16 May 2016 | Herrington harbour South, Chesapeake Beach, MD
OK - the Head work is still not yet done! Shoot me! But the davits have successfully lifted the RIB and I am on to engineering the "sway-bars" to keep the RIB from swinging in the davits. This week's weather kept us in the marina - hmmm....more project time!
The Admiral is back aboard after a few "business trips" inland. Its good to have my "battle buddy" and "love of my life" back in the same space again! BUT!...we love her "little job!!!"...so the short trips away are an investment in our life-style. What more could a guy ask for!...I get to stay with the boat and continue to knock off all of the "project"tasks (manly stuff!) and she gets to chase her dissertation dream which also serves to fund our adventure! Best of both worlds!
Yes - I do have a "real job" and I do put in a full work-day...but I go to work very early and get off early so I can spend the time I need aboard to keep up with SV Take Me There's maintenance and improvement needs. I am a software design consultant and I LOVE the company I work for! I do go to work every day (in an office) but have an agile/flexible schedule and a great boss who cares more about the quality ideas that I deliver than the hours he can see me in the "work environment."
The "musings" for this week:
If you want it done right...: One thing I have learned is...if you don't know how to do it - its a wise investment to learn how to do it yourself. The trade-off is how much is your time worth to you versus your money? I will spend hours, days, weeks "cogitating" on how to best solve a problem (ie...do a project). Engineering, re-engineering (mentally) until I have worked out "my" ideal solution. Then, I will price out/estimate its cost to me and the hours, days, weeks it will cost me to accomplish the objective. Then, I will research (gotta love GOOGLE - again) what it will cost to buy it new or have it done by a "certified" skilled tradesman. Labor costs are usually 2/3s of the job $$$...and anything with an "M" for Marine in front of it (parts, gadgets, tools) cost 3 times as much. So - this past few weeks, I set out to repair our hydraulic davits. What I ended up doing is replacing the hydraulic cylinders. Its never easy and there were many road-blocks. Couldn't find "exact" replacements. Repair (by the shop) was going to be pricey and complicated (around $1000.00). Final job cost (DIY) $289.00 and 22 hours of "my" labor (free). I learned all about "double-acting" hydraulic principals; became intimately familiar with our hydraulic pump assembly (and fluid distribution valves); transitioned from petroleum-based hydraulic to bio-degradable (marine safe) fluid and increased the lift capacity of our davits by a factor of 2. Not bad for $289 bucks! (Love AMAZON too!).
...the musing...DIY is really a great way to better learn your boat!...if you have the time and patience to stick with it. I thought I'd never find the specific references to "teach myself" what I needed to know...but the info is out there and asking for advice on the mechanical forums is free! Ironically - I got the best advice and reference material from a heavy equipment repair forum instead of boat-centric discussion boards...apparently there aren't too many hydraulic davit owners out there that I could find.