Rusty Waterlock

Our waterlock was rusting from the inside and leaving trails of rusty water on the inside of our boat, so it was time to get stuck in and put a new one in.

It's great to receive packages, because it means that another problem is going to be fixed. The package that we had received was from SVB and was a Vetus waterlock, which Beverley joked was a new crew member called Sally the swan. The waterlock is designed to stop water flooding back into the engine, it is also a muffler which reduces the sound of the engine. We needed one because, when we started the engine, the first lot of water that came out was red in colour so was full of rust.

As with all jobs, we started by having a cup of coffee. The other main task was to play the boat game which means moving stuff from one part of the boat, to another. Some of the stuff in our back cabin can be stacked on top of each other, while other bits had to be moved, just so that we could get to the space where the new waterlock was to be fitted.

Once we got to the space where we would be working, we checked all the measurements, just making sure that we were within the capabilities of the unit. For example one measurement was with respect to the length of pipe from the unit to the outlet pipe. This was because the unit had a capacity of 4.3litres, so for our pipe which has a diameter of 45mm, the cross sectional area of the pipe is (Π x (0.45/2)2) approximately 0.16m2. So with a bit more maths, then you soon realise that every 62.5cm of pipe will carry one litre of water, so seeing that the top of our swan neck was 1.5meters away, the total volume of water that our waterlock would have to deal with is 2.4lires of water.

Once we had checked all our measurements, it was time to bite the bullet and remove the old waterlock. As usual with all boat jobs, it was not easy, but we managed it, or should I be more accurate and say Beverley managed it.

Once it was removed, we decided to investigate the old waterlock, which meant unscrewing the clamps with a screwdriver, I joked and I asker her if she had her screwdriver operators licence, something that she denied, but seeing as the screwdriver is a simple tool, we should be fine. Once she removed the clamps, she used the screwdriver as lever, so I told her Archimedes would be proud, to which she told me that she was using a type one lever. I have no idea if our viewers like our humour, which is dry at the best of times, but it is what it is. Let's put it this way, our viewers had a great opportunity to listen to our banter and when I told her she was destroying the old unit and it was never going back, you could practically hear the penny drop.

Once it was all apart, we investigated the old unit, looking at all the rust that was inside the unit. We found one major hole, which Beverley made bigger quite quickly and another part of the metal work which was quite fragile. So much so that Beverley was able to break the metal quite easily. For my part, I was just happy that we had fixed the issue for once in our lives before we had a great big leak in our boat.

Once we had finished our investigation, we got back to the job in hand, which was fitting the new waterlock. When we looked at where the waterlock would be it was clear that we would have to create a wooden bracket of some kind. As the new bracket would be at the bottom of the boat, we decided that we would need to cover it in epoxy, so that meant that we would need to buy our very first pack of West System Epoxy resin.

Seeing as we were making up the epoxy anyway, we decided that we would make up a batch to fix a pair of shoes that were in total need of repair, we nearly called the episode "The shoe event Horizon" just on the strength of the shoes, but realistically this was an aside and not really what this episode was about.

Once the bracket was in, we put bubble on the hoses to help them slide onto the waterlock better, this helped, but as with all things boat related, it was not perfect, so I continued to say that perfect was an illusion, so Beverley replied Lunch time doubly so. Anyone would think that we have both listened to the Hitch Hikers guide to the galaxy.

So once it was all in, it was time for the acid test, which was for Beverley, to start the engine. I was downstairs looking for leaks when she started the engine and I'm glad to report there was no leaks, but apparently there was a lot of soapy bubbles from all the bubble that we had put on the pipes. We increased the revs, to test the system as much as we could and everything was still fine.