Thursday, January 10, 2013
Beating Murphy with Fire
Many of you have probably heard me say
"If you want it to rain, just ask me to haul a boat for painting".
I am a staunch believer in Murphy's Law.
This week I've been in Texas, working on some of the boats at my Irving location. Recently the lake authorities raised the water level - something we've been hoping and lobbying for since we started operating here about ten years ago. Now that the water is about a foot higher, our passengers can board and disembark almost anywhere around the lake.
But with this change in water level, some of the previous boarding areas (the only ones we could use before), are low enough now to scrape the heck out of the side of a gondola.
Hence, the need to paint...and as an automatic result, the rain.
So when I was done sanding the gondola that needed painting the most, the dark clouds entered the scene, and the gondola and I entered the boathouse. Problem solved? I wish it were that simple.
This was not the kind of wimpy light sprinkle we get in California.
The doors were closed but the humidity in the boathouse was still too high for painting. Painting in moist air can lead to all kinds of badness.
Hmm, what to do.
Can't go out and buy a giant dehumidifier.
Can't bring in a huge fan to blow away the rain clouds,
Can't import some dry desert air.
Then I remembered that one of my staff had bought a case of big Citronella candles for working outside in the summer months.
I hunted down a half dozen of them, along with fifteen smaller candles.
I filled the boathouse with candles. In a short time I could feel a difference in the air, and by the time I was rolling and tipping, I felt confident that the paint would cure well.
It's not the most perfect paint job I've ever done, but with a few touch-ups I'll have a boat that can impress passengers for a long time...
or until Murphy takes another swing at her.