Saturday, 21 November 2015

Maintenance Day

A light smattering of snow last night, our first for the 2015/16 winter!  The ground was too warm and none of it settled.  After a rather windy night we awoke to the forecast bright but cold day.  Jan could hear a humming sound from the bedroom wardrobe and I couldn’t think of anything in the wardrobe which would make a noise.  Eventually we resorted to emptying the wardrobe and even my bad hearing could make out the light humming.  My guess (correctly) was it might be the bow bilge pump.  Waiouru has both a bow and stern bilge pump which are both automatic (float switch) and manually operated.  The boat has dry bilges with a water lubricated dripless stern tube setup and a dry cratch because we have a cratch cover. 

I removed everything from the starboard (right) bow locker to find the bilge pump running.  Over the last three years enough condensation had formed in the cratch to put enough water in the bilge to activate the float switch but insufficient water existed to pump out the bilge.  Obviously we don’t want the pump to run dry 24/7.  The bilge also looked like it could do with a damned good clean.

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Bilge pump removed

Once the pump had been removed from the bilge I could give it a good clean.  The wiring and float switch were then checked.  Finally I soaked up the small amount of condensation in the bottom of the bilge with an old sponge before giving it a clean with an old rag.

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It Is obvious the bilge and bow locker will need some TLC next spring.  The pump went back in and is working correctly (that is to say it’s not working because the bilge is dry).

The second maintenance task was to replace the smoke detector in the saloon.  I gave it the regular monthly test last week and it didn’t “beep”.  It still didn’t “beep” after replacing the battery so I assumed it had reached the end of its life!  On Wednesday I went to B&Q (seniors discount day) and purchased a new detector.  The price was just under £5 which is a small price to pay for peace of mind and safety.  The lady at the till flattered me by telling me “You’re not 63!” when I handed over my discount card.  “No I’m not…. I’m older!”  I replied.  Then I thanked her for the compliment and discount.

The new saloon smoke detector is now functioning alongside the CO2 detector.

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