Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Maintaining Our Boat Is Maintaining our Lifestyle


Everybody knows that cruising is fixing boats in exotic places. Just like a house may need a new roof or boilers need fixing, boats need more than their fair share of maintenance. The sun and the salt are such corrosive environments, then add the constant motion of a boat to the mix and that’s a whole load of stress. It’s no joke that the job list is never ending and wears down even the most vigilant of up-keepers. Sadly there is no such thing as a lifetime guarantee when it comes to marine repairs. And unless you have a fat wallet you will need to do most of these jobs yourself. 

It’s incredible the amount we spend on our boat. How easily we accept a $1000 for a repair or an essential part (probably for something hidden in the deep, dark, depths of the boat that I will never get to see), but deny ourselves an extra beer or a meal out because it’s 'not in the budget'. B.O.A.T = Break Out Another Thousand  - it rings so true. We struggle to find the balance between spending on ourselves and spending on the boat. But as Sim pointed out during one such discussion, “It’s the boat that allows us this freedom and travel and a life that we love so much. Investing in her, is investing in us”. So there you have it. Maintenance on the boat is essentially maintaining our lifestyle. He can be very convincing when he wants to be....I suspect he has another big spend up his sleeve.

It’s not just money but time too. Luckily Sim in his super human capacity as maintenance man is forever tackling jobs. 
Since arriving in the Bahamas in mid January we have:
  • Repaired the starboard navigation light connections (an all day job chasing wires and emptying anchor lockers)!
  • Then replaced same said navigation light when we pranged it going into a marina. Doh!
  • Windless battery connections were cleaned and windless battery solenoid replaced when windless was not charging properly.
  • Engine oil changed.
  • Water maker over hauled – including replacing membranes and rebuilding the pump and motor. – At least a week long job.
  • Engine starter battery died – so replaced battery.
  • Repaired the rust spots on deck – chipping hammers, wire wheels, Dremals – dust, dirt and grime over the entire decks for a week. Now we have the slow process of painting and filling. Oh the joys of a steel boat.
And this has all been while we are in cruising mode. Now we are in George Town for a while. Not only is it a stunningly beautiful place to hang out, (with almost 400 other boats its a popular spot), it’s reasonably protected from any direction of weather and a good place for us to potter on with some more jobs (did I mention the inner staysail furler?) before continuing on our thorny path back to the East Caribbean.
So when the jobs list may seem over welming or you are fed up with how much money gets spent on the boat, just rememeber you are actually maintaining your lifestyle.
Sim and his wire wheel attacking a little deck rust

Removing the pump from the water maker

Sims' makeshift work bench on the freezer.

Sim changes the flourescent bulbs in the lights to LED strips.

New starboard side light.



2 comments:

  1. Ah, "Maintaining your lifestyle" - that makes it sound so romantic! I'm going to borrow that one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You gotta make all that hard work sound good some how! Right?

      Delete