On Board With Captain Chris

Kim and Tamara bought a 42Ft Trawler in the Fort Myers area and asked me to help them learn more about their below deck systems. Five hours later we had toured from the anchor locker to the rudder posts and everything in between.

We met this cruising couple at the Fall Great Loop Rendezvous in Rogersville and talked about their engines and required spare parts. Once aboard we reviewed fuel filters, oil change pumps and even the sight glasses on the fuel tanks before tackling the fuel distribution manifold. Just follow the hoses and you will easily understand the system. One keel tank aft supplies the two Cummins propulsion engines and the generator. It’s a curiosity that the three engines return unused fuel to the saddle tanks and they drain into the single keel tank. Check the photos for details.

Upon arrival they mentioned the forward head was not acting right (we cruisers usually get to the important stuff quickly!) so we studied that too. Our discovery revealed that the sneaky vented loop was clogged and not acting as a vacuum protection device- exactly what it is designed to do!

The potable water system has a great 1 gallon surge tank or better known as a bladder tank. This will act as a pulse dampener preventing the water pump cycling from hiccuping out the galley or shower faucet. If your faucet spits and grumbles see if you have a surge tank. You need to pressurize it or if you don’t have a surge tank then maybe consider installing one.

And yes, we believe that all crew members should understand the working parts of your cruising boat. What’s that noise? What’s that smell? So ALL members of this cruising team were involved in the crawl-through education.

And always remember, if you see something then say something. A nearby boat was listing to starboard so we called the telephone number on the for-sale sign and the owner said he used the boat and forgot to transfer fuel causing it to list. This could have been a serious problem if bilge water was causing the boat to list!

You can invite Captain Chris to come aboard your boat for this thorough systems review as well as to build your confidence in docking, anchoring, close quarters maneuvering and everything else to keep the adventure FUN! Just Ask Captain Chris 772-205-1859 or email us anytime.