Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Great Bracket Caper

This coming Labor Day will mark the end of my seventh summer at the marina.  Yes, the final holiday weekend of the season is at hand.  This always gives me pause to reflect and to try and gauge my successes and failures.  Fortunately I’ve had few failures this summer and many successes.  Not a bad way to close out a season.

Thinking back about all that has passed this summer I am struck by the size and scope of even small projects around a marina facility such as this one.    Take, for instance, the brackets that had to be changed out at the beginning of this month.

These brackets are L shaped and are about 36” long on each side of the L.  They are bolted through the docks at intersections to hold the dock together as one piece.  We had two brackets on one intersection break in storm winds this past spring.  In high wave action the docks could possibly sway enough for this failure to allow chafing of electric and water lines.

Part of the challenge is to get the company that services our docks out to our location for a job this small.  With hurricane season upon us, we persevered and they finally arrived to change these brackets.  What a major production this turned out to be.

Here is a wide shot showing the barge and crane that was part of the required equipment.

This next pic is of the intersection that needed reinforcing.

The shot above is of the brackets that broke and need to be replaced.  The foul looking stuff in the water is called marsh grass and comes into the marina on what is called spring tides.  A spring tide us an unusually high tide periodthat happens once a quarter and occurs on an average over a four day time span. 

Guess whose job it is to pull the marsh grass out of the marina after the spring tides are over.  Yep!  You guessed it, mine!  I use a device I fashioned myself that I pull behind a work boat to tow it out of the marina And I release it on an outgoing tide to drift out to the ocean.

These are the threaded rods that have to go all the way through the dock to the other side to bolt this whole bracket assembly together.

This next shot is one of the old, broken brackets being removed.

Here is a wide shot from the opposite angle.  Quite an operation, I’d say.  It took about a half day’s work for this crew to bring the barge and crane in, do the work and leave again with the barge and crane.

My new assistant is working out just fine and is a real help.  Everyone likes him and I cannot tell you what a relief this is to me.  This has been a good week and a great way to close out another season.  If I don’t post before the holiday weekend, please take care and stay safe.

See Ya on the docks!


jevanslink said...

As usual, way cool!!!   Have a great Labor Day.   Mrs. L

onestrangecat said...

boats are lots of work!  i have a cousin that used to work on a shrimp boat but now works on a dredge (?).

great pictures.


jeadie05 said...

Great entry Sam it doesnt occur to us all, the work that goes on behind the scenes ,replacing brackets,clearing weeds etc ,so pleased you now have an assistant who you can rely on and who is popular ,.,.,.,Jan xx

pharmolo said...

Thanks for sharing some work images with us, Sam. Have a good holiday - the UK had a Bank Holiday last Monday.

robinngabster said...

Sam if the season is about to end does this mean you have the winter off??

memes121 said...

I just love your photos and the way you tell the story. I am so glad you are writing again! Tammy

ajoleblon said...

Is a spring tide the same thing as a rip tide?  I remember offshore tuna fishing and seeing those same marsh weeds and my "then" husband saying something about a riptide and when you see the marsh grass its a good place to fish.   I could be thinking of something else.  Glad to see you back posting!


piperacharmed1 said...

I assume the end of the season means the end of boating season? With hurricane season in progress...do you keep extra people around just in case? Or are there some who can be called as needed? And this comment was all questions....lol....sorry  : )


fchgrl said...

It's good to see an update from you! The pictures are great as usual..telling a story all within themselves.  I am sure after the long weekend you will be filling us in on what happened this summer...the good and the bad. Atleast I hope you do! :)

Have a safe and happy holiday and looking forward to more stories.

Take Care

lurkynat said...

dearest Sam,
hugs! have avery Happy and Festive Labor day!
ps wahta fascinating enry! thanks a ton!

slbourgoyne said...

Loved it.  I always like to see the marina pictures.  Not only is everything about boats a big production, but it always costs a lot of money.   Love ya!  Lynn

mavarin said...

Your marina is lucky to have someone so competent and conscientious to make sure the brackets are replaced and the marsh grass is cleared away. :) - Karen

jlocorriere05 said...

I'm glad your assistant is working out well for you. Sounds like you've had a busy time lately! Enjoy the Labor Day weekend! Jeannette xx  

ally123130585918 said...

Sam I never realised such an amount of equipment would be needed to replace those brackets ~ that Barge and Crane looked huge ~ thanks for the visual photos of them and the bracket needing replacement ~ I just knew it would be your job to clear the Marsh Grass ~ cleaver of you to make you own device to make the job easier for you ~ Glad your new assistant is working well and that everyone likes him ~ this must be a big relief for you ~ hope you and your family have a good holiday ~ Nice to see you back ~ Ally

rap4143 said...

Interesting entry....I don't think people realize the work involved.


nightmaremom said...

Wow!  Very interesting Sam... never had a clue.  As much as I love the water the 'background' stuff just got done.  Thanks!  Have a great Holiday if I don't see ya!

coy1234787 said...

   Well, all in all it sounds like a sucessful season.
Who would have known that there was that much
work involved?
   Good news about the new assistant is working out
as well.
                   *** Coy ***

debbiewebb4465 said...

WOW you just don't realise how much goes on behind the scenes!! The pictures went great with your explanation ~ thanks :-) And I'd never have thought in a million years someone would have to remove all the marsh grass! Sounds to me like you do a great job Sam! Glad your new assistant is working out well ~ must make your day a lot easier, and brighter! Take care :-)
Hugs Debbie ~xxxx~

debbiewebb4465 said...

PS Sorry, I forgot ~ have a great Labor Day weekend :-)
Love Debbie ~xxx~

childebrand1968 said...


My night is complete.

I had a story about the docks, from my favorite Dock Master :)

Thrilling, as always...

Happy your assistant is working out, I know how hard good help is to find ;)

Happy end of boating season to you!  And hope you and Paulette have a great holiday...


jmorancoyle said...

Hi, Sam,
    Great to hear from you!

csandhollow said...

Wish I was there! Except I want to be there when the hurricanes are no where around! LOL
Happy Labor Day!

viviansullinwank said...

I hope you're enjoying the holiday weekend!  I wanted to thank you for your comment and for your vote of support for the awards. Like you, I've made some wonderful friends through the awards and look forward to discovering some new journals this go round too.

Thanks again,

wfhbear said...

Sam, Have enjoyed reading through your Journal. I have a little experience with dock repairs as I did some diving years ago as part time work. I did a couple repairs like that but from under water with 1/4" straps. I've enjoyed the look into your world. Stop by and see me again. I'll be back here soon. Regards, Bill.

reconcilinglife said...

Hi Sent over from Bill at "Comments on the events of My Life". You have a great journal...put you in my alerts.. Bamnfla

lurkynat said...

Hiya Sam! Happy Labor Day!
hope you have agood one!