Monday, August 26, 2013

Sometimes work is just a snap

August 26, 2013.

Ever show up to do something simple like replace an old radome and have it turn into a test of wills? Me neither before today.

I was on a beautiful little trawler and all I wanted to do was remove the old radome and install a new Garmin digital unit. Its not like I was hanging in a bosun chair. I was standing flatfooted on the foredeck and try as I might my properly sized wrench wouldn't think of loosening the 4 bolts securing the old unit in place. I took off the lid and was disappointed to find that someone had an irrational fear of the unit coming loose and had decided to bed the bolts with 5200. Or maybe their concern was gravity suddenly quitting and water running UP into the unit, better seal that bad boy up for eternity. Crap.

I grabbed my breaker bar and put on a socket and really leaned into it. After the first attempt I found myself reciting righty tighty, lefty loosey. During my second attempt the 7/16's bolt snapped which would have been terrific had I not been really “into” it. It was almost as if I were attempting to fling myself off the foredeck. There was no danger of me landing in the water as I was flung with enough force to make it clear onto the next boat. Luckily, the bow rail of the boat I started on was enough to keep me aboard.

Upon examining the broken bolt I found that in addition to the 5200, red loctite had been used rather than more forgiving blue loctite. Double crap. What a bunch of Northoles, thank God they couldn't find a welder.

When the second bolt broke I wasn't nearly as surprised and by the time the third one let go it was run of the mill. Unfortunately the fourth bolt decided to play games and wouldn't break cleanly. It was a delicate balance as I pulled and the bolt slowly turned and backed out. It was tight as hell until the minute it was free and with every turn I was expecting the “snap” and lurch of another broken bolt.

After removing the unit I slipped the new one into place and oh look, the bolt pattern is different, time to get out the drill. Crap.....

On a totally different note.....I helped with dinner in the galley this evening and we were successful in putting out the resulting small fire.


Deb said...

Sounds like Tim's project this evening LOL...

S/V Kintala

S/V Veranda said...

Some days are just like that I guess...