Monday, November 27, 2006


It's all been going a bit too well...

One of the items on my projects list is to repair a badly rusted seawater inlet filter box, and it's associated pipes.

To explain, I have four separate seawater inlets into the engine room on Lady Jane:

One each on the port and starboard side serve as inlets for seawater to cool the main engine.

The other two inlets are for the, missing, freshwater maker and for seawater to use as a fire hose or deck wash via the bilge pump.

Obviously each of these inlets has it's own valve (tap), which remains closed unless it's being used at the time.

Both the main engine seawater inlets each have their own filter box, which filter out anything which may otherwise block the cooling system. These two systems are interconnected, so either one will do the job of providing seawater to cool the engine.

The starboard inlet filter box, the one I normally use, is fine.

Rusty filter boxThe port filter box is a different story though.

The reason I knew there was a problem was that I noticed the now familiar telltale sign of white crystals in amongst the rust, evidence of seeping seawater which has dried out, while cleaning down below.

Anyhoo, Robin finally got around to extracting the troublesome box, in preparation to sorting it out, only to discover just how close I've been to a major flood in the engine room each time I've run the main engine.

The ends of the pipes have been blanked off, but finishing this particular job properly will have to wait until I've got Lady Jane out of the water.

Scary enough for you?


  1. Anything else "Rusted on your to-do list. Might be worth thinking about getting it done now instead of in "deep water"!
    Wow that was close! you must have been good in your life to deserve to get away with that! I would never have got away with it! I`d be hiring bouyance bags and compressors by now!

  2. Hi Rob

    Two steps forward, one back.

    I'm getting used to it.

    I dare not say that that's the last of the really big rust issues, as each time I think that's it - I find another one!


  3. I know the feeling my life has been full of the two steps forward syndrome!The last thing I came across on my steel boat when I refurbed her was the intake pipes to the engine sea cocks they were welded directly onto the hull. One day I tried to wiggle one of them and it came off in my hand. I tapped the other one and that would have also done the same. fortunately I had the required tapered plugs handy so I didn`t sink but much water was tken on board. Take care I trust that there will be no more to worry about.

  4. Hey TZ. One of the first things that we did was to install a bilge alarm. Simple enough of a rig that works on a float switch that powers an alarm or Klaxon in our case so that the whole neighborhood would know if the water was rising in our bilges. Really a must have. Hope to see you before too long but no definite plans yet. Your friends, R&K Wanderbird

  5. I hope so Rob, but have that feeling, you know.


  6. Hi R&K

    The problem was not so much that I had a flood, in fact I'm not aware there had actually been any leakage as my bilge is pretty dry, just the potential.

    I have a bilge alarm, but sincerely hope never to hear it in other than test mode!



  7. JamesYacht5:21 PM

    Hi Tim
    If your LJ has a water inlet(s) to cool your engine, it therefore follows that you have to have an exhaust flow from the engine as you have a dry exhaust (a wet exhaust is when the exhaust gases are carried out with the water from the engine). These need to be urgently checked. Most vessels have an automatic (float) switch to start the bilge pumps.

  8. Hi James

    Thanks for the comment, all contributions are very welcome.

    LJ's engine cooling water outlets are overhead, and well above the waterline. So far as I know, they are in good shape.

    Maybe at one time the bilge pumps came on automatically, not now though.

    Maybe I should think of rigging something...