After the fun of the previous evening, we took today to get to work on some long overdue projects. These projects were long overdue mostly because we needed parts from Amazon. I could begin to install the fixes now that parts had arrived.
The main project was to get the hydronic loop set up for the water tank. The way this works is when the engine heats up, the hot water tank can use the excess heat to heat up water for showers and cleaning via a loop in the water heater tank.
The set up before I made changes to the engine back in Oxnard worked, but we found out after the changes it was causing an overflow of radiator fluid. I had tried several adjustments to stop this from happening with no success. After some reading on the almighty internet, I believe one of the bigger issues is the tank is above the engine which seems to cause problems.
One night while talking with the guys on Red Witch and discussing my issue, Jason made a point about how his system works. He said his system is set up with a heat exchanger which keeps the engine loop and the hot water loop separate. This made a lot of sense and would allow me to control when and how I used it better.
To set up this system I had to order a heat exchanger and a low flow circulation pump which can handle high fluid temperatures. I found a heat exchanger on Amazon made specifically for this purpose by a company called Alecoil. It cost $93.98. I also bought a pump by Tysun which runs on 120vac, but only draws between 46 and 93 watts depending on the speed setting. Though a 12vdc would be better, this one only cost $59.99 vs a 12vdc for this purpose would have been around $500 here and at least $105 shipping from the States. Since it will only be running when the engine is on and the 250 amp alternator is running, it won’t be any issue to be AC.
Emily and I went out to find the remaining items in town. We heard about a marine store we had not been to from the VHF cruiser’s net in the morning. The place is called Lopez Marine and is the best chandlery we have been to in Mexico so far. They had heater hose, which I was skeptical of finding easily. They also had the small fittings I were going to needed.
After a hair cut and lunch, we headed back to the boat. The haircut was going to be fun because though is speak enough Spanish to get by in my typical interactions, it wasn’t going to meet the challenge of explaining how I wanted my hair cut. Fortunately, all of us modern travelers are blessed by modern tech. We both downloaded Google translate Spanish for offline use. If you have Wi-Fi or cellular data you do not need this but the download hedges against issues. I typed my instructions in English and showed them to the barbers, who did a fine job.
Like all boat projects, they always are more involved than you think they will be. It took me a couple of hours just to piece together the pump and heat exchanger. Afterwards, it was a bit too late to start moving the hoses attached to the engine, since they are filled with radiator fluid which will have to come out. So tomorrow will be another day of getting things done.