Trea­sure Hunt­ing

Power & Motor Yacht - - BOATYARD -

Okay, this may sound a bit crazy but bear with me—I’m about to hand you a very use­ful chunk of info. How about we start by clar­i­fy­ing what a so-called “plumber’s snake” is. You know, the gizmo with the crank on one end, an auger-like fit­ting on the other, and a long length of flex­i­ble ca­ble in be­tween. The ma­jor-league point of this de­vice, of course, is to re­move clogs from pipes via pres­sure upon and ro­ta­tion of the auger, usu­ally at a con­sid­er­able dis­tance off.

Cer­tainly, a plumber’s snake is a handy item to have around the house when a plumb­ing is­sue arises—no ques­tion. But, be­lieve it or not, such a hum­ble, fairly in­ex­pen­sive (you can buy a rea­son­ably good plumber’s snake at your lo­cal hardware store for un­der $30) lit­tle de­vice can also fa­cil­i­tate a num­ber of chores on board your boat.

For ex­am­ple, let’s say you’ve got to run an elec­tri­cal wire or ca­ble through a wholly in­ac­ces­si­ble space un­der a long deck, above an over­head panel, or be­hind a bulk­head. Sure, you’ll most likely have to mod­ify the busi­ness end of your snake by re­mov­ing the auger, and you’ll have to tape one end of the wire or ca­ble to the spot the au­gur once oc­cu­pied. But, af­ter these mi­nor ad­just­ments have been made, you should be able to “git ’er done” quite eas­ily, pro­vided you toss in a lit­tle pa­tience and some di­rec­tional-type tal­ent. More­over, although I’m not claim­ing here that fish­ing wires or ca­bles through ex­cep­tion­ally com­plex built-in fur­ni­ture voids, through in­ac­ces­si­ble bilge ar­eas, or through any num­ber of other tough-to-getat ar­eas on board your ves­sel will be a big ol’ piece of cake, I am con­tend­ing that an oth­er­wise im­pos­si­ble task may prove to be, with a lit­tle luck, at least pos­si­ble.

And here’s one last bit of re­lated nifti­ness. As we all know, fer­rous me­tals reg­u­larly find their sep­a­rate ways into the bilges of boats, pri­mar­ily in the form of small hand tools and fas­ten­ers. So whether you blame ei­ther grav­ity or ham-hand­ed­ness, there’s a good chance that, lurk­ing down there in the dark­ness of your very own bilge, there’s an old drill bit or a for­got­ten Cres­cent wrench, along with a charm­ing as­sort­ment of nuts, bolts, and screws.

Here’s how to deal with the is­sue. Visit your lo­cal marine store and buy your­self a pow­er­ful, plas­tic-coated mag­net. It’ll be con­sid­er­ably larger than the use­ful lit­tle mag­nets that grace the ends of bilge-prob­ing tele­scop­ing wands, by the way. Then at­tach your new mag­net to the busi­ness end of the plumber’s snake you’ve just pur­chased and des­ig­nated “For Boat Use Only.” Use duct tape, or wire, or what­ever. And then fi­nally, ei­ther push or pull the mag­net through the en­tirety of your bilge—or as much of the bilge as you can get at—us­ing your marinized, mag­ne­tized plumber’s snake! You may be sur­prised at what trea­sures come up.

Snip off the auger for boaty ap­pli­ca­tions.

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