Tuesday, July 24, 2012

July 22, 2012

Its been a while since my last post. I haven't been uninterested or lazy. Its just that we've both been busier than a one legged man in an ass kicking contest. I'll try to do better.

When a mechanical thing that used to be silent starts making obnoxious grinding noises most people would take this as a bad sign. Most people would stop using the suffering item and get it checked out. Unless they're a power boater. I kid about power boaters because its fun. I'm sure most of them love their country and their children just like normal people do. They just seem to be in a rush. Half of them don't understand what “No Wake” actually means and when shit starts to break they don't have the time to be inconvenienced and don't stop using the complaining part. Once complete and total failure has come about then its time to bring the boat in to get it fixed. Oh, and can you get done by this afternoon. No, I don't have plans to use it but just in case an instantaneous urge to powerboat strikes me I'll be needin' that badboy. Christ.

A midsized Sea Ray came in with an interesting problem. The cockpit deck covers both engines and the majority of the boats systems. There’s been a bit of groaning, grinding and chattering going on for almost a year every time the captain opened this aft deck. The deck weighs upwards of 300 pounds and is pushed up by 2 electrically controlled pistons. Until finally one day, there was much noise but no lifty.

One of the pistons has failed completely and the other one has been trying to do the job for both of them. This extra strain has resulted in the piston shearing its mounting hardware and poking its head straight up through the deck.
So the deck is in the down position with one piston broken and the other sticking up through the deck.

It the event of dead batteries the manufacturer has taken steps to ensure that the deck can be manually opened. There’s a Beckson plate near the top of each piston and the top of the pistons are secured by clevis pins. So you can reach your hand in and pull the cotter ring and pop out the clevis pins. Unless some complete buffoon has come along and decided to re-engineer the damn thing and replace the clevis pin with a bolt and Nylock nut. Why would they do that you ask. Because they're buffoons. Thats what they do when they're not out in their car driving slow in the left lane.

The Beckson plates are only 4 inches in diameter and so is my forearm. The holes were placed perfectly in the exact spot as to be totally useless. If I stuck my arm in up to the middle of my forearm I could just get fingertips on the bolt. If I jammed my arm in up to my elbow than the bolts were right in the middle of my forearm and I couldn't get a touch on them at all. Several of the guys tried but there was no joy in broken Sea Rayville.

Since one of the pistons was already disconnected we used 5 guys to lift and pry until we had enough of a gap to get a guy in under the deck to disconnect the damn lid. New pistons have been ordered and once the deck is repaired the boat will be returned to its owner.

Monday, July 2, 2012

July 1, 2012.

Every other weekend I have to work on Saturday morning. This weekend was my “off” weekend until the phone rang at 0650.

We had a pretty vicious blow come through late Friday night. There were gusts to 70 knots with the majority of the blow being between 20 and 50 knots. I should have thought ahead and realized that I should run down to the marina in the morning to make sure everything was alright. But I figured that Kervin, who had the Saturday this week, would call me if anything big happened. I was asleep when he called but I *think* he said something about bedroom gymnastics without proper stretching and now his back is out and could I run down there because the marina is a little worse for wear and he can't stand upright.

Big trees were strewn about all along my route to work. The marina and surrounding hood are all without power so I was a little apprehensive about what I would find when I arrived at work. There was shit in the water that didn't belong there. There was stuff on the land that I've never seen before but all the boats at our docks were still floating safely having suffered the storm with no ill effect.

The only big issue was one of the boats blocked for sale at the local broker had his genoa partially deploy. Usually they make you take your headsail down when the boats are going to be on the hard for an extended period of time. But this guy had put a bolt through his furling drum so it couldn't spin thus preventing an accidental deployment. But Mother Nature scoffs at the plans of man. He insisted it would be fine and I let him get away with it. That won't happen again.

While the drum didn't spin, there was enough looseness in the wrap of the sail for the wind to get in.
It filled the top third of the sail and did its best to reek havoc. The sacrificial covering is shredded and now tangled in such a manner that the sail can't be opened or completely furled without a trip up the mast. I wrapped it as tight as I could but we'll have to deal with it properly on Monday. I'm just glad the boat didn't come off the stands.