Cagliari: Getting into Hot Water

Stephen & Anne
Sun 25 Apr 2010 09:58

39.12.065N 9.07.517E


Well to be more precise – not getting into hot water.


In our last blog a month ago we mentioned about our hot water heater was faulty. We finally managed to track down the correct heating element, thanks to Simon at Fox’s chandlery. While we were waiting for that to arrive from the UK we got on with replacing the holding tank pipes. This took a while to figure out but once we implemented the “push me” and “pull me with a bit of rope tied to the end of the pipe” method, we installed the new pipe in a matter of minutes. We also finished painting and varnishing the forward heads (bathroom to those non boaty people)


When the element was shipped from the UK, it arrived in a super fast time of 2 working days (we think this is probably a world record for post – it normally takes about 2-3 weeks!!). While starting to put the tank back together we decided it would be a sensible precaution to replace the pressure relief valve. We didn’t fancy the hot water tank exploding. Back to the chandleries to find out who could get us one the quickest. This time the Sardinian chandlery won with an estimate of 4 or maybe 5 days. This duly arrived on time – well if you ignore the extra 2 weeks that somehow occurred in the middle of the “4-5 day” estimate.


When it finally arrived we spent the day connecting pipes to the hot water tank. Lots of PTFE tape and plumbers gunky glue went on the joints. At the end of the day we tested the joints only to find we had a leak. The following day out came the tank again and we had another go. Once again we had a slight weep on one of the joints. After 3 further attempts (that’s 3 more days of work) to get a non leaking hot water system, we decided our plumbing can’t be that bad and maybe there was something wrong with the tank. We decided it would be a good idea to test the tank.


Our first tests we did onboard Wandering Dragon. However after the indoor fountain incident Anne insisted all further tests were carried out on the pontoon. Luckily the majority of the water hit the ceiling and went onto the floor and into the bilges. The cushions stayed remarkably dry. The outcome of the tests on the tank was that the cold water inlet pipe has a few hairline cracks in it. After a slight panic we had really good news, another yachtie had a stainless steel welding kit and offered to fix it. However the hairline crack that was visible was caused by a lot of corrosion on the inside of the pipe, hence the weld only highlighted even more cracks.


The latest update is we now have some Loctite”Metal magic steel” to try. If this doesn’t work it’s a new tank!! We’ll let you know what happens in this ongoing saga.


The hot water tank “plumbed up” and ready to install ….. attempt number 1.

Note the new element, blender valve and safety release valve – it really is a work of art (actually at the moment that’s all it is).


While we were waiting for parts we got on with other jobs. The cats had a trip to the vets for their Rabies injections. This was nearly without incident. Now personally we think that if a vet has a fish tank in the examination room that has cats then they are asking for trouble. Yoyo found that trouble. Luckily she was in her basket so couldn’t cause any damage. The vet thought it was very funny when Stephen picked up Yoyo’s basket so she could see the fish a bit better.


We have also spent a fair bit of time at the dentist’s. Anne is beginning to think Stephen has a crush on his dentist!! They are typical Italians, wearing designer medical overalls. Stephen says she talks and giggles a lot while doing the work – sometimes having to stop as her hands are not steady due to laughing so much!


A few people have started to leave the marina. We had a party the night before Ann &Kevin on Sailiaway were due to leave. At 7am the whole marina got up early to say goodbye. Except that the weather forecast had changed, hence the only sensible thing to do was to have a 7am party on their boat instead (don’t worry the strongest drink we had was Coffee).


As well as the Italian classes Anne attends (or as Stephen calls them, the drinking class with an Italian problem), there was also an active sewing club repairing / making lots of canvas work for boats.


Anne & Stephen sewing (can you spot the glass of wine)