Sunday, August 12, 2012

Job estimates and jinxes

When the noise in the V-drive first popped up I remember thinking, "This will be a bit of a pain." Sure there was some mechanical "laying on of hands" in my future, but after a lifetime of changing aircraft engines, overhauling landing gear, and rebuilding wrecks, how big a deal could changing a v-drive or tranny in a boat, be?

It was, as it turned out, one of the dumber things I have thunk in my life.

So it came to pass that the dodger kit lay untouched in the living room for a couple of months. It had cost a bit more than one SBU so it was kind of embarrassing letting it collect dust. But no one seemed to have a good idea of just how one goes about putting a dodger on a Tartan 42, the kit came sans any good suggestions and, (I hope no one gets too upset at this) the online vids Deb found on building up the kit were - shall we say - less than inspiring. It seemed clear that Kintala was about to inflict another serious thrashing on my already thrashed bod.

Yesterday morning ye old Makita was fully charged and the first hole was punched in the deck. Ten hours later the dodger frame was designed, fabricated and completely installed. By this evening all of the basic decisions had been made on window size and location, number of panels, locations of zippers, and the fabric patterns had been laid out over the frame and cut. It was minor thrashing at best as even the weather cooperated, with highs in the 80s rather than the 100s, a bit of a breeze, and some clouds in the sky blocking the worst of the sun.

Some of the patterning done except for the side panel
Now I freely admit that the metal work was, by far, the easiest part of this job. From this point on Deb is the expert and carries most of the responsibility for fitting a cover to the steel tinker-toy box over the companionway. I do hope to get in some more sewing machine time where there is some easy stuff to do, but only if it helps rather than hinders her efforts. (If anyone is thinking of taking on a similar job the one piece of equipment you absolutely must have access to is a chop saw. One inch stainles steel tubing is some tough stuff. Just the thought of hacking away at all those cuts by hand makes my fingers cramp.)

For some reason this looks bigger than we expected

Can it be that a project is about to go right on this boat?

Or did I just jinx it?

I guess we'll find out.

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