Friday, October 8, 2010


Manteo, NC -- Boat projects sound so easy in theory, but the old formula about tripling your time estimate when planning a boat job seems conservative to me.

So, the new radar and GPS arrived, but the old stainless steel stand is too short, so we had to order a new one.

The new standard for a stainless steel helm stand is 1.5", but we had to order the old 1" pipe, so it would fit the current (old) pedestal. Why does it matter? All the instrument wires have to be threaded through the stainless steel tube.

The new equipment comes with plugs that are just over an inch wide, and just a little wider than our old 1" pipe. All the wires will have to be cut, threaded and spliced or traced back to their source, disconnected, pulled back to the helm, threaded through the new pipe, pulled from the helm back to their original source and reconnected.

And those wide plugs that make the new equipment so easy to just plug and go? They are wider than the PVC conduit inside the mast -- the conduit that keeps the wires from clanging around inside the mast, which is a hollow metal tube. Nothing to do about that, so now we have two wires free-ranging in there, lying-in-wait to torture us on rough nights.

Top all this off by chasing the old wires through hatches, under tanks and behind the walls -- and then threading the new wires through the same paths. We did this today, only to discover that the new wires aren't quite long enough to reach the helm, so we now have to figure out how to get them extended.

Retro-fitting. This is how sailors learned to curse.

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