So despite not posting and not even going to the boat much we’ve been quite the busy bees this week.  In response to the impending fuel tank install I had to give consideration to the primary fuel filter situation.  That is… We had none.  You see on a diesel the filters are way more important than a gas engine.  You’re supposed to have a primary (1st) filter and a second filter attached to the motor itself.  Some people advocate even more filters.

We searched around for what to get.  Lots of people gave me good advice and the consensus was to have redundant primary filters.  You really don’t want to clog a filter and be left dead in the water with no recourse but to change it while the boat is being tossed around.  So with that in mind I figured I had a few options:

  1. Buy a nice manifold system with two filters and a selector valve.
  2. Buy the valves and hoses and 2 separate fuel filters and rig my own “selection” system.

The idea of making the already somewhat complex fuel system even more complicated didn’t appeal to me so I started searching for what was out there.  All I found initially was the Racor 500 series with a manifold.  This setup costs about 800 dollars.  OUCH.

I searched and searched late into the night one evening on the trail of a filter maker that reported sourced the same filters as Racor’s.  It turned out to be a company called Griffin.  They had a dual turbine filter system just like the Racor but for 550.  The information was very vague on the site I eventually ordered from.  So I was very worried that perhaps I had made the wrong choice.

However, it arrived! 

The only problem was that the manifold had enormous fittings for input and output.  Like really big.  7/8″ JIC 37degree flare male fittings.  Wow.  I had to get that baby down to a 5/16″ barb for our meager little fuel hoses.  Also I noticed an air bubble in the vacuum gauge.

The air bubble kind of concerned me so I decided to call the number on top of the filter.  I called an in like 10 seconds had a person on the phone.   I think his name was John but I can’t recall exactly.   He was in Texas and was genuinely excited we ordered their product.  Apparently they’re just getting started in the US but sell these industrial filters a lot in Asian and other parts of the world.  He told me why there was a bubble and that it was intended and gave me a lot of great tips on the filtering system.  I was shocked at how good the customer service was.  He had me laughing out loud on the phone when I told him we were planning a world cruise and he said we should take photos of his filters all over the world.  Sort of like the old wandering garden gnome prank.  Great guy.  Also he advised me to call a local hydraulic/pneumatic place to see about the fittings I needed.

I had searched online for the fitting I wanted and could only find a few places to source them from and they were pricey.  Like 50-100 dollars PER FITTING.  OUCH.  Had I made some huge mistake?  I called New Orleans Heavy Duty Hydraulics and they couldn’t help…. Ugh oh.  But the guy referenced me to Industrial Marine on Elmwood.

I called them and they said to come visit.  So the next day Dani and I brought our new shiny filter system over there and walked in.  There was this guy that was perched on a tall stool surrounded by a great many enormous tomes.   He was very round and older.  His head was shaped like a bowling ball and he was indeed bald as well.  He wore glasses so big that they covered a full third of his face.  I was instantly struck with the idea that in a past life this man must have been an owl.

We showed Mr. Owl the manifold and told him what we wanted and he hee’d and haw’d and hmmm’d and hrmph’d… and then waddled off for ten minutes and came back with what we needed.  I asked the price.  The grand total was 24 dollars.  Thank God!  So now we have a working filtration system ready for install!

Today we did go out to the boat after work and I finally go around to using some epoxy on the worst of the rotted wood that I previously dug out and then treated with anti freeze.  The wood was finally all bone dry and ready for some epoxy.

I used WEST system 105 resin + 206 slow hardener + 406 filler.  I mixed up the epoxy as thin as I could with it still able to grab onto the vertical surfaces and began coating the wood.  Ideally I’d rip all this rot out completely and replace everything but time and money are constraints now and if it lasts six years, we’ll be happy.

Here I am treating the rotted end of the stringer support block. 

This is the bulk head that rotted between the engine room and saloon.  I believe the rot was encouraged by the fact that a rope was run through the bulk head to secure the batteries.  It probably got wet and didn’t dry fast enough.

Mixing more epoxy.  The metered pumps make it easy to get the measurements right.

Here I’ve epoxied the back half of the shelf where some rot had started.

We also found a surprise we didn’t anticipate.  Water in the bilge!

I cleaned it up.  Then I put more oil dri down all through the bilge.

Our hope is to use the oil dri to detect where the water is coming from.  I’m almost sure its from the caulking that has come apart around the sampson posts up front.  They are on my list of stuff to fix and I bet they let a lot of water in with all this recent rain.

Tomorrow I’ll fabricate the new shelves.  And hopefully Sunday I’ll get the new fuel tank straps installed.  Whew.