Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Working on the boat, I'm sure there's a better way

So in a recent whirlwind trip to the Island I was helping my Dad work on some things on his new boat. And like an ex-mistress, we don't talk about 'The Other Boat' anymore.

In the few days I was there, we got a tonne of stuff done it was pretty cool! We ran wiring for the radio. Stowed spare parts in the bottom of the coffin berth, which is literally a bed area you slide into, going into it the other way to access the locker though is a little claustrophobic. The locker in the bowels of that berth is the length of my arm and then some. Hypothetically we only put parts you shouldn't need very often in there, but I would place money that they will be needed when Marimba is doing the jig.

We, or I should say I drilled holes through the hull for D-rings to secure the dinghy, and the bolts to bolt down the emergency life raft. I am unsure whether that was because I can see the end of the drill bit or just because Dad had been putting off being the one to make holes in the hull... I'm leaning toward the latter, I'm sure it will be my fault if those ever leak...

We drilled holes and ran the cable for the Radar... twice. Okay we only drilled once, but true to form we ran the cable, Dad went to plug it in and went crap... I need the other end! He graciously offered to crawl in under the nav station, but I honestly don't think his hand would fit behind the water thing that the hole is tucked in behind...

Half way through the rest of the directions, it started raining... not really hard but big monster drops of rain. So we moved the Radar top into the covered companionway, however the only position that would work for me to support the unwieldy thing had my butt crack directly under the drip line of the dodger.

"Awesomesauce" and I say that as sarcastically as possible.

All it all it wasn't too bad, we got it all together whilst only getting moderately wet by 'Wet Coast' standards. I'm pretty sure by drier country standards we were drowned though. We attempted to mount the Radar only to discover that despite its streamlined shape it made a great sail, and by the Gods that was right when the wind picked up. In any case it was time we took a break for lunch and we managed to convince my little brother to come help with mounting the Radar.

Previous to taking on a third person to help with the mounting we came up with numerous brilliant two person ideas involving everything from using a topping lift attached to a winch, to using one of the yard-arms, to lashing me to the top of the arch... looking back it was so much easier just having that third person!

After congratulating ourselves on not dropping anything in the chuck, and retrieving the bold I managed to juggle drop through the crack in the dock onto the floaty bit underneath... We tackled the bilge pump *ominous music cue*. We had the pieces of tubing, we measured the pieces, hacked them to size and then convinced them that they really wanted to fit onto the necessary elbow joints... okay they almost convinced us they didn't want to fit but then we brought in the boiling water torture and they conceded.

Now picture this, there isn't a lot of room on a boat, especially under the cock-pit where the engine is... so there's my Dad, a middle aged guy who's managed to stuff himself into the starboard space alongside the engine, my little brother who has climbed into the relatively spacious port locker alongside the engine and myself in the companionway having removed the galley ladder. Basically we make up a triangle around the engine and are attempting to stuff said rubber tubing with two, count them one. two. right angled elbows through a space that made those elbows claustrophobic.

As you might imagine those elbows, well maybe they were a little miffed at being forced to permanently hang out with the rubber tubing, or maybe they just woke up on the wrong side of the bed, but in any case they fought tooth and nail not to fit where we wanted them to go. We ended up with Dad stuffing, my little brother using a hammer and chunk of wood to 'coax' the elbow through and myself with the handle of a scrub brush attempting to direct the wayward end away from anything it could take purchase on to prevent further movement. As soon as it was within reach I had to pull... slowly, one hammer thwack at a time my end lined up and over the pump we were attaching it to, and that ladies and gentlemen is probably the hard way of getting the tubing on the bilge pump!