In Hot Water


The Annapolis Boat Show left me energized and ready to kick my to-do list’s butt! After a quick stop at home to remind myself I still owned a bed, I shot back up to Mystic to resume work on Chance. If we’re going to leave Thanksgiving day, we have a TON of work to do and not much time to do it in. But nothing made that more real, more stressful or more down right irritating than this sign:

The problem is, I’m living aboard Chance while I work on her. Since she’s still on the hard, I need to use the marina’s wonderful facilities. In truth, it’s one of the reasons I kept the boat in Connecticut in the first place. Hot showers, clean restrooms, the whole 9 yard. It makes sleeping on a gutted boat slightly tolerable. Loads of take-out, no dishes to do, and no Mrs. to tell me to do them – this place could almost be paradise!

Jokes aside, our plan has always been to sail Chance back to Brooklyn the first week of November. But now, when I look at a boat with no paint, no fixtures, an “almost” fair hull, and a completely gutted interior, my deadline feels more like the creepy guy that stares at you on the subway – Yes, I see you. Now, can you please stare at someone else?

Needless to say I was pretty agitated. The first thing I needed to do was skip down the list and tackle something destructive; something I could hammer, cut up, kick around and boost my spirits. Ladies and gentlemen, meet The Water Heater.

Now this is no ordinary water heater. It is the ugliest, rustiest, installed-in-the-worst-and-most-inaccessible-place, POS I’d ever had the misfortune of seeing. I kept putting it off because I thought I’d have delicately to cut it out piece by piece. Actually I kept putting it off because the darned thing is a biohazard. Not today. Today I am angry. Today no mold spore can touch me. Today I am going to get all Hulkamania on this bad boy and show it who’s boss.

Yes, I went there

But first I had to get to it. Now, I’m not a really big fella, but don’t fit in tiny little holes so well. Normally I’d just send K down there and shout instructions. With no K, I had to use my head. After some careful planning, I managed to cut some panels out of the interior behind the engine bay (panels I now have to replace). I could get to it now, but all the bolts holding it down were in awkward places and rusted solid to boot. The wood plank it was bolted to was dry-rotted, but oddly shaped so I couldn’t pull it.

Fast Forward 6 hours: Water Heater:1 – Jason:0

No more Mr. Nice Guy. I put on my respirator, my heavy work gloves – ripped my shirt for good measure –  and kicked the crap out of that thing. In truth it probably looked more like a 4 year old having a tantrum, but gee golly gosh darn was it FUN. Eventually the thing came apart in a cloud of rust, dust and metal debris. I was able to jerk it through the hole (sucker was heavy) and into the saloon.

Before I did anything else, I took my rusty, dusty self up to the cockpit to clear some room. Shot put time. Today I received a gold medal in Stupidity and a Silver in Awesome Water Heater Toss.

I feel better now.

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