Replace Sinks Drains in Galley

We noticed one evening that there was an amount of water on the galley floor. A quick check and we were not taking on water and the fresh water system was not leaking, so we just assumed that we had been sloppy washing the dishes and wipes things up. But then it happened again. This time a closer inspection showed that we had standing water in the shelf under the sink. I felt the drain hoses and in so doing moved them. I noticed that the drain had separated from the underside of the sink! We were fortunate that it didn’t happen until the last night before we got back to the marina. We only had to do the dishes in a pail for a day or so.

Existing Plumbing System

Existing Plumbing System

The issue lay in the fact that the drain system was all plastic and of very thin material, and that we had been pushing more and more stuff under the sink, which must have also pressure on the system. Age may have also been a factor (10+ years) since the second drain also just separated from the sink while I was trying to remove the old broken one. Plastic does become more brittle over time. I decided not to replace in kind, but to use standard house plumbing components which have proven themselves from a time perspective. It was also mid-sailing season and I decided that I would keep what looked like an existing 1″ thru-hull fitting and hose. Whatever I connected to the existing hose, I wanted to keep that connection above the static water-line (for piece of mind). This way if a connection failed while the sea-cock was open, the boat wouldn’t fill with water.

Existing Broken Flange

Existing Broken Flange

I was looking for some stainless steel bar sink strainers to replace the old plastic ones from Catalina, but after much searching I settled on a stainless steel Duplex Strainer with Basket from Moen. It has a 2-1/2″ diameter flange and just fit the sink. I next connected a copper tailpipe to it so that I could then go into 1-1/2″ ABS for the main section of the drain. None of the plastic tails fit the strainer and I wanted to avoid plastic this time around. The shortest tail piece was 4″ long, so I cut it to 2″, which was all that I needed and it helped keep the system closer to the underside of the sink.

New Plumbing System Laid Out

New Plumbing System Laid Out

Left Basin Drain Components Close Up

Left Basin Drain Components Close Up

Right Basin Drain Components Close Up

Right Basin Drain Components Close Up

Hose Connection & Clean-out Close Up

Hose Connection & Clean-out Close Up

Instead of teeing down from in between the two basins like Catalina did, I had the drain drop at the starboard end so it went down closer to where the thru-hull is. Since I was going from 1-1/2″ ABS pipe into a 1″ hose to the thru-hull I had some concern that I could develop a clog at this point of reduction. So I added a clean out a this down elbow. The final piece that transitions to the barbed fitting to the hose only came in 1-1/4″ so I had to use a reduction ring. That fitting also did not come in ABS and I believe it was a PVC reducing male adaptor.

Cement & Putty

Cement & Putty

If you are doing the same thing, make sure that you get the correct cement for connecting your ABS pipes (A.B.S. Solvent Cement) and Plumber’s Putty for sealing between you stainless sink and the stainless strainer. For the strainer, just roll out the putty (like play-dough) and lay it in around the collar of the strainer near the threads. Be generous, you will clean up any that squeezes out after you tighten the strainer to the sink. Make sure this is nice and tight.

Next I measured and cut the pipes and dry fit all the fittings. Once I was convinced that I had everything correctly fitting, I sanded all the contact points that would get cemented (both surfaces). I then cemented the three vertical sections together and did the final cementing of the horizontal pipes last. That was because I wanted to get he angles of the drains and clean-out just right. If you make a mistake, you’re back at the store buying more pieces (the cement sets fast).

New Plumbing System Installed

New Plumbing System Installed

I did have to cut the existing hose by 3″ or so. So the new drains are lower than the original system. However the down drain to the thru-hull is more out of the way now. I did manage to keep the lowest connection above the static water-line as well. The last photo shows the water-line as the horizontal mark between the shower/ice-box drain loop.

So far the sink is draining well, and all connections are fast and dry, and no water on the shelf or galley floor. Time will tell if this system will last as long as the previous one.

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Companion Way Fly Screen

The companion way on the Catalina is nice and wide and wonderful for getting in and out of the inside. Unfortunately so do the flies and those nasty mosquitos. So we looked into getting an insect screen. We found that those manufactured solutions were pretty expensive.

Friends of ours mentioned that all that they do is use bridal veil held in place with soup cans. Well I’m not crazy about having soup cans dropping on my head but we liked the idea of the veil. So we picked up some black veil material from Fabric Land, so twisted galvanized chain from Home Depot and made our own fly screen.

Companion Way Screen

Companion Way Screen

The leading forward edge of the screen was reinforced with interfacing and button holes sewn in to match up with the deck fasteners for the dodger. The two sides and the bottom edge had the chain sewn into them. This allowed the screen to naturally drop into place, following the top and side contours.

