Life on the Stands
24 April 2015 | On stands, Vuda Marina
It's Friday here in Fiji.
We began today at 0800 and I put away the tools at 1900: a long, hot day of work, but with some success.
Today's task was to install the new forward-looking sonar. It's a task that's plagued my thoughts and dreams for months, since we decided to buy a replacement device for our old one. I've planned the procedure but today was the acid test.
I started work yesterday afternoon to remove the old transducer using a solvent, a hammer, putty knife, and pipe wrench. Oh, yeah….I did curse a bit, but not a lot.
This morning, after a short period of effort, I was able to remove the old transducer. It surrendered with a surprisingly small resistance, actually, but we were both pleased. I foolishly thought that the main task was done, as we both did, but installing the new one was much more difficult.
Without going into every issue, we had to cut and fit parts all by hand, and it took a lot of time. The hole for the new transducer is 2-inches in diameter, and the old one was 1-1/8 inch in diameter. Centering the drill, as I've mentioned, was a task that I concentrated on solving and the process worked, thankfully. The fairing block was the main issue. Conni would check the fit of our last adjustment, bring it back to me as I stood at an 8-inch bench vise, file in hand. "File here some more…" and I did. About dark, we finally had a fit that we could accept and we caulked the so-and-so into place, with a minimum of caulk spread over both of us and the boat. Of course, we won't know if the task worked until we splash the boat tomorrow. If it leaks, we failed. How simple is that? I don't think that it will, though. You'll hear me howl from wherever you are if it leaks.
The sails were returned and need to be hoisted onto deck, the same for our dinghy, all of which is sitting below the boat.
Here are the final words about our billing issues. The Yacht Help people were as reasonable as they could possibly be. They were unhappy at what had happened: we paid for a lot of work that had simply not been done. We're pleased at what we received for the money that we spent and they seem to accept the price. I'd call it a win-win. So, thank you, Yacht Help. The local managers, Australian Paul and his lovely local wife, Tiko, were on our side and were always receptive to negotiation. For example, Paul went to fetch our dinghy from the repair shop and knew enough to request that it be inflated. The "repaired" rub rail promptly popped off. He told them how to fix it when it arrived at the boat, it was inflated and the rub rail was attached. That's good service. They want to provide a quality product for a yachter's dollar.
We have planned to go into the water tomorrow afternoon, giving the caulk as much time to cure as we can. By 1600 or so tomorrow, Wings will be a boat again and we'll be tied up at a shore-side mooring. Will post!