Saturday, January 25, 2014

Mast, Mercury, and Tournament

The goal for today: finish up all the loose ends on the mast which included final mounting of over-the-air antenna so we can receive free television, re-mount the radar, and try and get the dinghy outboard running.  Afterwards, we could go to the marina next door and watch the boats come in and weigh their King Mackerel....

But installing the antenna took longer than expected because my original idea of using rivets didn't work.  Plan B was to make threads and screw it in - which has never been one of my mechanically advanced skills.  But after a trip to the Key West Ace Hardware and about an hour of careful "thread making", I had four beautiful places in which to mount my bracket.  The radar was just a simple attachment of four bolts that matched perfectly with the previous radar bracket and was installed in a matter of 15 minutes.  

After lunch, we lowered the Caribe down as far as the ropes would allow in hopes of sinking the engine into a trash-can full of water.  Which I thought was a little ambitious since we weren't sure it would even run.  Another trip to West Marine was in order because my fuel line was dry rotted and disintegrated - so once again I over paid for an item I could have gotten online for half the price.  Also, the gas tank itself was full of sludge and required a major clean-out.  In addition, Justin removed the carburetor and found the fuel feed line clogged at the carburetor end and at the fuel tank - after all the gunk was removed, we were at least getting fuel to the engine.  We knew to look for clogs because early on in the process, if we squirted a little fuel straight into the carburetor, it started right up.  At that point, all we had to do was to find out where the clogs were.  Now it starts on the first pull and goes into gear perfectly, but the impeller isn't picking up water - so now Justin sits across the table from me, scouring the internet in a frantic search of how to remove and replace it. 

"I got sludge in my gas tank"

Happy with the progress, we took a quick shower and off to the Stock Island Marina Village King Mackerel Tournament we went.  The boats started pulling in one after the other and I think the winning weight for the day was around 60 lbs.  

The boats lining up and off-loading their catch

60 lbs of King Mackerel

Oh, wouldn't it be nice to have money to burn.

When I realized it was made of sand, I had to get a picture


  1. Seems like it never ends. Start on a project that should only take an hours but so many little things pop up that it drags on.

  2. We've noticed that any project takes all day, even if its simply running power to the 12 volt panel or running wire down the mast. I try and set goals for the day but never seem to get them all done.