27 April 2022

In The (Work) Groove

 If you read my last post, it probably sounded like we were already in the work groove, but not really. It is a big change from wintering in France, where the biggest problem I have is being prepared enough in French so that my two French teachers aren't embarrassed for me, to getting up early and just working on a very cramped, very crowded, and disorganized sailboat. 

However, after a couple of days, the mind adapts. People can get used to just about anything. You just need to give it some time.

Here's an interesting problem: when you have a whole list of jobs, which do you do first?

I have two answers to this problem: First, focus on jobs that must are done before other jobs can be done. For example, ordering parts. Can't do the job until the parts come in, which can sometimes take time. Second, work on below-deck jobs before above-deck jobs. The reason for this rule is that as long as you are working below deck the boat is likely to be unlivable, or nearly so. The sooner we get the below-deck jobs done, the sooner we can be comfortable down below. 

At the moment, I am focusing on our water system. First up, I finished replacing the valve that controls water from one of our tanks. That was probably the most important repair I had on my list, so naturally it was the first to be done.

Water valve repaired... much easier than I anticipated.

Another important project is to install a saltwater pump in the galley, so that we can easily use salt water for washing dishes, etc. To do that, I first had to replace our ancient galley faucet. This faucet was so old that every moving part was frozen solid with corrosion. Both valves were stuck solid, and even the faucet itself was frozen in place, which was really inconvenient. 

It was a pretty big job, mainly because the sink wasn't plumbed for a modern faucet. The hole in the counter top was too small, and the water feed lines (as you can see) were not exactly up to modern standards. Basically, the fresh water feed line was a 3/8" I.D. water hose, which meant I needed to buy the correct adapters.

If you've ever tried to make a hole made by a hole saw larger, you know this is a tricky job. A hole saw has a pilot drill bit that needs to bite on wood to keep the main body of the hole saw steady. If you've already got a 3/4" hole which needs expanding, there is nothing for the drill bit to drill into. 

Hole saw... needs wood for the pilot drill to drill into

Solution? I glued a small piece of plywood underneath the counter, which covered the hole. That gave the drill bit something to drill into, and stabilizing the hole saw enough to make a clean cut and expand the hole to 1 3/8". 

For adapters, I found a 3/8" male compression to 3/8" pipe fitting adapter, and a 3/8" pipe fitting to 3/8" hose barb adapter, and that adapted the compression fitting on the faucet water line to the water hose under the sink. 

And, voila, a new faucet with actual working parts!

New faucet installed.

I plan on using the hot water line for salt water. That's why I needed two working valves: the cold for fresh water from the tanks, and the hot for salt water from the ocean. 

Plumbing in a salt water line is going to be another whole-day project which I will tackle in the next day or two. I also want to install a flow meter on the fresh water line, so we can measure how much water we've taken out of the fresh water tanks. The reason for doing that should be fairly obvious when one is crossing an ocean!

That's it for now. Back to Petronella and today's jobs!

Next Up: I started the day with 8 projects...

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