Wednesday, July 27, 2011

An Electronics Installation Story Worth Telling (Part-1)

Hello again friends, it has been a long while since my last blog. I have to apologize, but like I said the last time, I would report back when something exciting happens. Well something exciting happened.

Keeping the suspense and the juicy part for later, I want to first go about telling you chronologically what happened, rather what did not happen in the last couple of weeks.

The installation of the radar unit that I had bought in St. Martin was a painful and very expensive ordeal. According to the nice people in BVI Yacht Charters the “only” outfit in Road Town capable of doing this job is Key Electronics, located in the same area and between the Sunsail and the Moorings charter company marinas. BVI Yacht charters offered to arrange the installation and put the work order for me, (with small mark-up) because the technicians are very busy this time of the year when all charter companies start getting their maintenance and upkeep of boats for the next year. It took them five days just to get a possible date for the installation that was still a week and a half away. Then they informed us that the proper bracket for the Fruno antenna was not included in my package and the cable is probably too short at only 10m, and an extension for the cable and a bracket had to be ordered from the US. They did. On the day they were supposed to come for installation, they told us that they were late finishing the job they were on, and would come the next day. No show on Thursday, nor on Friday.

Finally two technicians showed up on Monday around 10:00h. The first thing they said: Ooh! This is a brand new installation, from scratch!” This was the first sign that may be these guys didn’t know what was going on; they were not prepped, or prepared for the job. One mean was hoisted up the mast right away, with the bracket in one hand, and a cordless drill in the other. He positioned the bracket, marked the drilling positions for the bracket and then started to drill the main hole for the cable to go through before mounting the bracket. 15 minutes later, he said, “I cannot see or feel a conduit inside this mast. There should be one”. Then, after poking into the hole he drilled with some tools plastic ties etc. he announced; “Yes there is something here, but I can’t get to it or grab it” This was the second sign that these guys were not the competent technicians that I expected, with experience on Lagoon boats or installation of electronics on these boats. They tried many things, the BVI Yacht charters technicians had suggestions for them, I had ideas and offered them some of my tools etc. No luck, they could not get the cable through. That day all that was accomplished was that they got a line down through the mast. At 4:30 they packed and left, with the bracket dangling on a short line from the port side spreader of my mast.

Don’t worry I will eventually get to the exciting story, keep checking the blog.

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