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Thread: Surprise!

  1. #401
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    3,257

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    Rich Baker reminded me that I've fallen behind with my Surprise! posts and indeed, it's been a couple of months.

    Sunday prior, Philpott came down the dock with Ed Ruszel and Melissa Trace in tow. Ed and Melissa keep their J/32 Flicker at Brickyard Cove and Ed has stopped by before. It was chilly and Philpott suggested that some tea would be nice. I fumbled around and finally remembered the sequence to turn on the propane and fire up the stove - except it wouldn't. The propane gauge showed no pressure and there was no gas reaching the stove. Philpott shook her head, took pity and walked back down to Dura Mater to make us some tea.

    Surprise!'s propane system has been largely ignored and it has worked when I've wanted to use it. But I had recently noticed a trace of propane smell when I opened the propane locker. I keep the bottle turned off and the locker is vented directly overboard so I hadn't done anything about it. Now it was time to take a hard look. After my guests left I ended up ripping the whole thing out. Over the next few days I sourced all the components and last Sunday I rebuilt the system with better parts that won't rust out. Here's the old system and the replacement:

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    I'll follow up with a small PSA: McMaster-Carr is my go-to site for project stuff. I LOVE that site! It's well-organized with drill-down detail about what you're ordering, you can buy small-project quantities, and the shipping is fast (though a bit pricey). This time I bought a stainless strip to make the bracket and thread sealant tape: PTFE with nickel to use on stainless steel threads (but it's also fine with brass). Amazon had the propane parts - the correct solenoid but made from stainless steel, a stainless pressure gauge, the regulator and a stainless MPT coupler.

    We all know about Amazon but in case you haven't bopped around on McMaster's site, check it out.
    .
    Last edited by BobJ; 03-24-2021 at 10:31 PM.

  2. #402
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    29

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    Congrats! Propane smell on a boat is not good....For Propane, a boat is just a hole in the water.

    https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/loca...upant/2469508/

    Sadly, in both CA denatured alcohol is not available any more.

    Cheers

    Jan

  3. #403
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay
    Posts
    280

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    In an earlier life, I lived aboard with propane stoves for 20+ years. I highly recommend the FireBoy S-2A propane monitor / controller with MS-2 propane sensor mounted low under the the stove. As an unplanned test, one time I was using some spray foam which I subsequently learned uses propane as its propellant. It set off the sniffer alarm.
    Last edited by Dazzler; 03-25-2021 at 09:06 AM. Reason: Spelling.
    Tom P.

  4. #404
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    525

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    My only complaint about McMaster is that they don't tell you the shipping cost before you order. A couple of years ago I ordered a bunch of drill bits to make all my sets complete. One small bit came from a different location than the others, and they charged me something like $10 shipping on a $2 part. But to their credit, when I phoned them to grumble they deleted that cost.

    Last time I ordered from McM, I asked them for the shipping cost before they processed the order. It took a couple more days, but it was worth it for the peace of mind.

  5. #405
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    489

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    Funny you should bring up MM and shipping. I ordered a few small pieces of HDPE for like $12 and the shipping was $35. I called customer service and she was like "oh, I'll refund the shipping fee". Couldn't believed it after all the other horrible customer service experiences of past.

  6. #406
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    489

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    Well Bob's pretty boat, Chris's new shiny paint and others doing their best peacock strut finally shammed me into painting the Azzura. She has the original Awlgrip that is 24 years old and was crazing and chalking in sections.

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  7. #407
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Oh man - I did that to Ragtime! in 2009-10. I didn't do the actual painting but I removed and re-installed every bit of hardware.

    Good for you. I'm sure she'll look great when you're done.

  8. #408
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    422

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    Quote Originally Posted by solosailor View Post
    Well Bob's pretty boat, Chris's new shiny paint and others doing their best peacock strut finally shammed me into painting the Azzura. She has the original Awlgrip that is 24 years old and was crazing and chalking in sections.
    Wow - I can't believe we built the boat 24 years ago. I'm glad the beast has held up!

    - rob

  9. #409
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    489

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    Yeah I remember walking through Arne Johnson Boatbuilders (now townhomes) watching the master Yokem put a few more layers on the keel fin..... something like 90-110 layers per side !. She has held up very well. Most everything came off without issue. Of course we had more than a handful of seized fasteners that needed the head ground off but a dozen out of hundreds isn't bad. The box with all the labeled fasteners was like 60lbs. I'll a photo album started and share the link.

  10. #410
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    193

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    Are you going to change the layout? With 60lbs of stuff it would be tempting to lighten things up.

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