Pressed olives


My Contessa 32 was floating at her normal marks when I rowed aboard just a month before laying up.I had not been aboard for three weeks. When I threw back the main hatch imagine my horror when I found water lapping up the side of the bunks and the floor hatches sailing around the cabin sole like mini Kontiki rafts.

I plunged my hand in the water and licked my fingers.It was salty. Damn. After pumping out I found a snail’s trail of water issuing from the greaser nut which is screwed onto the stern tube. When the boat came out of the water I unscrewed the nut and found a flattened olive at the end of, but not over, the copper greasing pipe and inside the hexagonal brass nut.

Steve Adams at Shuttlewoods Boatyard, Paglesham, Essex kindly dug out another olive: this one fits over the copper pipe itself and I have tightened the brass nut back down again. The trouble is I will not know if I have stopped the leak until I re-launch.

Does anyone have a view on exactly how an olive, a copper pipe and a brass nut fit together to make a watertight fit?

PS I should add that the boat had been tight until I was obliged to motor at three-quarter throttle for several hours battling up the River Crouch against wind and tide just previously to discovering the leak. Clearly this is what caused the greaser to start weeping.