We wanted to replace the fittings for the deck drains at the rear corners of the cockpit with ones that were flush so that crud wouldn't build up around the opening. There are two more of these that collect water at the lip that runs around the edge of the engine hatch. We know the drain area looks dirty. Give us a break. The boat's been in storage all winter.
Fine. We ordered four new fittings with nice flat tops that should fit easily. They were waiting for us when we arrived at the boat yard on Saturday morning.
They are clearly marked "1-inch" but what's the size of that threaded neck onto which we have to install 1-inch hose? It''s 1-1/8". What a royal pain the in butt that is, since the rest of the drain system is all plumbed with 1-inch ID hose.
Okay, we made up the difference in hose sizes by sliding a hunk of 1-inch hose up inside the piece of 1-1/8" hose that fits the threads on the fitting. Sloppy, but we got it to work.
The area where those two deck drains are located is very hard to reach. Actually, that's a understatement. Getting at the hose clamps was one step better than torture. Speaking of "tight," we need to come up with a 1-1/2" wrench to tighten the retaining nuts on those fittings. We'll need to check out our wrench inventory in the garage to see what we can come up with.
At this point, the port side drain is in place. Looks like we're going to have to bed the deck fittings in BoatLife or something similar because the one we put in today is leaking around that fitting.
This shot reminds us that we are going to power wash the bilge next fall. Anyhow, this is what the drains looked like from under the deck.
Before we left the boat on Saturday, we did some testing regarding polishing the hull of the boat. That's the last thing we'll do before going in the water. The websites we follow seem to give very high ratings to Shurhold Buff Magic and Pro Polish. We bought some of each and a buffer from Harbor Freight that should last at least one boating season. (It even came with a set of replacement motor brushes.)
The Buff Magic is basically very fine compound and we tried it (by hand, without the buffer) on a small section of the hull. The first application didn't seem to do much but a second application in an area of perhaps 2 ' x 2' took off all the old oxidation and the other stains. We'll have to use the polisher to apply this stuff because that's what they recommend. It should be interesting to see how this polishing project works out. And if we can still walk when we get back home after doing a big section of hull.
On the list for today was to install the two deck drains on the starboard side. This would be done while Frances prepared ham and scalloped potatoes for dinner. Did I mention the cherry pie? God, that woman can cook!
The starboard deck drains were going to be difficult. Having practiced on the port side, at least we knew the hose lengths. The starboard side had lots of stuff in the way. We disconnected the trim tab pump and some of the passive vent hoses so we could squeeze up under the deck. We did come up with a tool to tighten those 1-1/2-inch nuts that hold the drains in place. This adjustable wrench is probably older that I am. It's been in my garage for 30 years and it may go back to my father who called wrenches like this "all sixteenth wrenches." It worked perfectly to tighten down those drains.
How do you hold the thru-hull fitting while trying to tighten it from below the deck? This worked perfectly for us. Maybe we'll send it off as a "tip" to Power and MotorFart magazine.
We did bed the drains in BoatLife caulk. They look and should work much better that the old ones.
Too bad that a simple project like this took us two weekend days but at least it is finally off our list.
Before we left for home, we had to take one more walk down to the river. It isn't particularly high, which just might mean that then spring freshet will be minor this year. Let's hope so.
The wind was blowing and it started to rain. Still, the docks for the small boats are in and the next dock down river are also in. Good sign. The boat yard crew seems to have some energy this year.
The boat yard only lost one spile this winter and a new one has been delivered and is ready for installation. The guy who installs these things arrives every spring. His little tug and barge are tied up just out of sight in this photo, at the marina that is down river from where we are. He has his own way of doing business. You need a spile? He drops one off after you pay for it. Want it installed? You pay and there he is, one senior citizen, working the controls and he puts it exactly where you want it. He doesn't say goodbye. He just fires up the diesel in that little tug and heads up river to the next marina.
Not a bad business plan for a guy who doesn't want to spend his days in some retirement community.