Monday, June 13, 2011

Chainplates-Part 1 1/2 (not quite 2)

We got our chainplates from the machine shop and, of course, the new ones don't fit at all.  Yup, we are cursed when it comes to all things related to fixing this boat.  Things never go as planned or as smoothly as you hope and as much as I'd like to believe that it's some paranormal force going against us, I hear that it is not unusual for things to be this tough.  We hear from other sailors that in terms of anything boat related that there is a Rule of Three's. The Rule of Three's states that, "Any project an owner attempts on a boat will cost three times as much and take three times as long to complete as the original estimate. In the course of working on the project three other projects will be added to the ‘thing to do’ list each having its own Rule of Three’s. Any attempt to incorporate the Rule of Three’s into your project’s estimates will result in a further tripling of your original estimate. .  I used to believe that this was all some pessimists' joke, but the jokes on me, it's actually true.  So, anyway, we got our chainplates back and measurements were off by over 4" and the holes drilled out were also off by at least an 1/8" to 1/4".  We had to go back to the machine shop today and ask for our money back because it was just unacceptable.  I had been dreading the confrontation all weekend because the guy we were working with was just so damn nice that it felt like I was kicking a puppy.  He was so sweet and apologetic, and didn't give us a hard time at all about refunding the money, but business is business.  So now, we're once again on a mad search for a new machine shop.  At this point, I think we may be going through our shop in upstate NY because we know they can do good work.  Doesn't seem to be a lot of competent shops down here with a press brake (a machine that bends metal) and at this point, we simply don't want to wait another 2 weeks before we can get our plates back to find out that they are inaccurate.  

The original ones are on the left and
the new ones are on the right,
 can you see the difference? 

We finally sent in our staysail stay, so they're in the process of being replaced.  Yay!  Taking it down was a real pain in the ass (literally!).  It involved me climbing up the mast and removing the stay where it attaches to the mast.  I thought it would be a piece of cake, but it took about 1/2 an hour for me to get the cotter pin out of the the clevis pin.  It was leg numbing and when I finally got down, I found huge bruises covering the insides of my legs where the harness was wrapped.  Ouch. In order for us to get the stay out of the roller furler we had to disassemble it.  In doing this, we discovered that it was broken.  Apparently the bearing in it exploded and chewed into the lower unit.  Wait it gets better, not only that but since the furler is such an old unit, we are unable to find replacement parts for it (Rule of 3s, I curse thee!)  We decided to just go with a hank on sail, since we needed to replace that sail anyway, and instead of spending $2000 on a new roller furler, we'll be using that money towards a new sail.  Problem solved.

Disassembling roller furler
Worn bearing at furler 

On a lighter note, Frank finally fixed our refrigerator...AGAIN.  It used to be that we had to turn it on twice a day for about an hour and a half.  We thought it didn't make sense to have to manually turn it on and off twice a day, so he finally took it apart and problem solved it.  The problem was that it was wired improperly.  The thermostats were wired up in such a way that they were being bypassed, rendering them useless.  Switching a few wires here and there solved the problem and our refrigerator and freezer now self-regulates using the thermostats.  We are no longer slaves to our food (well, I still am :).

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