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Old 30-08-2017, 10:21   #46
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Re: Calling All Idiots!

Dumbest thing I ever did wasn't work-related but it was pretty dumb.

On my old C&C 30 I had a tiller and you could spin it (and the rudder) 360 degrees. One day, I came out to the boat at the dock and tried to back out. Couldn't get any control of the boat whatsoever. I'm nearly missing boats all around me. Totally nerve wracking. I finally maneuver the boat back into the slip. Figure maybe it's the wind. I try to back out again... I can barely control it. I'm shoving off other boats all around. Didn't make any contact thank god. Finally get the bow pointed towards open water and start moving. I'm feeling tons of pressure on the tiller. I lift up the tiller and it spins around right in my hand. Suddenly all is right in the world...

Rudder was backwards

My wife still won't let me live that down.
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Old 30-08-2017, 11:31   #47
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Re: Calling All Idiots!

So the fuel float COULD physically be installed upside down? See, that's not a failure of the guy who tried to install it. That's an engineering failure. The mechanism could and should have been designed such that it was only possible to assemble and install in the proper position.

Sadly, there's a lot of plain poor engineering that fails to take human factors into accommodation.

And then there's Rule Number One:
Never buy a used car, boat, house, horse, carnival ride, or circus tent from a guy with size 16 sneakers and a rainbow fright wig.
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Old 30-08-2017, 14:23   #48
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Re: Calling All Idiots!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Obi Wan View Post
I am a firm believer in doing things oneself...if one is capable. Working on your own boat saves money, is immensely satisfying, and generally enjoyable, if not time consuming. I personally don't like paying someone else to do something I can do myself. If I don't know how, I do research and learn or get help (and this forum is a great resource!). The key is - if you are going to do it yourself, you still have to know what you're doing!



So... I want all the idiots out there who work on their own boats without learning or getting help (or just using some common sense) to STOP - or if you must work on your boat without knowing what you're doing or getting help, then please don't sell your boat to someone else - just - when you retire it, or yourself, from sailing - please use your boat to create an artificial reef somewhere (with all the required permits of course).



Why do I bring this up? I bought an older boat, (because I can't afford a new one) that at some point in it's history, had an idiot work on it - a lot. I have had many problems. Electrical, engine, fuel... because someone obviously didn't know what they were doing.



My latest - and perfect - example: The fuel gauge didn't work when I bought it (always read empty). The previous owner (who didn't work on the boat and hadn't owned it long) said it had always been like that. I finally got around to fixing it. Checked the sender first - it worked, had the proper ohms range. OK, tested the gauge according to the manufacturer's flow chart. Everything checked out OK. What the..? Oh well, let's try a new gauge anyway. Same problem! OK, let's try something else - pull the sender out - again - and hook everything up and power it up. Full is empty and empty is full! Someone had installed the sender float mechanism upside down! What the...? Who would take that apart, then put it back together the wrong way and not even notice that the gauge no longer worked?



Simple fix, but so much time and money wasted... Yes, if I would have paid more attention when measuring the resistance of the sending unit, I would have caught that the low and highs were on the wrong ends, but I never even imagined...and shouldn't have had to! And this was harmless...we've all heard the stories of swimmers getting electrocuted because someone screwed up their boat's wiring.



Anyone else have similar stories?


Our 2 fuel gauges read correctly but our 2 water tank gauges read backwards - new senders with reversed output for different gauges, no fix except change gauges.
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Old 30-08-2017, 14:37   #49
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Re: Calling All Idiots!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
We all thought it saves on fuel


Just the opposite - it was always showing empty so I had to keep buying more!
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Old 30-08-2017, 14:42   #50
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Re: Calling All Idiots!

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Originally Posted by CSY Man View Post
I bought a brand new production boat last year....Fortunately I had it surveyed before delivery, got a long list of things to be fixed under warranty...

It would never even have occurred to me to get a survey done on a new boat...
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Old 30-08-2017, 15:06   #51
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Re: Calling All Idiots!

I ALWAYS turn the wheel stop to stop before leaving the dock, but I was late for the beer cans and I just started backing out. Boat didn't seem to respond to rudder, so forward back into dock, stop, try it again and give it plenty of throttle to get some steerage, into neutral, no rudder. Finally dawns on me that the wheel is just spinning free on the shaft, when they polished and waxed the boat the day before they removed the wheel to do a really good job. Unfortunately the "keyway" fell out and over and no one noticed or wanted to tell me.
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Old 30-08-2017, 16:09   #52
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Re: Calling All Idiots!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrine1983 View Post
I'm nearly missing boats all around me.
Or could that be nearly hitting? Otherwise I think you probably did a lot of damage to the boats all around you!
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Old 30-08-2017, 16:32   #53
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Re: Calling All Idiots!

Except for the simplest tasks, I believe in hiring professionals and supporting the local economy. Besides, over the years I've lost flexibility and tolerance for frustration.
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Old 04-09-2017, 01:34   #54
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Re: Calling All Idiots!

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Originally Posted by atoll View Post
or left the dock forgetting to disconnect the shore power cable
Or dropped the dinghy off the davits without having secured the painter...
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Old 04-09-2017, 02:13   #55
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Re: Calling All Idiots!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerrycooper56 View Post
Our 2 fuel gauges read correctly but our 2 water tank gauges read backwards - new senders with reversed output for different gauges, no fix except change gauges.
if it's a matter of "european resistance & american gauges or viceversa:
KUS makes an Ohm-converter:
KUS Fuel/Water Level Ohms Converter
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Old 04-09-2017, 03:53   #56
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Re: Calling All Idiots!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CatNewBee View Post
Well, when you are on a passage on the ocean there is no professional around to help you either, so learn to fix your stuff yourself asap.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
Or get it fixed before you leave..
You can't fix before you leave, what wasn't broken yet.

CatNewBee is right. I'm guessing Ron doesn't spend much time out of sight of land or in remote areas. Stuff breaks out there, stuff which was working perfectly when you threw the lines off, even new stuff, and when it does, you had sure better be able to fix it, because you're not going to be calling a pro out there.

It's a really good reason to do all your own work. I do (almost) all my own work, religiously, exactly for this reason, although I don't delude myself about being a great diesel mechanic or a great electrician etc. But the more you do yourself, and the harder you try to do it well, the more your skills grow (and your tool lockers). And the better and better you know your own boat, which can also be crucially important when something breaks offshore. Your life could even depend on it.

I wasted a good bit of my youth restoring old cars with my Dad, so I've had more engines and gearboxes apart than I can remember. I've rewired houses and cars. I wasted more time managing my own rental properties, a little later in life. None of this makes me as good as a real pro -- I am not -- but it's a reasonable minimum basis, and I think probably most cruisers have similar backgrounds and abilities.

Fixing stuff is an integral part of our sport.
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Old 04-09-2017, 04:33   #57
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Re: Calling All Idiots!

I know how to sand and paint the bottom...not doing it.

I know how to compound and buff the topsides...not doing it.

I've been up my mast many times...not doing it.*

I know how to fix my head...not doing it.*

I know how to get full off glass crawling around in tight spaces...not doing it.*

I got out of school and worked my hinder off, forgoing current consumption for future consumption. I'm turning 62 this year and it's high time my children started pitching in on my comfort by offering up some of their inheritance!

I know how to check someone else's wok....DOING IT!


* If "Mission Critical", I will do it.
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Old 04-09-2017, 07:35   #58
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Re: Calling All Idiots!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
........... None of this makes me as good as a real pro -- I am not -- but it's a reasonable minimum basis, and I think probably most cruisers have similar backgrounds and abilities. .....
Many just think they do.
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