So instead of heading out for an Easter Weekend cruise, it was a work/relax weekend aboard; 'Shane, get to work!' so I can relax (okay, not really), but the plan was for me to get the heater changed on the Friday, we could do a day sail on Sat., and have Easter dinner aboard at the dock on Sunday.
Having secured all the required fittings/replacement components, etc. (no easy task!), I did a final check of measurements before beginning removal of the old tank. The new tank was a different brand, but dimensions were very similar -same diameter and only ½" taller with slightly different fitting locations, but always best to check, right? While the lazarette has tons of space in it, the entry (via the starboard cockpit seat) isn't quite so generous. I hadn't really thought about this part (only worried about matching water heater sizes), but the hatchway was too narrow to allow removal of the old tank! Interesting, as it was not the original tank, so after looking around, it became clear that the only route for removing it was to disassemble the stowage locker carcass on the companionway bulkhead in the galley.... IT was beginning already! So, with ½" clearance for the body of the tanks, I (we, as Elsa stepped up as a great helper) passed the old tank through the cut-out, having to rotate the tank to allow the bibs and fittings to align with the corners of the hole (kind of like the tumblers of a key lock set). The tank was heavy enough and awkward enough that once it was almost through, I had to escape the Laz and then fold myself around Elsa to take over the removal from the galley. Okay, almost there, right?
Passing the new tank should have been easier; after all, it's squeaky clean and no 'last few drips' of rusty water or anti freeze (heat exchanger) to deal with, right? Well, having reversed order, with Elsa now in the lazarette to receive the tank, we worked it through until the last 1" rested on the lip of the cut out, now we (Elsa and I), playing the ultimate game of Twister, had to exchange positions in the Laz, WHILE we continued to support the new tank. Elsa is 16 and I not. Elsa does ballet & modern dance (strike 2 for me) and I do not, and in the flexibility department.... So amidst equal amounts of cursing and hysterical laughter we managed to get the tank in. I got the water lines & A/C connected and that was enough for the day. Saturday involved plumbing the heat exchanger portion -of course I ran out of teflon tape and had to return to Canada (PR stores all closed) to get some, testing for water leaks (a small one, but easily dealt with), burping the engine cooling system, and firing everything up/testing for leaks again. Everything good.
With water (including hot) back on board, Lisa & Elsa did up a wonderful Sunday breakfast, and I got things squared away in the cockpit/lazarette, as well as taking our dog Charm out for some much needed exercise. Afterward, Lisa put the galley to work and did up an AMAZING dinner. With one big item off the to-do list, we are another step closer to boating season