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Cal20sailor

Calling out all the MacGuyvers out there

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Things I learned from sailing that I applied to real life

In '87, I got drafted into a program at work that involved a sled with with multi-frequency radars that had to traverse about 100'.  The PM had this great  idea to mount two spools on the same winch where one would pay out while the other pulled in.  He didn't like my comment about different radiuses and that it would be a total clusterfuck.  So, I came up with a system where we could keep tension on the outgoing spool involving a bunch of Harken blocks with a hanging weight.  

I get on the phone to Thomas Hardware in Detroit and get the man on the phone (Warren) and order about $700 in hardware and ask him when can I pick it up, his response, no, I want to see what you're doing.  About a week later, he delivers everything and I show him what we're doing and he looks at it for about a minute and looks at me and says, it will work.  It did and to add to my misery, I was drafted to the North Pole for five weeks.  Warren's confirmation was everything to me.  

So, others have done similar things, please share.  

 

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That wasn't really MacGuyver'ing it. Had you been at sea and used your shoe lace to lash the block in place, and then it stayed that way for another 30 years because it never failed then that would be a different story all together. 

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1 hour ago, RImike said:

That wasn't really MacGuyver'ing it. Had you been at sea and used your shoe lace to lash the block in place, and then it stayed that way for another 30 years because it never failed then that would be a different story all together. 

"fuck, this is such a hack job... I better get around to fixing this soon" *sells the boat* "shit... i hope the new owner never notices that (those) hack job(s) i did..."

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Oh yes, earlier this year the commodore at my club asked me to help his twin red haired granddaughters with an engineering project they were doing at the all girl college they attended. It turned out it was for some workout equipment the school soccer team wanted to try. It involved developing some weight lifting and spinning equipment all to be used in the sauna. They had a huge sauna at the school and when I got there I noticed a bunch of empty fizz coolers strewn around the door to the sauna. The sauna was on so I stripped down and found a towel big enough to cover my massive manhood.  I did not want to get my new Jordache Jeans wet and my Pro Tech shirt was in the Lambo. Upon entering I was surprised that all the girls from the soccer team were their not bothering to wear any towels but they all had on very cool  red Mount Gay hats. A number of the girls were already doing some sort of work out with each other. It must have been quite strenous as there was a lot of moaning going on. Oddly about 3/4 of the young women in there were red haired. Once in all of a sudden the twins came up to me with this very nice 34dd an started to.... oh wait EAZE is at the door making a delivery, got to go

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2 minutes ago, VWAP said:

Oh yes, earlier this year the commodore at my club asked me to help his twin red haired granddaughters with an engineering project they were doing at the all girl college they attended. It turned out it was for some workout equipment the school soccer team wanted to try. It involved developing some weight lifting and spinning equipment all to be used in the sauna. They had a huge sauna at the school and when I got there I noticed a bunch of empty fizz coolers strewn around the door to the sauna. The sauna was on so I stripped down and found a towel big enough to cover my massive manhood.  I did not want to get my new Jordache Jeans wet and my Pro Tech shirt was in the Lambo. Upon entering I was surprised that all the girls from the soccer team were their not bothering to wear any towels but they all had on very cool  red Mount Gay hats. A number of the girls were already doing some sort of work out with each other. It must have been quite strenous as there was a lot of moaning going on. Oddly about 3/4 of the young women in there were red haired. Once in all of a sudden the twins came up to me with this very nice 34dd an started to.... oh wait EAZE is at the door making a delivery, got to go

Sounds like the Commodore at your club also has red hair and has been a busy.

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Well one time on the way out to the course at the 2003 Etchells World's, I was shocked to discover we had no rolling papers on board and we were deficient in all other required technologies save for the lighter. Well I got my head into our little tool box and within 9 minutes had managed to fashion a perfectly functional little pipe. We used it for the day and it did the job quite nicely.

Skipper wryly noted, "If you two put half the effort into sailing this boat that you do into smoking weed, we'd be in the top 20 by now". 

I suspect he was correct.

The next day we bought papers along.

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About 100ft from the windward mark the forstay came disconected, it had unwound on the lower turnbuckle from torque loads furling and unfurling the goofy bi directional furler, the headsail was holding up the mast.  Foredeck fellow put the spin halyard on the bow cleat so we could drop the heasail, then when we turned the corner going downwind, the main pushed the mast forward so he put the headsail halyard on the bow cleat, reconnected the spin and we went downwind to the finish. 

It was a shark so the loads aren't much and the spinakker is about the size of a large tablecloth, but it seemed pretty clever at the time

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43 minutes ago, blunted said:

Well one time on the way out to the course at the 2003 Etchells World's, I was shocked to discover we had no rolling papers on board and we were deficient in all other required technologies save for the lighter. Well I got my head into our little tool box and within 9 minutes had managed to fashion a perfectly functional little pipe. We used it for the day and it did the job quite nicely.

Skipper wryly noted, "If you two put half the effort into sailing this boat that you do into smoking weed, we'd be in the top 20 by now". 

I suspect he was correct.

The next day we bought papers along.

I would have just drunken one of the cans of beers onboard, then dented, with my thumb, the side of the can down near the bottom but inline with the pour hole at the top, then punched some very small holes in the dented area with my riggers fid, place the "weed", as you call it onto the dented area, struck the lighter and applied the flame it produces to the weed while pulling air through the pour hole on the top of the can with my mouth.

