Friday, May 18, 2012

The Legacy of ‘Sandpiper’s’ Cockpit Drains

The Olympic Flame arrived at the County of Cornwall this afternoon to herald the 2012 Games which we are told will provide a lasting legacy. Much time, money and effort has gone into preparing the Games; hopefully we shall witness outstanding performances by the competitors by way of incredible feats of human athleticism. Medal winners will come away with elation and a tremendous sense of achievement. Inevitably, when the Games are over and normality returns, the process of adapting the facilities for future use will begin. We shall be left with a legacy of sorts. Young aspirants will be enthused and perhaps try to emulate their heroes, and so the spirit of the Games will continue.

What has this to do with ‘Sandpiper’? For those who have been following my Blog, you will know that I have been preparing her for the water. I was left with a legacy; one that I would have preferred not to inherit. When I bought her I had no idea how much work would be required to make her fit for sailing. Superficially, she looked pretty good. There were the scratches and crazing of the gel coat one would expect with a boat built over forty years ago, and she was described by her owner as, “A good honest boat.” Quite what that means, I cannot fathom. No doubt she has had numerous owners, some of whom may have been caring, with good intentions.

One such person came up with the idea of fitting a cockpit drain. He built in a pipe that led from the forward end of the cockpit floor to a fitting sited at the bottom of the transom under the waterline! This of course means that when the boat is afloat, water is always present within the pipe. Because rainwater can accumulate at the aft end of the cockpit seats he devised two smaller drains leading into the main one. Each of these have their upper openings sited by the inner sides of the aft end of the coamings, but because they are so narrow they could never cope with a deluge of water, and in time they will become blocked by dust particles and debris washed into them.

A more effective solution for draining the cockpit seats would be to install larger drains that individually pass through the upper part of the transom. Until I get around to installing them, I will give the existing ones a try. Meanwhile I have sealed every joint with a flexible sealer, and I shall add jubilee clips to ensure the joints do not come apart.

When the time arrives for me to pass on the boat to her next owner, I hope that the legacy I shall leave will be better than the one I inherited.


Olympic Flame Touches Down on British Soil

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