It’s such a minor thing and I could have someone make me one locally for about $30 or spend $10 to have one shipped from England by next week. Since I’m not going anywhere for a while I opted to spend less and wait more. So I’ll have to post the results once it’s installed. I can replace the hose while I wait and then seat it once the gasket arrives so no big deal.

 

Next up is the freshwater system. I’m still planning and ticking things off in parallel so I also managed to finish the holding tanks and they are now ready to be installed once more. Likely they will last another few decades as the welds look great and they pressure tested okay. The deck plates were shedding threads into the tanks and the gasket didn’t look very good either so I knew something needed to be done. Ballard Sheet Metal offered to weld stainless steel deck plates for the low price of about $2000. As much as I would love to have the tanks fully stainless I can’t justify the cost. I was also considering going with poly tanks but I think the stainless ones are in great shape and will last another few decades so I opted to to simply replace them. Hopefully the most economical choice of $65 will suffice.

The old deck plates with nasty marine sealant
The old deck plates with nasty marine sealant
Freshwater holding tank without the deck plates ready to be cleaned
Freshwater holding tank without the deck plates ready to be cleaned

After removing the deck plates I realized that they were probably sealed with a marine sealant which isn’t exactly safe for drinking but one would argue that the sealant doesn’t really make much contact with the water anyways. After a quick trip to Fisheries Supply I was able to fine the exact same ones made by Beckson. They were pretty much the exact same model as the old ones so getting them installed was really easy. I reused the same stainless screws, washers and nuts and sealed them with regular clear kitchen and bathroom silicon. Before installing them I made sure the tanks shined like new and were cleaned out. I used an oxalic acid solution and scotchbrite pads to scour the tanks inside and out so the rust is gone and everything shines again. Not bad for about $220 worth of materials and service.

New deck plates installed and stainless cleaned and shining
New deck plates installed and stainless cleaned and shining
A detail view of the newly installed deck plates
A detail view of the newly installed deck plates

I’ve spent many hours drafting the plumbing and taking inventory of parts, fittings, etc and have begun ordering parts. I wish I could show more progress but I’ve been feeling under the weather lately and the days are short. More to come later. Anyways, happy new year everyone. I’ll see you in 2014.

 

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.

Wood stink

Seriously, it’s not that bad but no matter what how many times I clean the surface I can still smell it. It’s pretty much embedded in the entire area and smells of sewage that needs to go away before anyone is ever going to live on Satori. The problem is that wood is porous and the old finish allowed for the leaks from the old toilet to soak into the wood. I’m not sure how far I need to go to get rid of the odor but since I started the wood has had bleach, oxalic acid and lacquer thinner spread onto it and the odor is still there. My next task is to use paint stripper to remove the old  finish and get it back down to bare wood. Some sanding will hopefully get most of it and then embedding it with a clear coat of epoxy sealer should take care of it completely (I hope!). I have many, many hours of work ahead of me. Lots of sanding, refilling holes, making new ones and still need to clean out from under the toilet platform more. That’s going to take some skills and contortion to get under there. Last night after work I cleaned the old molding and started sanding it back down to bare wood again. I’ll start with molding, then strip the walls of paint, then clean off the old wallpaper tacking and then finally strip and sand the flooring and other areas.

Before stripping paint and flooring after the first attempt at cleaning the sewage buildup in the wood
Before stripping paint and flooring after the first attempt at cleaning the sewage buildup in the wood

In the photo above you can see the ring where the old toilet once was mounted. The old toilet leaked sewage from the base over to the corner next to the door and down into the shower tub. There is also a little gap down there where it leaked into the walls a little bit and that’s where I have debated about ripping out the permanent molding under the door and some of the other flooring to get access to the mess underneath. I’m in debate now about dealing with it or just simply covering it up to mask the odor. I’ll decide later after many more attempts to clean up. I’m giving myself until November to finish this project but I’m also allowing for more time on this one so it’s done right and will last another few decades.

Original teak molding from the bathroom
Original teak molding from the bathroom

A note on a previous project:

I replaced my fuel system  a few weeks ago and Mark from Auxiliary Engine was able to come back and teach me how to bleed the lines into the injectors and start the engine. It’s great to have someone like him come out and check my work and then show me how easy it is to get the motor running again even if it costs more, just for peace of mind. There is nothing to it really and next time it’ll be a snap. He complimented me on keeping the system simple and secure and then offered a few suggestions on filter micron size and placing valves before and after the Racor filter. After we quickly and easily started the engine we chatted briefly about the next steps. He helped me identify where the exhaust valve is located and I asked him about the vacuum breaker in the exhaust system. That was very helpful as I never knew where these things were located even after extensive searching. Depending on how much more involved the bathroom will take, I am planning on replacing the exhaust system to eliminate the leakage that is happening from the muffler which is corroding the engine block and mounts. Once this is finished, I only have to replace the raw water strainer as it’s currently coming from a thru-hull strainer that is awkwardly located in a bulky area. I’ll eventually mount a strainer out of the way and then just have a valve with a simple hose barb to route the water intake so it’s not making a 90 degree turn right at the strainer and resting right against the hull in the way of the water pump.

One step at a time….