Friday, July 4, 2014

July 4, 2014.

A very sincere birthday wish to the United States of America.  I know your nation of birth is pretty much the luck of the draw but I'm really glad I was lucky enough to have popped out here.

Hi, my name is Bill and I'm a World Cup junkie. The US Mens National Team was able to advance from the “Group of Death” before succumbing to a superior Belgian side in the round of 16. Only 32 teams from the entire world make it into the World Cup. So to get into the tournament and to be able to compete at a high level against the best teams in the world is a major accomplishment. It's wonderful to witness the support that each team garners from their loyal and sometimes lunacidal fans. Just because the U.S. is out of contention is no reason to stop watching the remaining games. Besides its a great excuse to go drinking and yell shit.

Now that the Veranda is gone things are settling into a manageable routine. Works been going well and the summer is flying by. I had a personal milestone the other day. I was doing a custom installation of 2 Balmar alternators on a catamaran. There was a bolt broken off in a mounting hole in one of the engine blocks.

The accepted way to remove a broken bolt is a tool called an “Easy Out”. Its a misnomer. There’s nothing easy about it. You're supposed to drill a small hole right down the center of the broken bolt. Then you screw the Easy Out into the hole. Because Easy Outs have a left hand thread the theory is that as you tighten the Easy Out the remnants of the bolt will magically unscrew itself from its hole.

Easy Outs are tempered to be incredibly hard so their sharp edges can “bite” into the broken bolt like a Uruguayan striker bites into an Italian sub. In my experience the Easy Outs tend to shatter. Whenever I have needed one I've always had to buy it because the one I used last time, broke. Bolts usually break when you try to remove them because they're corroded in place. Expecting a thin, glass hard piece of steel to force a bolt ass out of its hole seems to be a bit of a stretch.

To make matters worse, the bolt I had to remove was in a bad spot. Which on a boat is pretty much normal. I had to use a right angle drill with my left hand to try to drill down the centerline of the bolt. I couldn't really see the spot but I thought I hit it pretty much dead on. When I apprehensively inserted the Easy Out imagine my surprise when the bolt gave way and slowly unscrewed. It's the first time I can ever recall an Easy Out being easy. Gooooaaaaaaaal!!!!


Latitude 43 said...

We actually watched a game today. Germany v France. Not bad. We were with a group which helps. Not sure I could just stare at the game the whole time without a distraction. Kind of like baseball. Can they knock it off with the fake injuries? I realize the strategy but WTF its un-manly. Not sure a secret stopwatch for the ref is a bonus either. I think you can buy a wireless scoreboard with remote for $500. I bet Vegas would love game time kept by the ref and the ref only in football.

So Bill with your repair experience are you seeing any common failures with diesels like fuel pumps, water pumps, etc?

Anonymous said...

We were down at the boat and spent the 4th on Galveston Beach. Went to the bar for lunch and soon it was filling with the yellow and gold jerseys of Brazil on one side and the red and blue of Columbia on the other. I told my wife we were staying to watch the game and watch the crowd. South American fans can be pretty entertaining. Good game and fans from both sides created a fun atmosphere.
How long are you guys going to stay there? Would you recommend the yard you are working for?
Pat and Joan

S/V Veranda said...

43, The most common repeated failures I see are bilge pump float switches. I seem to replace an awful lot of those and I've never met a Fisher Panda 4.2 KW generator that could be depended on. Other than that failures seem to be related to a lack of maintenance....

Somedayisle, We're here until the end of October ish. As far as I'm concerned there are 2 yard choices. Port Annapolis Marina is a nice place with a good mechanical repair staff. Jabins Yacht Yard has several travel lifts and a huge yard. They don't do any work on the boats but there are several qualified repair services on site. You can do your own boat work at either place. I work for a high quality mobile repair service. My boss is mondo finicky and it shows in our work. There are several good choices here in Annapolis with the exception being Annapolis Horror Boat Yard, avoid them unless your a masochist.

Latitude 43 said...

I hear you on the float switches. I have three backup sw's. When I worked with machines we would throw out 40 yr old equipment and strip off the switches which would still be fine after millions of cycles in all kinds of nasty shit. Amazing how a float switch can fail so often just sitting there in your bilge. I know, salt water and all but still, they have to be some pretty crappy switches.