Jobs – No not the kind you pay for on the street!

Well its been a week and Teddy is beginning to settle in to life in the boat yard. Although its evident that he is becoming frustrated with boat work. He keeps muttering and shaking his head, talking about how he would like to finish just “One Job. Can’t we start one job and finish it”!


I have spent 10 years reading, planning and living vicariously through other cruiser so I knew exactly what I was getting into. Poor Teddy, he had no idea what this was going to be like. It can be incredibly frustrating as there are days when you feel like you are working your balls off, but at the end of the day, there is literally nothing to show for it. Let me see if I can detail some of the more frustrating jobs so everyone can understand.


Rigging.. Remember that highly engineered wire I spoke about. Well that job is still ongoing, and doesn’t have an end in sight yet! We have measured those wires no less than 6 times and still need to go back and measure at least 2 of those wires before they can start manufacturing (hopefully this will be the last time). What I thought would be a straight forward job with a tape measure and nail has turned into a week long ordeal that consumes at least 1 hour every day. The issues are not anyones fault, just shit that happens when you have someone who knows nothing about rigging conversing with someone who does. Then add the fact that everything on this boat is metric (remember I’m in the USA), and that some of the rigging connections are no longer manufactured and 5 days of back and forth can easily slip by. I will say one thing about this job. I picked the right people to help me. Tom over at Rigging Only has been phenomenal and worked tirelessly on this. Class A company, that gives Class A+ service for a great price, Frankly one of the best companies I have ever worked with, and no I did not get a deal for saying that on my blog. They are just a great company.


Saildrives…Maybe I’m being overzealous, but maybe not. I decided that since my boat is out of the water and has an unknown past it would be wise to reseal EVERYTHING. This includes the seals on saildrives (they look like the bottom part of an outboard boat motor and stick below my boat). The saildrives are a big area of controversy, some sailors say they wouldn’t own a boat with saildrives as they are way to complex. Although I think those guys are old grey beards with boats that never left the dock. In any case, the saildrives are another highly engineered piece of equipment on this boat with precise gears bathed in oil. If the lower seals leak at all, then seawater will infiltrate the drive and cause damage to the gears.  A $3000(part only) replacement is the only solution.  Well Teddy was keen to tear these apart as this kind of job was right up his ally. After I removed years worth of seagrowth, we were able to get at the fasteners to disassemble the units. 4 broken tools later (remember years of seagrowth and corrosion), we finally had the units disassembled, only to discover I needed to order double the parts as what we though was 1 seal, was actually 2. Job on hold till someone can round up enough seals to do both my drives.


Alternators… I knew this was a can of worms before we started it. Anything with wires that spends time in Cuba will come back looking like a kitten playing with a ball of string, its a rule! We are on our second day with the alternators but the wiring is such a mess that it took us a whole day to determine the alternators were functioning correctly, but had been replaced sometime in the past with a different version and a whole computerized part on my boat was doing bubkiss (the external regulator). After discovering this and correcting the faulty wiring, we decided to order 2 brand new alternators. First we went to the local guy and waited 3 hours for him to quote $300/piece. WOW.. That was way more than I wanted to spend. Google, here I come. I found the exact same alternators online brand new for $141/piece (BRAND NEW VOLVO REPLACEMENTS). Score, ordered 2. Job on hold till alternators arrive (not totally true, we fixed some of the wiring so the boat wouldn’t burn down in the mean time).


Mast.. Since this boat was built technology has made huge advancements.  One of the major advancements has been a system called AIS that is quickly becoming standard on many boats. AIS is essentially borrowed technology from the airline industry and provides collision avoidance to boats. The system combines our GPS with our VHF radios to allow positional data to be shared on the communication network (VHF). Since this system is reliant on my VHF radio, its performance is directly related to my VHF radio performance. As such, I felt it was prudent to replace all my VHF antenna wiring with low loss cable that “SHOULD” help increase my AIS performance. This involved pulling a brand new cable up my 53ft mast. Not an easy job as the old cable was about the thickness of a pencil and the new cable is about the thickness of a pinky finger. After multiple attempts, we finally got the cable pulled but quickly realized we couldn’t hook the antenna up as it would stick into a walkway and be a safety hazard. Job on hold till the mast goes back up.


These are just a few examples. Pretty much every job we do is like this.


Today we are going to try and finish the thru-hulls. I’m sure we will only get %80 and something will get in the way of us completing that job.


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