Things learned the hard way.

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by philSweet, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    hoytedow Carbon Based Life Form

    Good he's not in aviation.
  2. bntii
    Joined: Jun 2006
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    Location: MD

    bntii Senior Member

    Oh boy- the job boss was a hard ridden/riding biker type.
    I learned on that one to stand tall in the face of a storm of rage.
    A "I'll take care of it" followed by actually getting it sorted calmed him down and I kept the job.

    I went home and called every older lamp shop in DC till I had found enough odd lots of old crystals to replace the broken ones.
    The tile guys were good sorts who pulled up and replaced the shattered marble without a word.

    I went on to run jobs for many years. The oddest thing I can remember screwing up was building a house about a foot too tall.
    Luck was with me and I realized my mistake while it was still in rough frame so could be tweaked :) to remove the excess.

    If in doubt- check the prints...
  3. Boston

    Boston Previous Member

    I forgot an open floor arrangement one in a split level, I got the beams in ok but framed in the areas underneath, took forever for anyone to figure it out, homeowners kept saying it just didn't look right. oops it was easy to fix except the electrician had run some wires through it. Fortunately the plumber actually followed the plan.

    I think we've all done something like that if you've been in the biz for any length of time.
  4. philSweet
    Joined: May 2008
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    Location: Beaufort, SC and H'ville, NC

    philSweet Senior Member

    I can show you a cute little McMansion that got built exactly 1' out of square. You know the drill. Set up batterboards and string it off and check diagonals. Well, it must have been a battered old reel tape and they were "cutting a foot". At least they did on one diagonal:rolleyes:

    The blocklayer was the first to spot it. But everybody just shrugged and they kept on building.
  5. philSweet
    Joined: May 2008
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    Location: Beaufort, SC and H'ville, NC

    philSweet Senior Member

    First job. Summer of freshman year. Night shift at a concrete plant bending rebar for the next day's pour. I got in just before the day shift left. I'd been cleaning the tracks between the forms with a 2.5 yd bucket loader and needed to ask the boss something so I drove to the crappy little yard office and there was nowhere to park the loader because the boss was in. So I raised the bucket and parked it over/behind the boss's Caddy (you see it coming, don't you). I'm in the office talking to the boss and I see this funny shadow start to descend across the window blinds and I did a quick orbital mechanics calculation and realized the bucket was lowering itself onto the Caddy. I made a mad dash for the loader and just saved it. I walked back into the office as if nothing had happened and no one ever mentioned the event.

    Another job was dragging a magnet to pick up the cable strands that got torched off the pretensioned beams. This was to prevent flat tires. I got five flat tires in one day doing that.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011
  6. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    hoytedow Carbon Based Life Form

    We moved into this house in 1994. Bought a pre-hung beautiful new door. It wouldn't fit. The opening was only 78 inches tall. Had to buy a jailhouse door and cut 2 inches off. :(
  7. Boston

    Boston Previous Member

    Once I pulled up to a job, beginning of winter, very chilly morning. There was no where to park so having a nice 4wd truck I pulled up onto the dirt. Worked great till about maybe 11:00 am when everything started to melt. My truck sunk in the mud up to its axles. No prayer of getting it out. Ended up towing it out with one of the big dossers. Apparently they'd recently back-filled and hadn't tamped it down at all. Bad job if you ask me. They shoulda compacted it at least a little. Stuff turned into soup once it thawed.

    you'd have thought I'd a killed someone by the way the super was freaking out.
  8. Poida
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Location: Australia

    Poida Senior Member

    I should be in the idiots book of records for having the most unsuccessful boat launches.

    My first wife left me and I am sure this attributed to the break up. Driving 20 kms to the boat ramp and not having the start key. The boat was already launched.

    Sent her back for it and she didn't have a problem driving home with the trailer on the back, except she drove up our driveway got the key and had to reverse it back down.

    It was several hours later when she returned with the key.

    Trying to launch a boat with a line of irate boaters waiting fro their turn only to find the reason it wouldn't come off the trailer is because it was still tied to the trailer at the stern.

    Backed a trailer into the river with the bungs out. My daughter was in the boat at the time and politely asked if the water was supposed to be outside the boat or inside. It was a mud bank and a boat with water in it is very hard to pull up a mud bank. It was a matter of pulling the boat up a little bit and stopping to let some water out before going a bit further. Finally got there.

    My latest boat and a latest wife.

    When I bought the boat, the bloke selling it too me said he had to get rid of it because his friend who he bought the boat with didn't like getting his car close to the water. Strange.

    Launched the boat, no problem. Retrieved it, oops I can't get the trailer in far enough to get it back on. Finally I had me vehicle in the water so far the water was at the rear door. Got it out.

    No worries, next time I will push the trailer in the water, put the boat on it and tow it out. The boat ramp has a rough surface not good for a jockey wheel. Although I was towing straight, the boat veered off and wrecked the jockey wheel.

