September 25, 2011.
The marina I work at is not like most yards in the area with all the amenities like a pool and captains lounge. The yard I work in is more of a working boatyard. You show up here to have your boat either repaired or upgraded rather than in the futile pursuit of a rum drink at our non-existent pub.
At this time of year a lot of my job centers around getting brand new boats ready to be displayed at the upcoming Annapolis Sailboat Show. There's been a steady stream of boats arriving for over a week now. Most are brought in to the country on container ships and trucked in with the mast in a large shipping tube.
The average assembly includes building and stepping the mast, installing radar, VHF antenna, windex, annometer, lights, the anchor, the bow pulpit, the sails and all the running rigging. Christy has joined me there at the yard and is now sanding and applying finish to the wood on some of these new boats.
Most of these boats are coming over from Europe and have both fire extinguishers and propane canisters that can't be used here in the states. It seems incredibly wasteful but one of the first things we do is to replace all the fire extinguishers with US Coast Guard compliant models. Then we change out the steel propane bottles and replace them with aluminum tanks with valves that can be serviced here in the states.
Some of the vessels are already bought but are going to be the display boat in the show so the owners have a list of things they would like taken care of in addition to the basic assembly.
One of these boats has been a particularly challenging boat. Its a 42 footer with a large aft cabin. Aft of the headboard in the bedroom is the sugar scoop stern. The space inside the large sugar scoop is the only available space for installing the new 6KW generator. Its actually a fairly large space but the only access to the area was blocked when some complete buffoon decided to place the aft air-conditioning unit directly in the opening to the space.
So the first step in installing the generator was the repositioning of the air-conditioner. I disconnected everything and pulled the unit out out onto the bed.
I had to fabricate and install a shelf that ran anthwartships aft of the steering quadrant. Once that was glassed into place I was able to squeeze the air-conditioner up into its new home. The I had to rerun the duct work, the plumbing and the wiring to the units new home.
After that was all done it became apparent that the shelf that had held the A/C unit was only made of some bullshit plastic that was glued to the hull. Since the new generator weighs in at 375 pounds a new beefier shelf was in order. I ripped out the plastic and made a staunch shelf out of 1 inch marine plywood and fiberglassed it into place. My coworker Karl popped in the new intake and exhaust thru hulls while I ran the new filter and fuel lines. Next I took care of the raw water strainer and lines while he ran the new wiring.
The generator is so big that the opening in the aft bulkhead had to be cut larger. Once mounted in the hole, servicing the unit would be impossible so Karl order a set of very cool telescoping rollers. The rollers were mounted to the new plywood base with the generator pan sitting on top of the rollers. Now the entire unit can be pulled out and telescoped into the aft cabin for servicing.
While Karl finished up the generator installation I was tasked with installing a pair of dinghy davits and a stainless steel pole to mount the antenna for the Trac-Vision TV antenna. Because what 42 foot sailboat doesn't need 2 high definition flat screen televisions. I hung the TV's and mounted the pole and domed antenna while Marco ran the wiring and hooked everything up down in the bowels of the boat. When I was done I told Marco my part was done and he could fire up the televisions to check them out. He asked if the boat was plugged in and I replied “No, why?” His answer was that the TV's were AC only. I was surprised but responded “So just flip on the inverter”. His response was “There is no inverter”
Microwave, blender, 2 televisions and they can't run any of it unless they're plugged in to a dock or the generators running. Sheesch. Marco kinda chuckled while I stood there slack jawed. These people will be out on the hook and decide to have a couple of blender drinks but will have to fire up the generator just to run the blender for 2 minutes. All because they didn't think things through. But at least they've got 2 televisions.....