Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Prepping for Winter - Part 1

The days of resort living will soon be on hiatus as we enter a time period I call "elegant camping." This will be the first in a set of posts about the prep work required to protect the boat and our possessions during winter.

Part 1 - The External Water Systems

As temperatures start to approach the freezing mark, most home owners turn off the water to outside hose bibs and open those faucets to prevent damage from the expansion of frozen water. The same goes for a boat only we have a few more connections that need to be turned off.
Bow Wash Down Hose
Aft Wet Bar and Ice Maker
Transom Shower, Spigot, and Shore Water Inlet
 Luckily, our boat came with a handy Owner's Guide.
Remember the follow the line puzzles we did as kids?
Thanks to the St. John's International School for this image.
It's a good thing I liked those because the Guide contains an adult version of that puzzle for the water lines on the boat.
We followed the lines and located the three areas we needed to address. For example, the transom shower, spigot, and water intake are funneled underneath the sink in the master head.
The water from the fresh water tank comes in from the right. It then goes up to the sink in the master head and left to the external pipes. The blue is cold water; the red is hot.
We disconnected and blocked the hoses to the external water and left the hoses to the internal sink open.
Everything was moving along nicely and we thought we were done - until I tried to flush the toilet in the forward head and found we had no water. We looked at the map again and confirmed that we had followed the right lines. So why wasn't there any water?

Well, that map does not lead the way when a previous owner has made changes. After a little detective work (i.e., searching in other access panels and hatches), Doug found that there must have been an issue with the forward toilet in the past. When repairs were made (or possibly when/if the toilet was replaced) a new water line was run and spliced in further up the line than anticipated. No problem, we simply reconnected the original block and replicated the process further up.

Doug did his best to blow any remaining water out of the lines and poured in some marine antifreeze for added protection.

Step 1 complete. Stay tuned for more winterization fun.

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