Boat Projects: Triple the time, double the cost.

We decided to replace the deck fill hose that leads to the water tanks.  It wasn’t something that we HAD to do – we had simply been filling both tanks through their ports – but it would make the task a little easier because we wouldn’t have to remove the v-berth cushions to get to the v-berth tank.

It seemed like an easy project.  Take off the 40 year old hose, put on a new one.  Shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours, max.  When will we ever learn?

We (meaning Jeff) had managed a few weeks previously to get the old hose off after a lot of sweating and struggling.  The first issue that arose was that the hose was right next to a chunk of wood, and the screws on the hose clamp at the deck fill were turned towards the wood so that Jeff couldn’t get a screwdriver on them to loosen the clamp.  The trusty Dremel made quick work of cutting through the clamp.  We would simply buy another one.

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Jeff doing boat yoga while trying to get the old hose off.

The next issue was that the section of the hose closest to the tank was squished underneath a platform of wood.  Jeff said it was as if the boat builders had installed the hose before putting on the deck.  After a lot of tugging, swearing, sweating, and cutting out pieces of the hose, it was finally out – but not before we pulled out the wire in the hose first.  That allowed the hose to collapse enough to actually pull it out.  At that point we shoved a wood plug in the tank to prevent water from coming out while sailing, and we set the project aside for a few weeks.

Saturday the 5th we were ready to give it another go.  We bought 6 feet of hose at Defender, some new hose clamps, and got to work. More tugging, sweating, and swearing followed.  Even though the hose had the same ID as the old hose, the hose wall was thicker.  Jeff cut out some of the wood next to the deck fill which helped, but ultimately there was no way we were going to be able to route it the rest of the way.  Bah!

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What do you do when you forget the filter for the shop vac?  Make one out of a paper towel and duct tape, of course!

On Sunday the 6th we were back at Defender getting 5 feet of narrower hose.  The plan was to cut smaller sections of the previous day’s purchased hose to put on the deck fill and the port for the water tank, and then shove the narrower hose into the larger hose. The narrower hose would make it easier to fit underneath the wood as we routed it to the tank.

We busted out the Dremel again for some more strategic cutting.  We also spent quite a bit of time trying to remove a portion of the v-berth wood so that we would have better access for shoving the hose into place.  But finally, we succeeded!

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It took a surprisingly long time to remove the piece of wood (shown here removed, on the left).

It ultimately took approximately 7 hours and it cost us twice as much as we anticipated since we had to buy two different hose sizes, but now we can finally use the deck fill to fill the water tanks.  We high-fived each other for completing another project, and then realized we still need to replace the vent hoses for the water tanks and reroute one of them out the stern.  But hey, that’s not a big job, right?  It should only take a couple of hours, max!

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