Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Keep It Accessible

What is wrong with this picture? Take a good look. We see a hose run above, a seacock below... wait a minute. What about that hose in the middle?  The part someone built into a wall and then painted over? Gee, I hope that never fails, because someone is going to have a hard time getting at it.


That hose did fail,and that person is me.  And if there is one thing I resent, it is making an easy job hard.  I have enough to do without battling this sort of nonsense.  So today, dear readers, we are going to take a refresher course on Things I Promise Never To Do On My Own Boat Or Amy Will Track Me Down And Beat Me Senseless With My Vicegrips And I'll Deserve It, Too.
Let's take a closer look at that hose.
Hiding under that paint was a split.  I can see the left-hand side of the split, but the right-hand side disappears into the wall.  As you can see, I've started to gently dig out the saturated plywood to find the end of the split. But I'm not there yet. This is a colossal pain in the neck, as you can tell from this crabby post.  Even worse, it is a safety issue.

Whenever you run new cable through the boat, or new hoses, or add a cabinet, or change anything for that matter, you need to ask yourself some questions:
  1. Can I get at this again later?
  2. Am I blocking or making maintenance more difficult for other items?
  3. If and when this item fails, can I deal with it easily in an emergency?
In short: how does this placement affect the item I am working on, and all of the other items in the vicinity?

This is an easy mistake to make. Boat systems grow organically, and goodness knows I have 48 years of history to fight on this vessel. But hiding your exhaust hoses behind a wall without making an access hatch, or burying the water lines under a massive, immovable cable run is only going to cause you drama later on. Absolutely everything on your boat should be accessible - end of story. No hiding means fewer surprises means more time to sit in the hammock with a cold one.

So buy yourself some peace. Plan carefully, and think about consequences.

If you'll excuse me, I have some more plywood to dig.

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