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