If the women don’t find you handsome…

… they should at least find you handy. (Red Green)

There’s an old saw that cruising is just fixing your boat in exotic locations. I don’t know about the exotic part, but there seems to be no end of boat jobs. And most of those jobs are done by us, because a) we need to be able to fix things at sea, so we might as well learn now, b) we’re cheap, and c) even if we weren’t cheap, getting work done in the marine industry seems to be as easy as taking a trip to the moon (possible but improbable). So, that means we’re doing it ourselves.

Red Green is the embodiment of the terrible handyman, fixing everything with duct tape. If there is a duct tape in boat work, it is probably Sikaflex (or 3M 3400, depending on your religion). It’s a marine grade sealant/bedding compound, and while Steven hasn’t yet fashioned a critical part out of nothing but paper clips and Sikaflex, I fear the day will come soon enough.

The opposite of Sikaflex is Sailkote. If it moves and it shouldn’t, Sikaflex it. If it doesn’t move and it should, Sailkote it. And if it plum doesn’t work, open it up, point at the guts and say “huh.”

This last technique recently came into its own. We have a Nintendo Wii on Scream, and lately the game of choice is Guitar Hero. Last week we had let the controller get a little wet (come on, it’s a boat, it happens), and then amazingly, it started behaving badly. Everything worked fine mechanically, but the down strum signal was being sent constantly. This made playing tricky. Remembering my lesson from the time I dropped my iPod in the toilet, we let it dry out for a few days and it seemed to work fine. Until it completely stopped working.

Since we live on board, any job on board becomes a boat job. Now, the moving parts were all working fine, so this wasn’t a job for either Sikaflex or Sailkote. So, about a million screws and a voided warranty later, we were pointing and grunting at the insides of a Guitar Hero controller. Nothing seemed obviously wrong, so we jiggled some wire and rubbed the solder connections with a toothbrush, and somehow fixed the thing.

Maybe Red Green was on to something. Where’s my Sikaflex?

Guitar Hero

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