Friday, December 6, 2013

Giving thanks for a son-in-law who's an electrician

Son-in-law Tony strips insulation from some wire in the engine room.
I was super thankful for our son-in-law Tony this Thanksgiving. After feeding him prime rib on Thursday we spent two days doing more (yes, I said more) wiring on the boat. We (and when I say we, I mean Tony wiring, me wringing my hands and trying not to get in the way) wired a couple more lights and three pumps -- the bilge pump, the shower sump pump and the pressure water pump.

The shower sump came with the boat and was really nasty-looking. So while the prime rib was cooking on Thanksgiving I spent more than an hour cleaning up the sump and the 500 gph pump inside. I did most of the cleaning with dish-washing detergent and really hot water, but I had to resort to some 409 cleaner on some ancient, black soap scum. At least I hope it was soap scum. Did I mention that it was really nasty? I got the pump looking almost new.

As you can tell from his sweatshirt, Tony is a proud member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Not many yachts, even the really expensive ones, are wired by union electricians. At the bottom of the photo you can see the new pressure water pump.
The next day when we got to the boat we tested the pump and the float switch. Neither of them worked, so we went to Englund Marine, the local marine supply, and replaced them both. The bottom line is that all three pumps are band new. Even if the old pump worked, I'm glad we replaced it.

Tony spent some time making the back of the electrical panel look good. He also installed two new LED lights in the engine room, but didn't have time to connect the wires. Looks like I'll have to wait for the next visit.
Granddaughter Lydia visited her hard-working dad and brought lunch.

"So, what percentage of the wiring is finished," I asked. "Eighty percent?"

"More like 65 percent," he said. Then he started to tick off all of the stuff yet to do: battery bank, charger, inverter, regulator, solar panels..." The list went on long enough for my eyes to glaze over. And I don't even think he mentioned all the electronics we need to install.

Speaking of big boat projects, the installation of the pressure water pump is the first step in plumbing the boat. Well, maybe not the first step: Jason, the previous owner, built in two new 50-gallon water tanks and just before the party I installed the galley sink and faucet. Hooking everything together is what gives me heartburn. Plumbing and I have a long and ugly history.

The thing I have working in my favor is that I've somehow convinced my otherwise intelligent wife that plumbing the boat would be a fun project to do together. "It sounds like doing a puzzle," she said, "I like puzzles."

Fun. Puzzles. I can hardly wait.