Thursday, September 18, 2014

Bits is bits ...

As you might be aware, Deb is an excellent cook, baker, and all around galley guru. Unfortunately the oven in her galley gave up the ghost. Actually the heat control corroded through and the knob fell off. This would generally be considered a full blown emergency on Kintala since, without an oven, homemade cookies are out of the questions.  Stuck as we are in Florida in the summer however, adding more heat to the inside of the boat - even for some of the world's best cookies - is a tough call. Still, summer is waning away and store bought cookies, even Double Mint Oreos, are getting, shall we say, stale.

We debated replacing the stove with a new unit, but the weight of such a purchase would have the budget braying like an overloaded pack mule. Deb wanted to try and score some used parts first and has spent several weeks in full out search mode. Today the effort paid off and we headed off to Sailor Man to pick up our bits.

First though, the old bit had to come off the old stove to be traded in as a core, “old” being the theme here. Two bits actually, since John at Sailor Man (Hillerange and all around boat stove guru) would not sell a rebuilt control without also selling a matching valve thing that goes inside the oven itself. He got tired of people changing one only to have the oven stop working again (and him taking the blame) when the other unit failed a couple of days or weeks later. No hay problema. With care, a little PB Blaster, and some heatage applied as necessary, the bits came out with only minor trauma. I even remembered to tie a string onto the old thermostat before pulling it out.  This allowed the replacement to be snaked through the holes with less abusive verbiage than might, otherwise, have been required.

Old bits and $260 in hand to trade for overhauled bits, off we went. Alas, much to John's surprise, the overhauled bits were not exactly the same as the old bits. “Never before”, he claimed, “have I seen such a thing.” I understood. He hasn't tangled with Kintala before; had no idea he was trying to source parts for the Wicked Witch of the Western Atlantic.

So another couple of hours went by as we searched out alternate bits that could be added to the overhauled bits so they would work with the old bits still in the stove.  Even at that one of the stove's old bits had to be hacked off and replaced with a new bit that would fit the alternate bit.  Which, in the marine industry, is exactly what one expects to do after forking over $260.  By mid-afternoon, only 6 hours or so after shutting off the LP valve and taking wrench to stove, soft blue flames licked out of the oven burner. Not bad so far as boat projects go, and all is well in the homemade cookie world once again. (My guess is even Kintala likes the aroma of Deb's cookies fresh from the oven. Thus was this mechanical thrashing toned down to a minor bruising.)

With the galley at 100% and a few hours left in the day, some work went into a minor mod to our work station / parts bin. That didn't quite get done before the engine parts arrived, and it was also pretty late in the day. So the plan is to finish the mod job mañana in la mañana. Then, fortified with a deep breath and maybe a cold beer, square off with the WesterBeast once again.

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