Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Let The Projects Begin!

Projects are a part of boat life, it is just a given. When we purchased Empyrean we knew that there would be a multitude of tasks to complete before we could move aboard and even more to get ready to cruise.  As soon as we closed the deal and had the keys we began planning for all the projects we would need to complete over the next 9 months to prepare for our departure to Mexico.

First on the list was to get rid of leaky diesel tanks. The quote of the labor alone to hire out for this job was more than we wanted to invest, plus what better way to get to know your boat than to rip it apart yourself, and so we dove in.  We began by deciphering the magnitude of hoses under the galley sink. Unfortunately the previous owner had passed away and we would be pretty much on our own in trying to figure out his wiring and plumbing plans of years past. We decided on the best way to cut out the galley floor, remove the island and access the first tank. Once we reached the tank we had to figure out how to get this huge steel beast out. We spent weeks cutting through the steel tank slowly chipping away at it on Tom's days off. This definitely was the worst job we had ever done.
When we needed a break from the arduous task of removing the tank, we would work on the forward head.  We had decided even before purchasing Empyrean that we wanted to have composting heads on our cruising boat.  We are striving to be green and saving water along with  the benefit of eliminating the odors associated with holding tanks, it made sense to us. The v berth, which our older two girls will share, stunk...bad! We started by pumping out the head, removing the holding tank along with all of the hoses and the old corroded head, it was gross! Which job was worse? Well it is a toss up, backbreaking or nasty.... hmmm? The worst part, there are two heads to replace and we also have two diesel tanks.
Back to the tank, we finally got the last pieces out! Tom went to work designing the new tank. We would have to go smaller to get it into the boat. I worked cleaning and painting the space that would house the new tank. We ordered up the new tank and held our breath while we waited for it to be made.  We had never attempted anything like this before so we just hoped all of our research would pay off in the form of a new tank that made it through the companionway and fit into the space below the galley. 
We made the trip to San Diego to pick up the tank. Boy were we excited when we hauled it through the companionway and into the cabin below. Getting it into the hull unfortunately took a little more destruction of the galley's in! We went to work putting the floor and galley island back together. Everything looks great!  Now we will begin replacing all of the plumbing.  With the first fuel tank out we were able to better inspect the second tank and it is actually in significantly better condition so we are opting to not replace it...yet.  Also we had great access to the hot water tank so we decided to replace it.

As far as the head, I used Interlux Bilgekote to give the space a fresh coat of paint. We installed a new faucet, a solar vent and a new NaturesHead composting toilet. Things are moving right along, new fuel tank, one head complete and one to go. 

Stay tuned as we prep to haul out, prep and paint our masts and replace most of our standing rigging.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that's a ton of work! Love how you just get in there and start tearing things apart! Reminds me of how I started my ownership of my first sailboat. I bought a Hunter 25 and within a week I was tearing out all the old carpet hull liner and pretty much demolishing the v-berth to rebuild.

    Looking forward to following more of your adventure.