This blog is about planning and preparation for a circumnavigation of the world in a 39-foot sail boat followed, hopefully, by a diary of the actual circumnavigation. You can track the progress of Pachuca by visiting http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=VNW5980
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Sunday, April 1, 2007
Pachuca now has a full complement of bilge pumps: an electric pump and two manual Whale Gusher pumps at the cockpit.
Pachuca came with her two original aluminium Whale Gusher pumps. The one at the stern was in such bad shape that I was forced to replace it with the new plastic version which has a slightly different profile and footprint and required the drilling of two new holes. To my surprise the one on the starboard side turned out to be in remarkably good shape. Even the rubber components were good. After cleaning all of the components and sanding certain vital surfaces I reassembled the pump and it worked OK in my laundry trough.
Today I reinstalled the pump which was no mean feat. The site was very cramped and fitting the old hoses back on was a big problem because of shrinkage over the years. At $21 per meter I wasn't prepared to replace the hosing. I solved that problem by filing and sanding the pump inlet and outlet ports then using lots of marine grease to help things along. After hours of work voila! The pump worked fine and drained its area. The aft pump drains the bilge at the cabin, the starboard one drains the bilge below the cockpit. Both of the pumps are worked from behind the wheel, though I'll have to figure out which appendages to use to simultaneously steer the boat and work two pumps.
According to my friend Scotty, Whale Gusher pumps were the best thing that the Irish ever produced. With James Joyce and others at the back of my mind I dispute that, but I admit that they are the best manual bilge pump around.
The few yachties that I've spoken to are amazingly blase about bilge pumps. I suspect that bilge pumps were more important in the days of wooden hulls where a seam could open up without notice. One experienced sailor figured that with a GRP boat a breach of the hull is likely to be either trivial or fatal, with not too much chance of a bilge-pump in-between. Call me fastidious, but I want to go out with every pump working. You never know: might get pooped, might roll over with a bashed-in window, who knows?
Attached is a photo showing the cramped location of the pump. You'll see the inlet hose rising from the bilge to pass through the partition into the pump. Space is so tight in there that part of the pump was sawed off to get a fit. To the left is the HF antenna tuner, which is in an unfortunate location below the pump. I will either move it forward or protect it from possible future leaks from the pump.
The other photo is of some shelving that I set up. The spice rack is at the top left, and the double shelves are below the companionway step. The double shelves were built for the port side of the companionway but they looked just crappy there. I soon discovered that it fit so snugly between the step supports that they held themselves up without 4 screws that I put through it.
I've re-designed the companionway shelf and will build it out of solid Jarrah. In anticipation of that I cleared out the existing shelf on the starboard side of the companion way and will use it for its original purpose: binoculars.
Today I was able to cross three things off my "to do" list of 45 items - and added 5 more! (sigh)
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