Today involves a bunch of new things.
A new year in the blog. Things are rearranged and reorganized.
No more day jobs for either of us. We're fully retired.
We started bending on sails now that winter has passed us by.
I finished fixing the outboard bracket. This involved a lot of angst. The job was left-over from Labor Day, last year.
Let's talk about each of these.
Fist, what's the rule for the change of years in this blog?
Bending on the sails after winter.
The list of posts was approaching 50-ish.
Today, we bent on the first sail. We're pacing ourselves after CA's wrist surgery. So. Raised a sail, started a new blog year.
Second, no more day job. I've reached the venerable age where I'm (almost) ready to start qualifying for Medicare. Since the weather is nice, a few months of COBRA will help us get the boat ready to live on.
Third. We bent on a sail. (Yes. It's so momentous, I've mentioned it twice.) It's a milestone. And (for perhaps the first time) we did it without getting the sheets all wrapped around something they shouldn't have been wrapped around.
It seems so simple: sheets go between the forestays. But. It's hard to do.
Finally. The Outboard Bracket. See Labor Day, last year for the start of this job. I replaced part of the ancient rusty bits of the bracket.
This is major angst-inducing work. Why? There's no graceful retreat or fallback. Once you start taking it apart, you either succeed, or you've made a right awful mess.
Here's what it looked like half-way through the job.
I've used a Dremel to cut away a tiny corner. I also put a huge slot into the top of the (formerly) Phillips-head screw.
The screw. Did. Not. Budge.
Once the metal of the rusty part of the bracket was cut. A little prying and it folded out of the way.
The exposed screw is now vulnerable to Vice-Grips.
It's super-easy to tear the head off. So. Each half-turn also meant a ton of penetrating oil.
Eventually, we're looking at this.
The new bracket — in the baggy — straight from Tohatsu's part distributor.
And the old bracket, and the two screws.
Did. Not. Break. Off.
Cutting the metal with the Dremel? Moderately stressful.
Wrenching out the screw with Vice-Grips? Can't Breathe.
If the screw breaks apart, that means parts of it are so thoroughly oxidized that they can't be removed from the bracket. The only choice is tap out larger holes and replace the manufacturer's little machine screws with something a little larger. Ugh.
I know this is what's supposed to be done in theory. But I'm not doing it. I think I'd prefer to replace the entire engine at that point.
But. None of that happened. Both machine screws came out after much careful turning and applying liberal doses of penetrating oil.
Now we have a shiny new bracket.
Washing the bladders and starting to do the plumbing.