McGyer.

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I once made an atomic bomb from a some salt, a cup of water and a book of matches.

So what, you say? Well, the impressive thing about it was that I did it while waiting for my burger at Ruby Tuesdays.

True story.

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I have lost count of the number of uses for sail ties on a boat, with enough loops they are pretty strong too.

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24 minutes ago, Parma said:

I once made an atomic bomb from a some salt, a cup of water and a book of matches.

So what, you say? Well, the impressive thing about it was that I did it while waiting for my burger at Ruby Tuesdays.

True story.

David Hahn?

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46 minutes ago, hobot said:

I would have just drunken one of the cans of beers onboard, then dented, with my thumb, the side of the can down near the bottom but inline with the pour hole at the top, then punched some very small holes in the dented area with my riggers fid, place the "weed", as you call it onto the dented area, struck the lighter and applied the flame it produces to the weed while pulling air through the pour hole on the top of the can with my mouth.

McGyer.

I would have taken the tobacco from the end of a cigarette and packed the end full of weed and smoked it.

We used to call it a cocktail.

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1 hour ago, hobot said:

I would have just drunken one of the cans of beers onboard, then dented, with my thumb, the side of the can down near the bottom but inline with the pour hole at the top, then punched some very small holes in the dented area with my riggers fid, place the "weed", as you call it onto the dented area, struck the lighter and applied the flame it produces to the weed while pulling air through the pour hole on the top of the can with my mouth.

McGyer.

 

28 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

I would have taken the tobacco from the end of a cigarette and packed the end full of weed and smoked it.

We used to call it a cocktail.

These were two of the requirements to pass the the Freshman Orientation class we all took at UCSB in the 70s

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2 hours ago, blunted said:

I was shocked to discover we had no rolling papers on board...

That's why I keep a bible aboard.

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19 minutes ago, justsomeguy! said:

That's why I keep a bible aboard.

"Step up, lad," cried Silver. "I won't eat you. Hand it over, lubber. I know the rules, I do; I won't hurt a depytation."

Thus encouraged, the buccaneer stepped forth more briskly, and having passed something to Silver, from hand to hand, slipped yet more smartly back again to his companions.

The sea-cook looked at what had been given him.

"The black spot! I thought so," he observed. "Where might you have got the paper? Why, hillo! Look here, now; this ain't lucky! You've gone and cut this out of a Bible. What fool's cut a Bible?"

"Ah, there!" said Morgan. "There! Wot did I say? No good'll come o' that, I said."

"Well, you've about fixed it now, among you," continued Silver. "You'll all swing now, I reckon. What soft- headed lubber had a Bible?"

"It was Dick," said one.

"Dick, was it? Then Dick can get to prayers," said Silver. "He's seen his slice of luck, has Dick, and you may lay to that."

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25 minutes ago, justsomeguy! said:

That's why I keep a bible aboard.

yeah, had a friend back in the day who used to have a pocket bible always with him. according to himself, he had never read it, but already smoked half of the new testament. inquring minds want to know - how bad would the trip be if one was smoking the book of revelations?

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1 hour ago, Trovão said:

...book of revelations?

"Revelation". ;)

It'd take quite a while to get to the book of revelation, unless you started from the back of the book, I guess.

Love the Treasure Island reference!

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On a coastal cruise on Lake Michigan I had an old Maxwell single speed self tailing winch fail...no clicking, just spinning both ways.

I managed to use the non-functional winch as a turning block to the other winch. We continued to our destination for that day.

At the dock I took apart the winch and discovered some tiny springs had failed. Some were just bits long broken...the last two were still allowing the ratchet stop to engage but when the 2nd to the last failed it was done. I had already failed finding any spares for these winches some months ago, but did not have enough money to replace as they were working well. So they went without a rebuild and one failed.

I set out to find springs. first stop was the marina's service yard....no luck, no springs that would fit in the holes. the next was a walk of about a mile to town and a west marine. I figured if I could not find a spring I would buy a replacement winch as I was flush with cash. As it happened, they had no spring and did not have a winch in stock. So I was sitting outside on the curb wondering what to do...looking at the spring in my palm. It then dawned on me, it looked about the same diameter as a bic click pen spring...I took a chance and went to the drug store. Bought a Bic Click pen for 69 cents or so. Unscrewed the pen and pulled out the spring. It was almost identical but for being just a bit too long and made of  brass (? something yellow). I bought 5 more pens just in case it worked.

Back at the boat,  I sized and nipped the spring with a wire cutter to length and looped the end around a few times to create a solid base. I did this for the other missing springs (4 total as I recall)  the first test of the winch still did not work, the springs did not raise ratchet stop gear. I discovered the springs were not as stiff as the original so I had to stretch the pen springs out a bit and trim them again. ONce that was done I could see it was going to work.

I had the winch back together enough to test if the ratchet stop gear engaged. It did. I put it all back together after a cleaning and grease and the winch worked with a renewed robust clicking sound. My partner at the time was impressed.

"You really McGyvered that".

I went back to the drugstore and bought a dozen more pens for spare springs. Figuring they would fail rapidly. I repaired that winch only three more times over the years with those pen springs. Last time I found some sturdier springs in a different pen. 

