Baggy Wrinkles

Baggy Wrinkles
S/V Nautica, Hull #614, Built at Whitby Boatworks Ltd., Ontario, Canada 1977, one of the most recognizeable Carl Alberg designs. A masthead sloop displacing 9000 lbs, keel hull, Yanmar 15 hp diesel, LOA 30.27 Beam 8.75, Draft 4.29, roller furling headsail, tiller, berths for 4, interior teak bulkheads, teak cap rail and cockpit teak coamings, 12 volt lighting, aluminum mast support, Harken self tailing winches, in its day was designed for customers as a Cruiser-Racer, the Alberg 30 remains a Classic design of the modest Alberg inventory.

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Saturday, June 18, 2016

In the Army, there is a saying, "no plan survives first contact with the enemy...."  Adaptability, patience, and some pressure are needed to get through the last stages of this Alberg 30's transport to South Carolina.  The first plan changed quickly!

The Alberg was supposed to have arrived within the past couple of weeks.  That plan failed.  What's new?  I needed to generate some interest in the shipment from Canada, so I fired off a less than jovial email to the broker that emphasized the importance of timely shipment and frequent communication, and oh yes, my displeasure at this rather moribund attitude after a signed contract and the exchange of funds.  A sale is not complete until the buyer possesses the item correct?  Email received at the other end and pressure applied to get "on the ball" and ship the Alberg, hurry-up.  Now to distract my attention.

So, I decided to jump into a motorcycle maintenance project in order to calm my nerves and take my mind off the list of things I must do once the Alberg is on the ground here.  Plus, I don't have much interest in going near the water where all I will see are other boats floating along in the breeze.  So why not disassemble my motorcycle?  That's an idea.  Check on stuff.  That'll take my mind off of shipment of the Alberg....

A Sailor friend suggested this was a "Unicycle," some sense of humor that's a coordinated workplace!

So maintenance began with checking the brakes.  That was a good call, they were down to a 16th of an inch thickness, whoops!  That's a maintenance item!  Ordered new pads, of course, for the first time the local Honda dealer didn't have front pads.  No problem, I'd be so deep in parts on my garage floor, that it would be great not to have the front wheel off at the same time as the back wheel.  After all, the bike weighs about 900 pounds, and is balanced on that floor jack in the photo.  Prudence called for.  Also strapped the bike to the stand.  One wonders about the motorcycle tipping over while everyone who might assist in such a moment of panic is at work and my cell phone is on the work bench above.  What to do if this elephant falls on me, I wonder to myself.  More prudence.

So the brake job led to checking the coolant reservoir, and then cleaning it of the gunk which began to line the interior.  First I went with vinegar for about 5 hours, then that not working, I resorted to good ole household bleach, which kinda worked.  No problem, I did my best without a bottle brush.  Perhaps a trip to the dollar store for a brush might be a good idea even at this point.  Anything to take my mind off the Alberg shipment, good thinking.  I mean, while you've got the bike taken apart, better get busy with the little nit-noids or forget about them till a later date, a date which is coming anyway.

And so brakes began this adventure, now I cannot clean the brake caliper unless I remove the rear wheel.  And the tire looks pretty shabby there.  I compare with the front tire which looks great, and decide at 4:30 on a Friday evening to run down the freeway to Honda and drop that off to be changed.  Then next week when the front brakes arrive I can retrieve them and the tire, mounted, and return to polish the aluminum rim on the rear tire which is nearly impossible to do when all the stuff is put back on the bike.

So the list of "to-do's" on the bike are legion.  Everywhere I look, there is something to scrub, clean, lubricate, fix or replace.  Army calls this PMCS. None of us easily remember what that stands for, but it meant taking care of your vehicle before it breaks down in combat or "preventive maintenance checks and services."  Combat for a motorcyclist is a failure to start along the side of the road without a cell phone.  Ugh.  More prudence.

So this array of parts and tools also reminded me of the need for a quarter inch universal adapter in order to fish 2 bolts on and off the starboard exhaust manifold.  They were not exactly as tight as they should have been.  Off to Sears on Saturday.  Plus I should check the wires in the rear fender, lots of water and road debris collect there, so some new electrical tape wrap, cleaning of a connector and applying some dielectric grease too.  

This is the benefit to having another vessel on land.  While the Alberg 30 tries to catch some wind and get south, I'm working on this 19 year old motorcycle in the garage, sweating so profusely my body weight is getting into alignment, and I've plenty of distraction with that and the EUFA 2016 Soccer tournaments in France, that I think I'll be ok for another week to ten days.  Cause when the Alberg arrives, I'll be very distracted with some corrections, notations, building the baseline maintenance with that vessel.  

Plus, I'll manage my father's funeral at Arlington Cemetery by the end of the month, another 'little' item of importance from a dad who insisted in 1967 that I learn how to sail and how to type that summer.  Oh, and he rode a motorcycle too!  So that too is on my mind this month.  Remarkable influence after 49 years.  After numerous combat tours in Germany and Korea, he retired and lived a long 94.5 years.  I promised him I would not relax nor grieve until he was buried at Arlington, 30 June 2016.  

I've got plenty of distractions this month.
A young Lieutenant at Ft Benning in his Sherman tank circa 1944.