Jul 09

Labor. Manual labor. Lots of manual labor.

Tag: boat work,failuresJonathon Haradon @ 7:51 am
“Fuck this hose!” It was 1 AM, and I’d been working for 17 straight hours on our damn water tanks. The hose we’d bought was inflexible yet annoyingly curvy, and slightly larger than our old hose, making it extremely difficult to shove it onto the fittings. One fitting that was supposed to attach to the water inlet hose was so tight that I spent 20 minutes, splayed out on the floor, with my arms scrunched into a tight crevice between the water tank and a bulkhead, struggling, pushing, pulling, leverlng, to no avail. Swearing seemed to be called for. All I wanted was to get one step closer to finishing our new water tanks, a battle that by then was stretching into its third week. By now the project was so consuming that I was forgetting to eat meals. Even though we were now so close to the end, I still felt defeated and resigned to failure. “I can’t do it,” I said to Matt, and I’m not sure if I meant this particular hose fitting or the entire god-forsaken sailboat fixer-upper nightmare I’d gotten myself into. Matt had showed up at 8:00 that morning, chomping at the bit to do some work after too long away from the boat. July 4th was only a few days away, and we figured that if we wanted to take friends sailing around the Bay to watch the fireworks, we’d have to wrap up the watertank project at long last. While some might call this overly optimistic, I prefer to think of it as inspirationally motivating. Matt called it stressful. He was going to make a go at it though. I stared at the water inlet hose with disdain, then turned to Matt. He’d gotten the hose on the other tank attached somehow. How? He shrugged his shoulders. “Yeah, mine was a bitch also.” I had put this type of hose on many other fittings, but every other time I’d always had more room to twist the hose around the fitting, following the grooves of the hose, and greatly helping it along. How could I twist it now in such a small space? Ah! An epipheny! Detach the fitting from the tank, connect the hose on the fitting, then reconnect the fitting with the hose on it. It almost worked… except for the enormous kinks that ended up in the hose. So I tried again, kinking the hose in the opposite direction before starting. Success! By 3 AM I was screwing on the last hose-clamp, meaning the water tanks were completely fitted. Before calling it a night, Matt and I had a beer. We didn’t say much; we mostly just looked at the water tanks, which were shiny and waterproof and strong and at long last permanently bolted in place. We knew that after 19 hours, just as much or more work was still needed to be done to sail by the 4th. But beneath the exhaustion and frustration there was still a moment of satisfaction. The god-forsaken sailboat fixer-upper nightmare seemed, at least, an inspired god-forsaken sailboat fixer-upper nightmare.

2 Responses to “Labor. Manual labor. Lots of manual labor.”

  1. ethan says:

    “Inspirationally motivating.” Good stuff.

  2. Bruce says:

    Heating the hose with a hair dryer/heat gun/hot water helps as does lubricating it with dish soap….

Leave a Reply