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The boat is leaking

We posted our previous blog just a few days ago. Our plan is to leave our slip in Makkum on Sunday, in good time to catch a favourable tide north to Harlingen and then north west towards Vlieland. On Saturday evening Roland does his standard pre-departure checks of engine oil, engine coolant and the bilges. He discovers water in the bilge under the motor which he pumps out and proceeds to start the engine to see if there is a leak. Yes the raw water pump is dripping a bit… we decide that we can still proceed with this ‘little leak’.

Sunday morning we actually leave our slip and happily motor off towards the Lorentzsluizen.

Roland pops down below on our arrival at the locks to check the engine and sees a substantial amount of water in the bilge and it becomes crystal clear for both of us that it would be foolhardy to proceed with this leak unresolved. So sadly we turn the boat 180 degrees and return to our slip in Makkum in the knowledge that on a Sunday no mechanics are available to help us.

Very down at mouth we both try to get our spirits up again to get back into enjoying our holiday on the boat regardless of whether we are in our ‘home’ harbour of Makkum or elsewhere. In the afternoon we cheer ourselves up with a visit to our dear friends Ine and Reint in Koudum who serve us some lovely drinks and yummy chicken wings as a pre-dinner snack.

On our return to the boat we set our alarm clock for 7:15 so we are all ready to go to Sail Center Makkum our local maritime engineers - Roland starts calling them on the phone at 08:45 desperately wanting to be the first watersporter with problems who they can help. At 08:50 they answer the phone and we explain the problem. They say that if we moore the boat in one of their slips they will be able to help us directly.

The first examination confirmed the diagnosis which Roland had already made, that one of the o-rings in the water pump had failed. The mechanic removes the pump and examines it further on his workbench - the diagnosis is clear - the bearings are shot as is the axis. God we are glad that we made the call not to go out on the Waddenzee with that leak.

The mechanic tells us that we can choose between a rebuild of the pump which will take a substantial amount of time or fit a new pump. We don’t need long to make up our minds on that one! We say that we will be happy with a new pump (euro for euro comparable with the price of a rebuild and certainly quicker). Sail Center Makkum unfortunately does not have a pump in stock so we got in our car and pick up a new one at the Yanmar dealer in Sneek, which is a round trip of just under an hour.

Shortly after lunch the friendly mechanic installs and tests the new pump - no more leaks, so we happily leave Sail Center Makkum - job well done. We motor directly to the Lorentzsluizen and sail on a beam reach with 18 to 23 knots of breeze to Harlingen where we stop for the night ready for our continuation to Vlieland tomorrow.

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