Tuesday, 12 August 2014

hide and seek on a boat

You'd think it would be hard to hide on a boat wouldn't you.... well on Phoenix you'd be wrong.

Or at least, I found a few new places to contort myself into today that would meet the criteria.

So, I was initially removing the old copper pipe to the forward heads... an easy task you might imagine. Other than the builder clearly decided that that nasty old pipe should be put well out of sight... so far out of sight that it hadn't seen the light of day in 35 years. This therefore involved crawling into spaces below the sole boards (the floor boards for any landlubber readers) into the space referred to as the bilge for very good reasons... now on Phoenix, this is a decent sized space... enough for a human being in their entirety... but only if they are a practiced contortionist. Once suitable hidden in the bilges, I then had to wield a hacksaw to cut aforementioned pipe... and then finally, extract in manageable sized segments. I only lost several pints of blood in the process, with a few to spare.

Not satisfied with this exercise, I then had to refit the new plastic pipe. Into the same dark recesses.

Only, it also treated me to magic tricks. 

Pushing a pipe through a hole in a bulkhead would be a simple task one would imagine. Only, in this case, it magically failed to appear on the other side. At every bulkhead.

The first pipe caused a couple of hours of swearing. The second, with a remaining hole now half the size at each bulkhead, caused somewhat more.

I did lose, I believe, the same pints of blood again.

But don't think it was all over..... the final laugh was still yet to come.

The pipe work was destined to terminate at taps in the forward heads. To fit the taps, I clearly needed to remove the old taps first. But, the nuts that secured them were corroded firmly into place. Use of ever more ambitious tools failed to budge them, culminating in a 18" long wrench and a hammer... and no success.

So, I had to resort to a technique that can only be described as hellish. The tap's undersides with the offending nuts, were in a small cupboard below the sink... into which I managed to squeeze my head and shoulders, with a pair of safety goggles.... and an angle grinder. Imagine just how deaf I was for 20 mins afterwards, and the sheer volume of grinding particles that managed to find their way up my nose.

But, hell... the new taps are in, and just waiting on some fittings to connect them to the new installed pipework, and we'll have running hot and cold in there... wahoo!

Along the way I did manage a few other tasks too... I finished remaking all the bolts and nuts under the coachroof and recessing them properly... and then ground off all the bolt tails with the angle grinder that caused so much grief in the cupboard.... I also painted a few square inches of the coachrood ready for the winches and clutches to be fitted tomorrow.

So, all in all, another day of fine progress.

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