Every project in my experience has a “day from hell” or something like it and yesterday was the Islander’s day from hell. Funny though, it started as a day with high hopes with no problems foreseen. In fact, it was a day of high expectations with nary a sign of a problem at all.
One of the tasks involved yesterday, was finally getting the new engine panel up and running and, as we finally had all the required parts in hand, it seemed a lot like a slam dunk… A phrase I try never to use because I’ve found it almost always winds up biting me on the butt. So with all the parts in hand, we were ready to have an engine that would start with a turn of a key and gauges/alarms to give us all the needful info for our elderly Yanmar.
So what happened?
Quite simply it was not so much what happened, it was what did not as I was unable to remove the existing water temperature sender. The problem is that the sender built of brass (or something like it) threaded into a iron block did not want to leave its home of thirty-odd years. Throw in the fact that brass is a lot softer than iron and you have a recipe for disaster. Apply too much force and the sender will break or deform in place, apply too little force and nothing is going to move; neither of which is going to get the job done.
Confronted by this set of affairs was like running into a brick wall. All of the obvious fixes or possibilities took more time than I had, cost more than I wanted to spend, and just threw my be-finished-by-the-end-of-the-month schedule all to hell. My reaction was close to a total shutdown of all my systems and for the better part of the rest of the day I was just emotionally poleaxed.
Like I said, this sort of thing happens in most projects at some point or other.
This morning, having somewhat reset, I have a workaround which is sorta/kinda affordable but will add a couple of weeks to the refit as chasing down a machinist who is actually willing to work in a somewhat timely manner can be nigh on impossible in America’s Paradise where “Come back in a month or so and I may be able to fit you in” is the standard operating procedure. Or finding the needful part off island but then there’s the time lost in shipping so the inexpensive workaround is anything but and so it does go.
The fact is that I can live with a three-month refit rather than the planned two-month one. Another month will give me a bit more time for the niceties and the only negative is another month in an overpriced marina and I hate marinas.
On another tack, the Washington Post has a great article on the subject of Luddism which made me realize how those of us in the cheap seats and VolksCruisers are really just a newer form of being Luddites. Maybe it’s time to embrace our inner-Luddite mojo.