New Parts and Rusty Rust

As I turn the corner from destruction to construction on the Nautique I’m starting to pile up parts. I made another visit to Tap Plastics for foam and fiberglass. When I get around to doing that I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures. The foam is a mix. Once the two parts are mixed you have about 30 seconds to get the mix where it needs to be before it starts growing like crazy. Should be a riot. When searching for unique Nautique parts the Internets becomes your friend. Besides the fin (earlier blog posting), I have found some dashboard switches, new cup holders, hinges for my glove box, and a bow light. I also found a real deal, a color-matched new cover (called a skin) for my engine hatch. It is the correct blue/gray/white as the rest of my interior. If you go way back in this blog you’ll see that the boat came with a miss-matched teal-green/red/gray hatch cover with a big gash in it. It was on clearance and I got it for about a 60% discount. Yay!

Yesterday I got a few trailer parts. One of the lights was burned out, so I fixed that. I also knew that the “bunks” (the parts that the boat actually sit on) of the trailer needed to be re-carpeted as there were spots where the carpet was worn through or almost thread-bare. I also had noticed that the previous owner has put some rope around one of the rear bunks. I got some bunk carpet (on sale at West Marine) and some no-rust staples and wandered over to the trailer sitting beside my house. I quickly discovered that the rope was literally holding one of the bunks in place. They are supposed to be bolted to the frame, so that was a little alarming. There were two very rusty bolts holding the front of the bunk and the remaining six bolts were missing. Scary.

So I pulled off the rope and bolts from both bunks (the other one still had all the screws in it). Then I pulled off the old carpet. I suppose this is still deconstruction, but I need that trailer eventually. I put the bunk wood (they are 11-foot long pressure-treated 2×6’s) in the garage to dry out. Susie and I went to Ace and got some galvanized lag bolts to replace the rusty ones. As you can see in the photos, they were full of really rusty rust. Once the wood dries out I’ll put on the carpeting and bolt the bunks in place.

The water heater

So, here’s another post that has nothing to do with my boat save for the fact that this is money I could have used to buy foam or carpet or something else my boat needs.

On Tuesday night I was planning to go to a meeting. It was an important meeting that I really wanted to attend. About 5 minutes before I was going to leave my father called me with a car question. I knew that I had the answer in a Factory Service Manual that I had in my garage. I went down to the garage to grab said book while still on the phone and as I grabbed it off the shelf I said to myself, “Hey, where is all this water coming from?” My garage floor was wet, and was getting worse. My water heater had died and was leaking!

I quickly made some phone calls about my meeting that I was now not going to attend and set to work. Turn off the water and gas to the thing was the first step. Then I drained the remaining hot water out through a hose onto my driveway.

This led to more phone calls and a visit to Home Depot. Then back home to take more measurements with the knowledge that Home Depot would close before I could return.

On Wednesday morning I was able to go purchase a water heater. My friend Kevin told me that this was easy to do. I was nervous about working with the gas line (it is a gas water heater) but I was able to learn enough from an associate at Home Depot that I decided just to tackle the entire job myself.

I took the day off work on Wednesday and was able to finish the job in the mid-afternoon. I had remove the water-in and water-out lines (cold and hot, basically), remove the venting, remove the pressure relief line, remove the gas line and then unbolt it from the wall (it is held by straps that hold it in place in case of an earthquake).

I DID IT! The neat thing is that we were able to finally get a decent-sized water heater. Our old 40 gallon unit was too small for a household of our size. We moved up to a 50 gallon heater that is more efficient even while being more powerful. Technology marches on, even in water heaters.

Here are some photos of the old and new heaters. I hope to be back working on my boat with new progress photos soon.