Saturday, June 30, 2012

Where do old boats go ?

Where do old boats go is a weighty question. I'm not a religious guy, which I suspect has saved me from a lot of extra guilt in my life. The answer is I really don't know, but I have a theory.

I think they stay with you in your heart and memories. The child will smile as he remembers that wooden ketch surging through blue seas under a crystalline sky. Farewell old boat, you always kept your crew safe, and taught us all how to steer a true course.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Debby Downer

Debby was a downer indeed. The rain started five days ago on a Thursday, and with a vengeance. For four days it never let up, and well over a foot of precipitation fell. Noah was frantically trying to finish his ark, but like all boat projects he was way behind schedule, the site was flooded, and the alligators were hungry and cranky. The radar display was solid dark green with lots of yellows and reds. The alerts were spewing out nonstop on the TV and radio. Brappp, Brappp, Brappp, this is a.... tropical storm, flood, rip tide, thunder storm, tornado, high surf, marine, and four horsemen of the Apocalypse warning. But like all large rains with a name we occasionally get here, life goes on. Banks are open, there is soggy mail in the box, and restaurants are packed with grumpy tourists

Monday, June 25, 2012

Primordial soup

Nothing makes me more nervous than the typical boat's water system. Visions of explosive lumbo trickitis emanating from the lower blowhole, coupled with world class cramps or worse has generally discouraged even my most trivial usage of boat water. I would use it to wash dishes, or take a shower only if there was enough chlorine in it to bleach your hair Jean Harlow white, and sear your nasal cavities. In general, if you haven't make a serious investment in filters, disinfecting systems, and chemicals I think it should never be used for drinking. I know it's an audacious thing to say about your boat's expensive water system, but I think it's the truth. Just look at all the news stories about near death experiences, and severe illness boaters have had after drinking boat water. What? There really aren't any? Why I was sure I would find some. But I didn't, and I know why.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

What the..... inverter installation made easy

The first step in doing a DIY inverter install on your boat is to find a 12 VDC source. This is usually a big red wire. A battery switch is a good place to find one. Don't worry at all about it shorting against the common leg of the switch. That thin plastic coating on the handles of the clip is there to insulate them. It looks fine, and is color coordinated. The clip has the appearance of permanence, requires no expensive special ;tools to install it, and has the panache I like to see in a marine electrical installation. You won't need any of those dangerous and unsightly restraints like tie wraps either.

Monday, June 18, 2012

What happened?

Ouch, it's dangling from its hip. A case of being drawn and quartered, gone awry, and it was all done by something, but what? I know most boaters are familiar with rocks, and a few have had some up close and personal experiences with them, me included. But in southwest Florida we don't often see rocks. In place of all those hard objects we just have fluffy white sand that collects on the shores, and a hard packed version that resides in the water. I'm going to apply some marginal journalistic standards here and disclose that my information is second hand from my mechanic friend who was the verbal cell phone based first responder. He dealt with the owner throughout the incident. To protect his identity, I'm going to change his name to Ron White, mostly because he kinda looks just like Ron White. I figure the real Ron White, who actually looks exactly like Ron White won't mind. As the real Ron White says, "I didn't get to where I am today by worryin' about how I would feel tomorrow." I feel the same way, most days anyway.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Suicide terrorist sturgeons threatening Florida.

Florida's governor, and cabinet convened this week in Tallahassee for an emergency closed door meeting to discuss the emerging sturgeon threat. A cabinet official, speaking off the record said, "It's apparent to us that Florida's sturgeons have been infiltrated by some branch of al-Qaeda. Not a single person was injured by a sturgeon in 2010, but we're smart enough to put two plus three together. Osama bin laden was killed in early 2011, and in that same year nearly a dozen sturgeon suicide attacks occurred. This now explains where the sturgeons were over the winter, terrorists training camps."

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Entropy working towards disorder on your boat

It's an inexorable process. A new day starts with the rising of the sun. The heat starts to beat down on your boat. The air molecules in the radar dome start to get excited as the temperature increases inside the dome. The air increases in volume. Slowly the higher pressure air starts to escape the dome until the temperature peaks. The sun is now setting, and the temperature inside the dome starts to cool. The pressure inside the dome drops correspondingly. Moist air from the outside now gets pulled into the dome. As the temperature continues to cool, the moisture inside the dome starts to condense on everything inside the dome.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Installing the Spot Hug

This was my first adventure in playing with a Spot Hug. This is a clever system. It lets your friends and family see where you are. It tracks your progress, you can send an SOS message to the Spot monitoring center, and if the boat was stolen, Spot Hug will let you know, and tell you where it is.

I'm going to just deal with the installation of the system, and I will put some specific links to Panbo at the end of this missive where you can read what Ben Ellison has to say about the system.

The contents of the box are below with the exception of the user instructions, and the quick start guide. However what's missing from the box is instructions on how to install the Spot Hug. I have been informed they are working hard on this. So in the interim, you get me, and I will provide a link for a You Tube video by Spot talking a about this.

Friday, June 1, 2012

132 lbs times 8

Uff da, Oy vey, Ay caramba, OMG. They weigh 132 lbs each. There are eight of them, all stacked in in a sturdy, but Machiavellian designed miniature prison located under the main salon. Accessible only via a small hatch, I can't imagine the pain level the original installer must have endured to install them. I can for sure tell you about my pain in removing them. I felt like I had entered one of these "World's Strongest Human" contests. You've seen these shows. Immense men pulling locomotives with their teeth, hoisting huge boulders onto pillars, and carrying cars around.