Keeping the water running
It was time to come up with a permanent solution.
After doing some research, Dave talked to Jay (from Merri-mar Yacht Basin) who recommended replacing the original Vetus water strainer with a Perko 493. Over the course of a couple of weeks, he ordered the strainer, some 316 stainless steel AWAB hose clamps (recommended by Roger on Shango) and some 90 degree elbows. Now he was ready to take the plunge.
After removing the existing strainer, he carefully examined the hoses to ensure nothing within them was restricting the water flow. He then mounted the new strainer to his new polyurethane-covered oak board and positioned it so that this taller basket could be removed without any problems. Using the new elbows and the hose clamps, he connected the strainer to the thru-hull and the engine, only having to replace one hose with a slightly longer version.
After topping off the strainer with water (and re-opening the thru-hull – don’t want to forget that), the engine started and ran without a hitch, pumping water consistently at various rpm’s. Good news, but neither of us will be convinced that the problem is completely fixed until we find ourselves in rough weather with no problems. It’s hard to seek out that kind of sea trial.
Did you see what’s growing down there?
When Cathy was re-applying Cetol to the toe rails and waxing the upper deck, we wanted to have the dinghy out of the way to allow better access. So we left it in the water for about 4 weeks until we returned home from Rochester. At that point, Dave caught a glimpse of the bottom and decided it was time to get it back up on deck. Without any bottom paint to protect it, the dinghy was covered with a dense growth (inches thick!) of a seaweed with nasty little grape-like “fruit” all over it. These had the unfortunate habit of popping as we scraped the bottom and spraying us with their contents – not a pleasant experience. The dinghy cleaned up nicely, but we began to wonder about Orion.
We had taken her out the previous day, and she was a bit sluggish. Dave happened to see a diver working on a nearby boat and asked him just to check out Orion’s bottom. Later, we heard some scraping, discovering he had cleaned some growth off the prop and the rudder. He said that other than some soft growth, the bottom looked good and the zinc was still in good shape.
Maybe that bottom paint would last another year after all.
Dave’s dad has some wonderful new toys ( i.e., some very fancy sewing machines) that we encouraged him to put to use for our benefit. Dave bought some shirts for his dad to embroider with “S/V Orion”, which he managed to do in several different colors on different shirts. It’s an amazingly sophisticated tool, and the results looked great!
We had two longer trips planned for the end of June. One was to Rochester, where our daughter and newest grandson would be honored with a “meet the baby” baby shower. With little Troy and Bonnie along for the ride, we took a slower trip north, stopping a little more often than we had in the past to keep up with little Troy’s needs. While in Rochester, in addition to the shower, we visited with Dave’s family and even found a few hours between family obligations and dentist appointments to squeeze in a lunch with some friends at Kodak and dinner with Joanne and Ralph on White Bird.
We have at least one more road trip planned before we turn our attention to more travels on the Bay. Hopefully, thanks to the new water strainer, the engine will be pumping water without interruption, no matter what conditions we find out there.