I Did It Myself And Screwed-UP – TOP 5 SCREW-UPS

Sometimes things just don’t work out. Steam is coming out of your ears and and your filled with rage. After a while you can laugh about it or at least be more positive towards your screw-ups.

In celebration of the National Fail Day, here’s a few more or less funny incidents I’ve went through the last few years!


Nro 5, Right Tools For The Job? – Lazyness Brings “Surprises”

There were a lot of items to pick from on this one! Perhaps not the funniest one, but a very typical situation: I start working on stuff without opening the manual/reading the instructions etc. Has this ever happened to anyone else? =)

What’s wrong? Why aren’t you opening? Okey, ‘let’s bring in heavier tools! That’ll do the job, right?! =)

On the real life examples above I tried to screw open the fuel filter. When it didn’t work, I took a heavier tool and added some strength! It’s not about technique, it’s about sheer power?! The filter was pretty badly damaged when I sent these pictures to a friend, asking his advise. (There’s a nut below the filter. Opening it the right way didn’ require any force or violence… 🙂 )

Nro 4, Sometimes Things Just Don’t Work out

Pretty typical situation is also one where you’ve read the manual, checked the instructions from the internet and your friend has just done the same thing. But still things just don’t work out, for you. Second hand parts or parts made afterwards for a 30 year old boat simply just refuse to fit in. Here I’m trying to change a part on the mast. A part that was sold as an exact replacement for the original part…

“Greetings from the mast. Here I am, trying to change this part for a new one. If you’d have to guess two times, do you think it fits? No it doesn’t.”

Nro 3, Running Out Of Skills

Jesus Christ. I have to get up and breath, while I’m writing this. That’s how much I still suffer from this one. Really, basically everything went downhill on this one.

When everything goes wrong…

So, I was trying to make new companionway hatches out of poly-carbonate. I ordered the right size plates. First, the front piece was of a wrong size. They didn’t want to screw it at the shop, so they made it symmetrically cut, but a symmetric door is not matching the asymmetric boat. Also the piece sliding above was too thick. After the new cuts I had a brain fart and I drilled a hole for the lock in a wrong place. The door above on the other hand now fitted it’s slot. But. The original door was bent. And the new one wasn’t (I didn’t find a place doing those). I had thought that I’ll just saw off the piece of wood at the back of the entrance.  But of course a centimeter thick piece of metal hull was behind the wood decoration, so that was not a piece of cake either…

A bit that way. But not at all.

To make the fiasco perfect, drilling a new hole to the front hatch led to a fist size piece chipping off. I must admit that I was pissed off.

More whining and grinding about the companion way doors here. 🙂

Nro 2, Battery Terminals Wrongly Connected. Yep, You Read It Right. I Connected The Battery Cables Wrong.

Goddamn. Can you really do that? Yyyyyeeeeessss, sir. Easily!

Of course I had changed a battery million times, but it just somehow happened. I installed the battery on its place as always. Black cord to the minus and the other blue one to plus. Power on and WTF?! There’s sparks and smoke everywhere! I had no idea what just happened. I thought there was something seriously wrong with the battery. The thought didn’t even occur to me that the cables would have been connected wrongly.

I went back to the store and changed the battery and bought a new battery terminal. Short circuiting had melted one of the battery terminals… It was only when I was buying new ones that I realized what had happened. The goddamn minus was a plus…

I installed the new starting battery and went through the damages. After switching the power on, a buzzer started in the Yanmar panel, but the motor couldn’t be started. Fuck. Radio is not working, OK, minor damages. VHF is not working, that was old anyway… Everything else seemed to be working and the electricity came normally from the other batteries as well. Later I found out that also the inverter for the shore power had gone.

I must say that this was pretty expensive fuck up, both spiritually and economically. More on the case can be read here.

Nro 1, Stupidity Fills The Pipes.

There’s no way around this one. And especially not through. How stupid can a man be?

Well, I’m a bit harsh on myself here. But perhaps you allow it this time as countless of hours on a beautiful summer was spent on trying to figure out this one.

You can make this sound very stupid if you phrase it like this: I installed a blower for a hydronic water heater with plugs in the pipes. And then I wondered why there’s no water circulating in the pipes. 🙂

Can that rubber ring on all those product pictures really be a plug?

Well yyyyeeeeesssss it can! It’s a plug!

Even if there was no way of me knowing about it, this was probably the dumbest way you can screw things up! If your about to do something like this, read the whole story about how not to do it!

You learn by doing. That’s what they say. On many occasions I have though that I would have managed with less experience. On the other hand, Henrik Lindblom, who sailed (read: fixed his boat) around the world for 23 years said it nicely: “What’s the difference between a catastrophe and an adventure? The difference is between your ears!”.


For more stuff on Doing it the hard wayclick here!

For more stories on Fixing the boatclick here!

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