When we were cruising, we would try and do a job a day, to stay on top of the maintenance required to keep a vessel in good shape for her travels.
Now I’m working five days a week, and the crew are busy with school, we can’t do that. We have “jobs” every Sunday morning after breakfast. Yes, supposed to day of rest, I know, but we can’t do it Saturday without missing a visit to the Salamanca market before the rush.
So we clean the head (toilet), tidy up the boat, sweep the cabin sole (floor), beat the rugs, tidy the decks, wash up after breakfast and polish the brass work. It gets a modicum of stuff done and it’s a good way to get the boys involved in looking after the boat, too.
This morning I tackled cleaning the head, and resolved to try, for perhaps the millionth time, to fix the leak. I exaggerate only slightly!
Every time you would pump our head, it was splash a bit of water on the sole. Not much, but enough to keep the timber damp, albeit with saltwater. It’s not an issue in summer, as it dries quickly, but not so in winter. It has leaked ever since we bought it years ago.
So I pulled it apart again, carefully removed the rubber gasket again, caught the spring that likes to leap out again, and fished around in the bilge for the plastic bit that always falls out when I’m concentrating on the spring. Once again, I stared at the unit trying to work out how I can seal around the pump shaft, where the water comes out.
“I give up”, I say to my wife. “how I can I improve this seal? If I bind it up with something, it will either not pump or wreck the seal!”
“What are you talking about dear?” enquiries my wife sweetly.
“This ring here, where the water comes out” I reply, mildly exasperated.
“The water doesn’t leak out there, haven’t you noticed? It comes out under the sticker around the shaft” she stated, as if such a thing should have been obvious after all these years.
“Oh!” I exclaim.
There’s a bloody screw-in fitting the shaft of the pump goes through, covered by a sticker on the outside. It’s the work of thirty seconds to undo it. I apply some Teflon thread tape and put the whole thing back together.
Shazaam! No more leaking toilet.
It just to show how important listening to your wife really is.
P.S. no photos of the toilet mechanism disassembled, as they would not be for polite company. Here’s a photo of a nice dawn and some morning mist instead.