Saturday, 16 April 2016

"Sinking" update and catkin attack

I checked the level of water in the cabin bilge during the night; fortunately it didn't seem to have risen. Sue of No Problem suggested that with the boat out of the water and pressure washed, any bilge water seeping back out of any hole will make a damp patch. NB Lola suggested putting food colouring into sink wastes etc. and seeing if the colour makes its way into the bilge. Both good ideas, thanks. Brian of Harnser wonders if it might be rainwater as we've had quite a lot of that recently.

My first task this morning was to find a pump. I cycled all over Market Harborough, trying Screwfix, Wilko, B&M, Homebase, a tool hire place - even a vintage shop - without success. Back at the boat Jan noticed a man in a boiler suit walking past with a bag of tools, so I nipped out and saw that he "belonged" to the next-door boat. I asked him if he had anything which might help me pump out some bilge water - and he produced the ideal thing! He had a hand pump which he bought for use with his canoe but which he had never used. It fitted perfectly through the inspection hole and quickly pumped out two or three washing up bowls' worth of dirty water. Hooray!

To try to determine if it was canal water I put the bilge water in one container and canal water in another. Here they are. Can you tell which is which?

I was surprised to see that the canal water was remarkably clear; the dirty water on the right is from the cabin bilge. It must be all the rust.

When I'd got out all the water I could I returned the pump (£12 from eBay, apparently). Later I was able to repay pump man - Chris on Mistral - when he asked me if I had a shackle I could let him have. I found two, which he was very pleased with. What a perfect illustration of boaters helping each other out.

Eleven hours later no more water seems to have made its way into the bilge. I have an idea where it might have been coming from. The last two or three times we have left the boat over the winter period I have drained down the domestic water system as best I could without undoing anything. To drain the shower mixer I let the shower head dangle down on the shower tray. On leaving the boat I pumped out the shower sump and switched off the electrics. Each time we returned, after two to six weeks, I found the shower tray full of water but no damp carpet or any sign that the shower tray had overflowed. I think water had siphoned out of the calorifier through the shower hose. Of course, each time I immediately pumped out the shower sump and thought no more of it. Now I'm wondering whether water had been seeping past the seal round the waste fitting at the bottom of the shower tray. So I removed the old sealant, which had gone horribly black anyway, and put new silicone round it.

I've just had another thought: it could be the seal on the lid of the shower sump. I'll have to check for signs of damp. Actually I think that's more likely. Another clue was the fact that the extracted bilge water was very slightly frothy, which would indicate shower or sink waste.

Well, that's enough of that for now. Last night we were bombarded with catkins from a nearby (willow?) tree. I had thought we weren't under any significant trees but the wind must have carried these blighters and spred them all over our roof.

I wasn't too bothered, thinking that when dry they would just blow off. Wrong. They stuck to the paintwork; when brushed off they left nasty reddish marks.

Oh well. I expect the roof needed cleaning again anyway.

I just about finished that little job when it was time to walk into town again for a free evening of live music, a fundraiser for the local Lions club.

Market Harborough-based band EastWest
The highlight for me was a guitarist called Martin Nelson who had an extraordinary technique, sometimes playing with both hands high up the fretboard. He also got a wide variety of percussive effects from hitting the guitar.

The fundraising was achieved through the bar, hot food, a raffle and an auction. We won the last prize in the raffle. When we came out to walk back to the boat we found that it had been snowing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, what was the raffle prize? H.S.