Friday, January 18, 2013

"Just Get Off the Dock and Go"

Boat projects tend to work like this.  Image found here.
This is the advice that so many would-be, wanna-be, and soon-to-be cruisers get from people.  "Just go".  So simple, so Nike...It's good advice, and I think we've even given it to folks before...but now, I am biting my tongue.  The fact is, it is much easier said than done.

I mentioned that we've had a couple of "small" projects morph into much, much larger projects (I mean, our boat's interior was literally removed the other day to install some deck hardware).  Yesterday we learned that the easy "fix" for the "small" project (that had turned into a "large" project), is actually not going to be that easy at all.  In fact, it now involves more deck work and four times the time we had allotted for it.  For those of you boater folk who are actually curious, this entire scenario involves our new stays'l car track.  Not twenty-four hours after it was 5200'd it to the deck, it began to leak (hooray for rain), leading our rigger to believe the foam core deck and headliner is compressing and therefore preventing a good seal, letting water in.   After making that diagnosis, he concluded that our deck is not strong enough for the track as it is.  So now, we need to re-do the whole track with a backing plate twice the size, inject epoxy in the space between the headliner and coring and, of course, use a LOT more caulking before we put the paneling back together.  Hidden leaks are the enemy.  Sigh.  Better to find out now than later...

And that simple notion, the whole "better now than later" is the very reason it's so hard to pare down our to-do list(s) with "essential" items and get outta dodge, as it were.  It's so hard to be here in Ft. Lauderdale, a city literally teeming with anything and everything 'boat', and not take advantage of it.  How can we ignore the fact that parts, work, services and more are so much more plentiful and cheaper here than down island?  We have fallen into the dreaded habit of adding projects to our never-ending list because there are just so many resources.  It is so easy to fall down the rabbit hole of boat projects when you are in a place practically designed to accomodate them.  The problem, however, is not that we keep tacking on projects (okay, yeah, this is the problem - it's just so tempting) but that the projects themselves seem to uncover more and more projects like Russian dolls.  Which is why the interior of our boat is not back in today like we hoped and why we are still living in a disaster area that resembling a dorm room/daycare/worksop with a mess of take-out containers, bins, baby toys and tools lying all over the place.  Sounds fun, right?

But this is life on a boat.  We should know better than to be surprised by this.  We've been down this road before and anyone who has ever worked on a boat knows that once you peel back one layer of the onion, there's another one underneath it.  News flash to those of you who are not here yet:  The work is never, ever finished.  Which is why we will, in fact, just pick a date and go (weather permitting, of course).  In the meantime, we'll just keep ticking things off the list...and eventually, in the next couple of weeks, we will "just do it".  SWISH!


Mike said...

I think that Florida has some sort of rules about how long a boat can remain in their waters before import duties or something like that must be paid. Does that affect you at all and if so, when do you need to boogie out of there?


Mike said...

I think that Florida has some sort of rules about how long a boat can remain in their waters before import duties or something like that must be paid. Does that affect you at all and if so, when do you need to boogie out of there?


Bob said...

Try a good butyl tape as a bedding compound. Chamfer the through holes, butyl tape the full length of the track, butyl tape the head of the screw and where it inserts in through hole, then use a large backing plate and tighten up slowly turning the nut not the screw. Good luck and may the leak gods smile upon you.

Mark said...

I second the butyl rubber suggestion. See the Compass Marine site. This is the right way to do it.


Petr and Jana said...

We did that once ourselves, i.e. drilling a cored deck without doing it properly. It is a false economy. Stay strong! And we also use a butyl tape, great stuff.

Dani said...

Wow, that sounds major! You just put foam in the deck too huh? I second the Compass marine butyl tape. I wrote a post recently about how not all butyl is created equally.

We have also reached a point where we have to stop adding boat projects. We have to finish what we have on the list and that's it...probably :).

I am always scared to drill holes and/or take things apart. For example everyone was saying we should just replace the Formica on our boat with new Formica. Yeah that sounds easy, but in real life you have to be concerned about whether everything will come off and be able to be put back together in one piece.

On every project we've undertaken there were always unknowns making the project longer and more difficult than planned.

Hope this is one of the few you run into.

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