Forward Edge of Screen

Forward Edge of Screen

Chain Sewn into Screen

Chain Sewn into Screen

Propane Tank Cover

After we set up our barbeque to use the propane from the onboard propane system, we wanted to make sure that we had sufficient propane onboard when cruising. So we acquired a spare tank, but needed to store it somewhere. The side step on the transom seemed the right place. To keep it clean (no bird droppings, etc…), we sewed a protective cover for it from a white vinyl material. This also helped reflect the hot sun off of the tank.

View of Tank from Transom

View of Tank from Transom

To attach the tank we left an opening in the cover to allow a line to pass from the tank to the aft port stay. The cover is open on the bottom but has a cord that we us to draw the bottom opening close. It has worked well for the past three seasons.

Tank Tie Down

Tank Tie Down

Barbeque Propane Hook Up

We were fortunate to pick up a Kuuma barbeque at the winter boat show for a ridiculously cheap price. It wasn’t the insulated, dual-rack Magma Catalina model, but at around $50 I figured if it didn’t work out we could always use it as a spare onshore.  The one thing the admiral and I both hated was the need for the little propane cylinders and the storage and disposal of them. I was most disappointed to learn that they were not reusable!

IMG_2852

One of our first small projects was to set the BBQ up to the existing onboard propane system. I acquired the necessary hose kit from Holland Marine Products (HMP).

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propane connector

The connector unit fits in between the tank and the existing hose fittings. You need to pick up some Teflon tape from your local hardware store (yellow Teflon tape is for gas). I found that the best location to exit the tank locker was in the aft outer corner. This way I can open the lid and the hose length would not be affected. Just make sure that the hole diameter is large enough to fit the hose’s end fitting through it.

IMG_2853

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To seal the opening I used a 1/2″ rubber cork (spare cork from our wine making carboy). It was nessesary to drill out the hole larger and cut a groove around the corks perimeter. Then it was nessesary to also cut the cork so it could be slipped over the propane hose.

IMG_2864

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The spare hose just coils around within the propane locker.

One note of caution: We found that the fibreglass tanks did not have a strong enough neck to support the additional moment placed on it by the extended fittings. It was possibly after a very bumpy sail, but we found that the fibreglass tank had a leak one day, right where the valve was threaded into the tank neck. The banging around in high seas, seemed to have jostled the cantilevered fitting to the extent that the glass gave way. Now we use only metal tanks (One aluminum and one steel).

Propane Locker & New Hook Up

Propane Hose to BBQ

The hose to the BBQ was securely fastened to the stern rail with quick ties.

Replacing the Main Port Windows

What I didn’t like about the existing windows in the C&C, which is the same issue with almost all boats of the 1970 vintage, was that it involved two aluminium frames (one exterior and one interior frame) held by rivets and a few bolts (with the exterior frame also being siliconed to the exterior bulkhead face) and a grey rubber gasket that readily shrunk over time. It appears that the intention was to use the exterior frame as the main mounting platform for the plexi window, with the rubber gasket holding the plexi in the exterior frame. The interior frame only provided a cosmetic cover, hiding the fibreglass edge of the opening.

Existing Main Salon Window

Existing Main Salon Window

Existing Main Salon Window Close Up

Existing Main Salon Window Close Up

With the thin ¼” Plexiglas that was held in by the gasket, you had three different materials that had different expansion and contraction rates during temperature changes. The job of replacing the Plexiglas or the gasket was laborious and painful. With current technology we have cars and buildings that have windows held without fasteners, it seemed archaic replacing the gasket every few years, when I never have to do it for the car or house!

In architecture, glass display windows and shower stall enclosures are held in place with structural silicon. My dad’s Grampian 26 had plexiglas windows held in place with silicon, but also required Chicago screws to hold it in place during curing. Whether they were required after that I don’t know. It’s possible that in those days (late 70’s early 80’s) the silicon didn’t hold that well over time.

Existing Main Salon Window Components

Existing Main Salon Window Components

I wanted to have a screwless plexiglass window held only by silicon. I went with a DOW Corning product #795 in white. The new windows were spec.’d as 3/8″ thick smoked colour plexiglass with about an inch and a quarter (1-1/4″) overlap all around the opening. The silicone requires about 1/4″ gap to ensure that there is enough substance to hold (i.e. don’t squeeze the plexiglass to tightly to the fibreglass; you need a spacer). I used a trim piece to finish the fibreglass edge and to act as the silicone spacer.

