Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Engine hatch hell

It was a boat engine hatch much like the one seen below. It was open and the boat was being worked on when the hatch lifter suddenly failed sending it crashing to the deck. The problem was a person was in the way. It took two frantic and adrenaline driven men to manually lift the very heavy hatch off him. An ambulance rapidly transported the badly injured tech to the local hospital's emergency room.

The medical expenses are in excess of $100,000 dollars and still accumulating. He will be off work for at least three months or more recovering. As horrific as this accident was, the good news is his prognosis for a full recovery is likely, and had he been in a slightly different place the falling hatch could have killed him. When a hatch lift fails catastrophically while you're under it you either get crushed or the edges of the hatch act like a guillotine. This event has given me more than some cause for concern. On any given day this could easily have been me!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

How to hoist a Signal K flag

This whole event comes from an internal conversation with the core Signal K group about getting people to send in pictures of Signal K flags flying on their boats. They all have boats. I don't currently have a boat, that's completed at any rate.

As a bit of a lark I suggested I could hoist the SK flag as a tattoo. I figured this would be much better than hoisting my own petard by far. Then Rob outed me on Panbo. It was now real and printed using pixelated ink on my favorite marine electronics website for all to see. Okay, no worries, I can make this happen, and did.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Radar raconteur

The radar has been elevated. Its gone from being nearly blind and has entered the world of the sighted. This was a most nuanced and detail driven job. It wasn't that it was physically hard, just every single damn aspect of this task was fiddly. Nothing was straight forward. Climb up, climb down. Go back to Ace hardware and stare into those little boxes containing a zillion parts looking for an answer. Climb back up, climb back down. 

It was a screw up I briefly touched in a earlier piece. The problem was how to undo the damage, install a elevated radar mount, and make it look as close as possible to a factory installation. This took creativity, imagineering, and some classic MacGyvering to pull off.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Boat builders installing marine electronics. Is this really a good idea?.

Like the title asks, should boat builders be in the marine electronics business? I think the answer for some is maybe yes. For some absolutely not. Then there is everything else in between. So I'm going to opine a bit on this subject and explore the pluses and minus of this approach starting with the costs to the buyer first. For the buyer the big plus of a factory electronics install is it's easier to finance the electronics on a new boat when it's folded into the mortgage.... provided it's well installed.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Pump Wasteland

All pumps are born innocent and full of hope. Swaddled in colorful four color printed boxes and clear plastics they wait on the shelf for that happy day they get adopted and go to their new forever home. They have yet to know they will end up enslaved in a chamber of horrors. Buried alive in a stifling dark, damp, moldy and nearly inaccessible compartment. This is their hellish destiny. I'm sure on a quiet night I can hear their tiny muffled pleas coming from the back of the boat. "Help us, it hurts so bad and we're afraid" quaver tiny voices. "What did we do to deserve this?"

Life isn't fair. You're born a pump, your job is to pump. End of story. It could have been worse. Think about the disposable diaper's eventual chagrin when they discover their purpose in their new forever home.