laundry and I stayed behind and sweated and fussed and stressed myself
out. What was the cause of all this stress? I was ready to do the
final step in the refrigeration installation. The refrigerator I'm
installing is keel-cooled, meaning that, instead of venting the warm
air removed from the fridge to the outside air, we'll be venting it to
the outside water. Why? Because water is a WAY better heat conductor
than air, the water will probably always be cooler than the air and
when we're in the tropics the last thing we'll need is warm air being
released inside the boat. The keel-cooled Frigoboat reefers are also
reputed to be the most efficient units out there, thus easier on the
batteries. So, why the stress? Because the keel cooler is mounted
on the outside of the boat but is connected to the refrigerator on the
inside. That means that I need to put another hole in the bottom of
the boat. And not just any hole. A one-and-nine-sixteenths-inch
hole! Way down under the water! AND, it needs to be someplace where
it will sit flat against the hull AND be within 5' of the
refrigerator. And that's not 5' as the crow flies but rather 5' as
the twin copper tubes bend.
I was originally going to use the thru-hull that we abandoned when we
removed the conventional toilet and replaced it with the AirHead.
Unfortunately, by the time the seacock is removed the hole will be
closer to 2". So, then I was going to use the other hole we abandoned
which would be closer to an inch and I could just increase the size.
But, after measuring again I realized that it was more than 5' from
the compressor. So I moved the compressor closer to the engine room.
As close as the other wires and lines would allow. The copper tubes
are bendable but only just so much. Too much bending will work-harden
them and one kink and it's all over. I tell ya, I was sweating like
the proverbial whore in church. And it wasn't from the heat as it was
actually a little cool here today.
I finally found a spot I liked, chucked up the hole saw in the drill,
took a deep breath, and started the hole from the inside. Once the
pilot bit popped through the hole, I climbed down the ladder to finish
the hole from the outside for a nice smooth finish. Well, when I got
outside, the spot where the drill bit came through didn't actually
look great. It maybe should have been an inch or so further outboard
to be sure to have enough flat area so the keel cooler would sit
flat. At that point I could have drilled a new pilot hole where I
wanted as long as it was within the area covered by the larger hole.
But I didn't. Why? Damned if I know. I went ahead and finished
drilling the hole full-size and just hoped it would be OK. Figured if
worse came to worse I could build a backing plate for it somehow.
Well, since my hole saw was 1/16" shy of the size I needed, I broke
out my Dremel tool with a mini sanding drum and finished up. Now for
the test. Will it fit? Did I oversand and make the hole too big?
Will the cooler sit flush with the hull? I bet I lost 5 pounds of
water weight sweating. Insert the copper tubes, start pushing them
up. Crap! They hung up on something. Climb back aboard and lower
myself into the engine room, untangle the tubes, climb back out and
back down, and start easing the tubes up into the hole again. Now
I've got 5' of semi-rigid copper tubing that has to go somewhere
before the keel cooler even enters the hole. Needless to say, they
hung up again several times. I finally got things figured out and....
wait for it....
IT FIT! The cooler sat nice and flush against the bottom of the hull
and fit the hole itself like a glove. WHEW! The rest was anti-
climactic. Lulu returned and held the cooler in place for me while I
fastened the bracket that holds the whole shebang in place. All that
was left was to feed the tubing through the bulkhead, connect them to
the compressor, fasten the compressor down, adjust the watermaker
position to compensate for the new compressor position and call it
good. And I finally quit sweating. I'm going to have to drink a lot
of beer tonight to replenish my fluids.
Lulu got another coat of Kelly green on the boot stripe and then
sanded the turtle (aka sea hood, this is thing that the sliding hatch
slides under so that we don't get water coming in under the leading
edge of the slider) and applied coat #1 (of 3) of Cetol Natural Teak
finish. The turtle was totally black before and now is a mellow
golden teak color. Looks really good. Of course, the wind came up
and there's a feeling of impending rain in the air so we put a tarp
over the turtle for the night. She also finished servicing the two
remaining seacocks. No easy feat as everything is difficult to reach
and all the bolts were very difficult to turn.
I started putting the Cape Horn windvane together this afternoon. But
I was bummed to find the some of the bolt holes don't line up. The
vane was expensive and Cape Horn has an excellent reputation, so I was
pretty surprised. I took some pictures and e-mailed them to CH. Hope
I don't have to send the whole thing back. It's a very large
package. The CH vanes are guaranteed for (if I remember right) 5
years or the end of your first circumnavigation, whichever comes
first, so there shouldn't be an issue. It's just an unwelcome
hassle. Plus, it means that I'll have to help Lulu with the sanding
tomorrow since I won't have the windvane to install. But she told me
I can use the power sander. What a woman!
Right now she's making a one-pot dinner. I think she said it's called
something like "Red and Green Chicken". She's doing great. Until our
propane bottle arrive (tomorrow, supposedly), all we have to cook on
is the little gimballed one-burner and the only pots that fit in it
are the coffee pot an a small pan that came with it. Can't believe
she's actually attempting anything more complicated than heating up a
can of soup on this rig. Pretty sure I married the right girl.
Well, hasta luego. Who knows what tomorrow might bring. At l;east I'm
finished drilling holes in the bottom of our boat. Hope none of them