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Old 21-03-2014, 03:10   #61
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Re: Bad MacGyvering ! Questionable Funny Repairs

I recall the famous Cruisers Forum clobbering machine descending on me the first time I suggested it was eminently possible to start a small marine diesel engine using either sail power or water power. It sometimes seems that there are twenty experts on what won't work for every one on what just might.

I've turned up an alu capstan drum which can bolt to the crankshaft pulley on either of my engines. (A 1GM and a 2GM).

I just happened across some evidence that I was not the first to come up with this idea

- or, more accurately, not the first to put it into practice - I first had the idea decades ago, when trying to start the engine (a 1GM!) on a boat where the starter handle was too close to the floor for a "yard of pumpwater" like me. Luckily a guest was build along the lines of a Welsh pit-pony, and she started it for me:

<<That Vendee was the race that made Ellen MacArthur famous. It would have been hard to believe if you’d read the British headlines at the time, but she didn’t actually win. She came second behind a yacht called PRB, sailed by Frenchman Michel Desjoyeaux, also known as Le Professeur for his analytical, intelligent approach to the sport. But it was a close run thing, and it was never closer than on the approach to Cape Horn, when PRB reported that the starter motor on the Professor’s generator had given out.

As you may (or may not) know, the generator is absolutely essential aboard these boats, as they don’t carry enough water to complete the voyage. Instead, they carry a desalinator to make the water as they go along. These machines are run off the electrical power in the batteries, and the batteries are charged by the generator or engine. No generator or engine means no water, and since pretty much all the food on board is freeze dried and needs to be rehydrated, nothing to eat either. And that’s before we’ve got started on all the other systems that go down when there’s no power on the boatnavigation, communication, lights... although the toilet should still work.

And the Vendee is non-stop, no assistance – for Desjoyeaux, a stop at Cape Horn for spares meant that he was out of the race, handing our Ellen (or l'anglais, depending on your viewpoint) the lead. As the hours ticked by, Desjoyeaux and his support team ashore racked their brains for a way to repair the motor with what was onboard. The boat held north, heading for Chile and retirement, while everyone watching (via the internet) held their breath.

Then, PRB dived south towards the Horn - alone in the Southern Ocean, Le Professeur had worked a fix. How did he do it? It was breathtaking in its ingenuity. Desjoyeaux had a hand crank for his generator, at first glance useless, because he wasn’t strong enough to turn the engine over… but there are other sources of power aboard a sail boat.

Desjoyeaux had set PRB up on a beam reach, then pulled the mainsail in as hard as possible, making it fast with the sail ridiculously over-sheeted on the centreline of the boat. He then guided the rest of the mainsheet down below, through a series of blocks, until he could wrap it around a drum fastened to the hand crank on the starter motor. The set up was just like the starting cord on a manual outboard engine, or petrol lawn mower.

With everything in place, Desjoyeaux climbed back on deck and, warily I suspect, let the mainsheet go. The load on the over-sheeted sail pushed it out at huge speed, hauling the mainsheet through the blocks all the way back to where it was wrapped around the hand crank on the starter motor, spinning the drum and… Bingo. One engine, running – this was creative genius on the level of the guitar riff out of the instrumental in Led Zep’s Whole Lotta Love. And it saved the race for Michel Desjoyeaux.>>

Lacking enough sail area or enough wind for Michel's exact idea to be sufficient for my 2GM, I would then have a 'crack' at exploiting the added momentum of rolling into a (controlled) gybe, starting with the boom nearly amidships but on the 'wrong' side. With a nylon rope to absorb the initial snatch, prevent derails, and return the stored energy to help crank the wee beast.

And the other possibility would be to use a drogue to do the cranking, in a situation where the engine compression was down, and prolonged session was needed to get the engine warmed up to the task. (It pays to pull the stop button for the warming phase, rather than the decompressors)

Naturally some sort of cunning dodge would be required to safely arrest the drogue warp at the end of its cranking run.

The way I look at it: if it was easy, every pr*ck would be doing it, and where would the fun be then !
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Old 21-03-2014, 03:26   #62
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Re: Bad MacGyvering ! Questionable Funny Repairs

I also happened across a photo of my Mate, as described in an earlier post in this thread, halfway through converting one sort of pipe fitting to another with an impromptu lathe while sailing off what is sometimes a wild coast

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Old 21-03-2014, 05:56   #63
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Re: Bad MacGyvering ! Questionable Funny Repairs

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Originally Posted by ohYes View Post
What a great idea for a thread! I am amazed by the genius repairs and workarounds everyone has pulled off.

