We debated with whether to have the boat hauled out to swap out the hull fitting, or try the challenging and possibly dangerous task of doing it while sitting in the water.
We had previously plugged the thru hull with a pine cork before having her dropped in the water. Since we now have the replacement part for over a week, it seems logical to get this project out of the way.
Everyone we approached and asked about the possibility of doing this advised, “No!” or “Um, that’s NOT a good idea.”.
It was decided. We were going to do it.
Once we were at low tide (3.6 ft) Willow went into the water with the thru hull fitting covered with marina sealant, while I anxiously awaited inside at the thru hull entrance underneath the V-berth.
We knew we would take on some water, the unknown amount is what scared me. What If the piece broke? What if… As soon as he started removing the old fitting, water started seeping into the boat. I quickly secured the pine cork while he prepared to put the new thru hull in place.
Only a few gallons of water managed to get through at this point. So far, so good. I then hear Willow taking to someone on the pier. I keep hearing voices thinking really? Right NOW? OMG WE COULD SINK. Stop talking!! I couldn’t hear much of what was being said, but did hear him say “I’ll have to get back to you on that later”.
Looking back, this is one of those LOL moments. Once he put the new fitting into place and had it sealed tight, I was able to start screwing on the bolt, while moving the pine cork into the new hull fitting.
Once the project was complete all we could think or say was “we just did this. We just replaced a thru hull, while IN THE WATER”. To us, this was the craziest thing to ever try.
Later that evening, Willow was talking to some of our new neighbors about the crazy task we just competed. Because who else would do something SO crazy as this?! They all laughed and said “Oh, that’s NOTHING!” Now they proceed to tell us some great and funny stories that begin with “Well, this one time…”.
I’m so happy we have found such a great community here, with such amazing people. The stories are endless and the knowledge, priceless.
“Neither comprehension nor learning can take the place in an atmosphere of anxiety.” ~Rose Kennedy