The ‘Oh Lady…’ Factor

A good friend of ours, when talking about calling in a contractor to effect some ‘minor’ repair, describes that moment when (after peeling away however many layers to get at the problem) they say something to the effect that its a bigger problem than originally thought (hoped). Not a ploy or swindle, it’s usually just an honest assesment of the mess they’d found. It’s not gender-specific….The ‘Oh, Mister…’ is also in common use. We’ve all been there: the ‘small water leak’…somewhere, the electrical outlet that ‘doesn’t work’, the ‘funny noise’ from the furnace. Such a call from your mechanic is almost expected with today’s cars. We all know this, and learn to live with it.

And of course, so it is aboard Mosey On. I’ve written how we prefer to anchor out on our own ‘hook and chain’ as opposed to taking a mooring ball or tieing to a dock for the night. And we’ve done a lot of that this summer. But as we’ve cruised Maine’s coast, the anchor windlass (‘winch’ to landlubbers) has grown progressively noisy and its clutch more prone to slipping. I would tighten the clamping mechanism a bit and the slipping would stop so we could raise the anchor and its lengthy chain rode. We were having to do this more and more often. I knew there was ‘a little problem’ when a small metal clip fell out of the mechanism. After that, the anchor could no longer be raised by normal means. No trivial matter, our main anchor weighs 90 lbs. plus the weight of the chain (approx. 4 lbs/ft) between the deck and the bottom (typically 20′).
Once safely stowed back aboard, it was clear that another anchoring was not an option. As parts for this windlass are not readily available, I knew we would have to find a boatyard with ‘sources’.  Kinda’ like the parts ‘jobber’ that only your favorite mechanic knows about.

Mosey On at Front Street Shipyard

Mosey On at Front Street Shipyard

Which has brought us to the nifty, small town of Belfast, ME and a boatyard with a reputation for quality work. As their mechanic set to work disassembling the mechanism to replace the broken part I’d identified, we had our first ‘Oh Captain…’ [more nautically appropriate & gender neutral]. More little parts were missing than just that metal clip. Soooo… the requisite parts were tracked-down, ordered and delivered. Today he would assemble them and we’d be on our way.  You gotta’ know it doesn’t end this way…With the new parts neatly assembled in accordance with the manufacturer’s manual, one major part would no longer fit!  ‘Oh Captain…!’

Not Moseyin’ On Just Yet

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