Sunday, October 26, 2014

News Flash: Stove Causes Headliner Leaks (Tuggers Vol. 61)

"I didn't do that" said Tommy Chen evenly as I was asking him about the hole under the smoke stack through which the propane line disappears below decks. "That hole will cause leaks" he said next as though guessing where I was going. Indeed it has caused leaks as almost every 37 has some water staining in the galley headliner. So how did that hole get there? It turns out that much of the equipment aboard our tugs wasn't installed in Taiwan but rather by the brokers here in the US. As Tommy explained, why pay to ship the equipment from the US to Taiwan, where it would incur import duties, only to pay again to ship it back to the US. Making the broker responsible for installing things like the stove, spot light, windlass, VHF radio, etc., was a prudent cost saving measure. What is surprising is that the broker installed the gas line between the stack and stove too; something at which they were clearly less competent. "To keep that hole from leaking you'd need a flanged coupling like my yard did here" Tommy said as he pointed to where the bilge blower line passes through the saloon's roof. I'd gotten more than I'd bargained for. Not only did I now know how to fix Nellie's galley leak, I knew the process by which the leak came about. While I couldn't easily replicate the yard's nice stainless flanged coupler, a PVC 3" to 2" bushing is a reasonable stand in. The bushing was centered over the hole and then bedded in polyurethane caulk. I'm happy to report that the galley headliner leak has not reappeared. It's always more fun when you can fix a problem and at the same time learn a little more about how our boats were made.

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