The Marine Installer’s Rant, what’s your favorite?


Admittedly, that vessel immediately makes me think of Reese Witherspoon’s moderately immortal line in the moderately famous 1996 black comedy Freeway: “Holy sh*t! Look who got beat with the ugly stick.” (Clip here, but do treat yourself to the whole warped take off on Little Red Riding Hood.) However, this entry is actually about the unquestionably immortal blog aptly titled The Marine Installer’s Rant. Which is where I learned about Seafair and her special duties as megayacht art gallery. Bill Bishop not only documents the travails of an installer, right down to the bloody wounds, but he notes and photographs perks like getting to see the weird boats that show up in his Sarasota, FL, home waters… 

While I’ve got MIR in Panbo’s blogroll and have used comments to encourage readers to go there several times, I’m convinced that Bill isn’t getting the attention he deserves. The guy really knows electronics and is not afraid to speak his mind; he can write and take pictures well; and I think he’s wicked funny to boot (even to guy enduring lost days of PC malfunction). Consider the nuggets of installer wisdom in entries like “That boat ain’t right, a primer” or “Big trouble in transducer town” or “What a dumb idea, stupid…” (photo below). Or enjoy some of the wackier general marine entries like “BOAT TRAVELS AT 65MPH WHILE BEING RUN BY AUTOPILOT! CITIZENS ARE OUTRAGED…” or “An Everglades 35 with some very clever dockside bondage work.”
   There are so many gems at MIR, but there’s also a problem. Bill hasn’t broken up his entries with “continue reading” breaks so you can’t scan the topics easily, and MIR also lacks categories, a search engine, or an archive page like Panbo’s (a recent and valuable addition, I think). Then again, I don’t know where Bill finds time to create all those entries, and you can use his RSS feed and a good reader (like Google’s) to get a linked table of contents. But if you do read Marine Installer’s Rant regularly or do some serious poking around today, maybe you can come back here and give us a link or two to entries that really teach you something, or render you FDROTFL.

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

13 Responses

  1. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Rereading the entry, I realize that I may have been mean to the yacht Seafair. A very late spring and a broken main computer will make a guy cranky. And further in my own defense, let me add that I have partially created and owned a, um, “distinctive” vessel myself:
    My line then was that function is more important than form, and I used to paraphrase the late, great George Putz ( ) who used to say something like, “Who cares what you’re driving? It’s other boats you’re looking at!”

  2. Christopher says:

    My problem with MIR is it destroyed my hopes that someday I would encounter a boat with pristine, code-loving electronics. Surely the big guys…
    Well, another fantasy bites the dust.

  3. Doug Campbell says:

    As an amateur installer I’ve been following Bill for a while now – thanks to following the link from Panbo. The man speaks the truth! And has the scars to prove it!
    (And how about a plug for Mark Corke as well… I’ve picked up some great, non-electroc, info from his DIY blog)

  4. Karl says:

    Bill also loses some credibility (with me at least) for grammar and spelling mistakes…hey, if you can’t afford to hire an editor, at least plug the text into a Word doc., then hit F7, before posting it.
    Elementary stuff like “their” vs. “there” vs. “they’re”…not something I have ever caught on Ben, you are obviously “edukated”, or, are totally illiterate, but with an editor…
    Like on The Hull Truth, that sort of thing distracts me from the content…
    And, no, I’m not a new 7th-grade English teacher, just an old cop getting ready to retire…

  5. Peter says:

    At first the installation of the Raymarine Raystar125 may appear..haphazard?temporary?
    But knowing the failure rate of the Raystar125 this might be the way to go!

  6. Christopher says:

    A medic with grammar issues once saved my life.

  7. Bill Bishop says:

    Thanks Karl, and I agree with you. I have painfully learned, that as an army of one, I am my own worst editor. My eyes often just don’t see the things like double words, and other related typos, in what I write, despite the number of times I proofread the material. I suspect that this is an endemic issue for most who write. This is why editors are so valuable. I do have some help, and my friend George Flavell, retired pilot god, checks the articles and helps me locate the warts, so within a day, the majority of the bugs are worked out. I work a full week, and I spend about 20 hours a week writing, oops Kate’s eyebrow just went up, maybe more than that some weeks. I will continue to strive towards linguistic perfection whilst avoiding my proclivity to be obsessively pedantic.

  8. robert says:

    Yes, that Seafair monstrosity looks like a “luxurized” converted car carrier. Ghastly.
    I read Bill’s blog too. Great stuff. I often relate to the “WTF?” installer articles. Been there done that.

  9. John - gCaptain says:

    I’d be failing my fellow bloggers if I didn’t mention … a blog dedicated to the most awful floating objects ever designed.

  10. Richard says:

    looks like the Installers Rant website has been grabbed by an aggregator which immediately redirects. too bad.

  11. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Richard, could it be your computer? I just wandered around MIR without any problems. Also found a good entry I’d missed, this one about Ernest Shackleton’s whiskey:

  12. Richard says:

    Thanks, Ben, I just tried it again and now it works fine.
    Before it would redirect to a Circle of Powerboats agregator, and Installer was there but I will not give any clicks to cheesy agregators and other Google-search-cheats.
    Google search quality is really suffering. I wish they’d figure out how to dump all the bad guys.

  13. Bremer Speck says:

    If you care to know, the “Seafair” is presently tied-up in the cruise ship area of the St. Petersburg, FL, harbor. I noticed her while out sailing, yesterday. I read she is preparing for a show opening in Sarasota later this month.

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