Friday, March 25, 2011

One Week In

It's Friday! I wonder if I'll get a day off tomorrow. . .doubt it.

More hard work today but coupled with some successes.

Just for the hell of it I turned on the relay for the propane. I should hear a characteristic click when this happens. Nothing. OK. Open the locker and what do I see. . . RUST. The whole solenoid/regulator assembly is just a pile of rust. So I take the ugly business off and put it in a bag and off to Island Water World. Once there I pull it out of the bag and Johnathon, the Brit who runs the place and knows simply everything about boats says, "God God"! I say, "I need a new one of these", and he says, "Well we don't have one just like that!
"No I don't want it just like this I want it like this but working"! He is a smart ass.

So I bought new regulator and relay. The relay is so that propane cannot come into the boat unless you switch it on. Safety device and an important one since propane is more dense than air. (See how I slip in some science when you're not expecting it? That's what I do.) Now it's fun with pipes, elbows and various parts that have to fit in the locker AND leave room for 2 - 20 pound propane tanks. This has always been a tight fit so instead of worrying about how to make it just barely fit I decide to just change our cruising motif to 1 20 lb tank and 1 10lb tank as the reserve. We'll use the 20 pound tank and then switch to the reserve knowing that it's time to buy propane and top off both tanks. I also want this 10 pound tank to be the new fiber kind like our 20lb tank. Our deck lockers are not dry. Not by a long shot and although they have drains there are two problems with that. One is that they drain forward and we are not always in trim for forward draining due to dingy and outboard on the stern. Two, the drain is raised up so that unless you tip the boat forward about 30 degrees not all the water is ever going to drain. This is killer for steel tanks with that steel rim at the bottom. That's dust on our steel tank. Dust. So maybe someone wants to buy that tank and paint her up but I'm done with steel propane tanks on this boat. OH, and this job? 100% done! Wired her up and heard the nice click!

Water tank job is 98% done. All hoses are connected and ready to go. have to still epoxy the elbow to the plate I made and I need a better plug for the old feed hole in the tank. Then I'll put the numerous screws back on the access plate. Much swearing there usually so new rule, Lucy the grand daughter can never come aboard when grandpa is working on the boat!

Speaking of screws. . . I've been all over looking for that 1/4" thread, 1/2", flat head, tapered, brass screw for the engine pump. No luck. I did find on board a replacement impeller with the proper paper gaskets so I'm ready to go if only I had one screw (don't go there!). Then, I'm finishing up with the water tank and looking through my machine screws for one more to hold down the plate with the elbow and what does my pointer finger find? Not one but TWO of the exact screws I've been shopping for! Wheeeeeeeee!!!! Life is so exciting. Lottery? Kids Play!

Tomorrow I'll try to extract the impeller...not sure how to get it out of there but have tools and a short fuse so that ought to do it! This means I could probably try to start the engine tomorrow too. I'd like to go back to Chicago having heard the diesel bang.

Now I will digress. . .

Recently I've been teaching high school physics at a private school. It's been a good gig but pretty different for a guy coming from 20+ years in the public school system. So lets go back to where I had no idea what to do because my water tank was leaking. I was stumped and I had to drop the tools and just think about it. That little experience made me think about a test one of my students turned in and on a problem he wrote, "We've never had a problem like this!". He had no work and no idea how to do it. He was upset. Now I'm thinking, the whole idea of problem solving is to exercise those brain muscles so that you CAN solve a problem you've never seen before otherwise what's the freaking point? Sure you've never seen it but it is ABOUT the stuff you've allegedly been learning. I mean, that's how we got to the moon, right. Or. . .

Hello Mr. Beige. I've read your resume and I see that you are very good at the odd numbered problems and have even had a go at the occasional even one. Good show! We have just the job for you. You'll get a nice tidy cubicle and in there you'll solve problems that are just like the ones you've already solved. We can't pay you much for this obviously but it should be enough for you to spend beyond you means, produce some nasty children who you will resent and they will return the favor, pay your mortgage, and die happy! Let's get started shall we!

Sailing is such a microcosm of what is right and wrong with the world. I know it's not a big deal that I used a part for what it was not intended to solve a problem but somehow that's everything too.

That's it from Grenada. All comments appreciated as usual.


Sailor Sue said...

How Zen of you.
And like we always like to say, "That's just a problem waiting for a solution." We love finding solutions. Why? Because it makes you feel alive!
Carry on Captain.

Anonymous said...

Are the young fellows from Hoydi Toydi H.S. following your blog this week? Bet they didn't expect to get a Performance Review! Oh well, you were looking for a job when you found this one.
Laskefront Larry