Just Say No...

…to plastic or nylon through hulls above or below the waterline. Second Star had two plastic through hull fittings, one a vent for the propane locker and one for the water cooled refrigeration discharge.Plastic Thru Hull

While upgrading the propane system the locker was removed along with the drain hoses, the plastic fitting couldn’t survive removing the hose before it broke. Fortunately, the fitting was located in a place where it would nearly impossible to reach, so the danger was mitigated by the location. However, it was clear that UV had taken its toll on the fitting, the plastic had severely deteriorated.

As a result of that experience, the decision was made to replace the refrigeration discharge with a stainless steel through hull. From outward appearances the fitting looked to be in much better shape than the one for the propane locker. Appearances can be deceiving. It took less than a half turn with very little pressure to break through hull. A stainless through hull is now in its place.

A metal, stainless or bronze, through hull is more expensive than plastic but considerably more robust. There are places to be frugal and save money on a boat, a through hull, even one above the waterline is not one of those places.

Mystery Leak! What Were They Thinking??

This past summer I decided it was past time to replace the vent hose on a water tank under the starboard settee. Not a big or difficult job, it did require removing the deck of the settee to access the hose, some time with a drill and screwdriver bit and the deck was off and I had access to the fitting. While disassembling the settee I notice a little water beneath the outlet. No problem I thought, I'll just tighten the screw on the clamp and it will be good. 

To double check, I filled the tank with water and went for a beer. I wanted to make sure I had fixed the problem before putting everything back together. I came back, the water had returned and I pumped the tank empty. With the tank empty, I removed the fitting, put new teflon tape on the threads, attached the hose and tightened the clamps. After filling the tank with water I went home.

The next day, upon returning I found, no surprise, more water. Fearing the worst, a split seam on the tank, the tank was drained and I finished removing all the restraining parts to remove the tank. After wrestling with the tank, it yield to my persuasion. The good news, the seams in the tank were intact. Yahoo! And the leak was found. In the bottom corner of the tank that was tight against a bulkhead was an unused threaded hole for an outlet. The outlet had been sealed with a brass reducing bushing and a black iron plug. After 20 or so years the black iron finally failed and created a very slow leak. 

Read more: Mystery Leak! What Were They Thinking??

Sneak Peek: Coming Soon to Good Old Boat

Here's a sneak peak to an article to appear in the September Good Old Boat Magazine.




Holding Tank Upgrade

Sleeping soundly on Identity Crisis, our 1981 Sabre 30 was becoming a challenge. The cushions were fine, the docks and anchorages secure. The company could not have been better. It was the odors wafting from the holding tank and plumbing located beneath the V-berth. It was clearly time to upgrade the plumbing.

Causes of head odor

The first step on the way to removing the odor was to understand the cause of the odor. Peggie Hall’s book Get Rid of Boat Odors was a helpful resource. The root of all head odors is the bacterial process by which waste decomposes. Head odors are the result of the good guys losing to the bad guys.

Read more: Holding Tank Upgrade