Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Successful Day

There was some rain first thing, but it was dry by the time I set off at about quarter past eight -- just as the clearance of the site over by the pub (which is to have seven houses on it, facing the canal).  Within half an hour I was back in our berth.

The plan for the morning was to tackle a job I've been putting off for a while -- replacing the hose between the loo and the tank.  It's routed through the dinette, under the bathroom cupboard, through the boxing under the bathroom radiator, through the airing cupboard, and finally under the bed to the tank.  All those cupboards have had a certain odour; last year I wrapped the existing hose in impermeable aluminium tape, which helped, but this week I ordered four metres of new hose from Vetus.  The hoses have a bit of a reputation for staying impermeable to liquid, but not to odour, and about five years seems to be the life of them.  I note that these days, Braidbar does the bathrooms the other way round, so the loo is immediately in front of the tank, so the hose needs only to be a few inches long.  I'd had a chat with Peter Mason from Braidbar about the best way of doing the task while at the Crick Show, so I now felt more confident

Getting at the hose was the first difficulty.  To get to the back of the loo I took the drawer out of the dinette bench, took the table down, moved the seat cushions, and then had to unscrew all the slats.  The ones at the far end remove as one piece, for access to the storage; but the ones I had to take off all needed to be unscrewed individually.  It's similar with the bed base.  Lots more unscrewing of slats.

Even then, the fitting at the tank wasn't easy to get at, as the boxing round the tank is in exactly the wrong place.

Having flushed plenty of water down, and then tried to empty as much as possible, I thought I'd tackle the tank end first.  I undid the hose clip, but struggled to move the hose itself, eventually deciding I'd need to cut it off.  I'd just cut through the pipe (not exactly pleasant), when my phone rang.  It was Tim the cratch cover man, at the marina gate, needing to be let in.  I wrapped the partially cut through waste pipe in cling film, and went to open the gate.

The new cratch cover we had a few weeks ago is lovely, but some of the fixings have proved very vulnerable, and we had a bit of damage in locks on the way to and from Crick.  The problem was that they're below the gunwales, and use elastic cords with plastic balls on the end, through eye holes.  The balls were making it stick out more than the rubbing strake so we were catching on lock sides and gates, and even boats we were sharing with.  I'd rung Tim yesterday, and he'd offered to come and have a look.  We talked about a solution, he drew some lines on the cover, we mocked up what it would look like, and he took the cover off.  He said he'd take it back to the workshop, make the modifications, and bring it back today.  I was surprised and pleased it would all happen so quickly.

Then back to the waste hose.  Peter Mason had said a hairdryer could be used to soften the pipe, so I tried that and it came off easily.  I cable tied some cling film over the end, and also wrapped the outlet from the tank.  The other end, at the loo, came off easily, and I did the same there.  Then it was just a matter of pulling the house through all the cupboards, and getting it outside as quickly as possible.

I threaded the new hose through and was relieved to find I'd ordered enough.  I started the reattachment, using a bit of silicone sealant round the fitting, warming up the hose to loosen it, and putting it in place.  Peter Mason's words were in my head: 'make sure you put the hose clip on before you start, because it's a real pain having to take everything apart again if you've forgotten'.  I did the loo end first, put a bit more sealant round, then did the tank end.  The hose had to be shortened a bit, to make sure the curves were nice and even.  Then I cable tied it to the various existing fittings.  While I had the bed in bits, I also put silicone sealant round various other fittings in the tank.  The good thing is that because none of it is visible, it doesn't have to be pretty -- I just wanted to make sure I used plenty!

I'd only just finished when Tim arrived back.  The new shape lifts up above the gunwales much sooner, and uses a couple of press studs in places where they should be safe from knocks.  It's been nicely piped round the edges, and still fits nicely.

I was very pleased, especially when he refused any payment saying he regarded it as a warranty issue, and that he just wants customers to be happy.  On that basis, we can heartily recommend Tim Garland.

1 mile, 0 locks.  (2 miles, 0 locks)


Andrew Tidy said...

Dont you just love fixing toilets on boats! Pump out or Cassette they are both horrible....

William Usher said...

Funny. We did exactly the same thing on our boat a few weeks ago. We used the big black industrial looking hose from Trident...