Stairway to Heaven

On Wednesday morning it rained like crazy. This very heavy rain is bad news as there is no self draining system in the cockpit and it fills up very quickly. The great danger is water pouring into the engine compartment. I get to the boat just in time, the water level is just an inch below the engine compartment lid.

Grating floating around in flooded cockpit. click on this photo

I think I will rig another automatic switch under the grating and use Gulper to empty the cockpit when the water reaches a certain level.

The fun part is that I get to wear my sou’wester.

The rain stops on Thursday so I try to make progress with the dive ladder installation. It is a hellish job. As I mentioned, access is terrible but add to that trying to engage nuts on the bottom of bolts that you cannot see, whilst also trying to keep heavy dive ladder in place on the transom. I fail.

Kiyuna san shows up and says he will do it. I watch. His approach is a masterpiece in practical problem solving. He cuts a large backing plate from the teak plank that my friend at the woodyard had given me.

He measures carefully and eventually drills holes in the backing plate.

Next he produces special nuts that have serrations on one side so you can hammer them into wood. This he does onto the underside of the backing plate. This means the nuts are all in place and all we have to do is screw down the bolts from above through the carefully measured holes and they should engage.

It is still not easy due to the restricted access but it is much easier dealing with one object, the backing plate, than lots of fiddly loose nuts and washers. He succeeds in getting all 4 bolts screwed down tight. Hooray! But wait, he has forgotten the ladder

“Only a test Neil san.” grins Kiyuna san. He then marks the position of the centre of the backing plate on the transom, drills through and screws the plate in place. It is tightly fixed in the correct position. He removes all the bolts, slaps on lots of sealant, places the ladder and bolts it down.

Note backing plate retaining screw.

The whole process took less than an hour. It was a privilege to watch.

I have a diving ladder. Now I can fall overboard and get back into the boat and er also go diving.
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4 Responses to Stairway to Heaven

  1. Alan says:

    Hooray for Kiyuna san! That captive nut solution is a good one; worth another bottle of usige-beatha.
    Is there no way to put some sort of awning over the cockpit area to reduce the amount of water getting in there? Gulper would do the job but it presumably depends on the battery have enough grunt in it.

    • Yes tent needed. How do you say eyelet in Japanese?

      • Alan says:

        A tent! That’s an idea as it could be used for those times you’re shipwrecked on a desert island. Eyelet? Seems to be airetto アイレット . Pronunciation seems to be “eye yetto”. Maybe the gracious Tomomi can assist?

  2. Ian Calder says:

    Kiyuna San is a wonderful person. Alan is entirely right – a mini cockpit tent is a must.

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