If you liked the Force 10 story you'll like this one.
Back before we owned Shamrock, Earle the previous owner and I, went on a cruise-out with the yacht club to half moon bay.
Hey Earle, is the ice box clean? Should be, only thing in there is a few cans of beer and coke.
Off I go to the store, got back about an hour later with 10 bags of ice and a 2'x3' cart loaded down with meat, fresh vegitables and munchies for the trip. Looks like we are almost set.
Thats when I opened the ice box, Ahhhhhhhhhh! Hey Earle, when is the last time you cleaned the ice box? Haven't, should be ok. How long have these beer and coke cans been in here? Ooooooooooooo, about 4 years.... As I pulled out each can, about 20 in all, I couldn't help but notice half of them were empty. The bottom of the ice box was a sight now hearted person should ever see in broad daylight, there was this yellow stuff growing everwhere and this brown primordial ooze in the bottom. Hey Earle, get the the boat hook, something moved down there and it winked at me!
Another hour has gone by and the ice box has been cleaned a dozen times, bleached a couple dozen times more, sparkling fiberglass once resumes its rightful place in the icebox. Meanwhile, the sun has devoured half of the ice, so I load the remaing ice and food into the now clean icebox and head off the store for more.
Back again with more ice, ice box is now full. Hey Earle, have you checked the head to see if it works? Never ask a question you don't really want and answer to... Nope, should be ok, worked last year. Crikey! Ok, better go check the head, Raritan PH II, frozen like a rock. May be I can save it, out comes the mureatic acid mixed in a bucket of water, let soak for a little while, may be this will help?
Head pump seems to work ok now, think it will work, SNAP, christ the selector valve just snapped off in my hand, what next? Half a dozen phone calls later, no one has the pump assembly. No head, no go, drats...
Phone rings, Hi It's John from West Marine, still looking for that head pump, well, I found one burried on the back shelf in the storeroom, it's your if you want it, $167.00, yeah, be right there, click. A hundred and sixty seven dollars, but it's plastic, Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
Hour passes, heads online, Earle, quick before anything esle happens, start the engine. I just service his little Yanmar last week, went through it with a fine toothed come as it were, er,er,er, bang, and were off to the races....trusty old yanmar always runs like a swiss watch, considering todays events, you never know....
Six hours later and a quiet sail and a long motor we arrive in Half Moon Bay, rather uneventful actually, bright sunny day, gentle swells, all in all, a good day to be on the water.
One by one, we arrived, dropped our anchor, set the hook and slowly drifted back into place along side the next boat in our club raft up.
We were the second boat in from the port side of the 17 boat raft up, life was looking up, margaritas were flowing, music playing and everyone was having a great time.
About noon the second day, we hitched a dingy a ride back from the yacht club to the raft up, had a little time on our hands before dinner time, mixed another drink, tried to read a book, restlessness set in, got to be something we can do?
Hay Earle, I noticed you have a Wolters 300 on-demand hot water heater mounted on the bulkhead in the head, does it work. Earle said, don't know, like everything else in the boat, I haven't tried it yet, it's all hooked up, should work?
Ok, let's give it a go. First I opened the mushroom flue cap, turned on the circuit breaker and earl turned on the gas...Already, I can sense this is a dangerous combination......
I turn on the hot water and the water starts to flow, klick, klick, klick, but no hot water...
I pulled off the front panel of the heater and repeat the process to see what is going on inside, Ah, the ignitor is arcing over to the shielding, no problem, I move the piezo wire and slightly bend the shield. Ok, lets try it again.
I turned on the water and Wooosh....the burner lights, cool....Hey, we got hot water and plenty of it. Success at last, so I turn off the water.
Oh no, the heater is still runninng!!!!!! Earle! I scream, yes men can scream, and real loud too, TURN OFF THE GAS!. To late, the hot water hose blows off the heater, the head and forward half of the salon was then enveloped in a dense cloud of steam....EARLE TURN IT OFF NOW!!!!!!
Earle is a rather tall fellow, mild mannered, soft spoken and @#$%! SLOW MOVING.....Stares at me in disbelief, slowly turns and shuts off the gas or may be in my slightly freaked out and rather steamy state, only thought he was moving slowly.
Hatches and ports sprang open so quickly you'd think the boat had exploded...With fire extinguisher in hand, I saw the steam made it look worse than it actually was, the water heater came out of it unscathed, only my nerves were some what rattled or may be it was my last two remaining brain cell fighting for air rattling around in my skull?
Good news, got all the wrinkles out of my cloths. Well now, looks like its time for another margarita..
I still have reoccuring nightmares of burning down the raft up. And they wonder why I drink.
About an hour later dingys started slowly arriving back to the raft up. As they came in they yelled, Hey hows it going, anything happening out here? I replied, no not really, pretty quiet around here, almost kind of boaring, thinking of heading back into town to find something to do.... #:)
PS: Wolters manuals states, if water heater does not turn off, remove hoses, remove the lower mounting screws, pull the bottom of the heater away from the bulkhead and slam the heater against the bulkhead to dislodge the flow control valve piston, If this does not fix the problem, replace the flow control valve. Truth is stranger than fiction....
Marty Chin, BCC Shamrock