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WayWeGo Repairs and Improvements

Posted: Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:21 pm
by WayWeGo
I decided it would be nice to keep a list of all my major work on our boat in a single thread so that I could keep track of it easily. I will edit the first post to keep a list of the tasks, and then add a post (or more) for each project.

Tasks (with link to the first post for each task):

1) Seal fore and side decks. This will be a temporary job to keep any water leaks at bay. Seal Fore and Side Decks
2) Replace the battery charger. Semi-emergency repair bumped this to the top of the list. Replace Battery Charger
3) Replace LectraSan MSD with Purasan. The smell got to us!!! Purasan Installation
4) Update chartplotter and add radar. A good deal bumped this to the top of the list, then the project grew bigger. Chartplotter and Radar
5) Rebuilt trim tab cylinders and pump. Boat Leveler Trim Tabs
6) WiFi on the boat. Long Range WiFi and Boat Network
7) Repair damaged swim platform and install swim ladder. Swim Platform Repair
8] Repair broken armrest on helm seat. Helm Seat Repair
9) Cabin remodeling. New Drapes and Curtains
10) Upgrade anchor and rode. New Anchor and Rode
11) Radar arch installation. Radar Arch
12) New salon stereo speakers. Salon Speakers
13) Installed new controls and cables on the flybridge. Control Installation
14) Noland Engineering RS11 Engine Data Converter installation and configuratation. Displaying Engine Gauges on Chartplotter
15) Soundings Magazine article. Trojan F-36

Seal Fore and Side Decks

Posted: Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:40 pm
by WayWeGo
The pre-purchase survey found wet spots in the fore and side decks. This has been an ongoing problem for our boat that the previous owner has chased for years. One of these days, I will do a complete repair of the core and fiberglass, but for the meantime, I wanted to work on other more pressing issues. So, a temporary fix was in order. So far, I have:

1) Removed the old caulk and re-caulked the hatches with 3M 4000 UV sealant. Like an idiot, I did not pay attention and bought black caulk instead of white, so after removing the old caulk and puncturing the seal on the caulk tube, I realized that I need to buy some white caulk. Of course, it was in the evening right before we were leaving the boat, so I ended up staying an extra day to buy the caulk and complete the job.
2) There are a number of cracks in the gelcoat that I sealed with Captain Tolley's Creeping Crack Cure.
3) I also sealed around the stanchions and other deck penetrations with Capt. Tolley's, as well as put some on the fasteners.
4) I still need to do something about the rub rails.

Replace Battery Charger

Posted: Thu Sep 10, 2015 4:11 pm
by WayWeGo
The previous owner replaced all three batteries with nice Rolls AGM batteries, but still had the old Bomar 15A charger that is not optimal for the AGM batteries. This was on my list of things to do, but not near the top. When I was getting ready to leave the boat on a Sunday evening, I noticed two problems. First of all, the battery charger was not charging at all. Secondly, the stuffing boxes were leaking a steady stream of water, not the drip or two a minute that I was expecting to see. Of course, I did not have the tools onboard to adjust the gland nuts. Needless to say, I did not go back home that night!

After going to Home Depot to buy a pipe wrench and a slip nut wrench, I correctly adjusted the packing to get the desired drip rate. Then, I got on the internet to research battery chargers.

The next morning, I headed to West Marine to see what they had for battery chargers. After some deliberation, I decided to go with a 30A charger that was well suited to AGM batteries, but not too expensive. Because I upgraded the charger amperage, I also needed to rewire all the connections, so had to buy wire and connectors among other things. I had to visit a few different stores to get all the parts that I needed.

One of the exceptions noted on my survey was the unprotected outlet in the engine room. I decided to remove this outlet, that was used to plug in the old battery charger, and direct wire the new charger instead.

Here is my old charger:
Old Charger.jpg
Old Charger.jpg (101.09 KiB) Viewed 7433 times
And here is the new one during installation:
New Charger.jpg
New Charger.jpg (66.84 KiB) Viewed 7433 times

Purasan Installation

Posted: Thu Sep 10, 2015 4:52 pm
by WayWeGo
Our boat came to us with an old Raritan LectraSan MSD with no holding tank. The waste is treated by converting salt water to chlorinated water using an electrode in the LectraSan and discharged. The area we boat in is not salty enough for this to work correctly, so the previous owner installed a salt generating system.

