Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Is Kantara Kantankerous?

Eleven years ago, a boatfitter, in a moment of carelessness, fitted a pressure valve to Kantara's calorifier (think "hot tank") the wrong way around.  Eleven years later - the day before yesterday in fact - the pressure in the calorifier rose to a level which it had never reached before, albeit a perfectly safe level, and the valve failed to open, blowing two hot water pipes apart.  This morning, a local boatfitter responded to our call to come and fix our piping.  He pushed and he pulled, and he tested all of the joints in the appropriate pipes, took his fee and left.  Less than two hours later, Grace and I heard a very steamy, gushy sound that suggested that all was not well in the water system, and we ran to the bed, underneath which the same pipe had been blown off again, and hot water was running out.  Grace shot off to turn off the water pump, and I dived in to reconnect the pipe - successfully this time.

A call to the aforementioned boatfitter contained his observation that he had noticed that the pressure valve was fitted the wrong way around - he did not say why he had done nothing about it.  He promised to come back later to fix everything.

Later, we were visited by Trevor, the one who had done the survey on Kantara, to check that all of the necessary remedial works had been done in order to satisfy compliance with the description of the boat before sale, and with safety regulations.  All was well.  He had been speaking with our plumber not long before, and had heard about our problems.  He looked at the calorifier, its pipes, the wet flooring around it, and remarked on the incorrectly fitted pressure valve, explaining to us how the system had survived the last eleven years on lower pressures where the valve had simply not been needed, and how our different usage had resulted in ... Oh well, you know the story.  And the story finishes with the plumber returning, replacing the joint of the pipes which had failed, refitting the valve the correct way around, and refunding the money we had paid him earlier.

By the end of today, Grace and I had removed over fifty gallons of water from the saloon bilge.  Does the boat not like us, or is she just Kantankerous?

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