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This Weekend's Achievements


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Well, its not really only this weekend, but I'm redoing the interior finishes on Island Time. Mostly the varnish work, including the 9 louvered doors! Man louvers are a pain to re-do, it takes about a day to sand them back to the timber... but they do allow air flow, and work well in the boat.

I took out the oven this weekend, sanded and undercoated the oven space as well, using perfection undercoat.

I using Bondall Clear marine varnish, marine grade, single pot, from Mitre 10 - thanks Wheels for telling me about that! It's coming up pretty well. I have been surprised though by the color change from the old varnish (probably original, 1988) on the mahogany interior. I guess the old stuff had bleached, as the new is darker, but shows the grain better and looks deeper. Most is being done with satin, but some parts (fiddles, handholds etc) in gloss.

I'm about 30% of the way through the main saloon so far, so it will be a few months before it's all done, and we are still sailing during the process.

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Well, I was going to go out for the weekend. Went down to the boat to discover a whole 4.5KG LPG bottle had emptied in the last week! The gas alarm in the boat was not triggered (while I was there anyway) and there was no gas smell in the bilge. But obviously there was a leak!


How I located and repaired the leak- maybe this will be useful for someone else;


As we have a LPG califont for the water heater, the gas is not normally turned off at the bottle, so the hot water works.


I had to find the leak. It's a bit complex on Island Time, as there are 4 gas lines in the boat from the same supply, One to the oven, one to the heating, one to the BBQ, and one to the califont. The lines are mostly original copper, now about 25 years old, with some flexible rubber as well.


I started with the basic pump/squirt bottle with dish liquid and water. I connected a full gas bottle, and went over all the connections, the bottle and the reg etc - could not find anything.


LPG/Propane is pretty low pressure (on the low pressure side) only about 1psi. So I decided I could use AIR at a bit more pressure to check again, with more safety and more likelihood of finding the issue.


What I did was to remove the hose from the regulator to the boat piping, and replace it with a short piece of gas hose. Clamped that on to the boat pipes, and in the free end I fitted a truck's removable tire valve.


I then fitted a pressure gauge (That I had lying around in the garage, but a tire pressure gauge would do >$10 at Supercheap) to the first T joint on the boat (removed the BBQ connection). This would allow me to monitor the pressures to see when I'd fixed the leak.


Using a bicycle pump, I pumped up the pressure to 10psi. There certainly was a leak - you could watch the pressure drop over about 30 seconds down to less than 1psi. So, firstly the leak was not in the BBQ line, as it was no longer connected. 3 of the 4 branches to go! Disconnecting them one at a time and re-testing ascertained the leak was in the pipe to the oven.


I then disconnected the flexible lead to the gimballed oven and blocked that off to see if the leak was in the copper pipe, or the flexible part or oven.


It was (murphys law) in the copper. That was installed when the boat was built - and it was behind the built in cabinets etc. Bugger.


The copper's conduit was too small for a flexible hose replacement. It also had a sharp (90 deg) bend in it where it exited one conduit and went into the final one feeding to to the back of the stove. That section I could see thru the back of one of the cabinets, but it could not be reached - impossible to replace without removing major built in cabinets. So, replacing the copper not realistically practical.


I spent the day replacing the copper behind the cabinets with flexible gas line, running a different route, all well supported, and exiting through the same final conduit (which was large enough) behind the oven. Crimped the end connections (worm drive hose clamps are not allowed!) - a hint - you can crimp the connections with carpenters pliers if you don't have the special crimpers.

Once done, retested with the 10psi pressure test. No change at all after 30mins - Fixed! Remove the test stuff, re-install the gas bottle and reg, test all connections again with the soapy water. All good!


Total cost $60 for the new line and the right crimp connections, + 2 replacement connectors to change from the copper flares to a bayonet for the hose. In all, it took about 8-9 hours, so would have been expensive to have it done by a tradie.


Went sailing on Sunday... :D

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Richard is so right regarding the projects one can successfully tackle and complete to a high standard.

Been watching him rip apart and alter his pride and joy and it is a remarkable transformation done to a great standard.

Well done that man in the protective suit and mask. :clap:

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Gave a mate a hand to put the finishing touches on the bottom of his cat at Little Shoal Bay.What A great cross section of folks and boats, It's probably one of the last classic kiwi hardstands where there's always time for a chat and a cold one ... Cheers Courageous

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