Moved onto the boat

With lockdowns unlikely to ease significantly before April, I have had no choice but to move onto the boat and hope marina staff do not prevent me from sleeping aboard. Government covid restrictions are not a problem as I am moving home which is a permitted activity. The marina currently have a no overnight stay rule which I am hoping they will not enforce on me.

I spent yesterday rewiring the shore power, moving the shore battery charger to inside the fridge compressor locker and fitting an inverter to provide 240v when not on shore power. All that went well. I now have 240v wherever I am and switching is easy.

New location of charger and inverter

This morning I woke to find the bilge full of water to just below the battery tops 😳 time to get to know the bilge pumps. There are 3, two manual and one electric. One retro fitted manual pump does not cut it, the outlet it uses is the sink outlet which is far too small, the electric pump makes noises but pumps no water, it’s under the house batteries so cannot be serviced without taking out the batteries. I want to do this anyway as part of the rewire but not today. I used the trusty reliable original hand pump in the cockpit.

Where did the water come from? Its salty so not from the tank, I left some stop cocks open yesterday so it could have siphoned in, otherwise the boat has a very big hole. I closed as many cocks as I could and monitored through the day. No more water.. it must be siphoning and I strongly suspect the second retrograde fitted bilge pump in the engine bay. The outlet goes to the sink through hull below the waterline. Not a good design, this pump will be removed as soon as I can and I will get a new electric bilge pump. If the old one can be repaired it will serve as a backup.

Source of siphoning. The big green pipe on the T goes to the manual pump. The through hull is below the waterline.

Later in the day while laying a new starter battery charge cable I found water on the fresh water bladder, then I realised the whole section was full of water 😳. Now the water was obviously overspill from the next section which I had pumped out, so why had the water tank section not drained? I think this section is sealed, I can find no drain whole in the aft end of it, I did see water coming from the front through a drain while pumping and there is no water forward of the water tank, it looks like the bladder is inside what must have been an old tank. I will do some research but the solution is probably to drill a drain hole in this tank.

I need some parts to complete the starter battery charging but the house batteries are charging nicely from the shore charger.

Tomorrow I will be working on the master cut off switches. The engine and link switches will be replaced with a 4 position switch that can select off, starter, house or both batteries (link) and this will be installed in the engine compartment and the services (house) switch will be moved to the fridge compressor locker. This will leave the kitchen cupboard empty and free to store food.

One comment

  1. Hiya John, I would love to say “I wish I was with you”, but we have been in a similar situation, if not as severe. I don’t think the passage of time would make me feel any easier or happier. Take care of yourself and the new baby. Make sure your companion is always safe by your side.
    Thinking of you both. xxx

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