Aboard Astraea

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The Water Lift Muffler Project is Finished

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The water lift muffler project has come along nicely. Two weekends ago I got the supporting base epoxied in. I plumbed the water lift muffler in to the boat and turned the engine on to make sure it will work. I bypassed the water heater by using some 5/8″ fittings and tightened the hose clamps down.

All my calculations were definitely on the extremely conservative side. After running the engine and having water come out the overboard discharge for about 20 seconds the the muffler only had 22 cups of water in it. That’s 1.375 gallons in a 4.5 gallon water lift muffler. My installation just needs to be well secured and then we’ll be sailing again!

Installing the waterlift muffler deep in the bilge

Installing the waterlift muffler deep in the bilge

Over Labor Day weekend I spent my time putting down seven coats of varnish on the cockpit wood and didn’t do much work on the water lift muffler problem. We went out to the Festival of Sail with Eric and Jaime at the Maritime Museum here in San Diego. There were tall ships in port from all around California. We took the dinghy out for a ride now that the motor is back from getting the carburetor cleaned and rebuilt. It runs great!

Our happy family all dressed up for a dinghy ride

Our happy family all dressed up for a dinghy ride

I spent the rest of the week finalizing the installation. Henry Wing came and helped push the shaft back on two Wednesdays ago. I used a 2″ piece of fiberglass pipe inside the old engine exhaust hose for support and then put the new 2 3/8″ hose over top and sealed it with GFlex epoxy and two hose clamps. Mounting the bilge pumps was my next challenge.

Because the new water lift muffler is in a different place I needed to relocate our bilge pumps. To mount the bilge pumps I epoxied a piece of marine plywood to the edge of the bilge and drilled a hole for a mounting bolt. Attaching the float switch to the bilge pump and making the hose connections and routing everything was a pain. I had to lay flat on the cabin sole and dive down as far as I could in to the bilge to make sure everything fit correctly.

I used the old platform the wate heater sat on as a pattern and cut out a new platform made from 1/2″ StarBoard marine grade polymer. I screwed this in to the existing platform edge with some stainless screws and large washers to evenly distribute the load.

StarBoard water heater platform installed

StarBoard water heater platform installed

Then turned off the potable water pump and drained all the pressure. I re-plumbed the water heater potable water and engine coolant and connected the 115VAC wiring. I turned the water pump back on and purged out the air in the lines. Then I ran the engine and inspected for leaks. Luckily, I didn’t have any leaks.

Water heater installed and the project is almost over

Water heater installed and the project is almost over

To celebrate this project being over we headed out to the pump out dock and emptied the holding tank.

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