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It was certainly the shake down cruise of shake down cruises!
Earlier in the spring, I had to replace the steering cable on our M, as the original one failed last year. It took some doing, but wasn't overly difficult. Everything went in just fine.. or so I thought!
Friday afternoon, rigging the boat (04 M), no problems..everything going as good as can be. Launched the boat single handed, no problem.. started the motor no problem.. awesome! filled the ballast, everything worked quite well...
This is going to be a good day/night. Nice relaxing eve, have a bite to eat, relax, play on the internet a bit.. just like home. Or so I thought!
After putting the truck and trailer away..and getting back on the boat.. put the boat in reverse..turned the wheel to startboard...the boat turned to port!!! I am like....'that ain't right'!! turn the the wheel the opposite way..boat turned the other way! NOW I am thinking.. " I bought the wrong *&^%&^ steering rack... There must be a right and left cable!!!! " but after logically thinking.. I now remeber the rack and pinion could go in either of 2 ways.. I began to think I put the rack in on the wrong side of the pinion.
in the back of the pond.. I quickly get my drill and tools and start to take apart the steering console.. OK.. need a socket or something to take the steering wheel off. WHAT.. no socket is big enough? Now what? ohhh lets try the spark plug socket.. it is too big, but does catch the flats on the nut..and does come off! wheeeeew! Now the rest of the console comes out fairly quickly..I am losing daylight.. the lil black flies are out nipping away.. not fun! I get the pinion out..finally, I rotate the rack in the console..reinstall the pinion..put it all together..and it works!!! Now put everything back and give it a test.. yeeees wheew.. Fastest R+R of a M console and steering system I ever did!
It is clear sailing from here! Again..so I thought! had a great day sailing saturday. Like Tony said, it was pretty quiet out there.. motoring a bit, we thought Dan did not show up to bring the wind!
then after a bit, the wind kicked up and had a great sail.. Happy hour was great. Sunday was similar..some wind..some power.. had a good couple hours of good sailing.. decent wind.. tacking back and forth back to the ramp...
Now I think all the excitement is over..once again I am mistaken! I put the boat on the dock..go to get the trailer..dunk it.. ready for me to drive on.. and a powerboat decides to dock at the ramp float.. Does he not see my trailer in the water? I am sure he will figure it out. I go back to the dock..get the boat..motor over.. the boat is still there.. Eventually, with some prodding from my wife, they move the boat to the other side of the dock float.. pull the boat out.. ..empty the ballast..great!
Other than a slight mishap with the steering..it was a great weekend.. no more probles.. still, once again, totally wrong! pull the boat up the ramp.. over to the de-rigging area.. Harry waves me in .. I know the powerlines are there..and I know Harry wont let me hit them..ah huh..wrong again! Sparks fly..as the top of the mast hits the high voltage powerlines and the lower portion of the upper shroud hits the lower cables (telephone or cable tv or something) and creates quite a spark show from what bystanders said!
back up a bit..long story short..take the mast down..the upper shroud is metled where the wires hit..barely held in by a strand or 2! Thank goodness the mast didnt come down!
At home, after getting a replacement shroud, I take off the spreader boot, and the wire is melted there too! The spreader was OK though! Reinstall everything.. worked great.. no other damage to the boat or electronics.. GPS/vhf/lights, everything still works! Close call! It could have been sooo much worse!
There were other issues on other boats.. Karamel had some autopilot issue.. At Ease had some sort of head problem! I am sure they can fill you in on those stories.. return home to NE-TS Public Page click here