Monday, December 6, 2010

Another Gripping Cruising Tale

Yesterday was head rebuild day. One must take it all apart and scrape out the scale that accumulates and restricts the proper functioning of the head. So I'm standing on the swim step banging a couple two-foot sections of hose together to dislodge the scale and one of the hoses slips from my grip. I have no replacement hose and the chandlery won't be open for two more days and we are in 25 feet of water.

First thought was Shit!
Second thought was Sinking!
Third thought was DIVE!

I whipped off my glasses and jumped in after the sinking hose. I managed to grab the hose and got back on board.

The head is back together and functioning like new. Oh the glamor of cruising.


peregrins2 said...

ROTFL! I know all about those days!

How about using muriatic acid? That does it for us, no removing hoses. Of course it's diluted...a LOT!

And we never clean the heads with anything but white vinegar (which will be available again once you get back on this side of the Atlantic!). It keeps the hoses and heads clear of scale build-up so well that we have never had to remove our hoses...5 years since the muriatic acid cleanout now.

And white vinegar is cheap!


Crew of the Solstice said...

That's white vinegar once a week, isn't it? We tried before, but we'll give it another shot. White vinegar Sundays it is.

Melissa said...

Glamorous indeed!!! Can you guys give me some more details about the muriatic acid/white vinegar tricks? I'd like to try it! How much? What concentration? How often? Thanks!!!

Linda on s/v Aquila said...

I use vinegar in the heads weekly. I pour about a half cup in and let it sit overnight before flushing it through. Then I flush a tablespoon of vegetable oil through to lubricate the pump because vinegar also degreases everything.

Crew of the Solstice said...

In order to answer Melissa's question (before Linda's post) I did some research on the boards. The consensus seems to be that the real key is to flush with more water, which Linda and Mike had also told us. For the vinegar, the recipe that made most sense to me was a cup and fill the bowl with fresh water, then pump to get it into the pipes. Let it sit as long as you can up to overnight. Following up with some oil is also recommended. Our Israeli friends mentioned using the oil from tinned tuna (water-packed not being common here).

It says a lot about how common the problem is that this post has the most comments ever on our blog.

peregrins2 said...

Agreed, last post about 1 cup and then oil. We've gone ages without having to remove hoses.

Muriatic acid was our answer to removing and cleaning/removing and replacing hoses. I think it was pretty thinned out, like 25% but can't remember. A good book for that is the "Gentleman's Guide to Passages South", he's got a chapter on vinegar, acid, etc...


Phil said...

To heck with muriatic acid! How about this diving in, swimming down, grabbing the hose and saving the day! That's when you know you're living!