I had a number of issues with the installation, in addition to the noxious smell we were encountering.

1) The wiring was insufficient for the current draw of the LectraSan. With a 50' path, Raritan recommends at least 1ga wire, but I think 1/0 is a better choice. The LectraSan requires 50A at 11V to operate correctly. The wire supplying the unit was clearly 10ga Romex solid core wire, just like you would find in a house! I was seeing about 10.5V at the unit when in operation, which explained why I was getting a low salt light on the panel.
2) The salt generator was basically a covered bucket with a toilet fill valve controlling the water level. You dumped in some solar salt and the system pulled some of the salt saturated water each time you flushed the toilet. I am quite uncomfortable with this system in a boat due to the chance of a valve failure or a broken bucket leading to lots of water in the bilge.
3) The hoses did not look like they were completely on the hose barbs where they entered the LectraSan, and there was a coupler in the hose from the head to the treatment unit that also did not look like the connections were solid.
4) The hoses were food grade nitrile, but not marked as sanitation hoses and I was not sure if that was responsible for the odor or if they were just old.

After talking to Raritan a couple of times, I came to the conclusion that to get this system working would cost me about $1,000 to upgrade the wiring, replace the hoses and electrode, and rebuild the treatment unit to get rid of some minor leaks. And we would still have a 20 year old system. We thought about different systems to meet our needs, including ones with a holding tank so that we can boat in no discharge zones. We decided to go with a type 1 MSD for now and not have the hassle of pump-outs. If we decide to cruise in NDZ's later, we will add a holding tank and Raritan's Hold N Treat controls.

The Purasan is a more complicated system that uses fresh water, pumps, manifolds and halogen tablets to generate a chlorine/bromine mixture that is injected into the treatment unit. This uses much less power (only 10A) than the current LectraScan units, but at the cost of a more complicated plumbing and electrical installation, as well as additional space for all the components. It works with fresh or sea water, so it is quite flexible on where you get the water for your toilet from. And it allowed me to remove the salt generator, which freed up storage space under our dinette seat.

Here is a photo of our old LectraSan installation:
LectraSan.jpg (109.37 KiB) Viewed 7426 times
And a couple of the Purasan installation:
Purasan.jpg (70.82 KiB) Viewed 7426 times

Purasan Continued

Posted: Thu Sep 10, 2015 5:00 pm
by WayWeGo
During the installation, some additional reasons for the noxious smell came to light. The hoses were not high quality sanitation hose, and whoever did the install cut the ends of the hose to help get it started on the hose barb. Unfortunately, this was a bad idea in the first place, and poorly executed to boot. The hoses were slit up to the point that fluids were leaking where the hose barb ended because the slit was as long as the barb and extended under the hose clamps.
Cut Hose.jpg
Cut Hose.jpg (128.98 KiB) Viewed 7426 times
Also, when I removed the discharge hose from the through hull, I found this:
Corroded Fitting.jpg
Corroded Fitting.jpg (64.46 KiB) Viewed 7426 times
Needless to say, not only was this a source of leaking sewage that was not properly treated due to installation issues with the system, but was also a great way to sink a boat!!!

I am happy to say that the new Purasan system is working fine and meets all our expectations! It is even easier to use than the previous system because one button flushes the head and activates the system at the same time.

Re: WayWeGo Repairs and Improvements

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:49 am
by Misty
Interesting post. I bought the same charger after some deliberation and am pretty impressed.
Secondly I have the option to install a Raritan but wonder if its not a can of worms. A system with a bypass if I just wanted to revert to regular tank deposits.

Re: WayWeGo Repairs and Improvements

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:59 am
by Misty
Just for posterity, was the Lectrsan noisy? And no holding tank? Not needed?

