So, we’ve been down in the Keys at the Boot Key Harbor mooring field in Marathon for quite a few weeks now, and we’ve settled into our regular routine of living on the boat again. The repairs to the keel are proving to have worked, and we aren’t seeing any water in the bilge now. Such a relief!
(check out our videos of the trip down the west coast of Florida here)
Life in Marathon for us is composed mostly of relaxed and lazy times enjoying the wonderful winter weather of the Keys. But, there is always boat maintenance to do, and we keep a running list of Post-it notes on the bulkhead in our living room to make sure we stay on our toes and keep Holiday ship shape.
Lindy has been after me to do something about our galley (kitchen) sink for a while. The stream of water is more like a spray that gets all over the counter, and the pressure isn’t very good. I’d taken it apart a couple times in the past but probably put it back together wrong and made it worse. I’ve always told her that it helps us to conserve water, but my lame excuse could only buy me so much time. Plus, the thing was ugly and kind of cheap looking.
So, with this task at the top of my list, we set out to buy a new faucet and get it installed. Sounds easy enough, right? Ha, never on a boat.
After purchasing a regular faucet that matched the dimensions of our sink space, I went about removing the old faucet. Of course, the nut holding it on was frozen to the bolt from some 30 years of corrosion. I tried everything from penetrating oil to a propane torch to no avail. And, did I mention I’m doing all of this for hours while upside down through a hole in the counter while laying across the sink and stove (see above pic)! Uhhggg.
Anyways, finally I just wrenched the nut and bolt as hard as I could, turning them together and twisting all the hoses inside. I twisted (with anger in my heart) until finally the faucet mostly broke in half, lol. Once I could see the twisted mass of copper tubes and woven hose inside the broken faucet, I said “Lindy, grab my hacksaw”. Things that are too sturdy to be destroyed by a hacksaw (or vice grips….or a sledge hammer….) are probably too sturdy for the natural world.
See how I didn’t even wash the dishes beforehand, as if it was going to be a 10 minute job, and I’d wash them when I was done…
Note the bloody forearm. Holiday never lets me do much to her without biting back…
With the old faucet removed it was now time to install the shiny pretty one we had just pulled from the box. If you follow us on Facebook, you may have seen this picture already of my “Frankenplumbing”.
You see…where in a house, you just screw the faucet supply lines into that shut off valve “thingy” coming out of your wall, on a boat, this doesn’t exist. Basically, I went (walked) back and forth to the hardware store a few times trying to get a string of fittings that would get this 3/8″ female compression fitting to link up with the 5/8″ hose that is our fresh water plumbing on the boat. Without getting too technical, I’ve learned that the “nominal” fitting (what it is named or called) doesn’t tell you jack about what it will hook up to among different types of fittings with different inside/outside diameters while throwing in male, female, or barb type. Did I start that last sentence off with “without getting too technical”?!
The long and short of it is that the “Frankenplumbing” worked with the connections going together just right. This sort of thing is as rare as a unicorn when it comes to boat work. If the picture below looks like I’m sitting and working comfortably, it’s only because most working pictures of me are worse. I am in no way comfortable in this picture wedged in between the fridge and under sink cabinet bent at unnatural angles.
And, even though I had spent hours going back and forth to the store, still more hours upside down bloodying my arms, and quite a bit of time wondering if I had damaged the old faucet beyond repair but not being able to remove it, leaving us without a galley sink, we finally had a new faucet installed that worked perfectly (and I got those dishes washed). Look at those smiles!
Oh, and remember the wall of Post-its? (check it out…my shirt’s on backwards…)
After each task, one of my favorite things to do is remove the Post-it and throw it away. This time I enjoyed demolishing the Post-it and slam dunking it in the trash. I probably should have eaten it while crazily cackling. (shirt…still backwards)
The day we installed the faucet also happened to be the day of that blue, super, orange, eclipsed, blood, black, werewolf, blue etc moon. Remember that a couple weeks back? With our task for the day completed we sat back and watched a beautiful sunset, followed simultaneously by an awesome moon rise. All days end awesome on a boat. (in this picture, I have either put my shirt on right, or turned my head all the way around…)