Tuesday, August 28, 2012

August 26, 2012.

Warranty item or not?

We removed a customers starter and even though the label clearly guarantees a 5 year warranty I'm thinkin' thats pretty much not gonna happen.

If he had opted to install the multi-purpose starter/ bilge pump float switch then things might be different. But since he allowed his ordinary run of the mill every day starter to become completely submerged I don't think its a warranty item.

Its not often you get to see a starter with a high water mark on it. Captain, since starters are not designed to be submersible, I'm pretty confident that they're going to expect you to pay for a new one.
August 25, 2012.

Love can make people do irrational things. But then again what I consider to be irrational might seem reasonable to another. So I won't quibble but....

Once upon a time a gentleman from Australia met and married a wonderful girl and they happily sailed their Gulf 32 for years together. But now the Gulf is long gone and his wife has since passed. But for the man the prospect of hunting for and purchasing a sistership to his beloved sailboat has become a quest.

And here in Annapolis we have the object of his desire, another Gulf 32.
He had the benefit of emailed descriptions and pictures before he journeyed halfway around the world to finalize the purchase of the boat of his memories. We were given the job of preparing the boat for shipment on a freighter to the land of the didgeridoo.

While he was here he had to prepare a ships inventory list to satisfy Australian Customs. I was handed the list and while perusing it I came across a few curious items. It seems that in the galley there's 2 squabs. Squabs? Small edible birds? Thanks to the Olympics I now know that a shuttlecock is neither a bird or a penis with a bus pass. Squabs, hmm, I dunno. Further down the list there's 4 seat squabs listed in the forward cabin. And 2 more in the salon. There’s also a squab extension and a squab back piece. WTH?

Among the 200 plus items on the list there’s also a “1 length green rope coxin sheet”. Exsqueeze me? So far Wikipedia has been no help. One of the guys seems to remember gasket material being referred to as coxin but hes a little fuzzy on that. So maybe “green rope coxin sheet” might be stuffing box packing which could be construed as being “rope gasket”. I dunno, we'll see.

The scope and detail of what needs to be done to prep a boat for shipping down under is staggering. Australia and New Zealand seem to have the most stringent rules for an undertaking like this. The bilge in this 30 year old boat has to be SPOTLESS. The fuel and water tanks are empty. The fuel filters are empty and even the refrigerant in the air conditioning system had to be evacuated. The boat had been power washed 2 years ago when it was put on the hard but now its being done again to blast off the copper
film thats formed across the bottom. All the underwater bits have to shine with no evidence of sea life clinging in the nooks and crannies.

Once the mast is down all the rigging and boom will join the rest of the topside unboltables down inside the boat for the journey. I hope he finds what hes looking for....

Saturday, August 25, 2012

August 24, 2012.

Beneteau has their line of Oceanus sail boats and Jeanneau has their Sun Odyssey series. This 40 foot Hanse is an example of the new Hanse Thighblaster series. Having the throttle and shift controls 8 inches off the deck makes boat handling a breeze...if you're a short 8 year old. The boat does come with a leaning post type bench that bridges the aft end of the cockpit but why use that when you can just squat your way across miles of water.
Wow, Johnny, have you been working out? No, I just picked up my new Hanse 40 Thighblaster. Besides the obvious benefit of a lower body workout, there’s no more reason to go below when nature calls. Since you're already squatting anyway.....

Monday, August 20, 2012

August 19, 2012.

We live on a small tributary just inside the mouth of Back Creek. We work right at the mouth of Spa Creek. In the mornings I usually make the short trip on my bike. But on the weekends I often take the company skiff, Bird, home.

Bird makes it possible for Christy & I to take a slow bell cocktail river cruise on Sunday afternoons. We could do the same thing in the dink but Birds size makes it possible to share this simple pleasure with friends. As much as I enjoy this unsophisticated ritual my favorite thing about taking Bird home is the ride to work on Monday morning.

The rising sun, the days breeze has yet to build and thousands of boats all riding quietly in their slips makes for a simple pleasure that tugs at my very being. I actually look forward to those Monday mornings....

