Following on from our seond vow – I promise to laugh at myself – was the next most important thing we learned. Fitting the correct equipment and fixing potential hazards in our environment was illustrated quite quickly and painfully.
Vow #3 – I promise to take care of my surroundings
One evening, when returning home tired, our wobbly (we’ll fix that later) companionway steps gave way. I fell into the engine, dislocated my shoulder and broke my capella. While a broken kneecap is very painful, I did recover within a few week and we learned a valuable lesson.
Guest Blogger David Beaver has a much more important experience to share with us that could have ended up with deadly consequences.
“I have a charcoal heater in the saloon of Stalen Parel, the boat is small enough for it to keep all areas nice and warm. Even though I burn charcoal, restaurant grade as the pieces are bigger, it still produces a small amount of combustion products ie. tar and soot. The chimney and flue are 25mm in diameter and this is not a problem normally. The chimney is in 3 sections lower (from heater to deck level) deck fitting, chimney with cowl approx. 12ins. in length. All parts screw together and provide a gas tight fit.
In January we had periods of very cold and calm weather, when we have wind it helps to draw the fire and keeps it burning.
One night I awoke to the sound of my CO alarm in the early hours, I felt awful, checked the heater it was only smouldering and the smell in the saloon was bad, on deck I unscrewed the chimney and found it was 90% blocked with tar/soot, this was causing a back pressure in the heater and gas was leaking from the heater in to the cabin. I cleaned both sections of the flue/chimney screwed it all back together, agitated the charcoal and it started to draw properly.
At the deck fitting/chimney interface you have hot gas meeting very cold pipework so any combustion products in the gas solidify and over a couple of days can really build up blocking the pipework.
The moral of the story is if I had not fitted a CO alarm I might not have been able to write this, it took a couple of days to feel half decent again.
If you have a caravan, campervan, boat, a gas cooker or gas heater, fit an alarm, as Del Boy said ” You Know It Makes Sense”. I will be cleaning the pipework on a more regular basis, ie. once a week !!!!!!!!”
- We repair or replace things before they break.
- We install and check the proper safety equipment.
- We listen and take advice from those with more experience.
- We do not skimp on our safety.
You can follow the liveaboard blog by pushing the “follow blog” button below and you’ll get notifications of updates. I’d really love to hear from you too so please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts. If you’ve have any similar stories, please, please share with us. Have a great day x