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.
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.