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45 minutes ago, EvaOdland said:

On a coastal cruise on Lake Michigan I had an old Maxwell single speed self tailing winch fail...no clicking, just spinning both ways.

I managed to use the non-functional winch as a turning block to the other winch. We continued to our destination for that day.

At the dock I took apart the winch and discovered some tiny springs had failed. Some were just bits long broken...the last two were still allowing the ratchet stop to engage but when the 2nd to the last failed it was done. I had already failed finding any spares for these winches some months ago, but did not have enough money to replace as they were working well. So they went without a rebuild and one failed.

I set out to find springs. first stop was the marina's service yard....no luck, no springs that would fit in the holes. the next was a walk of about a mile to town and a west marine. I figured if I could not find a spring I would buy a replacement winch as I was flush with cash. As it happened, they had no spring and did not have a winch in stock. So I was sitting outside on the curb wondering what to do...looking at the spring in my palm. It then dawned on me, it looked about the same diameter as a bic click pen spring...I took a chance and went to the drug store. Bought a Bic Click pen for 69 cents or so. Unscrewed the pen and pulled out the spring. It was almost identical but for being just a bit too long and made of  brass (? something yellow). I bought 5 more pens just in case it worked.

Back at the boat,  I sized and nipped the spring with a wire cutter to length and looped the end around a few times to create a solid base. I did this for the other missing springs (4 total as I recall)  the first test of the winch still did not work, the springs did not raise ratchet stop gear. I discovered the springs were not as stiff as the original so I had to stretch the pen springs out a bit and trim them again. ONce that was done I could see it was going to work.

I had the winch back together enough to test if the ratchet stop gear engaged. It did. I put it all back together after a cleaning and grease and the winch worked with a renewed robust clicking sound. My partner at the time was impressed.

"You really McGyvered that".

I went back to the drugstore and bought a dozen more pens for spare springs. Figuring they would fail rapidly. I repaired that winch only three more times over the years with those pen springs. Last time I found some sturdier springs in a different pen. 

Good bodge.

I had those same winches - worst winches I ever owned. WTF would think to use tiny coil springs for pawl springs? And those weird sprag things instead of simple pawls?

Did yours have those shitty, diagonal sheet stainless bearing races as well?

Keeriste those things were garbage. I hope they were at least cheap for the P.O.

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3 hours ago, hobot said:

I would have just drunken one of the cans of beers onboard, then dented, with my thumb, the side of the can down near the bottom but inline with the pour hole at the top, then punched some very small holes in the dented area with my riggers fid, place the "weed", as you call it onto the dented area, struck the lighter and applied the flame it produces to the weed while pulling air through the pour hole on the top of the can with my mouth.

McGyer.

Actually, toking on a boat means you're in Federally controlled waters and the Coasties can board, search and bust you without cause.  It used to be one seed and your boat is impounded & you're in big troubles.  Dunno what the 'sitch is these days, but it was quite an aggravation back then.

The beer can bong was the solution, good strong pulls if you wanted it, a bong effect if you kept some beer in it,  ten second construction and easily thrown overboard when approached.  Keep your stash in a plastic bag with a fishing weight and it goes straight to the bottom too.  End game, there's absolutely no ganja or used smoking gear on your boat, Coasties lose.

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4 hours ago, hobot said:

I would have just drunken one of the cans of beers onboard, then dented, with my thumb, the side of the can down near the bottom but inline with the pour hole at the top, then punched some very small holes in the dented area with my riggers fid, place the "weed", as you call it onto the dented area, struck the lighter and applied the flame it produces to the weed while pulling air through the pour hole on the top of the can with my mouth.

McGyer.

Too complicated. It’s an etchells at the worlds so you have 2 10l buckets and water bottles.

That’s one bucket bong each. Half the prep time, twice the effect.

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Stripping the fine-tune off the mainsheet tackle on a Sydney3600 to rig in place of the suddenly-defunct backstay hydraulic cylinder,  in the pre-start sequence.  Working furiously as the crew ignored us and concentrated on a front row start and finishing just as the gun sounded so we could tension the backstay JUST in time to go to weather. 

Memories of one of the monst Never-say-die guys I ever knew,  Daniel P. Doyle.  Fair winds to ya, shipmate.

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3 hours ago, axolotl said:

Actually, toking on a boat means you're in Federally controlled waters and the Coasties can board, search and bust you without cause.  It used to be one seed and your boat is impounded & you're in big troubles.  Dunno what the 'sitch is these days, but it was quite an aggravation back then.

The beer can bong was the solution, good strong pulls if you wanted it, a bong effect if you kept some beer in it,  ten second construction and easily thrown overboard when approached.  Keep your stash in a plastic bag with a fishing weight and it goes straight to the bottom too.  End game, there's absolutely no ganja or used smoking gear on your boat, Coasties lose.

nah if your in a legal state in a waterway that does not connect to the ocean youre good

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About a decade ago the spring in the mainsheet block cleat failed. After the race I pulled it apart to see if I could fashion a temporary repair. I modified the arm off a bulldog clip... and haven't had a problem since. large.10112_01.jpg-1_300.jpg.75bb37a334af2d8a7de2530e0c69890b.jpg

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One dinghy I had, had a tiller extension made from the steel  tube from the inside of an ambulance window roller blind.

The keel boat I'm refurbishing at the moment, I designed and built in Saudi, there was a shortage of real boat parts out there , so...

