One of the things about living on a boat is you learn to appreciate the little pleasures. This is particularly true here in the dead of winter when we are cooped up inside the boat all winter. We learn to take the little things and enjoy them a bit more because life is not as easy as it is for the land dwellers. But that after all is one of the reasons I at least choose this life style.

                My little pleasure this week is water or rather a bit more of it. Yeah I know that is something most boaters do not want, more water. At least not inside the boat, but I am talking about running fresh water this time. For some reason the forces of nature conspired to make my water supply a bit more challenging as of late.  I have the standard water tanks and 12 volt Surflo pump that most boats have along with pressure shore water. I know some do not approve of shore water but I find it is nice to have and I turn it off on the dock if I am going away for more than a day. I also have a high water alarm that will text me by phone should something go really wrong.

                Knowing that the evil “Arctic Vortex” (Sounds a bit like a Marvel Comic evil arch enemy to me) was on the way,  I topped off my tanks up and flipped on the water pump to make sure everything was working ok. Yeah you guessed it the pump failed to pump any water. Oh it made a nice rumbling noise and teasingly spit some water out but no real flow. Of course it was only a matter of hours before they were to shut the water off on the docks leaving me no water supply for the duration of the big freeze.

                Fortunately in my infinite wisdom when redoing the plumbing system I opted to use the same brand and model pump for both fresh water and salt water wash down. I also used those push connect fittings for the plastic water tubing. What this meant is once my attempts to bring the non working  fresh water pump back to life failed and it was determined that, of course, the needed parts were not available locally.  All I had to do was swap the salt pump for the fresh. Easy peasy! Problem solved and score one for planning ahead when designing the water system.  So I had water for the duration of the great freeze of 2014!


                Here in coastal NC we do not have long term freezes and it was just a few days before the water was restored to the dock. I shut down the pump and fired up the shore water again. But I was disappointed that the pressure was rather low. I had gotten used to lower pressure but having it better with the pump I decided to figure out why?  The water came out of the hose with good pressure so why not on the boat. I figured in had to be the inlet regulator so I went down to the marine store and got a new one. Well we know nothing is that easy and this was no exception. The inlet that Perko has made the same size and shape for the last 40 years they seem to have decided to change now that I needed a new one. Not a big change mind you, but just enough that it would not work on my boat. So what now? Well I figured I would just open the old one and “fix” it. At first I removed the spring that regulates the pressure. No spring meant full pressure right? No apparently not. So next I removed the valves and other guts inside, I mean take all that crap out and it should allow a full flow right? This time I tried it on the dock before installing and it worked great, lots of water going through it. Yeah you know it is not that easy and once installed I was back to my anemic flow. Ok now I am losing my sense of humor, it is cold out and I am screwing with this damn thing in the cold and rain and I am not happy.

                So off to Home Depot to get the parts to just bypass the damn regulator and connect right to the hose. This worked fine but now I have a rather large hole in the side of my boat. So where is the simple pleasure you ask? Well that night when I took a shower it was the first time in ages that I had really good water flow! And I mean like showing in a house good water flow. I do not think it has ever been this good. Therein lays the simple pleasure, a nice hot shower with plenty of hot water! Ahhhh the decadence of the simple things in life like a really nice shower.


                I will shop EBay and see if I can find a new old version of the inlet to fit the hole in my boat. I am a bit uncomfortable with having a higher water line pressure onboard as that might cause other problems but in the mean time I am really enjoying these nice showers. Only those of us that live aboard will ever really understand this but I am sure many of you have your on “simple pleasure” stories. I would love to hear yours so please use the comment to tell me about yours.

Capt. Wayne


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