Thursday, March 6, 2014

Let The Water In!

Ken & Vicky, living aboard s/v Painkiller take us on a journey of discovery. The lesson is, always be thinking about the function of things when you are working on them (good catch Ken!)...
Do you ever want salt water (or fresh, in the lakes) coming "into" your boat?  The most common reason you must, is of course, if you have an inboard engine. You need to keep it and it's exhaust running cool. There are others like, the toilet (head) that uses raw (from the exterior of the boat) water to flush, there are hand or foot pumps at the galley sink to help save fresh water from tank storage (wash dishes in raw water, rinse in fresh), some refrigeration uses raw water to help keep things cool, there are wash down pumps at the bow to help clean anchor and chain as it comes aboard and water-makers (turning salt water to fresh water) to help keep the freshwater tanks full. With a few of these, you can get away from 'straining' the raw water, but it's always a good idea to keep large chunks that might be near your intake hole under the boat from entering any of these systems....don't you think? Here enters the raw water strainer.

Below on the left (some red bits remaining) is my engine raw water strainer that after I disassembled, cleaned, wire brushed and over all took a good look at, along with removing the old, hardened, caked with added silicone gaskets that kept it from leaking and made new cork gaskets. I can't say it was 'clean' when I took it apart but it was functioning I guess keeping the big chunks from running through the engine exhaust! The clear plastic housing needs to be replaced, other than that it will be fine.  On the right is the green fully intact strainer for my water-maker, refrigeration, and galley sink.

First glimpse inside is looking very poor!!!! 100 points for "me" for never using this in the the almost 4 months I have owned the boat. Yuk!  Now we're talking total lack of maintenance here.  I knew when I bought this boat I'd be going in here....but never did I imagine it would be this gross and totally neglected. Holy shit Earl, I'm ashamed at myself for not seeing this.

Now the real kicker here, or lack of  thought, is in this picture below. This is the underside of the top of the strainer.  Now, doesn't it make sense that when a strainer does it's job of straining (see the mucky basket with a little finger handle on top on the right, in the above picture)? That's where the raw water goes in from the top and catches the chunky bits before being pulled up and out the top of the strainer. Do you see it yet? this is the top............ you see it now? Whoever made or replaced this gasket for the top of this strainer at some point in time, almost completely shut off the ability of the strainer to do it's fricken job! The curved slot is the exit for the strained water. Look at that picture above again!

There is nothing vitally wrong here with this discovery because I found it before I used it. I knew I would go through most all the systems on this boat, one by one, to become aware of the whole picture, but I didn't imagine this kind of shit was sold to me right under my own eyes.  Buyer beware!   Oh Well, I know how to make it right!  I should get a $2000 refund just because I really like the guy! Is that my "bad"?

Both strainers will get what they need........

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