boat work

Why do the little projects always cause the most problems?

So there’s an old adage that boat projects always cost 10 time more and take 10 times longer than estimated.  True enough.  But why is it that the littlest projects seem to be the most annoying?

Case in point – re-bedding the deck hardware is a fairly big & somewhat expensive project (dem stanchions ain’t cheap!).  However it has also been relatively straightforward: 1. remove necessary cabinetry/trim to access bolts 2. remove stanchion/bolts 3. rout out core/fill with epoxy/countersink hole/redrill hole 3. install new stanchion with new bedding.

It’s a fair amount of work (mostly removing all the cabinetry/trim), but no real surprises.

On the other hand, how about replacing the over-the-sink light in the galley?  it *should* be nothing more than unscrewing the old fixture, attach the new fixture with butt-connectors, screw into place, right?

WRONG.

So since I knew they were the right size, I decided to re-use the screws from the old fixture to attach the new.  About 1/2 way through screwing in the second one, the head started rounding off.  Not wanting to risk stripping it, I carefully backed it out.  Tried using one of the screws that came with the new fixture.  It was the right size, but as it got about 90% of the way in *the whole damn head snapped right off*

I’m starting to understand where the expression “swearing like a sailor” comes from…

Now I’m left with about 1/16″ of screw protruding from the headliner, with no way to screw it back out.  And it’s pretty small to try to drill out… I try grabbing it with pliers & vise grips but there just isn’t enough to get leverage on.  At this point I’m considering just cutting it flush with the headliner and leaving it in there, but that would mean a) leaving a screw embedded in my headliner (yuck) and b) repositioning the fixture and drilling & filling 2 new mounting holes.  And I really don’t like drilling holes in the boat!

So… I go into the toolbag and find the biggest pair of channel-locks I have.  And I clamp-em down on that 1/16″ of metal with all my might.  And I slowly twist them, about 1/6 of a rotation at a time.

And the screw starts backing out.  Sweet, sweet victory.   Then of course I had to run to the hardware store to buy some replacement screws in 316 stainless, which entailed a carshare and another day… all to put a silly little light in.

Same thing happened with replacing the water tank inspection ports.  Since the tanks are made of somewhat flexible plastic, every time the tank flexes the sealant around the port will crack/separate & leak once again.  Proposed solution: fabricate some kind of backing plate to hold the tank rigid against the port…

Why are the little jobs the biggest pains?

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