Saturday, May 4, 2013

Just Cut The Hose

Yesterday, Pam and I delivered our car to the Florida marina where we'll be storing Drift Away.  Thankfully, our friends Dick and Deb from Journey To... were here and offered to follow us down in their car and fetch us back, an offer we gratefully accepted.  But before that chore, I worked again on the deck washdown pump.

I decided that installing a dedicated seacock for the washdown wouldn't work, since savvy mariners tell me that it's not advisable to drill big holes in the bottom of one's boat below the waterline while in the water.  I decided it would be better to tee into the water intake for the forward heads, which must be around there somewhere.  I found it once a few years ago, so I'm sure I could find it again.  Following the water line from the forward toilet, under the sink, to a junk work room storage locker, and then to another storage locker, I found it.

For my landlubber friends, a seacock is a valve that pokes through the hull of your boat to allow sea water intake.  It's used to flush heads and engine cooling, for the most part.  The seacock is a tapered plug with a hole through it, with a handle on one end that allows you to throw it ninety degrees to open or close it, and a lock nut on the other side to make sure you cannot do this quickly.

The whereabouts of these  valves should be well known to the boat owner, and exercised by being opened and closed on a regular basis to make sure they're functional incase a hose bursts and you need to turn it off.


Drift Away was remodeled, and part of the remodel was a modification to the forward stateroom and the addition of a head.  Another part of the remodel blocked off access to that seacock (see above photo).   The locknut was completely inaccessible.  How did the previous owners exercise the seacock?  The answer is that they didn't.  How un-mariner like and careless of them.

Oh sure, I tried to move the handle without loosening the lock nut, after soaking it in PB Blaster and hoping for a miracle, but it wouldn't budge.  I put a bit wrench on it, but I could see the whole seacock bend and not the handle.   I decided that breaking off the seacock would be just as bad as drilling a big hole in the bottom of the boat, so I let it be to ponder this problem a bit.  I'm a big fan of pondering problems.

Today, I may take my jigsaw and cut that cabinet away to loosen the nut, whale on it with a plastic headed mallet, hit it with a heat gun, and see if I can loosen it.  That would be the wise thing to do.  Or, I may just put a F*ck It sticker on the seacock, cut the hose and let water spray into the boat while I try to slide on hose clamps and insert the tee.  I'll let you know what I did tomorrow.

We're waiting for both a weather window and a replacement motor for the Whaler of Death.   I called the outboard guys to buy their 50 HP Johnson, and we agreed to a price, but it seems that the outboard guys need to get their hands on a trailer to haul the Whaler of Death out of the water and to their shop to do the swap.    I'll let you know how that works out too.

But in any event, we wouldn't be going anywhere anyway today and most likely tomorrow.  St. Andrews Sound is only a short hop to cross, but with strong winds out of the east, it's got a nasty steep chop that's probably over our three foot maximum wave limit.

Why a three foot wave limit, you ask?  There's a search function at the top of the blog.   Search for "getting the snot kicked out of us".


  1. It looks like Drift Away blog is getting more hits per day than ever-- Maybe were all sad that the end is coming....

    You have taken all of us "At Least I Can Speak For My Self" For a long "Passage" on Drift Away...

    Thanks for the good times for the past "How Many Blog Entries Has It Been?" Yes-- I could do the math but maybe you could just to give you some thing else to do other than putting more hole in your boat.....

  2. Looking forward to our next cruise to Cumberland island....finally wild horses! And then it will be sad to pull the boat. However, it will be an oh happy, happy, joy, joy day when we come back after Christmas to splsh in again! Our silly adventures will continue, just not by boat for the next seveal months... But the trials and error of clearing the land of stumps, andnlord knows all of what ever else..... There will be planty to. Log about. Dave never seems to be at a loss for words or loss for photo ops. :)


  3. What about boating on Mountain Lake?? Isn't there a underpass to Vanderbilt lake too??
    I guess it would take a really big house boat for your next adventure though...