Swing Set

May 1, 201303:13 PM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

Harbour View Marina is Not a Bad Place to Wait

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On Monday morning, after a quick breakfast, Rosie set to work scrubbing down the boat and I set off on my errands. My first stop was an outboard repair shop just down the road. They advertise generator repair, so it may have been possible for them to get the part I needed for our generator.

I couldn't be helped there, but they suggested Marsh Harbour Boatyard, which is ultimately where I figured to wind up, but wanted to check on possible places on the way, which by my best guess, was about four miles, at least. I was to ask for Dennis...nobody but Dennis, period.

NAPA auto parts was a dead end. The part number I supplied wasn't even in their system. This detail, I learned later, should not have been an indicator as to whether they could obtain the part, but I didn't know that then.

I stopped at the Abaco Hardware store, which is either a True Value or Ace Hardware affiliate, I'm not sure, but they have a well stocked store. I wasn't looking for the generator part there, but our dinette table needed some minor repair, and I found some hardware in the store that I could use.

I finally arrived at the Marsh Harbour Boatyard after a very long walk along a fairly deserted and windy road. I walked into the office and was met by a nice woman and less-than-nice man. When asked if I could be helped, I said that I would like to speak to Dennis.

"Can I help you," the woman asked.

"No, I'd like to talk to Dennis."

"What about?"

"Well, it's about an engine on our boat."

"What kind of engines do you have?"

I'm wondering what part of "I'd like to speak to Dennis" this woman didn't understand. I don't do well in these situations, but I held my cool and said I had a Westerbeke generator on our boat and that I'd like to speak to Dennis about it.

"Dennis is way down at the other end of the yard," the woman said to me.

"If you don't mind, I've walked quite a way already, and I sure don't mind walking a bit farther to speak to Dennis," I told her, with my last ounce of patience.

"Oh, I'll get him for you, if that's what you want," she said.

Yeah, lady. That's what I want, is what I was thinking, but didn't say.

Dennis finally shows up and was very nice. I explained my problem and told him what part I needed. He said that they could order the part, and I felt like things were going well, until he said the guy who orders the parts wasn't in today but would be back tomorrow.

I offered to let them install the part if that would be a better business proposition for them, seeing as how they would have to go through the trouble of getting the part from West Palm Beach. Dennis said that wouldn't be necessary and then he offered to drive me back to Harbour View Marina. I took him up on the offer.

On the way, Dennis mentioned the electrician, Andrew. I said I was considering calling Andrew to see if the solenoid could be repaired, but I didn't want to take a somewhat functional solenoid apart until I had a new part ordered. Dennis thought that was a good plan.

Once back to the marina, I called Andrew. A woman's voice answered the phone, and I asked to speak to Andrew. "Speaking," is the reply I got. Nearly made a tactical error there, I was thinking. Andrew said he'd be over in 45 minutes to look at the solenoid. He showed up in 20 minutes, and I immediately felt gypped because he wasn't wearing a skirt. (If you didn't read my last blog, that's your problem.)

Andrew climbed into the engine room and commenced to start the generator. I offered some key assistance, but Andrew declined any help from me, saying he knew what he was doing. I let Andrew fumble around a little while, trying to start the generator, before I informed him that he wouldn't be able to start the generator unless he switched the override into the override position, enabling him to start the gen from the engine room instead of the salon. I then added that I'd also might be able to help him further, if he lets me.

He grumbled something and then got his voltmeter out. It wouldn't work. I allowed as to how I had a voltmeter, albeit not as nice as the one he was using, but that it was in working order.

"Let's see what you have," he said.

I brought out my new voltmeter, which met his satisfaction, and his mood changed and he became cordial, even allowing me an opinion or two about the matter.

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