thump thump went the helm. i had gotten used to it, but it was disconcerting nonetheless as it could mean very big problems. and since i could still steer the boat there’s no problem. anyway, as if i don’t have enough on my plate i pulled apart my binnacle and hauled my ass down below into the “hole”, and after an hour or so found the problem. thank god it’s a bolt-on part and not something nasty like a rudder bearing. anyway, here is the story:
first thing is that access to below-deck steering gear is through the port lazarrette. that sucker is only about 18″ across.
and of course it’s full of crap (except the beer – that’s not crap.)
you empty the thing and down you go. afraid yet? not a job for the claustrophobic.
and there’s the steering gear. it’s hard to tell in the pic. but the quadrant is the grey wheel (seen edge on) in the middle of the pic behind all those wires (not my job and you have to love the mounting for the exhaust hose).
you can just make out the aircraft cable coming off the wheel. the quadrant is about 5′ into the stern. there’s at most 18″ of height there, decreasing as you move aft. see the seacock? there’s another one to port and a third one so far aft you can’t even see it. I had to replace all three as some twit put in plastic valves. it’s a good thing i’m not fat.
the glassed-in aluminum box to the right carried the ram for the b&g autohelm; the rusty bar deeper in above the quadrant is where the arm for the unit mounts. you can just make out that 3rd seacock for the exhaust.
and here’s the culprit. i still have no idea how an electrical/hydraulic ram could go thump thump as the piston is moved back and forth by the helm. i guess i’ve got to do some research about hydraulics so i don’t have to pay someone to fix this. it’s a few years old so i won’t even bother with b&G -besides if if they have them they’ll want a mint for it.
this just in!
it’s official and women the world over are celebrating. italy’s highest court upheld an earlier conviction of indecency to an italian man for grabbing at his testicles in public. apparently this is a traditional “ward off the evil eye” kind of behaviour. the poor sap got busted to the tune of around $200.00.
you know women are behind this. what’s the world coming to when a guy can’t scratch his cojones? does pocket pool count? how about if you’re wearing a speedo?
for anyone who wants to see where we live, as it happens! here’s the link to a webcam set up in the inner harbour.
we’re down there, near the top of the picture. it looks pretty grey right now because a front is blowing through. should be nice tomorrow.
god damn it. our big electric heater packed it in the other day and i was going to bypass the switch today but they used “custom” screws so you can’t get into the damn thing. adn now the propane just ran out! that’s twice when both modes of heat packed it in at the same time. at least it’s not too late to refill the tank and tracy is picking a new heater up, but still… i’m not getting out of bed. we bought a 12v electric blanket for $20.00 at a california truck stop and it has the bed nice and warm.