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When Nice Boats Go Bad (part 4)

Lake St Clair
Boat Make
Sugar Sand
Boat Model
Boat Length
Chapter 4: Quick-fix Part I.

Ski/tube tow eye was loose. Just reach in with a socket and tighten it right? Wrong:

1. First off, to reach the nuts, I had to kneel in the port section of the engine bay, under the rear hatch (5’ section of the stern).

2. Head under the deck, and reach forward with a ratchet/extension/socket

3. Find correct socket size after 4 tries/repeated trips to tool box

4. Port nut tightened, starboard nut seized

5. Get Makita cordless impact and PB Blaster, try again. Nope

6. Remove both nuts with impact, reaching, reaching, reaching, and remove stuck flat washers, go outside, remove tow eye

7. Clean threads on wire wheel

8. Use ½-13 HSS die and lots of cutting oil to clean/rethread buggered section

9. Wire wheel again to smooth any burrs

10. Find oversize heavy duty fender washers in the washer bin

11. Drill out fender washers to accommodate ½-13 threads

12. Grind flashing off washers from drilling operation

13. Wrap rope caulk around studs at exterior washers

14. Clean hull area, install tow eye

15. Crawl back into engine bay, install washers, oops – nylock nuts buggered

16. Fish out 2 new nylock nuts from the nut bin

17. Crawl back into engine bay, install new nuts and tighten with impact

18. Clean up smooshed caulk from around exterior washers

19. Clean floor/vise/drip pan/die of metal shavings/cutting oil and discard before any harmful doggle interaction

20. Flat rate time – 0.1 hours, actual time to fix – 0.8 hours. Mechanics pay = $0.

Chapter 5: Quick-fix Part II.

Wanted to wire the stereo to operate with the key off, same as the depth-finder. Usually I ain’t listening to the stereo with the engine running.

1. Turn off main battery kill switch (that I installed). No, the boat didn’t have one (are you kidding me?)

2. Anyway, remove water-resistant radio mount from dash panel together with AM/FM/CD player

3. Check schematic on player for B+ and ACCY wires.

4. Splice B+ and ACCY together to B+ input from player harness. (note: 2 inlines – one from boat harness to player adapter harness, and one from adapter harness to player)

5. Turn on main battery kill switch – player inop. Hmmm.

6. Try every switch on player, but only clock display works. Hmmm.

7. Search memory banks for help. Ah-ha! Push on removable faceplate to make better contact with dash unit. Works!

8. Check balance/fader controls before buttoning up dash. Hmmm, LR gets you full LF speaker output. No output to LR. RR gets you LF. WTH?

9. Obviously, the player is not the original. Check adapter harness to player harness butt-connections: GN to GN, GN/BK to GN/BK, and so on and so forth. Hmmm.

10. Remove all 4 speakers to document wire colors at each.

11. Hmmm, wire colors at speakers do not match wire colors at boat side of boat harness inline. WTH?

12. OK, OK, OK, enough! Finally decide to cut all the butt-connectors (unsealed, of course) between the adapter harness and replacement player.

13. Turn balance/fader to LR and start connecting player harness wires to adapter harness one-by-one.

14. AH! With player GN and GN/BK wires connected to adapter harness PU and BK wires, LR speaker now works. Heat-seal butt connectors with butane mini-torch.

15. Turn balance/fader to RR, PU and PU/BK goes to WH/BK and BK. RR speaker now works, and so on and so forth.

16. Use mesh conduit to protect harness and connections, zip tie tight, connect inlines, screw mount into dash.

17. Turn on main power, no player. WTH?

18. Remove mount, see that faceplate surround popped off, see bent mounting bracket preventing faceplate engagement.

19. Remove player from mount, straighten bent bracket. Notice entire weight of player is supported by 2 inches of mount. Not good.

20. Find/cut/drill/grind/pop-rivet two pieces of ½” sheet metal angle to extend mount to support back of player. Insulate with felt pads to prevent squeaks.

21. Reinstall surround, player, faceplate, inlines, mount, and turn on main power. Player works with key off, all 4 speakers work.

22. Reinstall all 4 speakers and test CD player with title song from Candy-O. Player rocks!

Time to fix? One evening. Mechanics pay = $0

Chapter 6: Quick-fix Part III.

Stern starboard mooring cleat loose. Just reach up and tighten it, right? Wrong.

1. First off, to reach the nuts, I had to lay backward in the starboard section of the engine bay, on top of the battery (or “battry” as my former boss Jim “Captain Catastrophe” used to call them).

2. Feet forward, head under the apron, and reach up with a ratchet and socket

3. Rear nut tightened, forward nut seized

4. Remove both nuts, reaching, reaching, reaching, and remove stuck flat washers, go outside, remove cleat

5. Clean threads on wire wheel

6. Use 5/16-18 die and lots of cutting oil to clean/rethread buggered section

7. Wire wheel again

8. Find thick washers in the washer bin

9. Wrap rope caulk around studs

10. Clean hull area, install cleat

11. Lay back into engine bay, install washers and nuts, tighten

Time to fix? 0.5 hours. Chiropractors pay = $65.