Plastic buckles? WTF?
I don’t know about you but I have a hard time trusting a heavy, expensive item like our new outboard engine to a small plastic buckle. Here is the scoop… we are still struggling with finding a method to deal with our new dinghy and engine. Although we love both of them, we have been unable to get them to sit high enough and securely on our davits. I did build a rack on the rail to carry the engine and with it removed, we can get the dinghy much more secure. The trick is getting the outboard up onto the rail.
We see many boats that have small cranes on the stern used almost exclusively for this task. We do not have one (yet). We have also read of others who use the boom for this task and having tried that yesterday, it may just work for us. The point of this post is though in order to lift the outboard, one needs a “lifting harness” of sorts to attach the crane to the outboard.
Just before we left Florida, we anticipated this problem and purchased a Davis Motor Caddy from West Marine (it was there right beside all of the pink pirate flags). Although I have no real reason to doubt its strength, I just can’t get myself to trust it as the main connection point is a little plastic buckle. You know the same kind that you see on a child’s gym bag! Anyway, I trust my knot tying way more than that buckle so using the Motor Caddy as a pattern, we made our own harness using some tubular and flat nylon webbing that we carry on board. This stuff is super strong and I know my knots will NOT suddenly snap.
For the record, this item was rated 4.5 out of 5 stars on a website I found. Not for me though.
The ends of the webbing need to be cleaned up a bit, and I can’t remove it easily like the other one. It won’t break though, I am confident of that!
Our main task yesterday was to find some fuel and as such, we made an impromptu plan to sail to Sampson Cay. The wind was in a favorable direction and the sail was perfect. Carting all of our Jerry Cans to the fuel dock wasn’t a lot of fun but that’s the price of admission I guess. By the way… the gas was 5.19 per gallon!!! THAT is some awesome motivation to sail instead of motoring. Also, they charge an extra 5% if you use your credit card. Good thing they’re not in North America because that is specifically against the credit card companies rules as stated in their merchant agreement. They don’t seem to care here though as I have heard it’s common practice. I guess we’ll come prepared to pay cash next time.