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Sadly, this isn’t a joke. And the answer, in this case at least, was 11. The bolt I was trying to drill a hole in was the one that previously held the termination point for our jib sheet. With a hole drilled in the bolt, my hope was that I could use an “Easy Out” extractor to remove it, allowing for a simple repair job.

Note: The name “Easy Out” is a bit misleading, this time anyway. I’m not sure if the bolt has been put in with some adhesive or it is just corroded due to it being a stainless bolt in an aluminum track. Regardless, the bolt is still stuck in there at the time of this writing. Here is what I did learn about drilling stainless though from my friends:

  1. Have lots of sharp drill bits on hand.
  2. Use cutting oil to keep the bit/hole lubricated.
  3. Drill at very slow speed with a lot of pressure. Of course, lots of pressure breaks the drill bits which brings us to number 1 above.

Drilling the required hole in this bolt took about an hour of constant pressure. Let’s hope it was not all for not. I have been spraying it with PB Blaster hoping to break the bolt’s hold on the track.

Drilling a hole in this bolt was very slow going.

On other repair fronts, our new evaporator plate is “supposed” to be delivered today. I am not holding my breath. If the company I ordered it from comes through for us, I promised them a great review, and they’ll deserve it. If they don’t come through as promised…

Additional Note: As I mentioned in a previous post, our friend Jim was having parts shipped here too. He ordered his within hours of us ordering the evaporator plate. His stuff arrived here yesterday, overnight from the USA. Wow!

In other news, our new friend Corey, visiting crew on s/v Top O’ the World, left Boqueron to return home last night. It was fun hanging out with him for the last week or so. Hopefully he makes it back again in the not-too-distant future. That leaves Jim, once again, single-handing his 50′ ketch. That’s way more work than either Rebecca or I would like to have. Hopefully Jim continues to travel with us for a while though because he is a lot of fun to hang out with.

Lastly, as I had a bit of time to kill while locked up on the boat during the last rainstorm, I put together the following photo collage of some of the sky pics we’ve captured in the last few weeks.

If you’d like the full-size copy, suitable for a computer desktop picture, you can download it here:

Right Click and Save as… ZTC Skyscape Desktop Pic


  1. Good luck on the SS bolt! I spent mucho dinero on various extractors and carbide tip drill bits, went through many bits, and in the end never did get a SS screw out of some wood I was trying to get it out of. I ended up using a multi tool to cut it out in frustration and just fixing the wood with putty. I was told by someone who had “the knowledge” that if you use the right technique and a good bit that drilling SS is no worse than wood. Apparently I never mastered the technique.

    • The same as wood? LOL. THAT would be a bit of an exaggeration!!!

      I am happy to report that I did get it out this morning, after heating the area around it with a small butane torch. The jib is now repaired as good (or better) than new.

  2. From an old machinist (me) steady slow pressure with oil. And keep that handrill (while wishing you had a drill press) as steady as you can. In the perfect dream, you’ll be seeing two long ever growing sqiggly chips coming out of the hole. Ya, keep dreaming!

  3. andy & sonja cru-zinacatamaran - Reply

    Dam !! i was beaten to say warm it, but also thought about the surrounding area if it is “plastic or wood” it would melt or Burn But Mica-light would of been ok heated a little, After reading all your blogs we have made a plan to try & remove all ours when we start & coat them in some Vaseline or something to help stop them corroding or we weill just change things as we go like your self’s

  4. You should sell those pictures to Apple for screen savers.

  5. Thanks for the new desktop background. Looks great, heading out tomorrow to sail in Tampa Bay, FL for two nights, maybe we’ll get a great sunset like these.

  6. Oh, Mike; those photos are beautiful! And Jomamma is right, you could sell them. Not only to Apple, but to publishers. You know those pictures that are marked “file photo”? They are purchased from photographers by publishers who then sell them to various publications for one time use. My friend sells a lot of his photos this way.

  7. I love your sky collage. I think I will make one of water when I come back from my trip to the BVI – you inspired me!

    And I am still hoping we get to meet up while I am down there!

  8. How many does it take?

    As many as you have and can borrow, plus one.

    Glad you got it out!


  9. I set your skyscapes to my wallpaper, thanks!

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