July 4, 2011.
First off, Happy Fourth of July to everyone.
Yesterday we attended a house warming barbecue given by one of my coworkers. During the course of the afternoon I ended up playing volleyball for a few hours. I used to play one night a week for a few years but somehow I forgot about the passage of time. Once I did the math it turns out that I haven’t struck a volleyball in 27 years, give or take. Somewhere in that 27 years I was evidently afflicted with a case of early onset “old”. I’m almost better now but this morning I was pretty damn sore. One of my shoulders still isn’t talking to me.
Enough about me. Do you notice anything different about this guy’s transom? No? How about the hailing port?
Since we’re sitting here for a few months Christy has hung a small strawberry plant from the boom vang. Today she was able to harvest her first 2 berries.
To some people it may look as if I am a master procrastinator. It’s just that my overview of things is different. Some people see that their bow thruster isn’t working and they say “Oh, I’ll have to get that fixed”. I figure most people don’t even have a bow thruster so we can just put that repair to the back of the list. I don’t know how but somehow we finally arrived at that section of the list.
During last years Annapolis Sailboat Show I cornered one of the Vetus bow thruster guys. I explained our bow thrusters symptoms and he laid out the cure.
Our bow thruster only worked in one direction so we haven’t used it in about 2 years. Neither one of us could ever remember which way it worked so it was always safer not to touch it at all rather than to risk compounding a problem. We just got used to not having it and never really missed it.
The Vetus guy was certain that only one side of the main solenoid was making an electrical connection. “Take it apart, clean up the contacts and you’ll be good to go”. Sounds simple so today, after 8 months of considering it I moved everything out of the way and got started. Almost immediately simple got thrown out the window. There was an unmentioned issue, SPRINGS. He never said nothing about no SPRINGS. In the middle of my gentle disassembly, Sproing!, damned springs were shooting everywhere. Oh look, the tiny washers that used to live on top of the springs were now in orbit in the lower ionosphere. Or were they under the springs, or both, I dunno. First time I saw em’ they were banging off the wall. Shit.
Well, it was apart. The contacts didn’t really look too bad to me but I cleaned em’ up and went about figuring how to put it all back together. With a delicate mixture of ingenuity and cursing I got it all back together correctly, I think.
I sat and starred at the thruster while Christy went up to the helm to give it a whirl. And it works….in one direction. Still. You gotta be kidding me. Shit.
I should have taken the Vetus guys picture so I would be sure to murder the right guy this year at the boat show. Crap. Then I set about taking apart every electrical connection in an effort to find the problem. And there it was, a bullshit little push me pull you connector was broken off at its solder connection. The wire was still connected to the connector and holding the connector in place. It was just that it was no longer attached. After a little cleaning, some new solder and we’re now back in the bi-directional bow thrusting business….