First I drilled out the rivets from the existing aluminum frame. Then removed the four bolts. The exterior frame was siliconed to the gelcoat and I had to use a thin knife and flathead screwdriver to gently pry it free. When I
had, I realized why the windows were leaking, and even if I had replaced the gaskets it would have still leaked. Under the exterior frame I found discoloured sections where there was no silicone and where moisture had traveled through the rivet holes. The interior frame does not provide any structure support and is
only used to mask the rough fibreglass edge. This I removed as well. Using a scraper and acetone I carefully removed any remaining debris.
Main Salon Window Removed

Main Salon Window Removed

Main Salon Window Removed Close Up

Main Salon Window Removed Close Up

Main Salon Window Removed Exterior View

Main Salon Window Removed Exterior View

The boat had both an interior bulkhead liner and the exterior bulkhead. To ensure that I didn’t have any moisture leakage between the two layers of fibreglass I intended to glue both together with epoxy. However gravity made it difficult doing the upper edge. Since gravity also would affect any water, I decided to not worry about sealing above the port’s sides and only epoxied the bottom and both sides. I used the West System epoxy, because it works well, is easy to measure outwith it’s pre-portioned pump system, and because I already had it (from when I repaired a delaminating tiller).

Through Deck Section

Through Deck SectionSealing Through Deck Section

After epoxing, it is important to clamp the glued edges. I used a 1×2 wood strips on both the interior and exterior faces and then several clamps to hold them together. I clamped from the centre outwards and that allowed the 1×2 to bend to the shape of the bulkhead. I left it to cure over night. The next day I removed the clamps and 1×2 wood strips, and filed or scrapped away any excess epoxy.

Trim-Mate

Trim-MateTrim-Mate Section

Installed Trim Section

Installed Trim Section

Next I dressed the fibreglass edge with a trim piece called Trim-Mate. I acquired this product from Holland Marine Products (HMP), but it may be available from other sources as well. I used the T4 version. Starting at the top centre of the port opening I pushed the trim piece over the edge until I had gone around the entire opening and finished at the top centre. I ensured that the round corners were adequately engaged with the trim, and when cutting the end, made sure there was minimum to no gap between ends of the trim. This left a clean opening. The interior had a clean finish and on the exterior, I now had a spacer to apply the plexi up against.

Trim-Mate Slips on and Covers the Rough Edges

Trim-Mate Slips on and Covers the Rough Edges

Example Fitting of Trim-Mate

Example Fitting of Trim-Mate

Trim-Mate Installed into Opening

Trim-Mate Installed into Opening

I built braces to hold the plexiglas in place over the opening, while the silicone cured. The brace had a lower support for the bottom edge of the plexi and the hinged flat piece that I levered against the plexi to provide even pressure on the flat plexi face and screwed into place. The braces were anchored against the toe-rail and then tied down from the hand-rail above. I left most of the protective paper on the plexi, only removing about one and a half inches from the interior, where the silicone will need to hold on to it. This ensured that the remaining plexi was protected from any scrapes or scratches.
Dow Corning Silicone #795

Dow Corning Silicone #795

Installed Plexiglass Section

Installed Plexiglass Section

Bracing of Plexiglass Against Deck 1

Bracing of Plexiglass Against Deck 1

Bracing of Plexiglass Against Deck 2

Bracing of Plexiglass Against Deck 2

Bracing of Plexiglass Against Deck - Close Up 1

Bracing of Plexiglass Against Deck – Close Up 1

Bracing of Plexiglass Against Deck - Close Up 2

Bracing of Plexiglass Against Deck – Close Up 2

After “dry” fitting the plexi in the opening with the braces, and penciling the perimeter overlap of the plexi onto the exterior fibreglass, I taped off the immediate fibreglass deck to ensure that any excess silicone could be easily be cleaned up. I then applied the silicone to the exterior perimeter of the opening. I used as large a bead as possible, running it so that is was up against the outer perimeter of the trim and covered any existing screw openings. Then I carefully pressed the plexi into the silicone and bracing it with the braces. I did an initial clean up of any oozing silicone on both interior and exterior edges, and then left it for a day. On the interior there were some gaps between the trim and the plexi. In those areas I provided some additional silicone to close the gaps.
Next day I removed the braces and the surrounding tape, and cleaned any edges that I wasn’t able to reach the previous day.
Interior View With New Plexiglass

Interior View With New Plexiglass after Attaching

Interior View With New Plexiglass - Close Up

Interior View With New Plexiglass – Close Up

New Plexi Window Installed Exterior View

New Plexi Window Installed Exterior View

New Plexi Window Installed Exterior View - Close Up

New Plexi Window Installed Exterior View – Close Up

Finished Plexiglass Main Salon Windows

Finished Plexiglass Main Salon Windows – Gives Encounter III an Updated Look!