The Drain Hose

We’ve moved the deck drain hoses. The Whitby has wonderful bulwarks that trap water running over the decks. The original Whitby design had hoses that ran from deck drains to through-hulls below the waterline. It’s an elegant idea that keeps the cockpit dry and makes sure dropped tools don’t always fall overboard. It improves your footing to have a big, sturdy frame running around the deck.

However.

The two “saddle-bag” fuel tanks are in the way of this elegant idea. 

On the starboard side the drain hose had two 90° turns around the fuel tank and to make it down to the through-hull.

On the port side… well… it’s complicated. The location of the through-hull would be a nearly inaccessible spot just aft of the sea-chest. It looks like the builders opted instead to run the drain hose around the lazarette and “T” it into a cockpit drain hose. 

Here’s the new design, viewed from the inside.

The old port side had a long stretch of hose that can have standing water in it during winter’s freeze-and-thaw cycles. And this means the hose can work its way off the hose clamps through protracted stretch/shrink cycles.

Which means rain water running down into the engine room.

Which fills the bilge. 

And. This.

“What am I looking at?” you ask.

That’s the floor of the engine room. At the left edge of the picture is a wheel on the engine. At the bottom of the picture is a bracket that used to hold a refrigeration pump. The rectangular opening is under the floor of the engine room, which is the top of the center file tank. The hoses are fuel lines.

The red?

The red is diesel fuel.

Yes. The bilge and the pan under the engine were filled with diesel.  Filled.

How can that happen?

Here’s my theory. Water runs down into the bilge. Red Ranger is blocked with the bow slightly lower than the stern. Enough that water pools forward in the cockpit and forward under the engine. 

Instead of running aft to the deep bilge, the water runs forward, pooling on top of the center fuel tank. 

A long time ago, we’d had a mechanic look at the center tank. The top of the tank had holes in the aluminum. (They took of the inspection plate, stuck a camera down inside and took pictures to show pin-holes and stalactites of oxidized aluminum. The center tank had water in it. We know it leaks. We haven’t been using it. It requires a fairly sophisticated repair to create a proper dam around the lid. (Either remove the engine or cut away the keel to replace the tank.)

If the water was leaking into the tank, then, it will — eventually — fill the tank. Since water is denser than diesel, the remaining diesel from the bottom fo the tank floated up and into the bilge.

Yuck.

It’s all been pumped out, and poured into the bilge-water reclamation tank.

Now we need to find a way to clean the diesel residue. I think it means a little soap and a lot of water once we’re blocked so things drain aft and can be properly pumped out.

  © Steven Lott 2017