Piping Coolant to the Hot Water Tank by Paul Andron

Piping Coolant to the Hot Water Tank

Piping coolant from a 3 cylinder fresh water cooled Yanmar engine to a hot water tank is simple. You just need a hot water tank that has piping designed for this purpose. The most difficult thing is finding the correct fittings. I read that the ports on the fresh water pump on a Yanmar are British Standard Pipe Thread. So you have to find a dealer to supply these special fittings. For another helpful resource check out this link:

Here’s what we needed:

Two Brass 5/8 BSPT to 3/8 hose barb fittings, Maryland Metrics, 5 ft of 3/8 inch water heater hose 4 hose clamps Enough coolant to refill the system after draining it completely.

Step 1. Drain the coolant from the engine. I used an empty washer fluid bottle with a hole cut in the side that fit under the engine. Then I put a spare chunk of hose over the coolant drain valve leading down into the bottle. Then I opened the drain (and the fill) and the coolant fell right out.

Step 2. Flush the system with fresh water. Why not? It’s drained and needs to be cleaned anyway. So I filled it up a few times with fresh water and ran the engine briefly each time to flush the hoses.

Step 3. Drain it all again.

Step 4. Remove the plugs from the FRESH WATER PUMP only. Insert the 5/8 BSPT brass fittings.

Step 5. Cut the hoses to length to run from the brass fittings to your water heater and back. Clamp them in place.

Step 6. Refill the system with the right mix of coolant and water according to the bottle of coolant.

Some important considerations: Coolant is generally poisonous, so make sure your […]

DE38 Valkyr - October Sailing

October 2008

We took Valkyr out a couple of Sundays ago. It was supposed to be Angela, Zsanic, Jay, Eva, Barbara and me on the boat but a few days before we were scheduled to go out Angela found out she had to work. When she did she offered to let me captain the boat and take everyone out anyways. To be honest I have several people that have made similar offers of letting me take out their boats and I never have felt comfortable being responsible for their boats. Up till now I have always just said thank you for the offer but never taken them up on it. However, in this case, there were a lot of people looking forward to going out on Valkyr and it would be the only chance Eva would have to go sailing before she went back home to Slovakia. I have probably sailed as crew on Valkyr more than just about any other boat other than my own so I am very comfortable with how she handles and sails. The next positive is that Jay was going to be onboard and I knew that I had a very experienced boater and sailor to give a hand if I needed it.

We all met at the marina at about 9pm and quickly got the boat ready to leave the dock and away we went. Well, away we went to Jay’s marina to pick up another GPS unit as the Garmin on Valkyr was on the blink. I’m not sure if it was just corroded contacts or something more serious. We did a couple of touch and goes at the face dock of Jays marina to drop him off and pick him up a few minutes later after he had retrieved the gps from […]

Haul Outs by Paul Andron

Haul Outs by Paul Andron

In the three years we have owned the Sea Heather we have pulled it out of the water twice. The first “haul-out” was on a grid. A grid is a system of supports that sit in the water. When there is a very high tide, it is possible to drive a boat up onto the grid and tie it up to support beams. Then when the tide goes out the boat will sit upon the supports and out of the water. This allows you to clean the bottom, paint and sometimes even leaves you enough time to make minor repairs.

In the summer 2004 we “Hauled-Out” Sea Heather for the first time on the Grid. This is a humbling experience and provides a whole new perspective for anyone (like us) who hasn’t seen their boat from this angle. We talked to the harbor master who provided us with a drawing of the grid layout. It is very important to line up the bents (the padded railroad ties that support the vessel) with strong and balanced points on the keel (I wouldn’t recommend attempting this with a fin keel!). We compared the bent spacing with the only drawings we had of Sea Heather and then used a healthy helping of guesswork.

A couple of important considerations before we go on:

Don’t line up a bent under the rudder. Make sure the boat will not roll forward or backwards off a bent (a good way to balance the boat is by filling or emptying water and fuel tanks, or by moving heavy objects like the anchor chain). Pad the gunwale or any other part of the boat that will lean against the vertical posts of the grid. Don’t plan on getting any sleep. How high and low […]

Vanishing the Teak by Saesha on DE 38 Sea Heather

Varnishing the Teak

When we bought the Sea Heather, I had no idea how to varnish teak, so I looked on the Internet, I bought books, and filled my brain with as much advice as possible. I waited out the long Alaskan winter until early May when the sun finally started peeking out and I began my work. The Sea Heather’s teak was in pretty good condition, but had patches of varnish that were decades old! It had only been oiled by the previous owners, so I was forced to strip off the old varnish and the oil. Agh! It took days of hard labor, working from dusk til dawn to even get it to the point where I could begin sanding. Below is a picture of the teak. the darker parts are varnish that I presume was more than a decade old. The lighter color is from oil, this is where the owners had oiled over the original varnish instead of removing it.

To get the varnish off of the teak I used a heat gun and a set of scrapers. This is the only method I can recommend, as so far I have not used stripping chemicals and sanding is horrible! The heat gun is certainly the most efficient way, but you must be careful not to burn the wood or yourself.

After I made it past this point, I was able to start sanding. I soon found out that sanding was not my favorite activity. It was once again, days of back-braking work. Sanding is something that must be done in layers. I started off with 180 grit sand paper and then moved to 230. This required loads of sandpaper. I then wet sanded teak oil in with the 400 grit sand paper. All this took […]

Fiberglass Repairs by Paul Andron of Sea Heather

Paul has kindly given permission for us to use some of his stories and experiences here on the new website. We would like to thank Paul for his generosity. For those looking for a DE38, Pauls boat Sea Heather is currently for sale. Link here

Fiberglass Repairs

On June 23, 2005 the Sea Heather set off on the 500 mile journey from Kodiak to Juneau, AK. about a week later, shortly after our first sighting of land, we attempted to dock at a fuel pier in Elfin Cove, AK. Unknown to us, a link in our transmission had come loose during our sail across the gulf and rendered our neutral and reversing gears useless. We quickly figured this out as we ran into the pier (pictured below) doing almost 2 knots!

Don’t worry, the pier mostly already looked like that, the only damage we did is the little smashed on the front of the middle pier. It looks like freshly cut wood, if that helps!


However, our boat did not get off so easily…it sustained damage from the bowsprit all the way down to cracked fiberglass on the stem of the boat. The part that worried us the most was the chain plate that connected the bobstay to the stem had bent and cracked open the fiberglass just above the waterline. This section will explain how we fixed it.

First off, we had to get out of Elfin Cove, so we unanimously decided the best course of action was to go to the closest(and only) pub and get a brew. Then we temporarily sealed the crack with silicon sealant after determining to the best of our guessing ability that the crack, although clearly structural, was not so bad as to preclude sailing in light wind. Turns out we were […]