Returning from Biscayne Bay, Florida a few days ago we were reminded that in this age of electronic navigation, command, control, and monitoring, you still need to maintain a traditional situational awareness.
The sink full of marine weeds is a classic example of why this approach is still beneficial.
We like to check the engine room once an hour. Hearing, sight, and smell tell us things that our extensive Maretron N2K monitoring system cannot. In this case, walking down toward the main deck there was a different tone to the exhaust. A quick look over the side showed that the water flow on the starboard side was much reduced. We have temperature probes on the raw water pumps, exhaust injection elbows, Aqualifts, and shaft seals. These would have eventually told us there was a water flow issue, but not before an impeller was damaged from lack of water flow.
Each engine, the genset, and the engine room raw water consumers have a large CPVC filter, and these were all heavily packed with weeds, as were the pipes from valve to strainer. The strainer is easily removed and emptied, then cleaned in the nearby sink. But the pipes were a different matter.
A little forethought makes these easy to take apart and clean. The elbows have an O-ring sealed flange face tightened with a large nut.
A few seconds and the elbow assembly was removed and easily cleaned. Note that the lower flange of the valves are above the waterline, so the valve can be removed for maintenance without hauling or plugging.