1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Fix vs Replace

I discovered recently that Photobucket, which I used to store pix for the first couple years of this refit, has changed policies and now requires payment before it will permit pictures to be displayed on 3rd party hosts. My blog is on wordpress, where I host all of my pix now, and I’m not keen on paying Photobucket to show my own pictures. Many of the early articles just show Photobucket error messages instead of the actual picture. So I have to download all of the pictures from Photobucket (which is a super tedious, advertizing-saturated process), upload them to wordpress, then update all of the articles with new picture links so they show up again. It’s tedious and takes time that I would have spent writing the next article on the refit. So instead I thought I’d write a short ditty and pose a question about fixing vs replacing things when they break. The topic came to mind when a fan went out on a scorching hot day in the tent recently.

Lack of lubrication locks up the fan armature

These box fans cost ~$18 or so. They last for a couple years and then lock up. The failure point is always the same: lack of lubrication in the bushings. It takes 20 minutes or so to tear the fans down, clean up the shaft, lubricate, and reassemble.

Hot spots in the bushing

There’s no way to access the bushings without disassembling the motor. It’s not hard. Cordless bit drivers make it very easy. But it does consume time.

20 minutes later, reassembled and running fine

When I do the math, using prevailing labor rates x the time it takes for me to fix these fans, it turns out to be a money-losing proposition. I’d be better off just throwing out the fan and replacing it with a new one. But I don’t throw them out. I fix them. It’s in my nature.

Do you fix or replace stuff like this? Feel free to comment below.

I’ll get back to my usual Roamer refit topics next week. When I’m not fixing box fans, I’m making tangible progress in the V-berth!


9 comments on “1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Fix vs Replace

  1. Kent Sassen says:

    Of Course– Fix when possible.. Get old things running again too..

      • Kent Sassen says:

        When I had my 1967 ’45 Connie– I even got the Original Radar working and Autopilot.. Sometimes though the Autopilot would have a mind of her own– Hard to Port!! Hard to Starboard.. Hold On!!

        • 1969roamer46 says:

          OE radar AND autopilot??? That’s incredible! I’ve had many old Chris Crafts, many with original electronics, but none of them were ever salvageable.

          • Kent Sassen says:

            It took some Head Scratch’n and Scavenging.. But yes– OE.. If I remember correctly– The Auto Pilot had the Chris Craft Logo on it too.. It worked by reading miniature Light Bulbs inside its “Compass” Housing.. Again– She did have a “Mind” of her own now and again.. Hard To Port– Hard To Starboard!! Hold On!! And you could not turn the Wheel while she was Engaged..

            “Pandora” My old Chris also had the OE Genset– Purred Like a Kitten.. Nothing like the sound of a good Load on her..

            Pandora also had some pretty old A/C Units– I don’t know how old.. I had them Blow’n Cold..

  2. Stephen Neil says:

    Being a tight old bugger follow your good example and fix when possible but alas so much stuff these days you cant strip and fix.

    • 1969roamer46 says:

      That’s very true, Stephen. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or bad. I’ve been surprised to hear of entire cars that are totalled by little fender-benders. Turns out when the airbags all deploy, they’re very expensive to replace. You can total a car from a simple dented front bumper.

  3. Fix ’em. Don’t forget the cost/time of finding/retrieving new items plus doing the right thing to minimize the waste stream. Recycling may not make sense on paper but as any good accountant would ask, “what do you want the numbers to say?” Besides you’re recycling a Roamer! I’ve recycled a ’78 CC Lancer 23 Overnighter and now a ’72 CC XK-22 which has yielded a “joy ROI” that is priceless. Happy Boating!

    • 1969roamer46 says:

      All very good points, Greg. That “joy ROI” is huge…and completely intangible. My friends say I’m crazy, but guess what I say about them buying new cars every few years or being box seat season ticket holders for football teams???

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s