Unpredictable weather this time of year – the high today will be 20 degrees lower than yesterday – which was so nice it was hard to stay here. They are also mentioning some rain but I did not even want to look at the weather – ignorance is bliss! I was frantic for pictures this morning but then realized I had a ton that I took yesterday.  The first concerns the bow thruster problem that cropped up during the seal trial on the Eastbay. We had some discussions with Imtra before removing the motor for bench testing. You can see in the photo that there are deposits all over the wire which gives us a clue as to the problem. The problem is actually brush related. The graphite dust from the brushes has gotten into the motor to the point where it needs to be cleaned out with compressed air. As you can see below, there is still plenty of brush – they are far from being worn down.
Of interest to all Grand Banks owners is swim platform repair. This was actually quite a quick job as there were only 2 slats that needed attention. I did like the duct tape repair the owner made but cosmetically (and structurally) it may not have been optimal. But real men repair things with duct tape. We did a center cut to replace short sections of slat. We keep old slats from damaged platforms around so when the repair is done, it virtually disappears. Another Dickerson Secret I hate proprietary parts and Grand Banks has a propensity to install foreign parts on their boats that have no suppliers in the US. This is true of the door hinges on an Eastbay. These hinges are chrome plated brass and are prone to get overstressed and hard to operate. I went looking for a stainless alternative for a 2 1/2″ x 3″ hinge and guess what – none are available in the US in any material. Now mind you I only spent about 4 hours looking but I can assume that was enough. Being a fairly clever guy, I felt compelled to solve this problem. My solution was to go to my old stand-by, McMaster Carr. I bought a piece of blank 2 1/2″ stainless piano hinge. We cut that into 3″ lengths and used the original hinges as templates for the holes. The stock was a little bit thinner but because they are stainless they should hold up better than the brass. The fit was perfect. Our caveat: if you want to try this yourself, this is the first time we have used this and there is a slight chance it may not hold up.  Below you can see that there is no visible difference between the 2 hinges. One 3′ length of the hinge is about the same cost as one hinge from the GB website. Here is a direct link to the product. One last item of interest – the progress update on the ongoing Gelcoat work. Just some finish sanding left on these at this point. The color looked spot on to me, but Kevin said the match wasn’t perfect due to the fading of the surrounding area. Just don’t lay down on the deck and you probably won’t notice.