My first sailing MacGyver move was in Antigua. We had come back from racing and had just finished eating and drinking and needed to take the trash ashore. We were already in the dinghy when their gas cap fell overboard while fueling. I ripped off a piece of trash bag and poked hokes in it with a pen in my purse, then took off my hair tie and secured it with that. It wasn't pretty but started right up and worked perfectly. My French crew members nodded and seemed somewhat impressed.

The next year (same Jeanneau 44) the radar unit started wobbling like it was going to fall off so the bowman climbed the mast while underway racing and secured it with lots of duct tape.
Well I'll be !!!

Further evidence ... I told you... You were BORN to sail !

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Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
45 years ago I drove a TR3 - 1953 editon - serial number 1974. Great goddamn car. I still think about it occassionally and wish I had it.
Wow Carsten... One of the early one's... Almost a TR2!!!
I can still remember mine TS60582L

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I will add a MacGyver story. Some years ago, my wife and I were traveling in the Okawonga Delta in Botwana. Far from anywhere (it always is-isn't it?), our little truck began smelling like gas.

It turned out that the fuel line connection on the low pressure side of the fuel pump had snapped.

It took a while, but I managed to hook it back using a bobby pin from my wife (who NEVER wears bobby pins, but did that day because her hair had been getting in her eyes).

The repair lasted the nex three days until we managed to get back to civilization
Brilliant! It is always the goal for the bad repair to last much longer than expected or hoped... It's like the Cosmos aligning with our human predisposition to procrastination AND gambling !!!
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Old 21-03-2014, 06:26   #64
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Re: Bad MacGyvering ! Questionable Funny Repairs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post

Lacking enough sail area or enough wind for Michel's exact idea to be sufficient for my 2GM, I would then have a 'crack' at exploiting the added momentum of rolling into a (controlled) gybe, starting with the boom nearly amidships but on the 'wrong' side. With a nylon rope to absorb the initial snatch, prevent derails, and return the stored energy to help crank the wee beast.

And the other possibility would be to use a drogue to do the cranking, in a situation where the engine compression was down, and prolonged session was needed to get the engine warmed up to the task. (It pays to pull the stop button for the warming phase, rather than the decompressors)

Naturally some sort of cunning dodge would be required to safely arrest the drogue warp at the end of its cranking run.

The way I look at it: if it was easy, every pr*ck would be doing it, and where would the fun be then !
I remember that Vendee race very well, and the brilliant idea being so pivotal... I'm a huge fan of the event... There are so many other famous races that have huge credibility... But the Vendee for me is the ULTIMATE race! Last one was breathtaking... as well as history making...

RE the cranking idea:
I think all it would take is a "rather large" diameter pulley bolted to the crank damper... Say 10"+ in Aluminum... A pre thought out and tested emergency spare if you will... A 4-1 purchase rigged backwards at the main would really generate some serious force!

As far as the drogue idea (which I love) simply rig a trip line 10' shorter than your warp... You could repeatedly pull in both trip and warp say 25' at a time which would make about 10 revs on that 10" crank pulley!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
I also happened across a photo of my Mate, as described in an earlier post in this thread, halfway through converting one sort of pipe fitting to another with an impromptu lathe while sailing off what is sometimes a wild coast

Click on the thumbnail for a larger view
Craftsmanship at work... Looks like a manufactured part! I love the fact that it also shows how tunnel visioned we are at task... What with the shavings in the traveler track and all...
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Old 21-03-2014, 07:35   #65
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Re: Bad MacGyvering ! Questionable Funny Repairs

In high school I had a car that go so rusty if would not pass state inspection. The driver and passenger floors were literally gone. Being on a high school budget, and needing more gas & beer money than state inspection, I fixed it myself. A trip to the scrap metal pile at the dump, my dads pop rivet gun and some roof tar to cover the bad patch job was all it took.

