Changing hull fittings is a nerve wrecking, nasty, and boring job. Its nerve wrecking because, if you don’t do it wright, your boat may sink. Its nasty because the sealer you use (sikaflex), gets everywhere, and its boring because you only see the job you did if you lift up the lower deck board. They are just kinda there. You worry about theme if they haven’t been changed in a long time, and you don’t think about theme if you know they are OK.
For those of you who don’t know what a hull fitting is: Its actually a hole in the boat, under the waterline. The hole is there to get water to the toilet, engine, sink and other stuff. To get it completely sealed you use sikaflex. This stuff is sticky and adhesive . The hull fitting is made up from a valve and a pipe, that needs changing every 10 years or so. If the valve or pipe decides to let go…well…bye bye boat.
When Delfini was on land, we changed three of them….We tried our best. We never done it before. The ones we changed was of course placed in cramped and small places. Had we done the job right? Are they sealed, or would they leak? We wore VERY nervous the day before Delfini was due back on the water. Both of us had trouble sleeping.
Rudi had to work the day Delfini was hoisted back on the water. So my brother Øyvind came to my aid. My pulse was around 150… I sounded something like this: “I’m sure we have a leak..and not a small one…nope…it will be like Niagara Falls…Jepp…That`s how it will be..”
Øyvind is quite good at calming down hysterical woman. He worked his wonders on me!!! I bet he wanted to smack me! ( need to get a picture of the dude!!!)
The moment we hit the water, I ran downstairs to check. I yelled to the man in control of the crane: Do not remove the straps holding us before I say ok!!!!
No leaks?? I couldent belive it! We did it!!!! I was relived beyond belief!!! So, we started the engine and may or way to our pier. We moored Delfini, and I went down to check, just one more time…And what do you know….One of the little fucker leaked…It wasn’t a lot of water, but water non the less…
I was desperately in need of Øyvind`s calming effect! I drowned the little nuisance in more sikaflex. It helped a little, but it still leaked. After two days, a gazillion tubes of sikeflex and advice from our plummer boat neighbor, I finally started my victory lap. No more of the salty liquid coming in, well not around the hull fitting anyway….We defeated water!!!!
But I check the little fuckers every chance I get….