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progressions

paying for things once, not twice

A few months after I moved aboard I tried doing a very simple upgrade: changing out the faceplate of an outlet. Not only did the outlet crumble, when I went to unplug the shore power so I could replace the receptacle the prongs came out in my shore power cord (not supposed to happen!). Since I’d had a string of unreliable people when it came to boat work, the only person who had been interested in helping me had a brother who was out of work and was an electrician. Not a marine electrician, but “it’s the same thing, right??? Right??” He did a good job and got my shore power outlet replaced, my outlets working, my cabin lights working, installed an automatic bilge pump, etc. etc. but generally speaking when mariners take a look at my battery or the way the wires are hooked up, it scares them.

So far everything has been working fine, except my automatic bilge pump. This stopped working probably over a year ago. I never really bothered to fix it because I still had a manual one as a back up and I was always around to pump any rainwater overboard and would pull out the wet-vac to get whatever was left over. If I had fixed this automatic bilge pump, I wouldn’t have come home to standing water after being gone for a week. Blarg! I hired a neighbor to help me replace the bilge pump and when we were taking it apart it was apparent where the water damage was. As we were installing the new bilge pump, it was apparent that the previous one was not installed with proper protection from water elements. There was no heat gun used to shrink the adapter around the wires, there was no heat-shrink tube that went over that adapter that was blasted with the heat gun again, and there was no liquid electrical tape pasted around the edges of the heat-shrink tube. That’s triple protection right there! All in all, I’m happy to see that there’s a new auto-b-p installed and I’m glad I got to see how he did it. It’s wired to it’s own switch, that can be either manual pump or automatic and is of course attached to the battery. Perfect timing, because it’s raining today. The moral of the story? If you pay for something to be done correctly the first time, yes, it’s going to be more expensive, but you won’t have to pay for it to be done a second time. 🙂

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As for the boat search, I’m still searchin’. There are three boats for sale here in the marina that interest me. A Bristol 32′, an Ericson 32′, and a powerboat that’s 31′ and would give me time to find something before actually plunging into another project boat. Both the Bristol and the Ericson need a considerable amount of work. Haul out, new sails, new rigging, bottom and topside paint, the Ericson has a soft spot in the deck which is a problem. The Atomic 4 engine on the Bristol doesn’t work. If I got the Bristol, which is probably the more homey of the two sailboats, how would I get it over to the harbormastors office for inspection? The Ericson’s engine works, but, it’s not as homey feeling and needs a bunch of work to it. I’m hopefully going to look at all three this weekend. Even if I’m not entirely interested, it’s good to see what’s out there and talk to as many people as I can. Perhaps if someone knows of something they’ll contact me.

That’s all for this week, folks! Have a good weekend.

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