Isn’t it amazing that after 14 years, I am still learning things about my boat?!
One day Andrew casually asked when the last time was that I replaced the water hoses on the motor.
“Ummmmmm… hoses, what hoses?? Oh those black ones…? – nope never replaced them” I replied.
“Well you do know that if they are really old they could split, you know, like the diesel line just did, but instead of leaking diesel all through the bottom of the boat, she will fill up with water and sink…”
No matter I thought, it won’t be a difficult job. I’ll just get some new hose while we are in the haulout yard and then we can replace them. Simple…!
Lesson # 1 – Things are always 100% more complicated than you expect them to be
So I measure the hoses, I can’t find a ruler so I use my AFS Spanner and then measure that gap by drawing it on a scrappy bit of paper. Then I took some photos of the motor and the hoses, and made a note of how many hoses and roughly how many there were and how long etc, and I trot up to the local Yanmar dealer shop.
“Hi! Lovely to see you again, yes Wildy is in the haulout yard, can I have a sail drive anode please? Oh and I need some hoses for my motor. Here I took some photos and here are some scribbles on a bit of paper showing how big they are”
Lesson # 2 – Hoses are measured on the inside – not the outside
Who knew!? Anyway yes. Measure the inside gap not the outside diameter. Better still take the hose off the engine and take it to the shop!! Why did I not do that?
“What kind of water hose is it? Fresh water, raw water, sea water…???”
Me – trying to look like a very experienced and responsible boat owner: “Ummmmmm – its a Yanmar…. I took a photo! Does that help?”
“Damn – but check it out anyway – do you like my new sparkly diesel hose?”
Lesson # 3 – Shop Assistants will always as the question that you don’t know the answer to
Anyway it turns out that it doesn’t actually matter whether its fresh, raw, sea or whatever hose – they didn’t have it. They rolled their eyes and did come down and measure it for me and told me the size. Apparently you can get any old motor water hose and it should be all good.
Lesson # 4 – The thing you want will be almost impossible to find
Let your fingers do the walking and make some phone calls before you go traipsing all over town looking for random motor hoses as the shops you go in to will not have the one you think you want.
Lesson # 5 – Don’t believe everything you are told
So when I did eventually find what I thought I wanted, it turns out the hose wasn’t the right size after all.
Lesson # 6 – If the hose looks too big in the shop then it probably is – trust your instinct
Do not let the shop assistant cut the hose and sell it to you if you think it looks wrong…
Lesson # 7 – Take the fricken hose off the motor with you when you go shopping!!!
I cannot stress this lesson enough. Why did I not do this?!?
I didn’t even do it the second time I went back to the shop, and thank you Alister from Boat Shop for not charging me again for the second bit of hose I made you cut off… (By the way they have a very impressive selection of hoses in that shop, best selection in the whole of Christchurch – trust me I know…)
Lesson # 8 – Buy more hose than you think you will need.
Because you can be sure that you haven’t bought enough of the frickin hose that you searched all over town, bought the wrong size of, drove back and forth way too many times because you were too preoccupied with other stuff to not take the old hose with you…!!!
(Tip: Or you can re-route the hose and avoid ANOTHER trip back to the shop…)
Lesson # 9 – Don’t expect that all the bits that you want to join your hose on to will be the same size.
Warning – this is the stage when you start to get quite grumpy because you have been folded up like a pocket knife in the quarter berth for far too long now, with your head in a slightly too small dark hole, getting covered in oily/diesely bilge crumbs, attempting to insert the frickin water strainer thing that won’t fit in the hose hole, and end up taking the skin off your knuckles trying to force the damn thing on!
Be prepared to need calming words, hot water (for supposedly marginally softening the hose ends) baby wipes, plasters, a torch and beer could also come in handy as well at this stage.
Lesson # 10 – Even though you eventually get the right size hose, your hose clamps won’t want to go over it.
Please – for the love of god – have a decent supply of different sized stainless steel hose clamps in your spare parts kit, and what you thought would be a 10 minute job and it has now taken about 4 hours…
Lesson # 11 – Check the hoses for any leaks when you relaunch, and make sure water is coming out the exhaust like it should be.
Check – yay! Thank goodness!
So these are just some of many lessons I have learned in the haulout yard the hard way this year. Please feel free to share your valuable lessons about anything below to save me having to go through this kind of torture ever again.