Friday, January 29, 2010

Yacht taking on water, pumps keeping pace, captain stays calm

La Vida Nueva taking on water; captain concerned but not frantic; pumps activated

We were working on the shower sump pump last night. I was surprised to hear the sump pump running again today. I call the pump ‘little blue’ after the blue base West Marine used when then made her. Last night’s efforts revealed a clogged line. Little Blue, which was installed in the bilge at mid-ships, put out a heck of a blast. We just could not get the water through the line. Our efforts with a dock hose at full blast failed to clear the line. Since it was late, we left the pump on the high and dry. No use running a pump that wasn’t connected to a hose.

"Taking on lots of water never happens to me. Right?"
Ask me if I was surprised to hear my little pumper humming this afternoon. There had to be a lot of water in the bilge in order for her to go off. I was not overly concerned about it because taking on lots of water never happens to me. Right?

I was in for a surprise! What set little blue off is what sets off most pumps. The float valve. When I pulled up the floor board I was concerned when I saw water. My Tayana 37 never gets water that high. What could be the cause?

I turned on my super blaster pump and after an eternity the water was pumped out. I did not see a torrent coming back in so I decided to check her a little later on. Sad to say, four hours later, I had a bilge full of water half as high as it had been earlier. This is way too much water to come into my boat in so short a time.  How to keep a yacht from sinking

"At low tide, La Vida Nueva sits on the bottom"

Who panics when taking on water? If the water is coming in this fast now, will it come in faster as time goes by? I finally found comfort in a shallow harbor. At low tide, La Vida Nueva sits on the bottom. At high tide I was in for a heck of a bath but the boat would be savable. What is there to worry about?

Well, there were a lot of things I should have been worried about.  First, my primary automatic bilge pump is not working.  That requires me to manually pump the bilge when it gets full.  Need to get on that right away.  How to design an adequate bilge pump system

After searching the boat, examining sea cocks, speculating about the potantial emergency, and then reflecting, I think I finally found the source of my problem.

The water hose. We left it in the shower. I think it was leaking and filling up my bilge.

It is 3:00 a.m. The bilge seems fairly dry. It is time to turn in and let the god’s decide my fate. If I am on the bottom by the time I wake up it will be another adventure to write about. If not, well I will keep you posted on that, too!

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