A Word from the Maintenance Dept.
27 March 2012 | La Cruz
As we have occasionally noted, it’s not all fun and playing. We spent the last week catching up on much needed maintenance for the boat and our bodies. Here’s a sample of what we have accomplished recently.
Our refrigeration quit about three weeks. It is a 15 year old Adler Barbour Cold Machine and has never had a problem until now. Four hours of troubleshooting determined that the compressor had shorted out, and being a sealed unit, that is not repairable. Two days spent calling around Mexico and back to the States, left us concluding we could not buy a new one in Mexico. We could get one shipped down but with the caveat that it would probably cost and extra $600-800 and take 2-3 weeks. There wasn’t a great alternative. We finally went to WalMart in Manzanillo and purchased a dorm size refrigerator and hauled it back on the bus and dinghy to the boat. Although small, it has been working reliably now for several weeks, running off the inverter.
Rounding Cabo Corrientes, we discovered our sewage holding tank would not empty. The next day we determined that the bottom where is drains to the macerator pump was completely plugged with calcium deposits. The only way to clear it was pull the hose off, poke at the stopped with a screw driver, and slam the hose back on when it broke loose. Three hours later, we had the worst of it cleaned out and hosed up the mess created. The next day we discovered the probable cause: the vent line was plugged. I pulled the hose off and the fitting broke off!. Two hour later, I had ground down the old fitting, glassed it in, drilled a new hole and installed a new fitting. Next, in trying to fix a leak on our toilet, two bronze bolts broke off from corrosion. A trip to the bolt bin and some threaded rod fixed that.
I found that our forward lower starboard shroud (holds the mast up) had a broken strand in the wire. We pulled that out and got a new one constructed here in La Cruz. All of our starboard chainplates were leaking badly, so we pulled those out (one by one) and rebedded them. The port chainplates were done in La Paz in December. So we should be dry for another few months now.
The autopilot has been giving us fits – turning off sporadically. Sometime it will run for ten hours, no problem, and other times only a half hour. I’m hoping it’s just a loose connection. I spent an entire morning going through all the wiring, disconnecting, cleaning and reconnecting. Time will tell…
The anchor windlass has been complaining and running slow. It got a thorough greasing. All the electrical connections were cleaned and sealed again. I wire brushed off some rust and repainted the case.
Found and fixed a leak in the plumbing of the watermaker.
Yesterday I cleaned the entire bottom of the boat, while free diving.
Of course there are all the routine things that still take lots of time: Filling the fuel tanks, washing decks and canvas, shopping for groceries and much more.
And then body maintenance: We both visited the dentist this week in La Cruz for a routine cleaning. I made my trip to the dermatologist in Puerto Vallarta, where I had numerous spots frozen or cut off. We have found medical care here very good, easy to get appointments, and very reasonably priced.
I’m sure I am forgetting a lot, but this gives you an idea of how we spent much of our week. Dori will have more in the next blog entry on happenings here in La Cruz this week.