Thinking of Dive Hookahs

I want to build a 12VDC Hookah which will support two divers while cleaning the bottom of our boat (6 feet). We don’t have room to store one of the floating motorized version, but we have plenty of room to mount one inside the boat.

Here are the basic features \ design elements I’m looking to include.

  • 2 Divers for shallow dives less than <30 Feet. 90% of the time < 6eet while we clean the boat bottom
  • 12VDC Compressor with switch to cycle on\off to fill reservoir tank
  • Reservoir tank to allow air from compressor to cool, and to keep compressor from running continuously
  • 40 Micron particle filter
  • 4-5 CFM @ 45PSI minimum 100-150PSI maximum

If you have built something or have comments on the specs, let me know!

Trying to wrap things up

We’re still in Charleston. Still trying to get all systems back online. The main part of the project removing the engine and putting in a new fuel tank are completed. Friday we along with Kyle from Tarheel Aluminum Fabrication lowered the engine back through the companion and set it on its new mounts! Saturday we finished hooking up the engine, new 100amp alternator and external three-stage regulator. This morning we start the engine for the durst tine and it fired right up, but the regulator is not coming on, which means we can’t charge the batteries without shore power. the engine is also running a little hot.

I spent most of today working on the regulator with the voltmeter checking how things were hooked up. I won’t bore you wight the details on that, but I think it’s a problem with the ground and a call to Balmar tomorrow should resolve that.

As for the engine temp, we need to make sure there’s no air in the cooling system which seems pretty straightforward.

In addition to all that Dawn has also been working n some teak projects, stripping the cetol from the hand railings in the cabin top and she sanded down the campionway hatch boards and trim. It’s going to look amazing when she’s done!!!

We are definitely feeling the need to head south, but also seeing that the immediate weather patterns aren’t looking great either. When the engine is 100% we’ll start looking to pick our window to jump to SF or maybe another intermediary stop like Port Orchard or Eureka.

Still not done

When we were still on the dock at Shilshole we’d get asked all the time “when you going to be done?” And I’d always say, “never!” Well, in that spirit you should know that we’re not done yet!

Today I worked on adding six new switches to control some functions of the AIS and power on/off various components of what we call the NavSystem. The new switches will allow us to turn off the transmit portion of our AIS to save power or avoid being tracked by CB. The other switches will allow us to turn off the PC, WiFi Bridge, LAN/USB Hub, and the NMEA 2000 network (instruments). All of these things used to come on or off all at once, now we can more granularly control our power usage, which us very good thing!!


Chainplates : Before and After

Here’s a series of shots of polishing and installing our chainplates. We polished them by hand starting by cleaning them with water and a scouring pad, then sanding them with progressively higher grained papers. The first go was with 100 grit and we ended up at 1200 grit. Mounting the paper to a board or a table was helpful, but this is intense labor and is very hard on the hands. However, paying someone to do it ridiculous. We did not put the chainplates (or any of the rigging we polished) on an actual polishing wheel, the 1200 grit seemed like it was as good as we were going to get.

As as DIY projects go, this is pretty easy one and just requires sandpaper, a bunch of free time (or late nights in my case) and a desire to stick through it.

Thanks to Port Townsend Rigging for the tips and the encouragement!


DSC_7136 Here’s the chainplate pulled and lying on the deck when we were in the paint shed back in November 2010.
DSC00323 After cleaning them up we marked where the deck would be and covered that area with butyl.
DSC00340 The butyl was then tamped down by hand until it was a bit recessed to the deck (no shot of that)
The small space was then filled with Sika Flex, the chainplate covers were installed and any excess Sika Flex was cleaned off.
.DSC00342 A shot of the bolted on chainplate and the green bonding wire (which were also replaced) from below decks.


These pictures were taken in May 2010 and thus far we have had no chainplate leaking. (knock on teak)

New Nav Station Bench and Desk Completed

New Nav Station Bench and DeskI am very pleased to show off the new nav station bench and and desk. This replaces the cooler and board I’ve been using for years. You can see more pics of the pieces coming together on flickr.

The 1/2” cabinet grade teak has all been finished with at least 4 coats of varnish. The desktop has an additional coat of a heavy duty varnish.

You can probably make out the hinges in the bench, it does open and has a pretty decent amount of storage.

The only thing left to complete is to put a locking clasp of some kind on the lid.

