30 May 2008 | Wreck Bay
We spent the day today prepping the boat for our crossing. We have an unusually long list of projects. There's always a list of projects on a boat. When we were researching boats I told myself, self, we'll buy a new boat and then we won't be fixing it all the time like all of these other people I keep hearing about. Nope. It doesn't work like that. If you leave your boat in a yard, things break from disuse. If you use your boat constantly thing break from use. If you use your boat half the time you get both angles. A new boat may break a little less but it is still a boat.
We purchased our boat from the factory as a 10 month old demo. She is now two and a half years young. We have maintained her as best we could with the services available to a circumnavigator, sparing little expense for quality. This typically means buying the best parts and doing things yourself. If you are not already, you must quickly become a skilled mechanic, electrician and even possibly an electronics specialist.
Our condensed version of our present list looks like this:
1. Figure out why 2 solar panels are not putting out
2. Service the genset (just ate another impeller)
3. Replace dead engine room and head sump RuleMate pumps (unused these fail in 3-6 months for some reason)
4. Reinstall jackline under port bridge deck (mysteriously vanished in the San Blas)
5. Reinstall one backing plate for boat rack (nuts welded to plate to give a clean look have been hard to mate to bolts), plate is not holding two bolts and is not bedded properly [this was an after market addition of course]
6. Install some snaps for cockpit enclosure (last of 3 canvas folks did not work on the boats, only the canvas) [also after market]
7. Finalize temporary Water Maker repairs [after market]
8. Figure out why the AIS isn't working [after market]
9. Figure out why the NEMA output to the VHF and SSB isn't working
10. Figure out why the fridge is dripping lots of condensation onto floor
11. Repair a broken head faucet
12. Replace a broken draw string on one of the saloon blinds
13. Install new stripes (factory stripes were incomplete and fenders have taken their toll on what we have)
14. Replace anchor light and tri color fixture with LED unit (current one burns through anchor lights every 6 months)
15. Replace dive flag (Westmarine purchase corroded in about a year an a half) [aftermarket]
This of course doesn't even mention standard maintenance and cleaning. Though this stuff can get you down sometimes, we, of course, love out boat and we love cruising. The key is to not to let these repairs get in the way of your travels and experiences. Have fun, enjoy where you are and the people you meet. Make separate time for repairs and then close the book when it is time to enjoy the world.
Preventative maintenance is very helpful. Almost every time I'm in the engine room I find broken hose clamps and what not. I have found shackles barely attached that hadn't been seized in the rigging when walking the deck. It pays to be observant and to repair little things that are awry immediately.
We have an admittedly complex boat. There are those with no auxiliary and a bucket for a head. I think we're on the other end of the spectrum and have the large list to go with it. That said, from what I have seen, our list is short by the standards of some. We like to have everything working. Some don't bother with anything that is not critical until the annual haul out. Either philosophy is fine. I'm going for an empty list though. We still have plenty on a seperate list for our Australian refit in 2009.
We shut down at the end of the day to enjoy another spectacular sunset.