Monday, April 21, 2014

The work you want to do vs the work you HAVE to do

The original plan for the weekend went something like:
  1. Drive to boat Thursday night
  2. Fix anchor light Friday morning
  3. Sail to Redfish Island
  4. Anchor out and enjoy the holiday weekend

We never got past step one.

When we got to the boat late Thursday night, the V-berth sheets and cushions were soaking wet. Reluctantly we pulled out the settee and spare blanket and crashed in the main salon. We spent all of last summer sleeping on that settee because we had no air-conditioning in the V-berth, and it's terrible. Unfortunately, there was no choice.

Friday morning, instead of climbing up the mast, I pulled open the bow locker to investigate the leak, and Mary took the moldy smelling wet sheets to the laundry.

I emptied the anchor locker, which was still full of water, of the anchors, chain and rode. We then unclogged the drain and scooped out all the mud, sediment and rust flakes that had built up over the years from the bottom of the locker. (I have no idea why Mary has started closing her eyes in every photo. I don't even use a flash.)

There was no obvious leak coming from the anchor locker. The hose seemed ok, and it ran down through some carpet, then out the front. When we unclogged the drain in the anchor locker, water would come out the hole in the bow of the boat. It all seemed to be fine, but the floor of the bow locker was sopping wet. The anchor locker drain line was actually leaking behind the carpet somewhere.

I made an executive decision and decided the bow locker, which had never been opened until today, did not need decorative carpet and proceeded to rip it out.

As I ripped the carpet out, I discovered two things. First, the anchor locker drain line was connected to a 3/8" piece of metal tubing that wasn't actually connected to anything and just kind of butted up against the hole in the front of the boat. Secondly, there was a foam padding under the carpet that was growing black mold like it was going out of style.

This seemed like an easy fix. I ran to West Marine for new tubing, new clamps, and a mushroom through-hull. However, when I got back I found that the smallest through-hull they had still wouldn't fit through the hole in the bow. And not only would it not fit through, but the angle of the bow on the inside meant I wasn't going to be able to get any kind of nut on the back of it. I also couldn't drill the hole any bigger or it would drill out into the sides and wouldn't seal.

It was back to West Marine to return the mushroom through-hull and discuss my other options. I explained the situation to two different salesmen who both pondered it and wandered up and down the aisles. Nobody could come up with an idea.

Of course, I could fill the hole in the bow and drill a hole in the side, and then use any size through-hull I wanted, but if O'day built the boat this way, surely there was a solution.

After West Marine I headed over to Home Depot to see what I could find there. I put together a complex contraption using threaded 1/4" pipe to a 3/8" converter to 3/8" pipe to fit the hose. I thought I could slide the 1/4" through the front of the boat and put a nut on it. Unfortunately, the 1/4" pipe was too small for the hole in the bow and the 1/4" to 3/8" coupler was too fat for the space on the inside. That plan was also a total fail.

While trying to decide what to do next I grabbed a paint scraper and spent an hour trying to remove the moldy foam from the fiberglass. The wet moldy parts came off fairly easy, but I was never able to get all of it off.

After three trips to the store and several hours spent on this project, I grabbed the 5200, gooped the end of the 3/8" pipe, and then hammered it into the hole in the bow. Once it was in, I gooped it again and clamped on the hose.

My entire Friday had disappeared, and the leak was only temporarily fixed. The anchor light remains untouched.

So does anybody know what fitting actually goes in that hole?