Our windlass is back – rebuilt, like brand new!!! And, even better, we re-installed it and it’s working better than ever! Aaaaahhhhhh! But don’t think it was easy, when you’re working on a boat, nothing is ever as straightforward or as easy as it should be. We have to keep remembering how good we’ll feel when we FINALLY figure out whatever the latest challenge is … because while the hours are clicking by with seemingly little to no progress, stuff starts to get a bit frustrating.
We started installing the above decks part Saturday morning … we had new stainless bolts, washers and locking nuts as well as silicone and the other necessities from the hardware store. So we were ready … until one of the existing screws that didn’t need replaced snapped a head off the screw.
So maybe it DID need replaced after all. But we’re in the land of plenty and even though it’s an hour round trip to the hardware store, an hour later we’re back and after a bit of swearing to get the backing plate to line up below decks with the screws and holes above decks, the top portion of the windlass is attached.
Now for the motor. The motor was what literally took days to get off and although one would think (as we did) that it should just SLIDE smoothly into place – we anticipated the toughest part being David having to be the contortionist to get into the chain locker and hold the heavy motor up while tightening the attachments. There’s no room for two of us in that space, unfortunately.
But no, the machining is so exact, David’s description was that it’s like trying to line up a piece of thread into a needle hole — but you can’t see either the needle or the thread. Just a couple hours of struggling with the heavy motor, we realized that this was never going to happen if he had to hold it at the same time. So we borrowed a scissor jack and jerry-rigged a platform to balance the motor. Now it’s better, not good, just better.
Another 4 hours and many new swear words later, it finally slid up magically and was attached — when he just happened to hit the hole in the needle with the thread. The electrical wires were reattached and VOILA, when we step on the foot controls, our windlass goes up and down once more.
The real bummer was that it went up and down BEFORE we decided it needed preventative maintenance and six days of our labor, a month of getting shipped and refurbished, it does the same exact thing — makes our chain and anchor go up and down. But we’re certain we averted a future problem which would happen at the least convenient time. It’s always better to be proactive, but what a PITA!
And don’t you know, Tuesday (today for this post) looks like a great weather window to anchor out at some of the barrier island state parks and play for change instead of working on the boat. Beach & fun, here we come!!!