BoatWorks: A Sticky Through-hull

It’s hard to make a hole smaller, but sometimes it’s just as hard to make it bigger, I thought as I stared at the through-hull fittings for my galley sink drain.
Author:
Publish date:
The though-hull was awkwardly located

The though-hull was awkwardly located

It’s hard to make a hole smaller, but sometimes it’s just as hard to make it bigger, I thought as I stared at the through-hull fittings for my galley sink drain. I had just installed a new Isotherm fridge, and now I needed to install its SP water-cooling system. This required removing the existing galley drain through-hull and seacock and replacing it with the SP through-hull, which was almost an inch wider.

Having been embedded in the hull for 30-plus years, the existing through-hull was hard to access from the inside and definitely wanted to stay put. I could have removed it easily enough by making a series of careful cuts through the bronze walls of the through-hull from the outside with a Sawzall, then knocking the pieces out from the inside. But then I’d be left with a hole that was still too small for the SP system. Since the solid fiberglass hull was almost an inch thick at the point in question, it would have taken ages to ream out the hole to the correct size.

The 120V drill and hole saw made short work of the job

The 120V drill and hole saw made short work of the job

Then inspiration struck. I measured the through-hull’s flush-fitting flange and found it was almost exactly the same size as the body of the new through-hull fitting. With the right-sized hole saw, I could drill out the entire fitting and the new one would slot right in. On the down side, with nothing for the hole saw’s pilot drill bit to bite into, it would be nearly impossible to make a neat job of it. But then I remembered the wooden bungs I keep on board to hammer into leaky seacocks. A couple of hearty blows from my ball-peen hammer drove one home, and I sawed off the protruding end flush with the through-hull.

A wooden bung gave the hole saw’s drill guide something to bite into

A wooden bung gave the hole saw’s drill guide something to bite into

Finding the center of the wooden plug was but a moment’s work and soon the air was filled with fiberglass dust as a hole saw chucked on to my 120V drill ate through the hull. Within a minute the through-hull (along with its seacock) was out.

Drastic jobs call for drastic measures.

Related

dometicadler-700x

How to: Upgrading Your Icebox

The time has come when the prospect of cold drinks and long-term food storage has you thinking about upgrading your icebox to DC-powered refrigeration. Duncan Kent has been there and done that, and has some adviceFresh food must be kept at a refrigerated temperature of 40 degrees ...read more

Jet-in-Belize

Cruising: Evolution of a Dream

There’s a time to go cruising and a time to stop. As Chris DiCroce found, you don’t always get to choose those timesAlbert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, ...read more

01a-rosemary-anchored-at-Qooqqut,-inland-from-Nuuk

Cruising: A Passage to Greenland

When a former winner of the Whitbread Round the World Race invites you to sail the Northwest Passage, there is only one sensible answer. No.More adventurous types might disagree, but they weren’t the ones facing frostbite of the lungs or the possibility of having the yacht’s hull ...read more

Allures-459-2018

Boat Review: Allures 45.9

Allures is not a name on the tip of many American sailors’ tongues, but it should be. After the debut of its 39-footer last year, the French company has made another significant entry into the U.S. midrange market with the Allures 45.9, an aluminum-hulled cruiser-voyager with ...read more

ZP-Sail-Away-pic-No

Jury-Rigging on Charter

A little know-how goes a long way on vacationThey say cruising is just fixing your boat in exotic places. Maybe that’s why so many people prefer to charter. After a week of sailing you pack your bags and step off your charter boat without another care in the world, leaving the ...read more

shutterstock_673678240

Chartering in Cuba, A Study in Contrasts

It was a bit of an unexpected flashback. After all, it had been decades since I lived in the old Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic) and yet the feeling that bubbled up was the same. I stuck my camera out the bus window to capture yet another of a dozen billboards dotting the ...read more

TRINKA-OVERTURNED_final

Experience: Misadventures in the Med

After crossing the Atlantic in 2011 and spending two leisurely years crossing the Med, I found a homeport for my Crealock 34, Panope, in Cyprus. In 2000, we had completed a villa in Tala and the little pleasure/fishing port in Latsi was a scenic 40-minute drive away.The ...read more