Josh vs The Webastard

On February 15, 2011 In Boat, News

Wow. So it’s been a month since my last update. Huh. I wonder how that happened… Whoops.

Anyways I’ve been very busy lately which is 1 reason for the lack of posts. I’ll get some photos up once I have sorted out the heating system aka the Webastard. So the way the ship will be heated is through what is essentially a boiler system that heats up a fluid (Basically anti-freeze used in engines which is also called glycol) that’s pumped around the ship through pipes to radiators that have fans on them. For Pathfinder we have basically 3 areas that are being heated on separate lines from the main manifold for the entire system. There’s a line for the galley that goes to 2 medium sized radiators, a BIG line to the cargo hold that has 1 medium and 1 large radiator (the large one is capable of pumping 36,000BTU’s out) and 1 small one that resides in the bathroom, and finally a line that goes to the pilot house for another medium one and the reservoir tank for bleeding air out of the system and adding extra glycol too. All the fluid is pumped and heated by a central Webasto heating system that with minimal fuel can produce 103,000 BTU’s of heat.

Although this system sounds complicated (it sorta is) it’s very efficient. Well… Rather it WILL be once all the kinks in the system are hooked up. Which brings me to why it’s called the Webastard now.

You’d figure that when you ship a heater it’d be ready to run with all the safety wiring hooked up properly or with notes to say “Hey. We ship this unplugged so it won’t work.” Yaaaa no. So the fuel pump system is hooked up in series to a bunch of sensors that are either 100% working or if there’s an issue 100% not working. They include 1 for overheating (stop the system from melting), 1 for a lack of flame in the combustion chamber (stop the system from flooding with fuel), and another one for no glycol in the system. So if any of these are not working then the fuel pump won’t go. So… IF that’s not documented and you’re hooking this up yourself you’d say waste a bunch of time trying several fuel systems before giving up after spending oodles of cash on alternative fuel delivery systems such as secondary tanks, pumps etc. Turns out what the issue was was that 1 plug in the sensors was not plugged in on purpose during their testing and was just left unplugged when it was delivered. This little tid bit could’ve meant that I’d have had heat over 2 weeks ago.

Personally I think this was some sort of evil German scientist plot to overthrow the world by denying people heat. This sounds like something some guy in a white lab coat with a crazy accent would do.

“Professor! We have completed the new heater that’s extremely efficient and will help keep people warm!”

“Excellent. UND now zat vee are over throwing zee heating industry vee shall launch phase 2 of zee plan! Unplug zee sensors and tell no one about it!” DUN dun DUUUUUUUUUUUUN

At least that’s how it sounds in my head.

I got that sorted out with tech support guy Gilbert et voila! The system roared to life… FILLING the engine room with exhaust. After clearing that out I sealed the exhaust system a few times (it wouldn’t stay sealed. Not enough sealant).

Finally the day came where I could get the radiators running. Which on that day 3 things happened in quick succession.

  1. I found a new leak in the exhaust
  2. The medium sized radiators all blow backwards from the way we expect
  3. A pipe exploded out of one of the clamps in the system flooding the cargo hold with steam AND glycol.

Exciting eh? So after the explosion that’s left a Jackson Pollock painting on the wall I’ve clamped everything up, re-sealed the exhaust and tonight we finish modifying the medium radiators so that we can use them as we had intended. Whew. See? I’ve been busy.

Pictures will be coming after I sort out the heating so that people can see the progress of the interior.

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