Slapped the sheet metal between the carpet & floor, tossed in a couple of rivets to keep it still then slathered a massive amount of roof tar over the patch to blend it into the rest of the undercoating. I then found a dirt road to cover the fresh tar in road dust to make it "blend".. Took it back to the shop guy put it on the lift and gave it the ok.... Entire repair cost me about $2.00 in roofing tar and I got another two years out of the car....... Structurally unsafe, visually passed inspection.... Oh and I never did fall through the floor.....
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Old 21-03-2014, 07:42   #66
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Re: Bad MacGyvering ! Questionable Funny Repairs

When my TR3 had to be inspected, the brakes were bad and being a poverty-stricken high school student, I couldn't afford to fix it.

answer? (oh you sexist pig!)

I got my girlfriend to put on her tiniest miniskirt (about as long as one of my belts are wide) and drive it up to the inspection station. It was summer and she got out by stepping over the drivers door, not opening it. The inspectors damn near fainted, since they got to determine she was wearing pink panties that day.

the inspectors were much more interested in inspecting her loooong legs, that they just slapped a sticker on the window. Then they all lined up to watch her step over the door again to get into the drivers seat. I waited around the corner.


A sharp bit of macgyvering if I do say so myself (I probably do)
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Old 21-03-2014, 10:29   #67
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Re: Bad MacGyvering ! Questionable Funny Repairs

I guess my TR3 burning-up-while-being-inspected tale qualifies as a MacGyver story then.

In the summer of 1969, I think it was, I was working at my summer job as a student engineer at the local office of the Pennsylvania Electric Company in my hometown of Punxsutawney, PA (yeah, THAT Punxsutawney). My rattletrap TR3 was due for inspection, so I took it to the shop of Guy Gattuso, the independent mechanic my dad had dealt with for years. I dropped it off and walked to work.

Soon after I got to the office the phone rang. "Hey, Dave, this is Guy... I'm not sure how to tell you this, but your car burned up while I was inspecting it."

I jumped in the company car and drove the mile or so to Guy's shop. There sat my beloved TR on the lot with the hood lying back over the windshield looking like a charred saltine, with its many coats of paint bubbled up and toasted. The engine compartment looked like the black hole of Calcutta dusted with powdered sugar. The smell of burnt rubber, electrical insulation and paint permeated the neighborhood.

Guy came out of the shop and I asked him what happened. "Well," he said "I needed to start it to pull it into the garage, but I had to crank it so long to get 'er started I ran the battery down pretty far, so I left it it sit out there idling to charge the battery back up. Next thing I knew, I saw smoke coming out from under the hood... so I grabbed the dry chemical fire extinguisher. Got out there and discovered I couldn't raise the hood because of those damned race-car Dzus fasteners that hold it down. Had to run back into the shop to find the right-sized screwdriver that would fit catty-cornered in the fastener. By the time I got the hood up and the fire out, everything flammable had burned off the engine."

We deduced that what had happened was that one of the old, rotted rubber fuel lines to the dual SU carbs had sprung a leak while it sat there idling and sprayed gas all over the hot engine. It caught fire and kept running until the float bowls in the carbs ran out of gas.

As we stood there with our hands on our hips shaking our heads at the black, gaping maw, I popped the question that only a broke college kid could have asked, "I guess this means it doesn't pass inspection?"

To my surprise, he replied "Well... not necessarily. If you can come over here over the weekend with the right wire and hose to get her running again, I'll take another crack at inspecting her."

So, Saturday morning I hit the auto parts store where I bought several spools of insulated wire of various gauges, crimp-on terminals, and a length of rubber fuel line. Spent the rest of the weekend re-wiring the engine compartment (a TR3 was pretty primitive, so re-wiring it wasn't exactly rocket science, especially to a EE student) and installing the new fuel line. A few hours on the battery charger, and she started up. Guy inspected the TR the first thing Monday morning, and it passed, soda-cracker hood and all!

Just goes to show how much cars have changed since the '50s and how different the car repair business was in the '60s in rural Pennsylvania.
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Old 21-03-2014, 10:47   #68
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Re: Bad MacGyvering ! Questionable Funny Repairs

To haul out my 34ft cat, I made rollers from pipe and pvc tubing,
and used a winch attached to my bronco's trailer hitch and chocked the wheels.

I also attached the steering from a speedboat to the outboard since the rudders did not work, which a coast guard guy thought was impressive.

