I’ve been in a bit of a melancholy mood lately. We have several projects going aboard Cream Puff causing us grief. We are replacing carpet. We ordered new marine carpet (special backing – non-mildewing – double the price) and planned to save money by installing it ourselves. We cut it to size using the old carpet pieces as templates. We planned to sew binding to the edges to prevent fraying. Ha! Not so easy. We are now exploring a Plan B. We have settled on a product called Instabind. Let’s hope it is as easy as the YouTube instructional video. I’m betting it isn’t. We are awaiting the binding to arrive. The project is still on the list of things to be done.
When installing our new arch, Atlantic Towers did not ship all the pieces needed. Every time we moved forward on this project we hit a wall because a part was missing. The company was very nice, at first. But, I needed to send multiple emails because as I progressed with the project I kept finding another part missing. In the end, I would send an email and the only response was a shipping confirmation. I guess they got tired of hearing from me.
The arch is up but when tightening the very last bolt (it’s always the very last bolt) the lock nut jammed and I still need to replace this. And by the way, the final bolts were omitted from the shipment so I spent the $60 to purchase them locally. I gave up on Atlantic Towers. I got the stainless steel bolts from a specialty fastener place across town. We don’t have a car so it is on the list like so many other things to do. Another project almost done, but not yet.
I had a Pela Oil Extractor I used to change our engine oil. This brand new pump was given to me by a fellow boater in the Chesapeake Bay. I used it a total of three times before it broke. When I last used it to change the engine oil it sprayed oil all over the engine room. I wrote to Pela customer service. After a brief email exchange they went silent. I have since thrown the $100 pump away with no further hope they will honor their warranty.
To replace the Pela Oil Extractor, I purchased a SHURFLO® pump system. It is basically a pump on top of a plastic bucket. The pump sucks the used oil out of the engine and places it in the bucket. When it arrived I tried to put it together which basically meant attaching the tubing and putting the lid on the bucket. The lid would not attach to the bucket or snap closed (no instructions included regarding this). I contacted the company from which I purchased the product. The owner went to the warehouse and opened a couple of other units. He agreed the lid did not fit on any of the units he tried. I contacted SHURFLO®. They told me I needed to hit it with a rubber hammer (not included). Call me crazy but, I think selling a product needing to be hit with a rubber hammer to get it to fit is a sign a pretty poor quality control. I still haven’t been able to get the lid to fit properly. Changing the engine and generator oil is still on the list of things to do.
We took our new Highfield dinghy for a spin. It leaks! We contacted the distributor who eventually put us in touch with the manufacture (after multiple voice messages and emails that went unanswered we stopped payment on the credit card). They have agreed it is flawed and will fix it for free. But, we need to take it to Miami. They offered to pay for our inconvenience and rental car. Just the fact they offered was awesome. Next week we will load up the new dink for another road trip. Highfield has been absolutely first class with their customer service. Pela and SHURFLO® could learn a great deal from them. But, yet another thing on the list of things to do that shouldn’t be there.
In an effort to try to remember why we live on a boat and have this nomadic lifestyle, we took a trip to Sarasota. Sarasota is the next inlet south of Tampa Bay. Armed with our cameras, we strolled the streets of downtown and enjoyed Florida’s west coast city of very old very rich people. I mean this in all sincerity and politeness. I think the average age of the person living in Sarasota is 108. Good for them, I say. The old rich people have built themselves a wonderful town with tree lined streets and flowers everywhere. Most of the trees have plaques stating the tree was planted in memory of Mr. or Mrs. Someone-or-another. Cindy said she wanted to donate a tree and tell the city she was still alive and would watch the tree grow. I think you need to be dead to get the tree thing done. Anyway, it probably takes the city 38 years to authorize it, 27 years to plan it, and 52 years to plant it.
I haven’t complained yet in this writing about the heat in Florida. I feel a lot like the Wicked Witch of the West after Dorothy douses her with water in an effort to extinguish the broom. Melting! And, cursing as I melt. We picked one of the cooler days to walk about Sarasota. It was only 187 degrees with 4958% humidity. I hope you enjoy the pictures. We both almost died of heat stroke taking them.
(click any picture to start a slideshow)