McGlathary Island but not before a messy and vertical learning curve

Martin and Elizabeth Bevan
Wed 13 Jul 2011 19:00

Position           44:07.74N 068:36.71W

Date                2000 – Wednesday 13 July 2011 (UTC -4)


It always starts off as “just a quick job” doesn’t it.  In this instance it was to see if I could find any blockage or restriction in the salt water intake; we have an issue with the water maker being starved of input salt water when the engine is running, fortunately it is OK on 220v when generating but it is annoying not to be able to use it on 24v when motoring.


Just take a few pipes off and look for marine growth is where it started.  Examining the inside of the salt water strainer, through which all salt water feeds the system, my spectacles slipped off my head and fell into the depths of the bilge sump.  I must explain that all grey water on an Amel flows into the bilge sump and are pumped out from there.  The sump is deep and narrow; too deep and inaccessible for an arm and by the very nature of the operation inclined to be somewhat gloopy.


We have two ‘grabbers’, the better one is called a ‘Gopher’ here shown in its folded state.



The rubber pads enable small and delicate items to be picked up.  Without this it would be good bye specs; as it was it was necessary to dismantle the auto bilge pump mechanism and clean the bilge pump pipes of the accumulated grease and slime to gain full access.  I knew that it needed doing but had put the job off. 


You get the general idea where this simple job was going, mainly by feel, until I got my specs back.  By the time that I had finished I had striped down the auto bilge pump mechanism, removed and dismantled the salt water strainer and checked and cleaned it and all of the now disconnected pipes.  Some four hours after starting this 15 minute job I had it all back together.  Whilst it is performing better, this endeavour has not however fixed the problem.  I am inclined to think that there must be accumulated fouling between the inlet valve and the bottom of the boat and that can wait until the boat is out of the water in August.


Eventually – after a pleasant lunch in sunshine we set off for another short trip, 7nm this time and with enough wind to sail, to McGathary Island where once again our walk ashore plan was foiled by incoming black clouds and rain that lasted well into the night.