While the boat work and this blog might seem like they’re slowing to a crawl lately, I feel like I’ve been busier than ever. With my transition out of the military rapidly approaching, I’ve had a lot on my plate lately that unfortunately hasn’t allowed me to spend the time on Blue Magic I’d like to. So I decided to bring my boat projects home where I could feel like I’m accomplishing something while I wait for the long weekend. My freshwater intake project has greatly expanded from its original scope. When I finally managed to get the tank intake off, I debated between cleaning it up and putting it back into the boat like I found it, or rebuilding and making it better. After ripping it out and showing my intake system to the local boat yard and staff at West Marine, I’ve opted for the harder route and decided to rebuild my intake system and replace every freshwater hose in the boat.
There were a few factors that made me opt for a complete rebuild. One, it was an incredible pain in the butt removing the freshwater cover from my tank because of all the 5200 used to bond the cover to the fiberglass. Another awesome feature I found was Life Caulk caked all over the PVC connections from leaks. Over time this Life Caulk had broken off and contaminated the fresh water system, which probably contributed to the water’s nasty taste. Additionally, Lexan is apparently not considered a food safe cover. Even with all these issues I was half tempted to just scrape some caulk off, put the cover back on, and call it good.
Because I know how I am with boat projects, sometimes I’m leery to take on the optional ones. Once I start a project, I can tend to go pretty slowly. There’s a lot of reasons for this. One is the fact that every new boat project is a new experience for me, I didn’t grow up learning how to do a lot of handy work around the house. So everything’s a pretty new experience to me. I’m also afraid of screwing up, which I know is a weakness of mine. When you’re afraid of screwing up, you can be overly cautious and cause yourself to slip into “analysis paralysis.” For this project for example, I consulted half a dozen people and two books before I felt like I could start moving forward on it. And even after doing that, I still sat around for a week or two before I went and got my supplies. Hopefully once I have a few more of these projects under my belt, I’ll feel more confident and tackle projects quicker in the future.
So after all my consultations, I’m pretty excited about some of the changes I’m making to the system. For anyone who doesn’t do any home plumbing like me, there’s this great connection system that Home Depot sells called SharkBite. Basically it puts a leak-free death grip on your pipes, and you use a special key when you want to disconnect it. I’m using this now for my PVC freshwater intake system, it will allow me to disconnect the PVC whenever I want if it gets clogged without ripping off the entire cover. I just better make sure I have plenty of spare SharkBite keys on board! I’m also replacing the Lexan cover with StarBoard, which is a marine-grade polymer that is considered food safe. I liked how you could see the water level with the Lexan cover though, so I opted for a new clear deck plate that will let me see inside.
I’m expecting this to be my focus this upcoming weekend, because it’s Veteran’s Day there’s a chance I might even get it done. While it’s not the multi-day cruise I was hoping for, it will still be good to put a dent in the project hopefully and get my boat one step closer to how I like it.