Jul 16

Not my best moments… Stoopid things I’ve done recently.

Tag: boat work,failures,humorousJonathon Haradon @ 5:34 am
Usually I think of myself as a somewhat intelligent individual. I did really well studying Chemical Engineering. I scored in the top 5% nationally on the GRE. I scored higher on a reading comprehension test than all the English teachers at my school. My parents tell me I’m smart. On the boat, however, I am constantly humbled at how many questions I have, how uninformed I am, and how many ridiculous things I’ve done recently. I love laughing at myself, and the boat has given me (and Matt and Jonny as well) plenty of occasion to do so. Some of those moments: One of the first pieces of work I tried to do on the boat, back in January: “I know you said cut the through-hull flat, but is this 45 degree angled cut ok?” From my first day of work here in Emeryville, “I couldn’t find any wooden chisels.” When I said to Matt: “Is it bad that there is smoke coming from the Dremel?” When I forgot to turn over a piece of wood I was epoxying, thus painting 7 coats of epoxy on one side of a piece of wood, instead of 2 coats on one side and 5 on the other side. “It’s not my fault I dropped the Pelican hook in the water.” To Jonny, “I don’t understand why the screws won’t go in.” He politely and amusedly noted there were already screws in there. Overfilling our water tanks to the extent that a veritable waterfall poured out of the vent hose directly on our new stereo. (see more about this from Matt’s perspective in previous posts) When I bought Matt a bright pink electric panel cover instead of the blue he asked for and said, “I don’t understand, you don’t like the color?” (ok that was a practical joke; I bought him blue also) Accidentally shorting our engine’s starter motor with a wrench, resulting in A) the engine turning over (while I was laying on top of it), and B) a good-sized burn on my arm as a temporary momento. Jonny and Matt both mentioned it might be a good idea to disconnect the batteries next time. Who knew?

One Response to “Not my best moments… Stoopid things I’ve done recently.”

  1. Phil says:

    Hey, guys – cool site. I’ve got a possible answer to your question about water coming up between the floorboards. Fair warning: the answer for my boat was pretty ugly.

    I own “Sabbatical”, Valiant 40 #209, a 1979 vintage. Mine started oozing water in the galley area when I walked around. Turns out that the original water lines from under the aft berth (where my water pump is located) to the galley sink were copper, and they bent upwards 90 degrees from the floorboards to the galley faucet. I had to take out the drawers in my galley to see the copper pipes. Unfortunately, the pipes had been kinked at some point in their lives, right at the 90 degree bend, either during installation at the factory, or during some work by a prior owner. Well, after almost 30 years of water rushing through them, one of the kinks turned into a leak, right where the copper pipe bent upwards. And, of course, it was on the inside of the bend, facing aft, behind the bulkhead between the galley and the aft cabin, where you couldn’t see the leak without a mirror.

    I didn’t find the leak until I left the pressure water running and held a mirror behind the pipe. Sure enough, it bubbled out and ran between the plywood subflooring and the cabin sole. I couldn’t patch the leak, so I had to cut the pipe under the aft berth and again under the galley sink in order to pull the pipes out. What a royal pain! I replaced the copper pipe with reinforced water hose (yeah, the expensive Trident stuff from the marine supply houses). The good news: That fixed the problem. No leaks since then!!!

    A note of caution: be sure to cut the correct copper lines. I had two pairs – one to the galley, and the other to the faucet in the head. Another suggestion: tape a length of parachute cord to the copper pipe as you’re pulling it out, then tape the cord to the new hose when you’re ready to install it. The cord makes it easier to pull the replacement hose back under the aft berth to the pump area.

    Luckily, the copper pipes going to the head seem to be OK. I don’t even want to think about having to replace them!!

    Best of luck with your trip.

    – Phil

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