Thursday, November 22, 2012

Home Again

Well, we made it home safely. Now, we just need to wade through the laundry and get everything put away. But, it is never too early to be planning that next trip. The crew is already looking at potential stops. Me...I am beginning to think about food. Now that we have a microwave that works, I plan to expand my boat menus!

Monday, November 19, 2012

More Drips and Plastic Welding

On our trip to the Bahamas, we encountered some sloppy seas, which helped us diagnose the remaining port engine fuel problems, but also generated new problems with the water system. This time it was with the water tanks. We filled the water tanks in St. Augustine, FL, and noticed the sound of running water after we were through. We checked the tank and found that the weld that we had made to the starboard tank had split. (See my post Drip, Drip, Drip for the description of the welding.) We hadn't brought any of the tank welding materials with us. We have a low-powered heat gun and a SailRite Weller soldering-iron-hot-knife, so we have the basic tools. We lacked the proper plastic to use to effect a new weld. So I assembled one of our folding bicycles and headed off to find a store to buy something that was made with the right material.
I had noticed in Annapolis that when doing the welding with the Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) that it seemed much more flexible and less dense than the original material of the tanks. I thought about this on my bike ride to Target. I wandered around the store, looking at all sorts of containers. The recycle label on the bottom has a set of letters under it, indicating the type of plastic. Most of the storage containers in the store are PP (Polypropylene). On a chance, I picked up a bottle of carpet washing soap and its container was labeled HDPE (High Density Polyethylene). I called Mike and we discussed the material that we previously used versus what is used to make the tanks and decided that HDPE might actually be the right material. The bottles I found seem to have the same consistency and stiffness as our water tanks.
While on the phone, Mike found a gallon jug that had previously contained pink (potable) antifreeze. So I head back to LUX without buying anything.