In the young and stupid department, my clutch linkage broke on my car in highschool, and we nevertheless had to go out on a saturday night, so i just used the starter motor to leave from a stoplight, went 30-40 miles and back to the beach that night.
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Old 21-03-2014, 10:48   #69
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Re: Bad MacGyvering ! Questionable Funny Repairs

Quote:
Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
When my TR3 had to be inspected, the brakes were bad and being a poverty-stricken high school student, I couldn't afford to fix it.

answer? (oh you sexist pig!)

I got my girlfriend to put on her tiniest miniskirt (about as long as one of my belts are wide) and drive it up to the inspection station. It was summer and she got out by stepping over the drivers door, not opening it. The inspectors damn near fainted, since they got to determine she was wearing pink panties that day.

the inspectors were much more interested in inspecting her loooong legs, that they just slapped a sticker on the window. Then they all lined up to watch her step over the door again to get into the drivers seat. I waited around the corner.


A sharp bit of macgyvering if I do say so myself (I probably do)
Pictures????????
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Old 21-03-2014, 14:12   #70
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Re: Bad MacGyvering ! Questionable Funny Repairs

Anybody remember this?
Quote:
"We have done so much, with so little, for so long, we are now qualified to do anything, with nothing. Dec 13, 1881- Konstantin Josef Jireček
I've been known to play the bombshell card in a difficult situation. Magic is the art of distraction.

No TR3's in my past, but in the mid 80's - early 90's, I owned 3 VW camper vans and a '72 Porsche 914. Doesn't that sound like a decent hand for problematic car poker?
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Old 21-03-2014, 14:35   #71
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Re: Bad MacGyvering ! Questionable Funny Repairs

Once years ago when cars had metal bumpers we used an old style bumper jack to jump a car off with a dead battery. We put the metal bumpers together and used the jack and handle between the positive posts on the batteries. Damn plastic cars now it wouldn't work.
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Old 22-03-2014, 06:26   #72
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Re: Bad MacGyvering ! Questionable Funny Repairs

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Originally Posted by ontherocks83 View Post
Pictures????????
Sorry no pics, only fond memories of my high school girlfriend (and her incredible array of some of the tiniest miniskirts ever seen (sigh!) )
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Old 22-03-2014, 07:23   #73
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Re: Bad MacGyvering ! Questionable Funny Repairs

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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
In high school I had a car that go so rusty if would not pass state inspection. The driver and passenger floors were literally gone. Being on a high school budget, and needing more gas & beer money than state inspection, I fixed it myself. A trip to the scrap metal pile at the dump, my dads pop rivet gun and some roof tar to cover the bad patch job was all it took.
Brilliant Job!!!
PS: The mantra of the teenager is in bold above...

Re inspections and my experiences... In the NANNY state of California... Where auto makers were forced to make a 1 state/49 state car for years and years... There really are no "safety inspections" .... weird, as they are missing out on tons of revenue...

BUT.... Re smog/emissions inspections??? They gotchya by the tender bits... The computer testing machines are wired directly to Sacramento DMV recording all of the pass/fail data... There's about a 15 point visual equipment inspection... They stick a gas analyzer in the tailpipe, two if you got duals... run your car at idle... and on a dyno roller at 15 mph and 45 mph... so they can see what your car is really putting out... Gas cap gets tested on a special "gas cap tester" I've had to buy about 5 new gas caps to pass... Older cars are a COMPLETE PITA to get within the emissions requirements...

Oh... and the other sneaky big brother thing??? It's quite common to see a little white trailer on a freeway/interstate on ramp ... Whatever for you ask??? Hmm??? It is an Infrared GAS ANALYZER... complete with license plate picture taking equipment... Should your car be emitting more than state requirements... The long and painful legal process begins... These are to catch the people who are somehow getting around the system, or temporarily modifying their cars for inspections only....

Quote:
Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
When my TR3 had to be inspected, the brakes were bad and being a poverty-stricken high school student, I couldn't afford to fix it.

answer? (oh you sexist pig!)

I got my girlfriend to put on her tiniest miniskirt (about as long as one of my belts are wide) and drive it up to the inspection station. It was summer and she got out by stepping over the drivers door, not opening it. The inspectors damn near fainted, since they got to determine she was wearing pink panties that day.

the inspectors were much more interested in inspecting her loooong legs, that they just slapped a sticker on the window. Then they all lined up to watch her step over the door again to get into the drivers seat. I waited around the corner.


