November 02, 2008

Georgetown - an ode to equipment

Well we spent a very nice week in Georgetown S.C., unintentionally. The day that we arrived from Beaufort N.C. our inverter/charger broke down. While not a critical piece of equipment it was still under warranty so we decided to take the pain. After some tests we sent it in, the turn around diagnosis, was quick - need a new one, but the new one took 4 days to arrive coming in only at 5 pm Friday night. We did get it installed and were able to catch some very nice weather on Saturday to sail south to Beaufort S.C.

This jump offshore went much better than the previous, winds were from the ENE at 10-15 knots and the waves were about 4 ft in swell. Using a combination of winged genoa, spinnaker and ultimately for the overnight ran downwind jibing the main/genoa. A much happier crew, although the kids for the fun of it I guess elected to sleep on the floor of the salon again.

Georgetown for a place to be stuck for a week, was excellent. A nice small town feel with a restored water front district. They did a very nice Halloween party for kids as well with a large turn out.

We will spend this week poking about Beaufort, S.C., Hilton Head and Savannah. Ultimately with a good weather window we will jump down offshore again, either to Florida, or possibly to the Bahamas.

An Ode to Equipment - well one is fully versed in the latest saga, however, those dedicated readers will note that there was only one untested system, the water maker. While 3 weeks ago I gave it a shot. It leaked. Bad. The brine discharge which carries all of the waste non-potable water overboard from the water maker, which is a considerable quantity. The brine discharge hose is connected to a plastic fitting which is threaded and screwed into the metal housing of the water maker. When I noticed the leak, I let the water maker shut down, then tried to tighten it, with barely laying my hand on it, it came off entirely. Apparently during installation it had been over tightened and the plastic threads torn. Now laying in front of me was the inspection report from Hallberg Rassy stating that the unit ran without problems... hmm ... now I know from experience that when you strip threads as happened here - the actor knows it, therefore I can only suspect/conclude that the person doing the installation and the inspector chose to ignore this problem at Hallberg Rassy.

Now the fix was problematic. The unit is in the bilge and the connection is at the bottom of the unit. The threads were torn about a 1/8 inch inside the housing - so decision time - disassemble the unit, get a replacement fitting, back out the torn threads or 5200 (for non-boaters this is glue that is full proof but very permanent). I slept on it, got up and with a masters hand applied a bead of 5200, held the fitting in place for 30 minutes and got a perfect set, works very well. This is a low pressure outlet so the risk in the above approach was just getting a bad set that leaked anyway but was now firmly glued.

I guess we are shaking everything down........

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