It’s official: we’re morons.

We drove down to the boat on Saturday with a few items on the to-do list.  I had a committee meeting at Shenny so Jeff was going to be mainly on his own, but we wanted to get the batteries put back in and connected.  We had successfully recharged the AGM battery that we had accidentally fully drained, so we were pleased about not having to buy a new one.  Jeff was also going to remove Pegu Club’s painted-on old name and hailing port from the stern.  If all went well, the last small project was to take some more measurements for the weathercloths.  The best laid plans…

We arrived at Shenny a few minutes before my meeting, so as Jeff brought the batteries back onto the boat I opened everything up.  The first thing I noticed was the three inches of water sitting in the battery box.  What the…?  Next I opened up the bilge, and it was full almost to the brim.  Holy crap!  How in the world did we get water in the boat??  Then, it struck us.

It was the perfect storm.  First, we removed the batteries a few weeks ago.  Last weekend we were going to put on the first coat of barrier coat, so we took off the winter cover.  Of course, the weather turned on us so we didn’t end up painting.  Instead, we decided to remove the seacocks and thruhulls from the cockpit drains.  Which meant that we removed the hoses from the cockpit drains.  Which meant that when it rained during the week, the water poured into the drains and instead of funneling through the hoses and out the thruhulls, it poured everywhere else instead.  When we blithely removed everything, we hadn’t even thought about this possibility.  Yes, we’re morons.

At first we thought that if we hadn’t removed the batteries at least the bilge pump would have worked, but in hindsight maybe it’s just as well that they were out of the boat.  Since there was water in the battery box, it’s likely that the rainwater would have poured onto the batteries which I can’t imagine would have been good for them.

In the meantime, we had work to do.  Which in reality meant Jeff had work to do since I had to go to my meeting.  Before I left I used the manual bilge pump to get most of the water out of the bilge, and then Jeff headed out to get some temporary hoses for the cockpit drains.  Still in moron mode, for a split second we had thought we would just cover the cockpit drains, but then we immediately realized that was a stupid idea because then the cockpit would fill up with water.  Since we figured that out so quickly, we took it as a sign that we were regaining a modicum of intelligence.

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Almost finished pumping out the water with the manual bilge pump. The bilge was basically filled with water when we arrived.

When I returned from my meeting 2 1/2 hours later, Jeff had already dried everything out and was working on removing the name from the stern.  Poor Jeff.  He had spent the past few hours wrestling with stiff rubber hoses for the temporary cockpit drains, and plunging his hands into ice cold water.  When that was finished, he was dealing with freezing cold acetone in an attempt to get the name off.  Jeff was unhappy because he was frozen, and I was unhappy because we had planned on staying home on Sunday due to the cold weather forecast and now we were going to be driving down again after all.  Needless to say, there was no joy in Mudville on the car ride home that day.

On Sunday we drove down to Shenny, first stopping at West Marine to pick up some items at their Super Sale.  When we arrived at Pegu Club we made quick work of the few tasks we had planned.  We reconnected the batteries (the terminal wires had been submerged in water the previous day so we had decided to wait until Sunday so they could dry out) and confirmed we had done this correctly when we were able to turn the lights on.  We also installed our new traveler lines.  The old ones were very frayed, so now we have our first new piece of running rigging.

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Shiny white new traveler lines, with new hardware.

We had also planned to keep working on removing the old name from the stern and doing some more weathercloth measuring, but it was cloudy and very chilly so we kept the day short.  At least this drive home was happier.  We had accomplished a few things and felt like we had managed to get back on track after Saturday’s fiasco.

Coming up: a three-day weekend.  Weather permitting we’ll install the new chainplates, install the mushroom vent for the Nature’s Head and wire the fan, install the backing blocks for the four thruhulls and seacocks, spray the interior with Pure Ayre, and who  knows what else?

8 thoughts on “It’s official: we’re morons.

    1. Thanks, James. The bilge is certainly cleaner now than it was! I felt pretty bad for Jeff, but a stiff martini when we got home took care of his residual chill. 🙂

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  1. As the Chairman of the Board of the Morons Society, I doing think you would be admitted, based on this story. Learning mistakes do not qualify.

    Love, Dad

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  2. We had the same issue last year when the original owner left the boat uncovered for the winter and the batteries disconnected. Our cockpit drains were plugged with leafs and water poured down the companionway. Luckily one of our friends caught it a day after a huge rainstorm and cleaned it up for us. Lessons learned for sure.

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    1. Wow! I’m so glad your friend caught it. Not only did you not have to clean it up, but I imagine it saved you from a lot of water damage. Good thought about the leaves. I’ll have to remember that in the fall before the boat gets its winter cover.

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