A sharp bit of macgyvering if I do say so myself (I probably do)
Carsten... You are at the head of the MacGuyvering class for SURE!!!

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Originally Posted by Ukeluthier View Post
I guess my TR3 burning-up-while-being-inspected tale qualifies as a MacGyver story then.

In the summer of 1969, I think it was, I was working at my summer job as a student engineer at the local office of the Pennsylvania Electric Company in my hometown of Punxsutawney, PA (yeah, THAT Punxsutawney). My rattletrap TR3 was due for inspection, so I took it to the shop of Guy Gattuso, the independent mechanic my dad had dealt with for years. I dropped it off and walked to work.

Got out there and discovered I couldn't raise the hood because of those damned race-car Dzus fasteners that hold it down. Had to run back into the shop to find the right-sized screwdriver that would fit catty-cornered in the fastener. By the time I got the hood up and the fire out, everything flammable had burned off the engine."

So, Saturday morning I hit the auto parts store where I bought several spools of insulated wire of various gauges, crimp-on terminals, and a length of rubber fuel line. Spent the rest of the weekend re-wiring the engine compartment (a TR3 was pretty primitive, so re-wiring it wasn't exactly rocket science, especially to a EE student) and installing the new fuel line. A few hours on the battery charger, and she started up. Guy inspected the TR the first thing Monday morning, and it passed, soda-cracker hood and all!

Just goes to show how much cars have changed since the '50s and how different the car repair business was in the '60s in rural Pennsylvania.
The Dzus fasteners were both cool and a PITA... I made sure that we had plenty of keys hanging around.... One in each door pocket, and the glove box...

Definitely wasn't a whole lot going on under the hood wiring wise!

Great Story!
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Old 22-03-2014, 07:35   #74
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Re: Bad MacGyvering ! Questionable Funny Repairs

Quote:
Originally Posted by nimblemotors View Post
To haul out my 34ft cat, I made rollers from pipe and pvc tubing,
and used a winch attached to my bronco's trailer hitch and chocked the wheels.

I also attached the steering from a speedboat to the outboard since the rudders did not work, which a coast guard guy thought was impressive.

In the young and stupid department, my clutch linkage broke on my car in highschool, and we nevertheless had to go out on a saturday night, so i just used the starter motor to leave from a stoplight, went 30-40 miles and back to the beach that night.
Nice job on the cat Jack!!!

Boy... If I had a dollar for every time I started a car in gear at a light... I'd be a very wealthy man...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ontherocks83 View Post
Pictures????????
I'm with OTR on this one...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohYes View Post
Anybody remember this?

I've been known to play the bombshell card in a difficult situation. Magic is the art of distraction.

No TR3's in my past, but in the mid 80's - early 90's, I owned 3 VW camper vans and a '72 Porsche 914. Doesn't that sound like a decent hand for problematic car poker?
OhYes... You keep getting cooler and cooler by the minute!!! Mucho kudos senorita!!!

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Originally Posted by SeaKing View Post
Once years ago when cars had metal bumpers we used an old style bumper jack to jump a car off with a dead battery. We put the metal bumpers together and used the jack and handle between the positive posts on the batteries. Damn plastic cars now it wouldn't work.
The jack and handle are the perfect touch!!! I've done the bumper to bumper... but don't recall the pos lead... Had to be wire of some sort... SuperMacGuyvering!

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Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
Sorry no pics, only fond memories of my high school girlfriend (and her incredible array of some of the tiniest miniskirts ever seen (sigh!) )
Dang... Well... Maybe you could find a picture that "very closely" depicts the event.... and post that???
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Old 22-03-2014, 07:45   #75
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Re: Bad MacGyvering ! Questionable Funny Repairs

On the other side of the "State Inspection" coin in DIRECT contrast to the CA cavity search style...

In MS, I needed a state inspection... Not knowing what to expect, I was a bit intimidated... I had visions of the truck on a lift... wheels off and calipers in hand... etc....

Well.. I pull in this pretty run down garage... In it... I kid you not... is a giant sleeping hound dog on the floor... A tractor from the 30's... and a partially restored Deuce coupe... Guy comes out of the office with a clipboard and cigarette hanging from his mouth... says...

Lights.... check... signal right/left... check... horn... check... wipers... check...

1 minute and $5 lighter in the wallet I had my very first MS inspection sticker....

GOD BLESS THE SOUTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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