Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Fixin' Things

Sometimes I wonder if I shouldn't have called this blog "Fixing my boat in every location" as I think the majority of my posts deal with boat maintenance and repair.  And this one will be no different.

Having been unable to get out to the boat for almost two years left the boat gremlins plenty of time to break things.  I was actually fairly surprised that I haven't found more problems, but still have more than enough to keep me busy.  Fortunately one of my crew, Doug, joined me a week ago and he has been a great help as we tick things off the list.

As previously mentioned, one of the bigger items I found during my initial inspection of the boat was a leaking water heater.  Doug picked up a new one while en route to the boat, saving both shipping time and cost.  A few days ago we removed the old water heater and installed the new one.  A quick pressure test and....oops, forgot one hose clamp.  A second pressure test with the hose clamp installed and all is well in the fresh water system again. 

Of course, the leaking hot water heater did do us a bit of a favor by showing us that the electric bilge pump in the engine room was not working.  We discovered the float switch had broken free of its mount and was...well...floating.  After pumping about 14 gallons of water out of the bilge, my crew member was gracious enough to volunteer to work on that project (and having spent a lot of time in that engine room, I was happy to take him up on the offer).  He diagnosed that the problem with the system was that the float switch was not working as well as needing a new mount.  We decided to construct a new mount that would allow for easier maintenance, similar to the mount in the port engine room.  The new switch is now held securely in a new mount behind the engine where it belongs.

Mid "MacGuyver-ing" the new float switch mount.
No, the final version uses bolts and not electrical tape

I would like to say we gave the old water heater a fond send-off...but this thing has now tried to burn down my boat and sink it.

Mr. Broken Heater, meet Mr Dumpster.

Another maintenance item related to fresh water system was to clean and sanitize the fresh water tanks and lines.  This is a relatively simple, if not time consuming process of pumping the existing water out of the fresh water tanks, filling them up with new water, adding a little extra bleach to the mix, and running that solution through all the pipes.  Over the course of the past week and a half that was done (211 gallons is quite a bit of bleached water) and, after obtaining a new water filter for the under sink filter, the water on board is deemed once again safe.

We have had some wins in the maintenance department as well.  Another bilge pump, the main one in the port hull was inoperative but after disassembly and cleaning, we were able to get it running once again.  The raw water pump for the main reverse cycle air conditioning unit was also not working, but after removing the pump head, cleaning it and giving the motor a few spins by hand to free it, it is again among the working systems on the boat (a good thing too...as it is 28 degrees F outside as I type this but much warmer in the boat with the unit running in heat mode).  I even found a good deal on the replacement float switch.

So, things are coming along and the boat is getting back into proper shape.  Due to the cramped spaces and difficulty sourcing parts the projects always seem to take longer than you think it should, but definite progress is being made.


  1. So glad to see you back on the boat even if just for a while.

    SV Kintala

    1. Me too...but more so when I'm heading south. ;-)