    Fortunately I was doing my experimental retrievals when the boat ramp was quiet.

    Next I purchased a larger wheel and reckoned I had this licked, so I didn't do an experimental launch and retrieval, went for broke down the boat ramp on the weekend.

    Before backing down to the ramp I disconnected the hitch and had the winch hook to hold the boat. Jumped back in the car, the hook came off and the boat started carreering down towards the boat ramp by itself.

    Fortunately someone jammed a rock under the wheels to stop it.

    Lost me cool. Went home and extended the drawbar.

    Launches and retrieves really well.

    Then I got a larger vehicle, don't need a long drawbar.

    Could have been worse. There was a line at the boat ramp so one brave soul thought he would launch his boat off the sand next to the ramp. Backs it down, gets it bogged. Tries to get out by snaking the trailer to the right, then the left, back to the right and then the left. Almost there - drawbar snaps off.

    I haven't done that yet, but I'm working on it.

    Last edited: Dec 23, 2011
  9. Wynand N
    Joined: Oct 2004
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    Location: South Africa

    Wynand N Retired Steelboatbuilder

    Serviced and tuned an outboard engine recently and the owner - a youngster of 25 years old - asked if I would mind if we test the boat at a local dam in town.
    I asked him if the boat is fueled up and all safety gear on board which he confirmed and also mentioned specifically that the tank is almost full...

    Off we went and the Yamaha went like a bat out of hell and we run all over the lake enjoying the fun ride and on our way back to the launch the owner said he want another last run across the lake and you guess it right, run out of fuel on the opposite side of the lake. This particular lake has reeds all around except for the launch site thus we were stuck and had to row back to the launch 400m distant.
    Shock number two:eek:. No rowing oars stowed on the boat and we had to hand paddle the boat all the way back and to make things worse for us, mother nature throw in a head on breeze just for the fun of it.

    Worst part and very embarrassing for me - I am a safety officer and issues COF's for boats and should have checked the boat before launching to comply with the required regulations, but one never expect anything to happen to oneself.:eek:

    Lesson learned: assumption is the mother of all f**k-ups.
    1 person likes this.
  10. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    Dont switch in the invertor when the ships on line with shore power --man those invertors are expensive

    Oh and don't put deisel in your fresh water tanks --thats a very silly thing to do and it make the missus go balistic.

    You can get most of the deisel back but thats not the point.
    1 person likes this.
  11. Boston

    Boston Previous Member

    hows that water tasting these days Frosty ?
  12. philSweet
    Joined: May 2008
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    Location: Beaufort, SC and H'ville, NC

    philSweet Senior Member

    Frosty, I did the reverse.:rolleyes:

    While working out west for the USFS, an abandoned and very sad looking backhoe was pointed out to me. It took me almost the whole summer to scavenge the parts to fix it.
    The last users were steering it with a rope to the front axle like a kid's go cart. The local bookie had the odds set at five to one that it would never run by the end of the year. Finally, I needed to fire up the hydraulics so I could use them to pull the frame and linkages back together (it was still completely disassembled). I looked in the radiator and found it nearly empty. Added about three gallons of water. You would think that after playing with the thing for four months I would have noticed it was an air cooled Deutz diesel. It took all of the next year to boil that water out of the hydraulic system.
    1 person likes this.
  13. BPL
    Joined: Dec 2011
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    Location: Home base USA

    BPL Senior Member

    I've learned everything the hard way.
    For example, chrome spray paint on old metal only lasts one week outside even if it takes you a week to paint :rolleyes:
  14. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Yes, "poor man's chrome" in a can. I've used this stuff many times over the years, but have found it's a much better stain blocker under primer then anything else. Ever try to cover tar on paint? Ever try to paint asphalt? Hit it with poor man's chrome in a can and prime as usual when dry.

    I never learn things the hard way, as this is apparently way too easy for me.
    2 people like this.

  15. philSweet
    Joined: May 2008
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    Location: Beaufort, SC and H'ville, NC

    philSweet Senior Member

    Well, I've been busy again, and so have the Gremlins.

    A couple years ago Atwood made a few thousand furnaces with defective blower fans and now they are all flying apart. In the past two months I've replaced four of them. I did this by unbuilding the cabinetry and removing the entire unit and working in comfort on a table. Having got the procedure down pat I decided to try to fix the fourth one keyhole fashion from outside. Big problem is getting the new blower retaining clip back on totally blind and very awkward. So I got to the point of commitment and removed the old clip. It was precisely at this moment that I noticed that the blower looked to be in perfect shape. In fact it looked brand new. I was at the wrong house. I had already fixed that one. And I was right. Getting that clip back on was a nightmare. Of coarse it had to happen that my coworker's husband, who I see about once a month, showed up and said "I thought you did this one already". His wife is the front desk receptionist. Everybody in Fletcher knows by now.
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