Sunday, September 20, 2015

The ORB's have come, are you prepared?

This boat really was never designed to have an autopilot installed despite the fact it's a twin engined hybrid pleasure bowrider and fishing boat. I visit the boat, crawl around, snap pics to aid my creaky memory and figure it's possible. Not easy, very cramped but I can do it. It has a new Teleflex helm jammed into a tiny console, no worries there other than the lack of room. What I didn't know was something was different, very different about this helm that I think even an experienced installer like myself could easily miss. I would bet that most couldn't tell from the picture what this is, but I'm going to enlighten all. From my experience the line from the movie Groundhog Day "Anything that's different is good" was not.

Turbulence City

There are a some things right with the picture below and things really wrong, at least from my perspective. I labeled the pic so there weren't any doubts about orientation. I'll speak slowly for the benefit of the more boating challenged. This is an aft bilge compartment. The arrow pointing down is the direction towards the pointy sharp end of the boat. The one pointing upward is towards the square back end of the boat. This is a boat that has a "Liner," meaning there is a layer of foam in between the hull and the top shiny fiberglass surfaces you see can see. The foam layer provides floatation and the laminated nature of the construction makes the boat structurally stiffer.

But our mystery deepens (bring in the Twilight Zone theme music here). What are the two liner cut outs about and why are they there in the first place? Are these the boating equivalent of crop circles? Is Turbulence city a real place? We're going to explore these weighty concepts and see if there are any real answers.