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Old 05-02-2010, 13:10   #16
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I am recovering from just such an instance of Murphatical Law.

I have, for about 2 weeks, been trying to find the problem with my wind turbine. It was acting erratically, working then not working, stopping suddenly and the little led was flashing in an inconsistant manner.

Of course, recently, there hasn't been enough wind to blow away a puff of smoke.

I listened carefully to the weather and was pleased to hear that the wind would 15 to 25 on Tuesday night so I went and stayed on the boat, something I almost never do during the week.

The wind almost filled in about 3am. Fortunately there was just enough to figure out that the turbine wasn't working right.

Early in the morning I got out the ladder an stood it up against the turbine mast in EXACTY the same way as I've done it about 30 times previously without any movement or other trouble.

This time I had the engine running and the deck was wet.

Weather or not this had anything to do with the fact that as soon as I reached both hands upward beyond shoulder height to remove the turbine blades the bottom of the ladder scooted backwards away from the mast I don't know.

I do know I dropped about 3ft straight down the mast and smacked that nice(soft, tender) meaty part of the inside of my bicepts just above the elbow really hard onto the edge of the solar panel mount, breaking off(and loosing over board) the radar reflector and bending the AIS antenna to 90* and tearing my new(bought on Sat) warm up hoodie.

The language in the immediate aftermath did however spin the turbine up to speed quite nicely.

I am now a shocking plum colour that Prince himself would be proud to wear.

I am most proud however that the solar panel mount I designed and built survived having a 200lb weight dropped on it from a substantial height and thrilled the ladder didn't even scrape the gelcoat and didn't break anything else (yet found) on it's short violent trip across the cockpit.

I don't know yet if the solar panel got damaged because of course there has been no sun for the last 3 days so I haven't been able to check.

Just to prove that I can learn from my mistakes I tied off the ladder and went back up and removed the turbine and sent it back for repair.

I should have been much more careful in planning or beginning this job.

As soon as I found out the turbine had broken while still under warranty I should have been suspicious.

Maybe I was just a little. I did tie a line to the tail of the generator to prevent it dropping from my hands and going through the solar panel and then into the water.

Unfortunately that line snagged my glasses and sent them to the bottom of the slip too.

Murphy can be such a kidder........m
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Old 05-02-2010, 13:17   #17
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Well David Shakespeare was right.Henry VIII I think.Paraphrase,for want of a nail a shoe was lost,for want of a shoe a horse was lost,for want of a horse a battle was lost,a horse a horse my kingdom for a horse.marc
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Old 05-02-2010, 13:35   #18
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Originally Posted by LexLocal View Post
2. Before the start--Think/make a list of everything that can go wrong......n' think some more....

3. Sleep/ give the matter more time.........then pick up the tool--
I had previously identified that's why my refurb is taking a while

But I don't know why I bother with that much thinking, as my carefully laid plans of attack often don't survive first contact............
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Old 05-02-2010, 13:54   #19
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Sad sequence of events...

There is a detailed account of John Denver's crash and the events leading up to it here.
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Old 05-02-2010, 13:56   #20
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when installing or engineering a complex system: it's not that something will be done wrong .. you know it will. one trick is to do the easy thing 2 or 3 times before you commit to something important and do this once. but that isn't easy to do
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Old 05-02-2010, 14:00   #21
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Bilges and black holes

Of course we all know that our bilges are black holes the will suck anything into the deepest darkest dirtiest depths. The more valuable the more likely it will end up down there. Cell phones are of course a given sacrifice.

I was once working at the top of the mast when I dropped a part. I watched in amazement as it hit the deck bounced twice then down the companionway, Clack clack clack down the steps, where it proceeded to roll forward to and open hatch in the floor and down into the bilge! Nothing but net! Now one would consider oneself lucky it did not go overboard but the rub here is I never could recover it, so I had to live with the knowledge it was not lost but could never be retrieved

"Nature is not cruel she is simply indifferent to mans aspirations"
Sir Francis Chitchester

Fair winds
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Old 05-02-2010, 14:03   #22
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Cell Phone

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Originally Posted by bcguy View Post
The cell phone you just used will be placed in your shirt pocket...you will lean over to deal with a line... the phone will drop in the ocean (did that x2 recently)...
They do make a floating waterproof cell phone.
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Old 05-02-2010, 14:10   #23
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"Nature is not cruel she is simply indifferent to mans aspirations"

Sir Francis Chitchester

This is not true. I have personally caused numerous thunder storms and contributed to rising sea levels by forgetting my umbrella.
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Old 05-02-2010, 14:18   #24
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They do make a floating waterproof cell phone.
Of course at 8 knots they're called floating away cell phones. A mere taunt from the sea. Something like the clock ticking in the belly of the croc that chases Capt'n Hook.
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Old 05-02-2010, 14:51   #25
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I still haven't learned that any job...no matter how small, will take every tool on the boat before its done.
And some tools you don't have as well.

