Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Hull Thickness

The facts about hull strength for Westsail boats are blown out of all proportion in my view. One of the benefits of owning a Westsail is that the hull thickness is supposed to range between half and a full inch. I am closing out 2 thruhulls on my boat from an old marine air conditioning unit that are above and below the water line so I can see quite clearly what the thickness truly is. Each are about half an inch thick and this one in the photo is THREE feet below the water line.
So that means even if the hull thickness is one full inch 5 feet below the water line, most floating debris will likely hit the boat nearer the surface. So there tends to be a false sense of security for owners, a bit like the Titanic story and Robert Redford's new "All is Lost" movie shows what can happen if you hit a container out at sea. I used to work with a guy who was skippering a boat back from the Auckland to Suva yacht race back in 1970 and they awoke in the middle of the night with a big bang and the boat began to sink. He said they had all of 2 minutes to got on the radio to call Russell Radio for help before climbing into the life raft. Scary thing and they never knew whether it was a log, container or whale.
Most boats these days are built with plastic fittings for their thruhulls like these ones I am taking out.
Fortunately all mine are made of bronze and seem to be holding out OK but I will not find out for sure until I do a sea trial.
In preparation for replacing the water tanks, I emptied the one that was not leaking with a 12 volt hose down pump.
I emptied it into the bilge and the bilge pump automatically pumped it over board. About 60 seconds after starting the pump it ground to a halt and so I shut her down and opened up the filter, This is what came out. Eeeek! Just imagine drinking that suff.
So now I have definitely decided to replace both water tanks even though the second one is not leaking.
Finally, I wanted to show you some of the wire markers that I use to label all the new wires during all the rewiring I have been doing.
As well putting numbers on each terminal block, I wrap a strip of them around each wire and place a number on the main switch board for a key.
After installing the new propane switch, it is so much easier to use so I am trying to ditch the microwave. Each time I make a cup of tea or boil vegetables and so on, I use the stove. I haven't dumped the microwave yet, but it's days are numbered. One it is taking up precious real estate in an already cramped galley and two, I don't plan on towing an extension cord whenever I sail.

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