The gooseneck was made from an eyebolt,  which was cut into a hook, and two bits of aluminum angle bolted back to back onto the tabernacle with a hole drilled through to accept the hook.

 The epoxy resin was made to line the refinery oil tanks with glass fibre.

The stay plates were stainless steel rods from the inside of an abandoned building airconditioning unit.

Small bits of sheet stainless came from the same A/C unit, as did lots of stainless screws.

The sails were made by a car cover maker.

The keel band is electrical copper bus bar.

Paint was the best household paint I could get.

The sheeves and blocks were made from electrical sheet Tufnol, Nylon and Tufnol rod and solid PTFE by me, on a lathe where required.

I could get limited supply of stainless machine screws, bolts and nuts from the shops, these often had to be shortend to fit or ground down to make a bearing surface.

The trailer was made by a friend for me using parts from an aircraft Bomb trolley.

 

 

 

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  21 hours ago, hobot said:

I would have just drunken one of the cans of beers onboard, then dented, with my thumb, the side of the can down near the bottom but inline with the pour hole at the top, then punched some very small holes in the dented area with my riggers fid, place the "weed", as you call it onto the dented area, struck the lighter and applied the flame it produces to the weed while pulling air through the pour hole on the top of the can with my mouth.

McGyer.

 

  20 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

I would have taken the tobacco from the end of a cigarette and packed the end full of weed and smoked it.

We used to call it a cocktail.

These were two of the requirements to pass the the Freshman Orientation class we all took at UCSB in the 70s

 

I have "allegedly" solved this problem with an apple one time and small funnel and some PVC piping another time. 

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21 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

 

Did yours have those shitty, diagonal sheet stainless bearing races as well?

 

errrmmmm....not sure exactly what those are but the bearing race was cone shaped I think...

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      I let my gas tank get down to the very dregs on the hottest day of the year driving from Stuart Fl up to Pensacola. Had been to a Lion Country Safari place which they loved but my AC was on the blink and keeping the windows rolled up while the animals cavorted all over my van was like a sauna. Late in the night while running on fumes, I stopped for gas up in the Panhandle and topped the tank off and didn't realise that fuel pumps rely on actually sitting in the gasoline at the bottom of the tank to keep cool. Electric motor sitting in gas, right? So when the cool fuel from the underground tank hit the overheated pump it just gave up and we only got about 3 miles down the road which was probably on the fuel in the line and secondary filter and carb float. We rolled to a stop on one of those long causeway sections over a swamp with no shoulder and the big trucks were rocking the van side to side as they blew past at 85 MPH just a few feet away. I wanted to at least get off of the bridge section and hopefully just past where I could see the exit sign to a ramp where we would have a chance of surviving. I pulled the aircleaner and siphoned some gas into a Sprite bottle to squirt down the carb throat because the motor died so instantly I wondered if it was even getting a spark. A squirt of raw gas down the throat confirmed that spark was present with a healthy backfire. That narrowed down the problem so I took my leatherman tool and made a small hole in the bottle cap that would slowly drip out fuel when the bottle was held upside down. My oldest was about 14 and could start the motor while I primed the carb and then I could drop the neck of the leaky 16 oz bottle into the open carb and jump behind the wheel and jam it in gear and get a hundred yards down the road. I gradually enlarged the drip hole until I could get a couple of hundred yards but soon realized that the limiting factor was the lack of an air vent hole in the bottle. At least by this time I had gotten off the bridge and down the wider emergency lane without getting rear ended and soon was coasting down the offramp. At the intersection with the lonely county road at the bottom I thought about camping for the night but surrounded by cracker infested swamplands I thought I could hear banjo music so at least wanted to get into a small town with a service station that was a couple of miles up the road. I soon had a carefully calibrated air vent hole in the bottom of the Sprite bottle that matched the hole in the cap that would allow me to get up to almost 15 mph with a lot of sputtering and only an occasional backfire.  I didn't dare fill the bottle more than half full for fear of a backfire setting the whole apparatus on fire and it would lose its head of pressure when only about a quarter full. So I was getting about a half mile with each top off. It was about 2 AM and didn't see another vehicle the whole way and when we got to the edge of the little town, there was a patrol car hiding right past the city limit and speed sign in a classic southern small town speed trap. I think I was actually up to almost 20 MPH when I passed the 15 MPH town limit sign so I took my foot off the accelerator which was still metering the airflow and right as we passed the cop (who was sound asleep!) the rich fuel/air mix let off a resounding series of very loud backfires. I could see the service station sign still lit up ahead at the long closed goal for the night and had enough momentum to coast there but then the blue flashing lights of the startled cop who was on the bullhorn demanding that we pull over immediately. There was a small church before the gas station and I hope that the cop would hesitate to shoot me on sight under the cross on the steeple so I put an quick end to the dramatic 'high speed' chase in the gravel lot of the church.  

    Barney Fife must have thought that he had nearly fell victim of a drive by shooting and the van had Texas plates so he was sure we were part of a Mexican cartel on the prowl. He went through the whole 'stay in your car' thing while calling in backup. That only took 20 minutes or so since this was two officer town and I thought they were going to call in what passed for the SWAT Team from the next little backwoods burg. Once pinned in front and rear with all lights and strobes blazing away, they closed in on the marauders in the hostile van in body armour and weapons drawn. I was shaking like a leaf and my girls were whimpering in the back. Once the looked in and saw souvenir giraffes and pandas anxiously clutched by my 14 and 4 year old they stood down and holstered their weapons as I explained the backfires. They relaxed and had to see for themselves my McGyver creation. I raised the hood and it was still dripping fuel with white vapor coming up out of the carb barrel like a stage smoke machine so I disarmed the potential bomb before committing any more terrorist acts.

