Thursday, November 17, 2011

From the Captain...

I thought you'd appreciate the effort to reduce the smell from the head.  Well - I tried.  I pulled apart the holding tank (YUK) and reset the gaskets and added Sikaflex.  That didn't really solve it so I've checked all the joints and nary a leak.  I did discover that you do not put a valve on two sides of the hand discharge pump - anything organic in solution grows and gases - and the pump diaphram bulges and it's a bit permeable - but a wipe with bleach once and awhile (and leaving the isolation valve open) deals with that.  

I went to the store and got a bottle of red food coloring and dump the works in the toilet.  I then pumped the holding tank full so I could see the red water in the vent pipe - the whole system presurized to about 1.5 psi at the top.  Left it.  Two things - the level didn't h old and there were no leaks in the pipe work.  It's back flowing into the bowl   This means that the flapper valve in the head pump doesn't seal all that well.  I could replace / rebuild it but they're not that great a check valve anyway - I'm thinking I just might cut in another ball valve into the pipe work and use that   It's 'positive' and doesn't depend on gravity or a flap of rubber etc.  It will add a complication to using the head but so be it.

In coral, you anchor with chain, minimum 2.5:1 scope.  (5:1 with rode (rope) and a short piece of chain)  The anchor locker under the windlass will only take 80' chain, so at best, the depth is limited to a bit over 30'.  Problem is most of the anchorages are at least 40 and typically more like 80'.   You can use a combination of chain and rode but you have to be careful that the rode never gets near the bottom where it can snag on a coral head, chafe and then cut you loose - so floats are used, which are a pain, and the scope ratio goes up towards the 5:1 range depending on how much chain is down - there's no fixed rule.  So, I opened up the chain locker and found that the space for the spare chain is a piece of 6' plastic pipe, which expains why it only holds about 20', and the main locker is limited by the geometry.  
The solution is two fold.  First to remove the pipe and now the current locker becomes the "spare" and can handle 100+' no problem - but is not easily served by the windlass that is placed to feed the chain down the hawse underneath it, that goes to a pipe on a slope that delivers the chain forward.  That pipe and the slope are a problem.  Second, a new chain locker is build as a closed box that extends into the forepeak a bit.  Now the chain will drop straight down into that.  the box will be attached to the deck above and the bulkhead forward, leaving "foot room" under it for anyone sleeping in the forepeak.  It means losing 60% of the shelf space across the bow.  Anyway, I spent a good chunk of the morning sketching and finally drawing it up - I'm going to get a price from a local boat carpenter to do it - I just don't have the tools here to work with.  Anyway, that problem should be solved.

Otherwise, picking off things from the list - just not a very productive day today.

A minor crisis and my own fault.  Yesterday there were a couple of the local native (Maori) chaps on the dock and the one asked to borrow a screw driver.  I didn't think and lent it to him, and he proceeded to harvest oysters from the dock floats - until he dropped the driver.  To him it was nothing - just walked away - to me it was a pain because it was my good one, the only large one I have (you dropped the other one at the NYC mast tower) and there's no place handy to replace it.  
Sigh.  My own fault.  

Take Care