Re: WayWeGo Repairs and Improvements

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 9:16 am
by ready123
I have a Purasan and it is not noisy.... I would not do away with a holding tank as there are NDA's (No Discharge Area's) that will require you to lock out your heads without one. I have a Y valve piped in so I can select Purasan or holding tank for head output.

Re: WayWeGo Repairs and Improvements

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 11:16 am
by WayWeGo
The Purasan is noisier than the LectraSan was, but neither was objectionable to us. It really depends on where you install it. Our is under the vberth and I don't wake up if somebody uses it in the middle of the night.

A type I MSD like Purasan or LectraScan (or the older LectraSan) discharges directly overboard, with the discharge being about 10x safer than the local sewage treatment plants that discharge into the same waters. Even so, you cannot discharge a type I MSD in a no discharge zone (NDZ) in the US. For us, this is a non-issue because we only have one NDZ on the Chesapeake Bay and we have no interest in going there. In a few years, we plan on cruising the Great Loop, at which time we will add a holding tank that will only be used in NDZ's. For now, we are certainly enjoying the lack of odors and hassle of a holding tank!

Re: WayWeGo Repairs and Improvements

Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2015 12:57 am
by Misty
Thanks guys. Sounds like a tank and two y valves give you all the options you need. This post was super helpful.

Chartplotter and Radar

Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 12:16 pm
by WayWeGo
We sometimes cruise at night and I have always missed having radar, so adding one to our boat has been on my list of things to do. With all the other things, it has not been at the top, but a recent promotion from Defender and Active Captain changed my mind. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Active Captain, it is a boater to boater database of information, including ratings of marinas, restaurants, repair services, as well as information on undocumented hazards and pricing info for fuel. We use it quite a bit as well as contribute knowledge when appropriate.

Anyway, each week, Active Captain members get a Defender special that is better pricing on a particular item or group of items. This week, the special was on an older model of chart plotter from Navico, the parent company of Lowrance, Simrad and B&G. The particular chartplotter was a 12" touch screen model from B&G that is almost identical to the Simrad version, except it has additional sailing functions that can be easily disabled. Not only did they have the chart plotter on special, but there were bundles with 3G or 4G radar, or broadband sonar.

One of the reasons I have been interested in a Navico chart plotter is that with the Lowrance fuel flow senders, I can get a mpg reading on the chartplotter that will help us save gas and I am expecting it to pay for itself fairly quickly. I know a number of you have Lowrance equipment on your boats and I have been following how you have used some of the features. It will probably be spring before I complete this install, and I still have to decide if I want C-Map or Navionics cartography on the unit.

In any case, I am excited to not only get radar installed, but also to go from a 5" screen to a 12" one!

Electronics Update

Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:57 pm
by WayWeGo
Wow, I had no idea that I have been slacking off so much on this record of boat repairs and improvements!

The electronics install has gotten a bit more complicated over the last year and I am still in the middle of it. After much head scratching, I decided the only way to install the 12" chart plotter on the flybridge was to completely remanufacture the console, a project that I really didn't want to get into. So, I purchased a Simrad NSS7 Evo2 7" display for the bridge. By getting a generation later display, I was able to have some additional features and a longer window of software updates. The 12" B&G display is going on the lower helm, where its larger size will be helpful and the dimmer screen less of a disadvantage.

I also bought a Simrad RS35 VHF radio to replace the old Standard Horizon radio that was mounted inside the console on a homemade slide-out mount that was not actually attached to the boat at all. Not only was it difficult to use this radio, but it is an older model that the FCC has ruled to be illegal to install in any boat because it does not have a separate receiver for DSC signaling like modern radios have. There is a lot of commercial traffic on the Chesapeake bay, so I selected a VHF radio that has a AIS receiver built in that will display on the chart plotter.

Both the chartplotter and the VHF radio are now on the upper helm at eye level, making them easy to use. The chartplotter has been moved to the right side of the helm so my wife can also use it while cruising. I adjusted the angle of the engine synchronizer so it can be seen by the captain without leaning over like you used to do.