     The top cop just laughed and told his deputy to make sure we were safe and help us get to the service station (by pushing not with the contraption) when it opened after daylight. He headed back to his abandoned bed shaking his head. The other cop noticed on the corner of my windsheild one of those fish symbols with the Christians are so fond of.

Image result for christian fish symbol surfer

    The decal was on the van when I bought it and for some reason there is a whole tribe of god fearing surfers in the Pensacola area, probably inspired by Yancy Spencer and hi INNERLIGHT SURF empire. I was more concerned with the vehicle inspection sticker right next to it which was out of date but the cop turned out to be a member of the little church we had ground to a stop in front of. He was an aspiring lay preacher and I gave him the story of how surfers had adopted one of the oldest Christian symbols and he was fascinated and started to work up his next sermon with the revelation that I had just laid on him. He even opened up the church and made some coffee and let the girls take a nap in the nursery while I waited for a good friend in Orange Beach to drive down with his GF and my future GF to rescue us. 

    The Lord works in mysterious ways...

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On a transport several years back, we were a couple miles offshore already when someone asked if we had a wine bottle opener. My answer was no, we're a racing boat FFS! I'd always been in mindset that class bottles on a sailboat equals a bad idea, but since this was a transport things were a little more casual.

So our first attempt was to use a screwdriver and try to twist and pry the cork out. Fail...


Second attempt and the solution that finally worked was to hold the bottle upside down and beat the shit out of the bottom of the bottle with the heal of tennis shoe to force the cork out far enough with the pressue until it could be opened the rest of the way by hand.

As I sat and watched all this happen, my only thought was "Hmmmf, who woulda thuoght..."

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17 minutes ago, Jubblies said:

On a transport several years back, we were a couple miles offshore already when someone asked if we had a wine bottle opener. My answer was no, we're a racing boat FFS! I'd always been in mindset that class bottles on a sailboat equals a bad idea, but since this was a transport things were a little more casual.

So our first attempt was to use a screwdriver and try to twist and pry the cork out. Fail...


Second attempt and the solution that finally worked was to hold the bottle upside down and beat the shit out of the bottom of the bottle with the heal of tennis shoe to force the cork out far enough with the pressue until it could be opened the rest of the way by hand.

As I sat and watched all this happen, my only thought was "Hmmmf, who woulda thuoght..."

That trick was shown on Modern Family when Claire and Cam got trapped in a treehouse by a dog and they had a bottle of wine with no corkscrew. 

Sounds like your trip could have been like this

https://y.yarn.co/e2e54c84-c759-4a0e-af66-530419cc6afd.mp4?1545156001038

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On 12/17/2018 at 9:56 AM, justsomeguy! said:

That's why I keep a bible aboard.

I got kicked out from a house party one time for using the good book for just this purpose!!

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1 hour ago, thebook said:

I got kicked out from a house party one time for using the good book for just this purpose!!

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? Some people...

They'll make more bibles.

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17 hours ago, The Q said:

One dinghy I had, had a tiller extension made from the steel  tube from the inside of an ambulance window roller blind.

The keel boat I'm refurbishing at the moment, I designed and built in Saudi, there was a shortage of real boat parts out there , so...

The gooseneck was made from an eyebolt,  which was cut into a hook, and two bits of aluminum angle bolted back to back onto the tabernacle with a hole drilled through to accept the hook.

 The epoxy resin was made to line the refinery oil tanks with glass fibre.

The stay plates were stainless steel rods from the inside of an abandoned building airconditioning unit.

Small bits of sheet stainless came from the same A/C unit, as did lots of stainless screws.

The sails were made by a car cover maker.

The keel band is electrical copper bus bar.

Paint was the best household paint I could get.

The sheeves and blocks were made from electrical sheet Tufnol, Nylon and Tufnol rod and solid PTFE by me, on a lathe where required.

I could get limited supply of stainless machine screws, bolts and nuts from the shops, these often had to be shortend to fit or ground down to make a bearing surface.

The trailer was made by a friend for me using parts from an aircraft Bomb trolley.

Winner.

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9 hours ago, Jubblies said:

On a transport several years back, we were a couple miles offshore already when someone asked if we had a wine bottle opener. My answer was no, we're a racing boat FFS! I'd always been in mindset that class bottles on a sailboat equals a bad idea, but since this was a transport things were a little more casual.

So our first attempt was to use a screwdriver and try to twist and pry the cork out. Fail...


Second attempt and the solution that finally worked was to hold the bottle upside down and beat the shit out of the bottom of the bottle with the heal of tennis shoe to force the cork out far enough with the pressue until it could be opened the rest of the way by hand.

As I sat and watched all this happen, my only thought was "Hmmmf, who woulda thuoght..."

The alternative is to just push the cork into the bottle.

