The Boatist

Sailboat Ownership, Translation Work and Tales of Minor Adventure

Retire early, be passionate, don't worry, die poor

Monday, May 15, 2017

Water Foot Pump Parts

How many parts does a water foot pump have? Way too many.

Plus, I forgot to take pictures during the disassembly process and got confused about how the four valves are set up. Staring at the pump's schematic drawing in Nigel Calder's boat maintenance book only made me more befuddled. Finally, I applied some basic logic and even laughed out loud on realising how simple it really was.

There it is, ready for operation. I discovered a sliver of wood in one of the valves, which explains why it went from working perfectly to suddenly being hard to pump and producing tiny squirts of water. How a small sliver of wood got into the water tank is a mystery.

Now it pumps great, but leaks like the devil. Either I didn't tighten it enough or a seal didn't seat the way it should. The good news is that I can now take it apart and reassemble it in a flash, compared with the 2.5-hour struggle the first time around.

Finished just in time for lunch. Cooked up my famous vegetable stew over pasta. No meat, no fish, no wine, just hunger and food. I've gone from 94 kg to 87 kg in 2 years. Slowly but surely. No magic trick, merely a bit less food and more exercise. The finish line is 85 kg. At 1.85 m tall, that sounds reasonable to me.

Still steaming and mighty delicious!

After walking around the marina with a big cup of coffee talking to other boaters, I tackled the battery project. My big Varta 180 AH (200 euros) house battery died last year at anchor in Culatra (after 8 years in service and one successful resuscitation). It was paralleled with the old engine battery which, in addition to being old, only has about 75 amp hours. Since my jeep died a couple of weeks ago (overheated), I decided to add its battery to the bank. I also recovered the battery boxes from my ocean-crossing days that used to contain expensive deep cycle batteries, which died early anyway.

When you have a wind generator or solar panel - especially with a modern regulator that will keep batteries ship-shape through an equalising, float and boost program - there's no need for expensive deep cycle batteries. Any run-of-the-mill battery will last a long time if you don't overload it.

Time is flying. Another two months or so and I'll be sailing south again. I still need to:
1. Redo the quarter berth in komacel
2. Rearrange/rebuild the boarding ladder system
3. Sew two small rips in the mainsail cover
4. Scrape the paint from the boom (maybe even scrape the mast paint some more)
5. Dive in and scrape the propeller clean

And a few other minor chores. Basically, a strong naked boat is always ready to go, as long as the skipper is also ready. Here's my list of essentials, the rest is frills:
1. A good autopilot
2. A GPS/chartplotter
3. A good engine
4. Sails
5. Desire


  1. Hey! Whadaya mean no wine?!?!!?!?
    Little slivers of debris are what disable my manual bilge pump which I'm sick of taking apart....that's why I've got about 4 buckets aboard!
    And I agree with the regular batts.As long if you don't discharge them too deeply.No sun=no fridge= warm beer. I can think of worse things in life... like my do-do list! Jeez... I guess my hanging locker ain't getting shelves in it this year either. When do we slaves get to doodle with "cosmetics"???

    1. I have an extra glass in the evening as compensation!
      Unfortunately, my galley water pump miseries just be continued in my next post.
      Jakatar's temporary cosmetic blemishes do not prevent her from floating and sailing like a sturdy little ship or prevent me from sleeping like a log at anchor...the only thing that prevents that is a lack of free time. Life is tough being a slave! Another glass, please. On second thought, give me the whole bottle.

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