The VHF radio at the lower helm is also out of date, but since we rarely use the lower helm, I decided to keep it. The Simrad radio on the flybridge allows for use of a wireless remote that supports all the features of the radio and has a good range so you can operate it from anywhere on the boat or nearby. We got a HS35 remote that comes with a charging cradle and will be mounted by the lower helm.

Our first trip at hull speed last November had us on the same course for over an hour in a following sea, which helped me decide to install an autopilot. I am gradually buying the parts necessary, with an AC12 controller, a RC42 rate compass and a RF300 rudder feedback unit sitting on the shelf. I still need to purchase a linear drive assembly and have decided on an Octopus drive with the hydraulic pump mounted on the drive (changed my mind about this and bought a remote pump unit because I was not sure the drive would fit with the pump mounted on top of it). Once my bank account recovers a bit, I will buy the drive and complete this part of the install. (After testing showed that it would take half the available force from the linear drive just to move the rudder due to the chain steering design, I went back to the drawing board and committed to conversion to hydraulic steering as part of the autopilot installation).

The final pieces of the instrumentation are fuel flow sensors and a Wi-Fi hub on the network.

The next post will be a list of equipment and status of installation.

Electronics Equipment List

Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 5:18 pm
by WayWeGo
Simrad NSS7 Evo2 Chartplotter -- Installed with Navionics Cartography
Navico B150M CHIRP Through Hull Transducer -- Installed
Simrad RS35 VHF/AIS Radio -- Installed, failed and replaced under warranty by Simrad. Replaced by RS40 under warranty.
Simrad HS35 Wireless Handset -- Installed. Replaced under warranty with HS40 due to HS35 not being compatible with RS40.
Standard Horizon GX1300B Eclipse VHF Radio -- Purchased
Shakespeare 5225-XT 8' VHF Antennas -- 2 Installed
Noland RS11 CANbus Engine Data Converter -- Installed, currently working on configuration
B&G Touch T12 Chartplotter -- Installed, still need to connect NMEA 0183 to SH GX1300B and Ethernet to flybridge helm
B&G Broadband 4G Radar -- Installed
Simrad AC12 Autopilot Computer -- Purchased
Simrad RC42 Rate Compass -- Installed
Simrad RF300 Rudder Feedback Unit -- Purchased
Navico WR19 Wireless Autopilot Remote -- Purchased
Octopus OCTAF1012LAR7 Linear Drive -- Purchased, then returned after testing with chain steering
Octopus OCTAF101217141 Reversing Hydraulic Pump -- Purchased
Hynautic H-50 Helm Pump -- 2 Purchased used, rebuild kits purchased
Hynautic K-51 Hydraulic Cylinder -- Purchased used
Hynautic RV-60 Reservalve -- Purchased used
Navico Fuel Flow Sensors -- 2 Purchased for Engines, Not doing generator at this time
Blue Seas 1821 Temperature Sensors -- 2 Purchased for sensing exhaust elbow temperature
Simrad GoFree WIFI-1 Wireless Bridge -- Installed, currently troubleshooting problem with remote turn-on
Ubiquiti NanoStation locoM2 Wireless CPE Router/Antenna -- In use on boat but not permanently installed
GrooveA 52 AC Wireless Router/Antenna -- For permanent installation on radar arch instead of NanoStation loco M2
Ubiquity airGateway LR Wireless Access Point -- In use on boat but not permanently installed

Boat Leveler Trim Tabs

Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:58 pm
by WayWeGo
While commissioning the boat this spring, I noticed that the trim tabs were not working. Brian at Insta-Trim helped me diagnose the problem and I ended up sending the pump back for rebuilding. He never really found the problem, but there was an extra plug for the reservoir that had been pushed too far and was bouncing around in there. We both suspected that it might have been sucked into the supply tube for the pump, so no hydraulic fluid got to the cylinders. I also rebuilt the cylinders and greased the seals to avoid chattering when retracting the tabs.

Re: WayWeGo Repairs and Improvements

Posted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 6:23 am
by RWS
so many of us have purchased used boats which have had questionable repairs done, causing us to have to re-do, re-engineer or just replace or upgrade stuff.

Nice execution on this project, makes for a truly enjoyable time aboard.