Friday, February 15, 2013


St. Augustine

Boat designers have a sinister side. That photo is taken from our bed. The opening is the anchor locker which holds all the chain we use for anchoring. The pole in the middle is the staysail boom, which goes through the deck. The little round silver thing I'm peering at is the windlass motor. Behind it is the casing for the windlass.

The windlass is an electric winch that raises and lowers the anchor by just pushing a button. The maker of our windlass constructed it so that the oil cannot be checked or refilled without removing the entire unit belowdeck.

Effing hell.

Since I'm long and thin, I volunteered to go in and take out the four screws holding it to the deck. The screws must be removed with an Allen wrench. Seriously.

You can't really tell, but the unit is still way beyond where I am, requiring me to stretch my arms overhead, find the screws, maintain upward pressure while trying to unscrew them. At first I was mostly worried about how a) I would hold the 10-pound thing in the air while getting the last screw out and b) how I would ever get the effing thing back in there when we finished rebuilding it.

Ah, but I was counting chickens or borrowing trouble or some trite saying about getting ahead of myself.

The first screw, the only one I could see, came loose with only about 15 minutes of effort. The second a little less. The third was not bad. The last one is in a complete blind spot on the far side of the casing.

Using a mirror on a stick, I was able to get the wrench into the screw, but did not have the strength or torque to get it loose. I tried for about an hour, and I'm pretty sure I stripped it. I gave up.

Chip forced himself in there.

That door is SO SMALL.*

He tried for an hour or so. We regrouped. I found another set of Allen wrenches. Chip went in to confirm it was the screw that was stripped, not the wrench.

It gripped. He turned. The wrench flew out never to be seen again. Chain locker. Piles of chain. AAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!

We sealed the effing locker up for the night and went to meet friends for dinner. Tomorrow is another frigging day.

*As a special bonus, the camera flash is picking up some white mildew on those door slats. We can't see it otherwise. AAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!


  1. Replies
    1. LOL Yes! Once I figured out who you were.

    2. I seem to be speaking to everyone..I had a few words for god and for the Maxwell company..but mostly to Jesus Christ and all his disciples and I think a few for the Virgin Mary herself. sorry all, tomorrow is another day..Damm it

  2. My fav is: "Stop worrying about the mule going blind and keep filling the wagon."