Thursday, June 4, 2015

Slotted screws: A Rant.

Back to the boat in yet more rain this morning. We’re easily looking at eight inches in the past three days. The shed is paying for itself.

Today I went back to getting the last of the ports out of the deck. I started with the two Beckson opening ports in and across from the head. I replaced the originals 15 years ago because they were toast. They came out quite easily that time. This time around the sealant had good grip on them. I destroyed my replacement starboard hatch in the removal process. The port side hatch came out much easier but that was mostly due to “learned technique” from wrestling with the starboard port. Didn’t really matter as I’m going to replace both of them again after the decks are painted. Dirty sock on clean feet or is it the other way around?

After getting those out I moved aft to the cockpit to remove a Beckson screw-in deck plate that the PO, affectionally know as Mr. Potato Head had brutally installed to provide ventilation to the quarter berth. Every time I see that job it reaffirms my strong desire to replace it with a Lewmar opening hatch.

After unscrewing the hazy clear port I started to unscrew the machine screws and nuts. In the original installation the port was installed with 5/16 “ x 18 S/S machine screws. That’s fine but they used slotted screw heads. I hate slotted screw heads. Really hate them. They should be banned. Outlawed.

I was thinking how much I hated them right about the time that the drill-driver slipped off the head and caused me to rake my finger across the flat-head slotted screw head. Yup, it hurt. And it opened up a 2” laceration that was pretty impressive.

Well, that stopped work for the afternoon. A piece of white (sterile?) box-o-rag, some ever present blue tape and I was able to keep from bleeding on the decks. It also reminded me that our house had nothing other than bandages suitable for a minor nick.

After a trip to the nearest, and that’s a very relative term, pharmacy I was back on the road.

Okay, end of rant.

A yard worker’s first-aid kit:

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Less bleeding than I would have imagined:

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Amazing what you can do with a paper towel and 3M fine-line tape:

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Anyway, more pictures of me destroying perfectly good opening ports.


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Usable but still going in the waste bin:

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Also of note: The Annapolis to Newport Race got underway today and as of this post, the fleet is nearing our house near Smith Point Light. There are three “vintage” C&C’s of the same era and design as Ronin in the race. They are doing well and I hope they sail fast, collect lots of trophies and most importantly, have a safe race.

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