Sunday, August 19, 2012

August 18, 2012.

A large trawler showed up the other day with what I thought was an unusual request. He's got this fabulous microwave hanging over the stove and he wants it removed.

He would rather have a range hood installed over the stove. Um, okay. Captain you do realize that the microwave has a built in range hood that seems to work just fine. You do. Okay, as you wish, out with the nuke and in with the hood.

Friday, August 10, 2012

August 5, 2012.

Lets talk about something new. Tugboats. Not actual working tugboats but the tugboat style cruising trawler.

They're kinda cool in a slow boat, nice accommodations, cruising kinda way. There's several different types plying the local waters. And just like sailboats each tug family has its fans and detractors. Some are lightly built while others are tanks. Some are spartan while others are opulent. But they're all of the genus Powerboatus Relaximus.

Near the top of food chain are the Kadey Krogens. We've done a ton of work on two of these beauties recently. One of the tasks that peaked my interest was the owners request that we add a sailboat to his deck.

He's got an upper deck with a crane to lift the dinghy from the deck and safely plop it into the water. Space is kinda tight but sure captain we'll see what we can do. He wanted a Lazer on board. They're 15 feet long, 54 inches wide and weigh about 130 pounds. One of our employees has a Lazer so I got him to bring it to work so we could try it out in different spots.

First we tried anthwartships on its side. We were considering fabricating a stainless steel rack that would work in conjunction with the stern rail to keep the boat in place. Sounded like a good plan, the mock up was received with mixed reviews so we changed tacks. Lets try stacking them.

At 15 feet the Lazer was a little much for the space available so we went with the Lazer Pico. Its a little wider, and 2 feet shorter and turned out to be a great choice. We fabricated 2 cradles that plug into receivers recessed into the deck. The Lazer sits securely in these cradles. Bridging the Pico we designed a stainless steel folding rack to support the dink. It also fits perfectly into receivers we built into the deck. The dink sits in its own set of cradles and when the whole enchilada is strapped down its actually pretty slick.

So now the owner can launch his dink. Fold and stow the rack and then launch the Lazer Pico. We've done a ton of work on the guys boat like new televisions, washer and dryer, toilets and a hundred lesser things. But it was the stackable dinghy/ Lazer combo that really wowed him. Score one for us.

When I said some tugs are built like tanks I wasn't kidding. A 26 foot Nordic Tug was being delivered to us on a trailer to be splashed. While the delivery driver was sitting at a red light a drunk driver rear ended the trailer. The boat and trailer were pushed up onto the truck and the drunk drivers car was totaled. The trailer was pretty much torn in two pieces yet the tug escaped with practically no damage. The U-bolt at the bow was bent over and the keyway in the rudder post was sheared so the rudder can swing freely. There was auto paint on the rudder but it wasn't bent. The key and U-bolt are easy repairs, the trailers totaled, the towing truck has major damage but the boat came through practically unscathed. Go figure.

And while we're on the whole tugboat theme. A couple of years ago while working for another company with Bob and Dullard I had the opportunity to work on an unusual trawler. I made that key on top of the boat spin while the boat is underway. Cute, quirky, dumb, I dunno but the other day I saw it go by and it still spins.

Monday, August 6, 2012

August 4, 2012.

We watched the movies Food,Inc and Forks Over Knives recently and as a result we've decided to try eating healthier. So now I'm a vegan. Christy likes to point out that I'm not actually a vegan but I am trying to adapt to a vegetarian lifestyle.

With this in mind I had Christy stop in at the local Chinese restaurant to pick up a take out menu. Imagine my surprise that when she brought the menu home it was in Spanish. ¿Que? Si, esta en Espanol. I dunno, I guess the local Mexican population eats enough Chinese food to make these menus warranted.

Back at our marina Christy has always had a little something growing. Last year it was strawberries hanging from the boom.
This year its a watermelon plant our friend Laura planted in a huge pot on the dock. Damn if it didn't spit out a pair of watermelons. These dock melons yielded some picture perfect really tasty fruit.

Although they were boat sized....