Trip Start Mar 09, 2009
Trip End May 26, 2009

Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines

Flag of Bahamas  ,
Monday, May 4, 2009

Crusing allows opportunities to make boat repairs in exotic places!  That adage is certainly coming true.  No sooner had we found the impeller for the dinghy engine and headed out of Nassau when we discovered that our holding tank for the head was not pumping out! 

I've always wanted direct overboard discharge and now I've got it with a bucket brigade.  We discovered this while on approach to Spanish Wells and it was Saturday late and nothing is open in SW on Sundays.  We hauled out our bucket!  OBTW - there are no pump outs in the Bahamas!!!

We could wait until Monday and see if we could get a maserator in Spanish Wells or take the Fast Ferry back to Nassau or continue up to Marsh Harbor which is the next big supply town.  That means we miss Little Harbor and Lanyard but  wanted to limit the bucket use. 

Sooooo, we cut short the visit to SW and headed up to Marsh Harbor.  Once we got here, showered and tired, we walked to National Marine to buy a new mascerator.  $340 later, we had a new Jabsco and Dave had a job ahead of him! 

He worked on installing the mascerator and I walked to the pool area - I wasn't any help and Dave's cursing was making me nervous!  About two hours later he walks over and I said, "Well, is it working?"  He says, "Oh yeah, mascerator works fine - but nothing is coming out.  There must be a clog!"  He did say we needed to replace the mascerator because there were parts gone  on it so he felt OK with the purchase.   Now he's off to the store to buy vinegar and try to breakdown whatever is clogging the lines (calcium build up?).  We do  not want to take those lines apart - not with a full tank.

Dave managed to remove the old macerator and replace it with the new one with minimal seepage from the holding tank.  The previous owner had set it up quite well so that there wasn't a sudden, urgent outflow from the tank once the unit was removed.
Apparently our problem was two-fold - two problems working together to create a situation that was less than desirable.  Upon closer inspection (if you want to call it that), the impeller on the macerator removed from Spindrift was shot - hence our inability to pump.  If this had happened at home, Dave would have probably replaced the impeller to see if that solved the problem.  However, down here the solution was to buy a new unit, complete, and take the old one, wrapped tightly in a baggie, stored back in the box of the new macerator and tucked into the deep bowels of the boat until returning to NSB for further work.  The outcome will be a spare macerator.  When you need one, you need one!
However......we still were unable to effect a discharge.  Dave had plenty of help and advice on the dock of various options to empty the head.  We were given a bottle of muriatic acid although no one agreed that this would be beneficial to the new unit we just installed.  The obvious and compelling conclusion by all was, No. 1 - we had a clog in the line and No. 2 (pardon the pun) no one really wanted to help on that issue!  Altho everyone sympathized with our plight.
We sat in the cockpit going over in our minds how the plumbing was set up in the boat; the one suspicious fact was the lack of water backing into the toilet when the seacock was open.  Where the clog was .... Was the issue.  If it was in one of the lines, then it would, undoubtedly be a mess!  I, now, have a very thorough knowledge of the plumbing set up in the boat (one I could have lived without!).  While discussing our options, the other half of my brain was calculating how much a room would cost at this marina and we'd just move off the boat for the night!   
We decided to start at the bottom and work our way up.  This meant that Dave (I'm too buoyant!) would dive the boat and see if the sea cock was clogged.  I truly felt for him - having to go down in the harbor to check this out.  He brought with him a long, strong piece of wire and after several attempts (he too is buoyant) came up saying - "There is something in the seacock!".  He went back down and dislodged it and scampered out of the water so that we could test his theory.   He thinks it may have been part of the impeller that lodged through the hose and out the seacock. Theory correct.  Problem solved.  Enough said!
Dave returned with a gallon of vinegar and poured it down the head to hopefully preclude blockage in any of the other lines. 

Always fun in paradise!!!! ....and yes, Life is Good!
Report as Spam
  • Your comment has been posted. Click here or reload this page to see it below.

  • You must enter a comment
  • You must enter your name
  • You must enter a valid name (" & < > \ / are not accepted).
  • Please enter your email address to receive notification
  • Please enter a valid email address

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: