Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Project: Enlarge the cockpit seat drains

One of the weird things about the construction of Whimsy is the cockpit seat drains.  The cockpit seats open up, allowing access to the engine room and storage space below. There are gutters built around the seat lids, to collect water (from waves, or rain) and drains that are supposed to divert the water off the boat. However the drain holes are only about a quarter-inch in size, and what's worse the tubing for the drain consists of long, narrow horizontal runs with 90-degree elbows --- almost guaranteed to clog-up with leaves and debris. Once they're clogged, the water that collects in the seat gutters will inevitably back-fill into the bilge -- which I think is why there was 20 gallons of water accumulated in the bilge in my 15-month absence (along with a rotting frog corpse.)

Old drain pipe elbow compared to 3/4" PVC pipe

Fixing this was a small job that I finished between thunderstorms despite the cold, though I did resort to using a heat gun to carefully warm up the fiberglass resin and to make sure it set and cured correctly.  The drains can now be cleared with my pinky-finger.

Basically the project consisted of cutting out the old drain tubing, drilling the drains holes larger (3/4") and putting new drain tubes in place that were larger diameter (3/4"), shorter and more vertical.  I used PVC pipes as the drain tubing. PVC can bond well to fiberglass especially if you sand it a bit and pass a flame under it, to get rid of the slippery glossy surface texture. Wiping down the PVC with acetone further improves the bond with fiberglass.

Old cockpit seat scupper drain pipe-- long narrow horizontal runs with sharp bends
New, better draining cockpit seat scupper piping
New drain exit, will be glassed-in and sanded flush with cockpit interior, weather permitting

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