Sunday, August 17, 2014

Project Progress, This Week

We've spent the last several weeks in design and prep, and waiting out bad weather and many of the marina staff being sick, possibly with the same nasty summer cold that has plagued us since early July.  And I'm glad for the delay, because the extra thinking time has definitely resulted in a better design for the project than we had before.

The first bit of prep required us to empty virtually every locker on the starboard side of the boat.  Now we have a pretty substantial list to port. Our home tilts to the left -- that's not a political statement, just gravity.  And with the v-berth filled with things we have nowhere else to put, we are sleeping on the port side of the main cabin, which makes the listing even worse.  Feels like we're sailing on a starboard tack and heeling. Shows how much "stuff" we have! One of the lockers we emptied is the pantry.  I discovered 7 jars of kalamata olives, 7 cans of mandarin orange slices, and 6 cans of chopped green chiles.  Hmmm.  I attribute the over-stocking, in part, to never knowing where our next opportunity to find [whatever favored ingredient] will be. So if it's something unusual we have to grab it when we see it, and if its heavy or bulky, when we have a car. Of course the other cause for overstocking is that its hard to see everything that's in these lockers due to their odd shape and limited access. Or we'll buy things because we've gone on a particular food enthusiasm, from Thai to paleo, and then when the phase passes we're left with partial bottles of exotic condiments that are so specialized that they aren't useful for whatever interest comes next. It's good to have a project like this one that forces us to clean out and inventory the pantry from time to time. In addition to the overstock, we found some forgotten gems like a partial jar of Nutella from 2012, and a bottle of lime juice with a 2009 expiration date.  It used to be round but some kind of chemical reaction must have occurred over time because it was collapsed into a squarish shape.  BTW, we considered a donation to a food pantry for our unexpired surplus, but they generally need, you know, actual food, like chili or tuna fish, and not weird sauces or single ingredients.

Anyway, once that was done we could get on to the actual moving of the air conditioning unit.  Most of the space under the starboard settee is taken up by a 25 gallon diesel fuel tank.  Beyond the tank, there is (er, was) a single drawer that we were willing to sacrifice. This is where the air conditioner would go.  Intake water was routed from the old intake just in front of the engine, and we would install a new seacock in the side of the hull for the discharge water.  Previously, the water discharged at the transom; this hole would be plugged.  Here's the story in pictures:

The air conditioner is behind the square vent panel below the top step; it's new home is under the bolster on the left.
Same settee with the cushions removed.
Here's a closeup of the space at the aft end of the settee.  The drawer has been removed, this is the "box" that it slid in.  Look at all the unused space around the outside of the box.  Inevitable when trying to fit squares and rectangles in the irregular curves of the hull, but wow -- empty space is like gold to us longterm liveaboards!

Behind the stairs.  Can you see the boat's engine?  We can't either.  But it's in there.  It's behind the air conditioner -- awkward to access.  Thank goodness we haven't needed any major repairs while this system was in place!

It just looks like a jumble of parts, but here it is moved into its new location.  Before he left Friday afternoon, the boatyard's ace refrigeration/air conditioner mechanic Steve made sure the system was running so we'd have a comfortable weekend.  This obviously isn't its final configuration but it's in there, and working.   Our bottom pan was horribly rusty so he set the whole unit inside another, larger, plastic pan so that if our old one leaked it would be contained.  No ducting or vents yet, that will be done on Monday.  The mechanic didn't have time to install the drain for the condensed water so just for the weekend we have to bail it out of the pan with a turkey baster.  (Small price to pay to be cool and comfortable, I think!) We pulled out about 7 cups of water from the pan in the first 4 hours ... a good illustration of just how much the human body produces while breathing.  

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