This was our 2013 Jayco Flight Swift 198 RD


Saturday 29 July 2023

Below and behind the walls of Albatross plus home happenings

The month of July is coming to an end and what a hot month and summer it has been so far. We are alive and well, in case you are wondering since I last posted at the beginning of June. Other than a couple of trips across the border to our Detroit mailing address to pick up parcels containing boat parts, we stayed close to home.

Keeping up with the cutting of grass, flower and vegetable plant maintenance, housekeeping, grocery shopping and you know everyday things, take up a big chunk of every week. 

Our longtime cruising friend Richard and his girlfriend came for a visit where we talked boats and reminisced on the days we cruised together on our respective sailboats. Now his son Ricky, who was a young lad back then while accompanying Richard, is presently on his own sailboat in Papeete - French Polynesia, on a world circumnavigation with his wife. Speaking of boats, Benno has been steadily working on ours. The boat is still wrapped in shrink-wrap which does not help with the hot temperatures we are experiencing. There were days when he had to quit working mid day coming out drenched in sweat even though a fan had been running full blast.

Happenings in our neighbourhood were a fire in the middle of the night at an unoccupied vacation house facing the lake, about a 200 yards from us. It was a total loss and involved 5 fire trucks. 

Then a strong summer storm the other day brought down half a tree onto the front yard and driveway to our neighbours across the street. We did have a tornado warning as the storm tore fiercely through the area, but it was just a twisted wind that caused that damage like we had a couple of years ago when our fence fell down. And on a return grocery run this happened to me: A flat tire, piece of a sewing machine was stuck in the tire, how did that stainless steel presser foot with the name Singer punched in it got onto the road? By golly what is the world coming to! Thanks to our nice friends and neighbours who lent Benno their car to come to my rescue, this mishap got tackled in midday when it was like a 100 degree F. Now the truck got two new tires at the front. The damaged tire could not be fixed.

In better news our adjacent neighbour to the west held a huge surprise/karaoke birthday party for her husband. That turned into a lovely event (no, I didn’t sing) but had a great time. Benno and I also celebrated another wedding anniversary with German wine and scrumptious food cooked at home :-) and in lieu of cut flowers for this occasion that Benno always presents me with, I opted to pick a nice perennial flower from the garden centre I will enjoy every time it blooms. 

There were so many technically accomplished jobs on the boat that were not documented but will be visible and explained further on. It is more like what goes on behind the walls, so to speak. Occasionally my assistance was needed for jobs that need a third hand or I be better suited for ;-) So, for the guys or anyone interested in the more detailed technical things of boatbuilding, Benno will explain a bit.

Here is Benno: On the boat front battle progress is happening. I like to inform you that the diesel tank fuel gauge is working fine now, the new fuel sender must have been assembled on a Monday morning in China and the fuel level signal was shorted out. After I took the unit apart and reassembled it properly this problem was solved (Picture below of fuel gauge). 

We have installed onto this boat a so called aluminum “Day Tank” (15 gal) above the diesel engine right under the helmsman seat to compliment the two 90 gal diesel saddle tanks left and right next to the diesel motor. A 12 volt vane pump draws the diesel fuel from both saddle tanks and pumps it thru a large Racor filter with water separator into that above mentioned day tank. This warrants always clean diesel fuel will reach the engine and a future diesel generator thus avoiding a headache of dirty fuel and engine stoppage while motoring with the boat toward a nice place. (Bahamas?)

To stay with the tank business, we have two 70 gal stainless steel water tanks left and right off the salon in which, after our inspection, we noticed some mud inside them from Lake Huron. We suspect that the previous owner may have taken on some clean lake water into the tanks, which over the years left a deposit of settlement inside the tanks. I opened up the inspection ports and with Marlene’s help the inside of the tanks are sparkling again after hours of heavy cleaning. (Picture below) 

I fitted new stainless steel 1/2 inch NPT ball valves on the bottom of the tanks (Picture below) to draw the water for the water pressure pump (Picture below). I have to mention that we replaced all hot and cold water hoses with 1st class Marine grade re-enforced 1/2 inch hose that does not get soft and balloon’s up with hot water under 45 psi pressure from the pump. I installed as well an additional pig tail hose and three ball valves for winterizing the water system with antifreeze when the need arises.

We had shipped in from Defender Marine, Waterford CT, the famous Marine Chandler in the States to our Detroit address a 5 gal water heater that is using the hot engine coolant or a 120 volt heater element to heat the water. I installed the unit including running heater hose for the engine coolant, plumbed it to the motor and hooked the heater to the cold and hot fresh water circuit of the boat. (Picture below) 

Done that gave me the opportunity to drive to the Kubota Dealership in Essex, Ont. some 20 miles from our place to get the Kubota specified Mono Ethylene Glycol Based Extended Life Anti Freeze Coolant and the Kubota SAE 15 W 40 Engine Oil, which I filled into the 38 HP Beta Kubota Marine Diesel (Picture below)

Having all this accomplished gave me finally time to instal the Webasto forced air heater in the salon which is later covered up with paneling. But it will have a removal panel for service access. (Picture below). 

To mince up the instal we show you a picture of a previous installation of a Webasto instal in our “Diesel Duck” years ago. Our DD had two Webastos fitted. One in the aft cabin and one forward in the utility room to heat the main cabin. We liked these heaters, they never gave us a problem and they ran well and quietly, and warmed up our boat comfortably at the southern tip of South America, Patagonia and Cape Horn while having snowflakes on the deck.

The Head compartment (nautical term for bathroom) has a shower provision as well and the shower pan drains into a sump tank with builtin pump to pump the water overboard. I took this tank unit apart, cleaned it out, installed a new float switch and relocated it. The previous location of the sump tank would only let you service it under difficulties, so I found a more suitable location for the unit for better access. (Picture of old location and new location) 

So, I think this update will be enough for today as it will turn into a technical overload. There is more stuff I am working on and those items will make it into a future post.

Thanking everyone for staying with this blog and wishing all a wonderful summer. Next posting will take not so long, promise.