Remember “Part is Parts?” ‘Taint So

One of the winter’s casualties was the Rodkicker solid vang (controls the angle of the boom). It has a gas spring similar to what is used to open and hold a hatchback window. Well, ours blew a seal and after disgorging its oil, ceased to control the angle of the boom. When I got to the boat it took a few seconds to sort out what was “wrong with this picture,” the boom was lying on the windscreen frame but not enough out of level to be immediately obvious.

As usual our builder was superb about getting us the part, and the supplier offered excellent phone support. Yes, I needed phone support to install a !%^#&*%# simple hydraulic cylinder (me a hydraulics engineer among other things). Why? The parts vendor had changed the part and hadn’t told the vang supplier. I was the first person to encounter the change. The new cylinder, when functioning properly, just happened to be the length of the old cylinder when not functioning at all. Little did I notice the vendor had supplied a new support spacer to make up the 130mm difference. Consider, I’m looking down the inside of five feet of aluminum extrusion whilst doing this. “Parts is Parts,” nope, don’t think so. But I must commend Seldén US for their support — another reason to rig the boat with their spars. I hear the salad spinner being pumped, time to head for dinner….

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