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Old 15-08-2013, 02:26   #1
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I can laugh now

I will share this in the hope that others will understand the sequence of emotions that went through me like a blast of cold salt water and can take away a timely reminder on the importance of bungs for through hulls/skin fittings.

I have started on the job of tidying up the plumbing on the boat. It had the most horrendously complex set of pumps, crossflow lines, three way taps, holding tanks... you name it.. for fresh water. Aside from the horrid smell from one or two "lost tanks", it was all too old and too complicated for what is to be a coastal cruiser.

Anyway, after nearly 8 hours work I had chased out the last of the old rock hard hoses that ran all over the boat, and I was head down under the floor looking at one strange unknown 3/4" hose running through the bow sail locker, from a skin fitting under the bathroom sink to somewhere under the wet locker. I could not work it out. In the end I decided (foolishly) that it must be some obsolete raw water feed (I have found nearly half a dozen so far) and that it could go. So I carefully checked that the seacock was off, grabbed the Stanley knife and chopped it in half.

Well, what a LOT of water can come rushing down a 3/4" inch pipe!

I filled my face, my left ear AND my one piece overalls to overflowing (and, it is winter here at the moment, nothing like SOME winters, but not warm) before I could get rid of the knife, scramble, soaking, out of the bilge and jamb my finger in the end. Then it was a case of groping around for a wooden dowel bung to plug the hose, which thankfully, was close at hand.

Turns out the visually perfect stopcock is totally non-functional, which is not the worst part.

The worst part is that I discovered what the hose was for.... it's the feed to the head. So now I am in the bad books with my lovely wife who had made me promise that of ALL the equipment on the boat, she did not mind going without any of it for any period of time required to renovate/repair/replace it but NOT, repeat NOT the head.

So the poor boat is waiting on the only cradle at the club capable of taking her weight to become available so that I can haul her out and replace that stop cock sooner rather than later (now that I have disturbed it I trust it not one iota and I will not sleep well till it has been swapped out) and sailing is off the cards until then, partly due to safety concerns and mostly due to comfort and convenience concerns.

Frustratingly enough was already booked for a week or two in October to replace ALL the skin fittings and seacocks anyway.

So let this be a lesson, have a bung close at hand at all times, you never know, and summer is a MUCH nicer time for this sort of maintenance.

Matt
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Old 15-08-2013, 04:59   #2
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Re: I can laugh now

Look at it this way, at least it was the head inlet and not the old outlet hose. Good story though.
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Old 15-08-2013, 05:02   #3
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Re: I can laugh now

Good story from a fellow South Aussie.
Having just had my boat on the cradle for a month and the tension associated with it, I can relate.
At least I was on the dry. But with an old 1903 timber hull, it is a wake up call when the water blasting results in a hole causing the bilge water to pour onto the ground beneath!
Summer is coming!
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Old 15-08-2013, 06:14   #4
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Re: I can laugh now

Quote:
Originally Posted by Free as a Bird View Post
Good story from a fellow South Aussie.
Having just had my boat on the cradle for a month and the tension associated with it, I can relate.
At least I was on the dry. But with an old 1903 timber hull, it is a wake up call when the water blasting results in a hole causing the bilge water to pour onto the ground beneath!
Summer is coming!
Err... no chance that particular 1903 hull is on the slips at RSAYS at the moment? I've been admiring a stunning double ender up there for the last few days.
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Old 15-08-2013, 06:16   #5
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Re: I can laugh now

Quote:
Originally Posted by brutb View Post
Look at it this way, at least it was the head inlet and not the old outlet hose. Good story though.
I feel so much better...

Actually, not really, I still have to replace that particular hose.

Might wait till I'm out the water though.
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Old 15-08-2013, 09:38   #6
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Re: I can laugh now

Quote:
Originally Posted by GILow View Post
So let this be a lesson, have a bung close at hand at all times, you never know, and summer is a MUCH nicer time for this sort of maintenance.

Matt
A salutary lesson indeed...but summer is the best time for sailing!

Look at it this way: better you replace the seacock now, while it's merely non-functional, than having it snap off entirely several miles offshore.

Some issues like this are best discovered when throwing money at them, rather than a liftraft off the boat, will resolve them.
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Old 20-08-2013, 23:05   #7
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Re: I can laugh now

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
Look at it this way: better you replace the seacock now, while it's merely non-functional, than having it snap off entirely several miles offshore.
Good call, up on the slips the day after tomorrow for a quick in and out to fix just this very fitting.
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