October 12-13, 2013: Admittedly this is nothing compared to the devastation suffered recently in areas all over the Philippines, but we recently experienced our own little flood on MOKEN.
Here’s the background. When I arrived back on MOKEN from our Italy trip in September, I turned on the shore power and the dock water and immediately heard the hiss of a small water leak. Off went the water, the system was purged and I went to bed. It was 3:30 in the morning after all. This sort of stuff never happens during normal business hours.
The next day, I located the leak under the forward head (bathroom) sink. A plastic coated aluminum pipe had developed a small crack at a sharp bend (see “Original Leak” photo). I called the guys who look after our boat when Chris is away and they put in a temporary fix, a short length of flexible hose meant to last until Chris arrived home and figured out a more permanent solution.
It almost made it. On Saturday, about four hours before Chris was due to land in Manila, I discovered water in the bilge and quickly traced it back to the same hose. The connection had given way (it’s the yellow hose with the rag wrapped around it in “The Culprit” photo). There were already a few inches of water under the sole (floor) of the salon and it had overflowed into the engine room bilge. But not quite enough to trigger the bilge pump. So that meant pumping it out manually.
I quickly turned off the water but couldn’t remember where our manual pump was hiding. Chris was in flight, therefore unreachable. I certainly didn’t want him to come home to a boat full of water, so I called in my neighbour JB to the rescue. In no time, he had the bilges clean and well on their way to dry by using a hand pump and a wet vac in turns. Kitty tried to help too by going under the salon floor and soaking up water with his furry belly, and then traipsing through the boat…leaving little paw prints just about everywhere.
Fast forward to Chris’ arrival and the boat was in a state of dissaray, with floor access hatches open to air out the bilges and locker contents strewn about. But at least the only project left for him was pipe replacement, which he quickly remedied, this time using an elbow joint instead of making a sharp bend in the pipe (see “The Solution” photo). Much more elegant, don’t you think?