Botched Yard Job
16 March 2014 | Seattle
I have a rant and in as much as this is my blog I have the right to piss and moan if I want; remember in the last post when we were "on the hard" and a yard within walking distance from Shilshole that shall remain nameless?
Remember that post last August "Life on the Hard"? and that micro cosmic village (commonly referred to as a boat yard) where peeps scurry about doing tasks like little worker bees buzzing around not doing much.
Well let me just say they didn't leave any honey! Nope nary a drop just the perception that some intelligent maintenance work was done. Instead these bees were more like termites in my wallet and on my boat as depicted in the pic posted here!
Now prior to this momentous day we accomplished a few more repair/upgrades as mentioned in that post. We also had with some poking and prodding of the worker bees a few things done on the hard; most notably two coats of bottom paint. Now let me preface what I'm about to say with this, the bottom was in good shape when we yanked this 20k beast from its' watery abode. Only the keel has some residual marine salad on it but after two years that was acceptable to me.
And wait for it; Over the last two years we have been working on the magic carpet we have replaced or upgraded every system on our plastic toy. Absolutely everything from the plumbing in the heads, the electrical system (courtesy of the previous owner who must have been Italian and loved spaghetti).
Let's see what else, the entire navigation system, the running rigging, dinghy and motor, solar power etc, etc, which needless to say has cost me a small fortune and before we're done that should increase to a king's ransom!!! We have a few tasks to complete this spring. Some more fun than others. And I know there will be an ever growing and changing list of things we need to do, some in exotic places, but that's okay. And we still have the standing rigging, a flex plate, perhaps a new furler and some other less significant projects to do before we begin our great adventure of a three hour cruise.
Now having said all that I can be psycho and go off on the yard and the total lack of professionalism exhibited by the powers that be. Unfortunately I was totally unaware of their somewhat dubious reputation before I entered that tangled web of half truths and blame shifting. It was only three months after the haul out that the true nature of double dealing began to show its ugly head!
Mr yard boss says "well it ain't my fault"! You have a problem! Mr paint rep Tony says it ain't my Paint "you got a problem"! I suspected a bit of collusion here as the two of them nibbled on each others ears whispering whatevers as my pride and joy was being suspended between tera ferma and the depleting ozone above. Yard man says you have a galvanic problem; stray AC current; his one piece of evidence is that he clamped my power cord, not an overly convincing & inconclusive test than produced his false sense of confidence. No amount of reasoning or logic would sway him to consider that a worker bee did in fact miss the chemical window for bonding the paint to the primer.
Now I try to be a reasonable man but when confronted with stupidity I tend to get just a bit frustrated after all I did my homework and I'm not just a stupid engineer. I consulted professionals (and two competitors) in the field and researched the problem in true engineering fashion. Deep inside of me I wanted the yoyos to be correct because that would solve the problem in short order and would define the root cause. Ergo I set out to prove Mr yard boss hypothesis and hired someone to do a galvanic survey in conjunction with my electrician BRJ Marine.
Now remember we have expended much resource to ensure all the electrical systems were in compliance with ABYC electrical standards. Hey an guess what the tests showed by boat has NO stray AC electrical current having tested each circuit separately and the surrounding water. None the less some DC grounds were upgraded to totally eliminate the micro Ohm readings in a few places due to small gauge wire or corroded connections and a suspect battery switch. Also added a couple of buss bars, one to replace the batt switch as well as grounding the shaft and rudder.
Now I will go to Mr yard boss to share my findings proving his lame excuse is totally wrong and seek some renumeration for the botched job on the keel. I however hold out no illusions concerning this yard to do the right thing by the customer especially after speaking with a dozen or so fellow boaters in the marina and receiving their condolences. Most likely this will be an exercise in futility but no matter I have already made arrangements at CSR to fix the flaking paint on the keel and get the remaining projects done that I can't do by myself.
Word of caution: take the time to go thru the locks for any yard work instead of taking the convenient option as I did!