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On 12/17/2018 at 10:25 AM, VWAP said:

Oh yes, earlier this year the commodore at my club asked me to help his twin red haired granddaughters with an engineering project they were doing at the all girl college they attended. It turned out it was for some workout equipment the school soccer team wanted to try. It involved developing some weight lifting and spinning equipment all to be used in the sauna. They had a huge sauna at the school and when I got there I noticed a bunch of empty fizz coolers strewn around the door to the sauna. The sauna was on so I stripped down and found a towel big enough to cover my massive manhood.  I did not want to get my new Jordache Jeans wet and my Pro Tech shirt was in the Lambo. Upon entering I was surprised that all the girls from the soccer team were their not bothering to wear any towels but they all had on very cool  red Mount Gay hats. A number of the girls were already doing some sort of work out with each other. It must have been quite strenous as there was a lot of moaning going on. Oddly about 3/4 of the young women in there were red haired. Once in all of a sudden the twins came up to me with this very nice 34dd an started to.... oh wait EAZE is at the door making a delivery, got to go

Dude, you seriously need to get some help

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As a kid I did boat work on some very expensive  race boats at IHYC.  We rebuilt one of the first coffee grinders and guess what?  There were extra bearings left over.  Tore it down two more times , no luck.  Put them in a glassine envelope  and marked Spare Parts on the top.  Problem solved.  I watched that boat win for many years.  This was before TV role models although I do remember Rube Goldburg cartoons.

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10 hours ago, Jubblies said:

On a transport several years back, we were a couple miles offshore already when someone asked if we had a wine bottle opener. My answer was no, we're a racing boat FFS! I'd always been in mindset that class bottles on a sailboat equals a bad idea, but since this was a transport things were a little more casual.

So our first attempt was to use a screwdriver and try to twist and pry the cork out. Fail...


Second attempt and the solution that finally worked was to hold the bottle upside down and beat the shit out of the bottom of the bottle with the heal of tennis shoe to force the cork out far enough with the pressue until it could be opened the rest of the way by hand.

As I sat and watched all this happen, my only thought was "Hmmmf, who woulda thuoght..."

Use the screwdriver to screw a screw into the cork, then use some pliers to pull on the screw - the cork will come out with it.

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One day out from Canaries. Heading to Bermuda. Only head on board is very badly blocked, stench is terrible etc......we elect to dismount the bowl, tie a rope around it and dump the contents overboard...........much to our surprise this works perfectly! BUT, the small black ball that worked as part of the valve was included in the dump!  After much head scratching and consternation a squash ball appears from somebodies kit bag, when filled with bondo it worked perfectly for the rest of the 2 week trip.

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1 hour ago, guerdon said:

As a kid I did boat work on some very expensive  race boats at IHYC.  We rebuilt one of the first coffee grinders and guess what?  There were extra bearings left over.  Tore it down two more times , no luck.  Put them in a glassine envelope  and marked Spare Parts on the top.  Problem solved.  I watched that boat win for many years.  This was before TV role models although I do remember Rube Goldburg cartoons.

Did you only have the one so no untouched mate to use as an example?

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Coming back from Halifax to Portland Me after the Marblehead to Halifax race we had a high pressure line on the diesel crack.  It was spraying fuel all over the diesel and the winds were low.  With no motor it was going to be a long trip home.  So after some thought I cleaned the line and fitting it was going into and wrapped it with marine tex.  Once it harddened the leak was only a small stream.  So made a trough to direct the fuel into a bottle and we were able to continue on our way.  When we filled a few bottles we would dump them back into the tank.  Made it home in good time.

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6 hours ago, seaker said:

Coming back from Halifax to Portland Me after the Marblehead to Halifax race we had a high pressure line on the diesel crack.  It was spraying fuel all over the diesel and the winds were low.  With no motor it was going to be a long trip home.  So after some thought I cleaned the line and fitting it was going into and wrapped it with marine tex.  Once it harddened the leak was only a small stream.  So made a trough to direct the fuel into a bottle and we were able to continue on our way.  When we filled a few bottles we would dump them back into the tank.  Made it home in good time.

Sloop, this boat boat had the first grinder I had ever seen outside of 12 meters.  I believe it was 1967.  The fog of memory is a kind affair.

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21 hours ago, MikeR80 said:

Dude, you seriously need to get some help

Where do I sign up? New Orleans?

Gingers are fun to sail with!

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3 hours ago, Sail4beer said:

Where do I sign up? New Orleans?

Gingers are fun to sail with!

Little mikie was right.  I did need help that afternoon. I called Snaggs but he was getting ready to take the Vice Commodore out on her new boat. Something about watching the Submarine races. Somehow I ended up with 2 really cool Mount Gay red hats in the Lambo.

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My personal favorite mcgyver was clamping a seagull outboard to the boarding ladder of my dads Moody 29, when the diesel crapped out.

To maneuver the boat, my dad had the tiller and I had to lean over the transom to reach the throttle of the outboard, and turn it if needed.

 

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My favorite McGyvering story is partially about MacGyvering,  but also about our skipper, the dreaded Snapper.  It was at LBYC, we were racing a CF27 whose interiors we had removed to equalize it to other CFs in the area that had no more than alum tube bunks.  We did ignore (bad, BAD, MacGyvers) that in this particular CF the wood interiors were structural, a fact that we discovered after the Prep signal for the first race when an awful CRAAACK sound shook the boat and a quick inspection revealed that the bulkhead supporting the shrouds was separating from the hull.

