Friday, November 26, 2010

Living as a Couple on a Boat Part III

This installment is about fixing the many things that go wrong on a a couple. And if you think that boat you just bought won't need repairs in the near future, we have some swampland in Florida for sale (actually we really do!!!)

(Note the band-aid in this picture. I'm thinking of buying stock in the company)

But, the big question is, even if the boat survives, can the same thing be said for the couple?

Once again, I'm very thankful that Hans MacGyver is a very calm and rational man who actually enjoys a challenge. And after each and every disaster we've encountered with this boat; instead of throwing every tool he owns at me and cursing all Gods known to man, he has actually been heard to say, "I think I learned a lot from that."

And for any ladies out there who find this to be a very desirable trait in a man; Hands off! I saw him first!

However, I do remember the time the muffler fell off my car, and after I reattached it with a wire hanger and Duct tape (while flat on my back on my cold garage floor at 7 o'clock in the morning so I could get to work on time), Hans, who was still in his robe, inspected my work and commented that perhaps he would have done it differently.

Obviously, I didn't kill him.

When we found our port locker full of water and ended up replacing this hose ourselves, we were told not to use an elbow. Most likely because this particular hose 'bends' as a result of the wire that's spiralled around its whole.

Here are the leaky hoses we ripped out of the locker and replaced in October.

We threw them into the cockpit and even though they were already dead and rendered useless I thought they looked slightly evil, and was very happy to toss them into a dumpster.

We found out the starboard side locker hoses had already been replaced, and just this week we dug out our original survey and discovered that the work was completed shortly after we bought the boat.

Honestly, we don't even remember having it done!

Notice here that they used an elbow.

Together, Hans and I have discovered a lot of interesting things on the Knotty Cat and I'm not kidding when I say it took us two years to figure out the how the two water tanks worked as the original owners had them re-routed, and left no information behind.

But this fall found us performing our biggest repair yet as a couple and it involved our GPS antenna.

'Fritz' the GPS, decided to act up on a fairly nasty voyage in the Chesapeake and insisted upon showing us on shore a good bit of the time. Fritz became rather emboldened with his brazen ways and threatened to start up a union amongst our other electronics. I, however, who once belonged to a union, knew that if we didn't nip Fritz in the bud right now, he'd become a boil on our backside forever!

I want it on record to all union members that we gave Fritz many opportunities to mend his ways but he chose to ignore us.

So it gave me great pleasure the day West Marine personally delivered a new GPS antenna to us while we were on the hard at the Charleston City Marina.

"Well, this should be easy." Hans and I said to each other after examining the directions, and then after about eight hours of rewiring that big stinker we realized why boat yards charge so much for their work

We still have no idea why the many, many wires, deemed necessary to keep a boat running, need to be secured every three inches or so with tightly cinched tie wraps and then run deep into the bowels of the boat. After trying to fish our new antenna wire (taped to the old wire) through this myriad of craziness, we finally said the hell with it and bypassed most of them.

This was only after we realized that we forgot to thread the wire through the nut on the outside of the boat first, and then had to pull it out and start all over again.

Another problem was the fact that a running fan in the engine room (where all the fun wiring stuff was taking place) made it necessary for me (in the cockpit) to shout very loudly to Hans (in the engine room) in order to be heard.

After yanking (and swearing), pulling (and swearing), ripping (and swearing), we lost the new antenna wire in a very tight conduit (and yes there was a lot of swearing).

We figured out a way to bypass most of the tie wraps, along with the nasty conduit, and finally got the new wire through. Our joy was short lived however when we realized it still wouldn't work and an hour later found that a blown fuse was the culprit.

We walked into the boat yard's part's store at closing time, just as all the employees were getting ready to quit for the day. While they found a fuse for us I proudly explained that we'd spent the day replacing the antenna to our GPS. "Yeah, we know." remarked one of the mechanics who'd been working on our boat, and everyone laughed. "Really? How'd you know that?" I asked.

And he happily answered, "Oh, we all heard you."

Never let it be said I don't exercise my vocabulary any chance I can.


  1. Yes, it didn't take long for us to figure out how much more difficult every little task is on a boat. And they say building a house is a challenge... that was a piece of cake compared to the boat! But we still love it. Of course it's only been a year, but I think we'll still love her next year too!

  2. That's the problem with boats, once they suck us in they know we'll do anything for them!