Follow by Email

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day

Everyone took a day off today for Labor Day. Yesterday, I spent the day at Mare Island working on prepping and painting the engine. It takes a lot of work to take a used engine that is painted black, and make it white. Here's the before and after. Jason, who is one of our engineers at Baylink Ferry did a nice job welding up a re-enforced right angle engine oil drain assembly so we can run a drain line to an oil change pump. We'll be doing the same with the gear oil drain. This makes oil changes relatively painless. Thanks Jason! We also had a visit from Mark and his family who own what I believe is the first Diesel Duck built in steel. She is also designed by George Buehler. At 38 feet long she is a lot smaller than the Swan55 that we are building, but shares the same basic design concept and is one stout little boat. Mark has done a really nice job re-designing the interior and many of the systems on board. 
As for our boat, I have been working diligently on designing the fuel system. With six tanks (all with fills, vents, supply and return lines, and clean-outs) it is a bit of a trick designing a system that isn't too complex, yet still allows for the flexibility we need (like transferring fuel from tank to tank and supplying our day tank during normal operation). The diagram shows what I have come up with. I am also figuring out where all the fuel pipe runs will be located in the hull. A lot of the pipe fitting work is easier to do now before the hull plating goes on. Still need to figure out fire/bilge pump piping, and hydraulic runs for the anchor windlass and steering. This is definitely a great education in vessel systems design.
This week we should be starting on some deck plating, which will hopefully tie things together a little more solidly. Even with all the bracing we have, we still get a lot of movement in the steel as the individual parts expand and contract with changes in temperature at the build site.
First up Tuesday is lifting a 2000 lb deck plate (sitting on ground to the left of the boat in the last pic) onto the foredeck. Jesus and his crew will also be setting the rudder tube and transom parts soon. More pics to come later in the week...


  1. Looking good. I'm curious as to the size of your return lines off of your return manifold? I have four tanks and went with two deck fills, port/starboard, each fill main having a gate valve to direct fuel to various tank. I'll fill my boat off of a fuel truck when possible ( #2 fuel oil) @ they put out serious flow. I used 2" vent also.


  2. Conall,

    We are planning on using 1.5" pipe from the fill/return manifold back to each tank. The fill/return manifold will be fed by both the 2" main deck fuel fill, and the fuel return lines from the machinery. We decided to combine the fill and return because the plumbing was getting a little crazy with 6 tanks. We are using two 1" vent lines per tank and they will gang together into 2" vents (all located in the same containment area as the main fill - behind the wheelhouse) so we should get plenty of flow when taking on fuel. This will also allow us to fill multiple tanks at once. -PB

  3. I like the two 1" vents and I think I'm going to make a change on my set up as that way the vent won't get blocked due to moving fuel. ABYC has minimum distance between supply and return @ where they enter a tank ( so do some engine mfg's) @ I think 15" separation sticks in my mind. Check out ...good group of builders and it would be nice to have a Duck residing there.