I swear I was the only one keeping some hardware stores in business.
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Old 05-02-2010, 15:37   #26
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For every one thing that you fix on the boat, two more things will be broken.

Any job that requires you to head up the mast will not be accomplished in one trip.

Mistakes that are unwitnessed never happened.
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Old 05-02-2010, 17:55   #27
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Not Exactly…

A thread of folk wisdom. Charming.


Quote:
marc2012, he say:
Well David Shakespeare was right.Henry VIII I think.Paraphrase,for want of a nail a shoe was lost,for want of a shoe a horse was lost,for want of a horse a battle was lost,a horse a horse my kingdom for a horse.marc
First, who is David Shakespeare? For want of a comma, the meaning was lost, it seems.

The "for want of a nail" adage is correctly credited to Benjamin Franklin, writing as Poor Richard. The title character in William Shakespeare's Richard III cries out "A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!" (Act V, sc. iv), and therein lies the confusion.
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Old 05-02-2010, 19:31   #28
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... It is almost always the case that if someone had taken care of the first or second event, that the third or fourth event that lead to the disaster would never have occurred. ...

Its almost always a sequence of problems, and quite often minor problems, that causes a major maritime disaster. Its critical to address the first one or two problems before things get much worse.
This is an accurate statement of well known progression from the initial "little" thing to the disaster. In the industrial and construction environments, when as accident happens, a "root cause analysis" is done to determine what that first event was, and the nature of the subsequent chain of events. It's a common practice carried out in order to learn how to avoid the same thing happening again. The search for the root cause is why investigations often take much longer than you might think was reasonable.
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Old 05-02-2010, 19:34   #29
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Ask the spirit of John Denver---Low and slow, in a new (for him), experimential --Just bent over to do somepin on the floor--and lost it into the death spirial--
I don't want to knock a good thread off track, but this is an inaccurate description of the events that led to John's fatal accident. The low and slow part is correct, and it was in an aircraft that he had only recently purchased, but he didn't bend over to do something on the floor, resulting in a death spiral.

The Long-EZ, as you probably know, sits with its nose lowered to the ramp which can cause inaccurate readings on the fuel gauge. John had intended to increase his familiarity with his new aircraft, and called ahead to have personnel at the FBO prep the plane for him. When he arrived, he was informed all was OK - a small amount of fuel in one tank, and substantially more in the other.

He had enjoyed uneventful flying for about twenty minutes when the engine sputtered as the selected tank ran dry. Unfortunately, his new Long-EZ had an unconventional placement of the fuel selector - mounted on the bulkhead behind the pilot's head. John knew this, but had never had to actually reach the selector in a time-critical situation.

It was not possible to reach the selector without contorting the body to reach it. The Long-EZ was observed to yaw markedly right after the engine went silent. Investigators believe that, in an attempt to push against something to be able to reach the selector, John pushed one foot hard against one of the rudder pedals, though it's possible that he was pushing hard with both feet on the rudder pedals, and one slipped off.

Because he was only at about 500 feet above the water just off the Monterrey coastline when he suffered fuel starvation, John had very little time to switch fuel tanks. When he induced the hard yaw, he had no time (read: altitude) to recover. Sadly, had he not attempted to reach the fuel selector, he would have had a better chance at survival had he attempted an engine-out forced landing in the shallow water just offshore.

Not ideal, but much better than what actually happened.

Sorry for the interruption, folks.

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Old 05-02-2010, 21:13   #30
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This is not true. I have personally caused numerous thunder storms and contributed to rising sea levels by forgetting my umbrella.
Somebody must have forgotten their umbrella in Mexico the other day.
This time of year should be sunshine and 80 degrees with 5 to 10 knots of wind.
See 'lectronic latitude.

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