In line with our standard practice, we took on a major home renovation project and move last summer. It really got going in the fall, and once the boat was hauled out, we were so busy with the reno, that we didn’t have time to assemble the frame and cover the boat properly. When next went to check on it, there was so much water inside that the bilge was full, plus about 3 more inches!
Where did it come from?
We were kind of mystified as to how all that water could have gotten in, but we pumped it out, adjusted the tarp, and planned on sorting it out in the spring. It filled up a few more times over the winter, without any evidence of where the water was coming from. One result of the boat not being covered properly was that water could get on the deck, and work it’s way into the cockpit, and therefore the cockpit drains. We poured some anti-freeze into the drains, but suspected that it would get flushed out with rainwater, the rainwater would freeze, and may crack the hoses. Sure enough, once the weather was nice enough, Les crawled underneath and checked, and found that both were worn and cracked.
With a week to go before launch, we knew that we needed to get those hoses replaced. They are connected to holes below the waterline (seacocks), and replacing them with the boat in the water probably wasn’t a good idea.
Les crawled into the cockpit lockers, and through a combination of cutting and pulling, managed to remove the hoses. Our local marine supply store had replacement hoses in stock. He returned to the boat with the new hoses, silicone lubricant and a hair dryer in hand. Working with a hair dryer on a rainy day wasn’t the best idea he’s ever had, but we were out of options. He spent a couple hours awkwardly folded into a cockpit locker. He sprayed the hoses and fittings with the lubricant, and used the hair dryer to heat up the hose ends. This made them more pliable, which made sliding the hoses on the plastic barbed fittings, which upgraded the situation from impossible to extremely difficult. Oh, and a tip; make sure to heat the end of the hose, and not a couple inches from the end. Otherwise the hose will just fold and collapse on itself when you try to push it on the fitting.
A couple of days later, the boat was launched, and didn’t have any leaks!! And it has survived lots of rain without any water getting in!