Luckily this CF (Pull It Surprise) was always a work in project, so power tools were almost as abundant as beers.  Half the crew jumped into the cabin and after a quick pow wow we decided to drill a hole near the shrouds attachment, loop a line there, loosen a keel bolt, loop another line there, connect them with a strong vang purchase (with cleat) lead the line out, and winch the shit out of it with a primary.  However, by now it was the last minute and the boat was a cacophony of: "Drill there. WEEEEEEEE", "Thirty", "Loosen that one.  No, moron, THAT one: GNEEE, GNEEE, twist, twist". "Twenty", "Keep it UP, skipper",  "Hand me the line", "Fifteen", "Two boatlenghts to the line", "Give me a handle", " "Slow down", "Ten"... and at that point, in a cocktail-shaker of absolute bedlam,  I looked out at the cockpit and Snap was driving like he was in a daysailer in Lake Como in 6 knots, a placid smile in his face that would have made Buddah look like Russell Brand on meth.  For a crew that prided ourselves on our MacGyvering capabilities, it was the best possible (unintended) compliment.

I don't remember how we finished on that race (we did)  or even the regatta, but I'll never forget that moment.

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2 hours ago, McGyver said:

My favorite McGyvering story is partially about MacGyvering,  but also about our skipper, the dreaded Snapper.  It was at LBYC, we were racing a CF27 whose interiors we had removed to equalize it to other CFs in the area that had no more than alum tube bunks.  We did ignore (bad, BAD, MacGyvers) that in this particular CF the wood interiors were structural, a fact that we discovered after the Prep signal for the first race when an awful CRAAACK sound shook the boat and a quick inspection revealed that the bulkhead supporting the shrouds was separating from the hull.

Luckily this CF (Pull It Surprise) was always a work in project, so power tools were almost as abundant as beers.  Half the crew jumped into the cabin and after a quick pow wow we decided to drill a hole near the shrouds attachment, loop a line there, loosen a keel bolt, loop another line there, connect them with a strong vang purchase (with cleat) lead the line out, and winch the shit out of it with a primary.  However, by now it was the last minute and the boat was a cacophony of: "Drill there. WEEEEEEEE", "Thirty", "Loosen that one.  No, moron, THAT one: GNEEE, GNEEE, twist, twist". "Twenty", "Keep it UP, skipper",  "Hand me the line", "Fifteen", "Two boatlenghts to the line", "Give me a handle", " "Slow down", "Ten"... and at that point, in a cocktail-shaker of absolute bedlam,  I looked out at the cockpit and Snap was driving like he was in a daysailer in Lake Como in 6 knots, a placid smile in his face that would have made Buddah look like Russell Brand on meth.  For a crew that prided ourselves on our MacGyvering capabilities, it was the best possible (unintended) compliment.

I don't remember how we finished on that race (we did)  or even the regatta, but I'll never forget that moment.

We had a somewhat similar issue. During a Chicago NOOD on a Santa Cruz 70, the mainsheet traveler decided it was going to try to peel the deck off the boat. You could see 2 inches of daylight between the bulkheads and the ring frame they were supposed to be connected too. A whole lot of spectra later, the traveler (and the deck it was bolted too) was properly tied to the ring frame in the bottom of the boat and we were able to finish the regatta. 

As far as I know, even after being repaired, two of the spectra lines still remain, just in case. 

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We were heading from Musketucky to Chicago for the Columbia YC race weekend just prior to the NOODs.  I think it was called the Chicago Classic, but I am not sure.  The transport vehicle left for Chicago with the owner and some crew members as we were pulling out on the lake in a J35.  I asked the other delivery crew where our delivery bag was ( it contained all the extra tools and parts that are not usually needed on buoy racing on Muskegon lake) and it was headed for Chicago in the truck.  I made an off the cuff comment about that and was told we would not be needing it because the boat was in really good shape.   After motoring for more than 8 hours of the 14 it took for the delivery, the engine over temp alarm went off and we shut down the yanmar.  After a little looking I found the water pump belt had shredded and of course its replacement was in the truck in the delivery bag.  The wind was on the nose at almost 2 knots so we put up the best regatta #1 and the main to sail the remainder of the trip.  After 20+ hours at this, I looked at the GPS and we had 36 hours to arrival but the racing started in 18.  I pulled the motor cover and started to look for options.  The belt was shredded so it had no hope of being fixed.  My next thought was we did not need an alternator to run the diesel yanmar so I started to remove it and hoped I could put the water pump in its place.  I finally got it plumbed and the belt tight (there was Kevlar line and duck tape involved along with the water pump mount) I went up on deck and started the engine, put it in forward and headed for chi-town at 7 knots.  The guy that was with me had been sleeping and knew nothing about my efforts until I started the engine.  He was very impressed with my work and "creativity"  When we pulled into Chicago we found out the owner had sent out a search boat for us as we were 24 hours overdue.  after thrashing to put the motor back to normal, we made the start of the first race and ended up winning the weekend.

Every time I have done a delivery since then I make sure the delivery bag makes it on the boat for the delivery...

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No pantyhose on board?

It actually works as a temp V-belt - I've done it.

