Thursday, July 16, 2015

Six inches of mayhem

A couple of weeks ago I installed a propane sniffer under the stove. Then I punched a 2 ½ inch hole in the wall in the galley to mount the alarm / control panel. The sensor is exactly 57 inches from that panel. It took roughly 14 feet of cable to go from the sensor, forward into the area under the sink, across and down into the bilge, aft through the bilge and up into the engine compartment, more up across the front of the engine compartment, into the storage area under the companionway ladder, and to the back of the the control panel. But I only had to drill two holes.

Fortunately the harness that came with the unit was 25 feet long. All that was left to do was power up the unit from the USB power plug mounted just inches away. The day was getting on at that point and I am determined not to hurt myself this summer by working endless 10 and 12 hour days with too much heat and not enough drink. (Truth to tell it isn't clear that I ever recovered from last summer in FL. Those kinds of long days are simply not something I can do right now.) So the plan was to finish the propane sniffer install the next day.

The next day dawned sunny and not too hot, perfect for starting the minor repair at the keel joint. (Apparently an old Tartan will smile just like a Catalina.) There was some additional sanding to do below the water line and around the keel, so a couple of days went by. There was every intention of wiring up the sniffer after that, but somehow the LED lights intervened, which morphed into the cabin mod, which led to wiring the LEDs into both sides of the salon, and also got us started on adding the inverter we have been carrying around for the better part of a year.

We took a day off to go help some new friends on their 38 foot Leopard. There was a minor crack in the edge of the aft arch. An easy fix but Tom had no experience slinging glass. His career was spent slinging the things one slings when accumulating more than 1700 jumps as a special forces guy. His wife was special forces as well, also a JAG. I pried as many stories out of them as I could but, like most combat vets, they were reluctant to talk much about where they had been and what they had seen. Still, I got some insight into HALO jumps, something that I would have loved to have tried had I ever had the chance. And I count it an honor to have such people as friends. Anyway...

The next day they sailed off to places north and we went back to work on Kintala. The last of the sniffer install waited a bit more as other work was also half done. That other half work was supposed to get done this morning, with the sniffer install being completed in the afternoon. Alas, that got waylaid by the need to defrost the fridge and thus discovering the teak grids at the bottom of the fridge were accumulating a certain...well...ambiance. Chasing away said ambiance required the efforts of the the pressure washer. With the grates smelling sweet and the pressure washer still all powered up and everything, it seemed a good idea to blast the accumulated dirt off the deck and out of the cockpit. By the time that was done, enough of the day was gone that the inverter would have to wait. But it wasn't really happy hour yet either. Two wires on the sniffer seemed the perfect filler job to finish out the day.

One would think, by now, I would know better.

Doing that job took dikes, crimper, soldering iron, heat gun, drill motor, 7/8 inch wood bore (to counter bore the fuse holder since it was too short for the wall thickness) ½ inch drill for the holder itself, round files, heat shrink, assorted screwdrivers, butt splices, zip ties, and a volt meter. (Kintala has no wire color code in her. The only way to know if a wire is hot is to check it with a meter...or just grab hold. If you dance, it's hot.) The little screw for hooking the power wire in the control box was so tight I nearly broke the thing trying to get it loose. (Thank you, factory twit.)  Afterwards was the normal clean up of wood dust, wire strippings, zip tie ends, and general mayhem.

Two wires.

About six inches long.

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