In addition to the desk I also mounted the new 19” Viore LED Monitor (LED19VH50). That’s the large monitor on the right of the picture. It’s mounted with a standard VESA mount and can directly off of 12VDC!!! The size of the monitor is important because It’s mounted on a door that opens and the monitor has to swing over the top of the original desk.

I’m VERY excited to have this completed. Next step in the aft berth is to put up the headliner; things are coming together !!!

Today’s Miracle–Threaded Inserts

I have been looking for  way to attach the teak hatch to the bow bulkhead that allows access to the new chain locker. Previously this area was just an empty storage area and the hatch was held in place poorly and frequently popped out. With the new chain locker and the interior panel of starboard securing the chain, the teak cover is less important to hold stuff in, but with only a 1/2” of bulkhead to which to fasten the hatch how to do was becoming a concern. I had thought about using a tee-nut, but that would require removing the chain to access the interior of the locker again. Not something I wanted to be doing any time soon.

Low and behold I happened on the threaded insert at my local hardware store. It is basically a sleeve with wood threads on the outside and 1/2-20 machine threads on the inside. With a 1/4-20 cap screw to be tightened by hand… PERFECT!

Here’s a pic of today’s miracle

Progress on the v-berth

While my clavicle has been healing Dawn has been busy as monkey working to convert the shelves along the port and starboard sides of the v-berth into cabinets. Along with that she’s also been working on turning that v-berth seat that a lot of boats have into a cabinet as well. Here’s a quick rundown on the progress thus far and the proces:

  1. First she pulled the drip rail off the shelves so the new cabinet face can attach directly to it.
  2. Directly above the shelf edge under the cabin top she screwed in two long 1″x1″ boards to act as cleats to attach the top edge of the new cabinet face
  3. With that done she  made all the templates out for both the port and starboard cabinet faces and the front of the cabinet at the head of the v-berth out of  3″ wide strips 1/4″ plywood. She takes the strips, clips them in place on the top and botom and then hot glues pieces to the fore and aft edges. This leaves us with a perfect template of the outer edges of the cabinet face.
  4. The templates were then taken to the workshop and we cut out the plywood pieces to match the templates. These plywood pieces will make up the front of the new cabinets. The cabinet doors will attach to these boards as well.
  5. The cabinet under the head end of the v-berth required one additional modification which was to route a 1/2″ groove into the bottom of the normal removable seat board so it will slide over and help secure the new cabinet face.
  6. With that done you would think the cabinet faces would just slide right in, not exactly. Not 100% sure exactly what we’re not doing right but the final boards always require a lot of sanding to make them fit into place. I know for one we didn’t account for the angles of the bulkheads at either end, so in effect the board is always a hair long. She handled that by using the angle grinder to sand back the high spots until the board slid into place without as much pushing and shoving.

We ended the weekend with one cabinet face  fit and two more to go. The next steps after the cabinet faces fit correctly is to determine where the cabinet doors will be placed exacltly, to cut out the holes, place the hinges and latches. With that done we will install the new cabinet fronts.

Many pics and more details to come, I just felt bad for not giving you all an update.

We did a lot this holiday season

We make lists and we check them thrice and then we check them thrice more and then we check ‘em off and drink! You can expect more to come on most of these, I just wanted to make a big list and check it thrice!  ;-)

  • Finished lining the foot locker in the v-berth with cedar, put hinges and a latch on hatch.
  • Painted the tabbing connecting the shelves in the v-berth to the hull. Dawn is getting ready to convert this into area into cabinets as well.
  • Dissembled the pedestal canvas cover, bought new canvas and made the initial template which is step one in our first canvas project with the Sailrite LSZ-1 we bought.
  • Fixed a leak on the toe rail into the locker in the head
  • Fixed a spot on the toe rail t-track where the cars would not slide though one section of the t-track by removing some of the teak on the rail with chisel and sanding it down. This was probably due to some toe rail rot or something like that, the track is actually recessed into the toe rail a bit in this section. Not sure… we’ll probably need to replace this section of toe rail in the next 5 years.
  • Finished all the final mockup and dry fit for the Maretron DSM250 to be mounted in the cockpit under the dodger (more on that to come). Almost completed this project, no really almost..
  • Re-bedded all the hinges in the lazarette with new bolts and Sikaflex 295 with the goal of eliminating leaks from the bolts
  • Chain Locker and Windlass complete
  • Installed the last two Lewmar D2 rope clutches on the mainmast
  • Installed the bottom half of the hardware for the mast end spinnaker pole (pad eye and cheek block)controls (the line is still being shipped)
  • Replaced the vent hoses on the water tanks adding proper vented loops and having them drain to the sewer instead of inside forward lockers (really, in the lockers)
  • Pulled the dinghy from the water, cleaned it and took the Yamaha F8 to Jacobsen Marine. It wasn’t running smoothly and I don’t have the time to deal with it right now so we took it to “the man”. Probably just needs the carbs cleaned. I also learned that the right side to set the the outboard on is the other side from the one I had set it on, so we had a bit of an oil leak. If you have a Subaru Forester the cargo liner for the back is a very very nice to thing to have!

