It's important to actually get things all the way Done. It's also important to know that "Done" is a very localized concept. The boat—as a whole—is never "Done". However, specific incidents or tasks can be closed off as "Done". Some things get done; and some things linger at the edge of done. Further, there seems to be a nuanced difference between Done and Done Right.
For one example, consider the the Rome Cookware waffle-maker. It works. We held the official waffle-maker commissioning this Sunday. It's a cast-iron pan that's heated and flipped manually. It came out of it's cupboard with no trace of rust; it cooked a great batch of waffles and cleanup was a snap. Done.
The lifelines, however, aren't quite so done. Replacing the lifelines should have taken one day. It's expensive (160 feet of 1×19 stainless 3/16" wire rope at $1 or more per foot plus a sixteen $30 plus fittings) but it's also simple.
We opted for uncoated wire. The legacy PVC-coated wire had rust stains everywhere because water gets through cracks in the PVC and stainless will rust in an anoxic environment.
We opted for the Suncor Quick Attach fittings because they didn't require a swaging tool. We could assemble everything with wrenches and hand-strength.
For cutting the wire, we could have used a hacksaw and tape. (Advantage: Cheap.)
My sister's partner gave me [thanks, Doug!] his old Craftsman angle grinder with a brand-new cutoff blade. (Advantage: Quick and Clean.) He warned me that the brushes were shot, so it didn't run well. It smoked badly. The good news is that the brush assemblies (part number 350568) are still available from Sears. The bad news is that they didn't arrive in time for this weekend's work.
We wanted to get this job done. So we used the Dremel Tool with the #420 cutoff wheel. (Advantage: Already On Board.) The Dremel may be a bit slower, but it still produced a nice, clean cut without fraying the wire rope into a tangle.
Measure Once Cut Twice
The reason the job wasn't done in a day is a consequence of the way that gates work. A gate in your lifelines means you don't have to clamber over the lines. It means that you have three sections: the long for'rd section, a short stretch of wire that is the gate, and a long aft section. At our marina (with its very short finger piers) the gate is nowhere near the pier.
Some old salts have a cool alternative to having only one gate. They suggest one long line from fore to aft (not three separate sections) with one pelican hook at the extreme aft end of the line. When you open this hook, the entire line sags down to deck level, giving you step-through gates everywhere. We really liked this idea for Red Ranger.
Now comes the problem.
Most of the stanchions have an upper hole and a lower hole through which to thread the wire rope. Most.
The lifeline gate stanchions—it turns out—have no lower hole.
I had foolishly assumed that the stanchions were all the same. When you make an assumption, you make an ass out of you and umption.
CA, however, actually took the gate hardware apart to discover the truth: no lower hole.
Choices.: (1) Tap a hole in the steel; (2) Replace the four gate stanchions; (3) Make the lower lifelines as separate for'rd and aft sections instead of one single piece of wire rope.
Option #1 gets us done more-or-less in one day. But. We don't have a drill press, so we'd be tapping a hole in a stainless tube by clamping it onto some blocks of wood in the cockpit. A recipe for disaster.
Perhaps being Done isn't as important as being Done Right.
Option #2 is not all bad. We just buy and install four new stanchions ($80 ea.) that have holes in the middle. This would be done right, but it involves a lot more disassembly.
Option #3, however, seems slightly simpler. We order four more fork terminals and we don't have to do any more disassembly than we've already done.
So far, the intermediate results are spectacular: new, shiny, stainless, tight.
And, we've been able to recycle a bunch of rusty old PVC-coated wire and "terminal hardware".
Maybe next weekend this job will be Done.
And we can celebrate with more waffles!