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While cruising New Guinea many years ago I heard a scream from my girlfriend down below so I raced below to find her dripping wet and trying to stop a stream of water coming from the heads through hull fitting which she had accidentally stood on and snapped off. After some panicked thinking I went to the galley and grabbed a carrot and hammered  it in into the broken fitting. It did the trick and actually stayed there for a week until we could do a permanent repair. (I now always have tapered plugs beside all through hull fittings.

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The advantage of being involved in a serious prototyping machine shop is you can do anti-McGyver repairs, like recently machining a stainless steel insert and custom spot welder electrodes to fix the shaft of a umbrella which my son's friend, who is otherwise an excellent Optimist racer, broke in a rare display of mechanical ineptness. 

But from the OP's original post, I think an interesting question here is when have you been able to use lines and sail boat fittings to accomplish some task on land? My mom for example had a desk lamp hanging from the ceiling on a line through a couple of pulleys to a jam cleat under a windowsill so the lamp could be raised and lowered depending on the light required. I don't think it ever got used much, but it was cool. I have always desired to do these types of installs but haven't found many opportunities in the stuff I've designed. 

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We had numerous animals that would shred the lower branches of the Christmas tree. So one year, using various Harken blocks, and a cam cleat we installed a hanger which lifted the tree above the dogs once it was trimmed at a normal height.

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Bonus points- gravity is pretty reliable so no "discussion"  about whether tree was vertical.

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On 12/17/2018 at 11:15 AM, hobot said:

I would have just drunken one of the cans of beers onboard, then dented, with my thumb, the side of the can down near the bottom but inline with the pour hole at the top, then punched some very small holes in the dented area with my riggers fid, place the "weed", as you call it onto the dented area, struck the lighter and applied the flame it produces to the weed while pulling air through the pour hole on the top of the can with my mouth.

McGyer.

The problem with a pipcan pipe on an etchells is that if there is any wind the weed just blows away. 

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I rebuilt the distributor rotor insulator on my Atomic IV using a red solo cup 8 years ago. Still works fine. 

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On 12/17/2018 at 11:15 AM, hobot said:

I would have just drunken one of the cans of beers onboard, then dented, with my thumb, the side of the can down near the bottom but inline with the pour hole at the top, then punched some very small holes in the dented area with my riggers fid, place the "weed", as you call it onto the dented area, struck the lighter and applied the flame it produces to the weed while pulling air through the pour hole on the top of the can with my mouth.

McGyer.

 

One of my crew used to do the same thing with a ball point pen 20 years ago.

Then he skipped a regatta to play golf.

Next weekend sailing he proudly recounted how he ran out of rolling papers on the golf course.

So he sneaks into the women's room and gets a tampon out of the wall dispenser as the wrapper was rice paper and close to rolling papers.

Had to stop him right there and ask "Ummmm, McGyver you think maybe it is time to cool it with the dope when you are breaking into lady's rooms to smoke tampon wrappers ??'

That was the last time he ever smoked weed...

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:D It does have a quality of desperation about it.

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The five P's:

Proper 

Planning

Prevents

Poor 

Performance

Alot of McGuyver problems could be avoided if the 5 P's we're adhered to.

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One square of tinfoil in your wallet/codpiece is all you need. Condom wrappers don't count. You can turn anything into a pipe with a business-card-size piece of heavy foil. Double and fold it for heavy hitters.

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On 12/17/2018 at 1:52 PM, EvaOdland said:

On a coastal cruise on Lake Michigan I had an old Maxwell single speed self tailing winch fail...no clicking, just spinning both ways.

I managed to use the non-functional winch as a turning block to the other winch. We continued to our destination for that day.

At the dock I took apart the winch and discovered some tiny springs had failed. Some were just bits long broken...the last two were still allowing the ratchet stop to engage but when the 2nd to the last failed it was done. I had already failed finding any spares for these winches some months ago, but did not have enough money to replace as they were working well. So they went without a rebuild and one failed.

I set out to find springs. first stop was the marina's service yard....no luck, no springs that would fit in the holes. the next was a walk of about a mile to town and a west marine. I figured if I could not find a spring I would buy a replacement winch as I was flush with cash. As it happened, they had no spring and did not have a winch in stock. So I was sitting outside on the curb wondering what to do...looking at the spring in my palm. It then dawned on me, it looked about the same diameter as a bic click pen spring...I took a chance and went to the drug store. Bought a Bic Click pen for 69 cents or so. Unscrewed the pen and pulled out the spring. It was almost identical but for being just a bit too long and made of  brass (? something yellow). I bought 5 more pens just in case it worked.

Back at the boat,  I sized and nipped the spring with a wire cutter to length and looped the end around a few times to create a solid base. I did this for the other missing springs (4 total as I recall)  the first test of the winch still did not work, the springs did not raise ratchet stop gear. I discovered the springs were not as stiff as the original so I had to stretch the pen springs out a bit and trim them again. ONce that was done I could see it was going to work.

I had the winch back together enough to test if the ratchet stop gear engaged. It did. I put it all back together after a cleaning and grease and the winch worked with a renewed robust clicking sound. My partner at the time was impressed.

"You really McGyvered that".

I went back to the drugstore and bought a dozen more pens for spare springs. Figuring they would fail rapidly. I repaired that winch only three more times over the years with those pen springs. Last time I found some sturdier springs in a different pen. 

The springs on Schrader valves are very useful in a multitude of ways, and at times you might never think of...... Until you need one.

 That's why I rarely leave home w/o one..... Or 4.....

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