Now it’s time for a glass of Balvenie Portwood !

New Chain Locker and Windlass Relocation Complete







Tonight we marked the chain and loaded it into our new chain locker with the windlass. This project has been over a year in the making since it was November 2009 when we removed the windlass from it’s original location and closed up the holes in the deck.

The reasons for moving the windlass were many, but the main ones were to remove the rubber hose hawse pipe from the middle of the mattress in the v-berth (which prevented any cuddling) and to create a proper chain locker in the bow below the original (and useless) foredeck anchor locker.

I did most of the demolition and prep work and <<The Yard>> did all the structural and finish work. Here are some shots of the fiberglass work in progress there are more pics on flickr.

DSC_8889 Chain Locker - new floor



We also installed a bow padeye for attaching an anchor snubber closer to the level of the waterline which is a better angle for the boat to pull on the ground tackle to keep the anchor digging in. It also removes some the up and down motion on the ground tackle as well which should also make the boat rider more comfortable at anchor as well. We used the 1/2” bolts coming into the chain locker to attach an eye nut which I used to attach the bitter end of the chain.

The inside of the locker was prepped, primed and painted by Dawn with Interlux Bilgekote. She used gray primer and white paint to help here see how things were covering. She applied two coats of primer and three coats of paint over the Christmas holiday weekend. She was wearing a full set of coveralls a painters hood and a respirator. I’ve done that when grinding fiberglass and I can tell you it sucks! We originally thought we’d go slap on some paint and go sailing, but it takes 24 hours between coats then you have to sand, clean and put on the next layer. It was not how we planned to spend Christmas, but it looks awesome and I’m confident the fiberglass is well protected!


Once the paint was dry Dawn literally went inside the chain locker and we shut her into it so she could place two starboard guides on the inside of the bulkhead so our 1/2” inner panel would have a place to rest and line up properly. It basically fits in place like one giant hatch board. This bears all the weight of the chain. I was originally planning this elaborate and over engineered inner hatch that would also be water tight. Instead we put the original cover board back in place with a single screw on the top. We’re going to see how that goes if our toes get wet then I’ll resort to something more complicated. This is inline with the advice from fellow sailors and comparisons to other boats.

In addition to all of that we added proper up and down windlass foot controls (and control box) on the foredeck, port and starboard chain locker drains and just because we were in there doing stuff I replaced the very corroded port and starboard running lights with shiny new ones. We also re-marked our rode, but I’ll save that for another post. There are more posts in the Systems – Ground Tackle category if you want to see more details.

This means we can go sailing and anchor at fun places!! Woo Hoo !!

Relocate, Rebuild and Rebed the Mainsheet winch

New winch layoutBacking plates


In it’s original, more outboard location, a handle in the mainsheet winch could only be rotated about 1/2 way round because it hit the dodger. to grind in the sheet you had to saw back and forth on the handle. I like to get up on the winch and grind so it needed to move inboard. In order to make that work and have the line run fair (shout out to Brion Toss) I added a cheek block just where the line comes under the dodger to align it to the new winch location (as suggested by Chris Tutmark). This block is mounted to the ridge in the cabin top and through a custom shaped starboard block I made. The rope clutch is also a new addition and replaces the cleat originally used for the mainsheet, it is also mounted on a starboard block I shaped. I added a fairlead for the traveler line so it didn’t rub so hard on the dodger canvas and although it is not in this picture there is a cleat for this line on the deck as well.

The picture on the right shows the backing plates, washers and fender washers used to back the various pieces of hardware all of which are a major upgrade from the very small washers used prior. All of the holes were drilled larger than needed, epoxied closed to protect the core and re-drilled to the proper size. Everything was bedded using Sika Flex 291.

A new mainsheet was made out of 1/2” Samson Trophy Braid because it’s a bit softer in the hand. This has also been installed. There are now only three original lines on the boat, the furling line and the job sheets and they are on the list.