Boats that float

Fixing the anchor light and trilight

The thing about boats is that no natural force believes they should exist, except maybe buoyancy, and even it permits a boat to exist only within a narrowly prescribed formula that is easily upset if weather, blunt force, or gravity have any say.

Every day, we focus on cataloguing the boat’s slow erosion in nature’s universal solvent because of oft-forgotten laws like electrolysis to corrode everything from delicate wires to massive crankshafts; or repetitive torsion to distort large wood framing so square corners no longer fit or small bolts unscrew by themselves; or the slow bake-until-it-cracks of anything that is in the sun.

So when a friend asked us “Soooo do you guys play ginn rummey all day?”, we said we could if we cared for it, all the while watching the boat dissolve under us (okay maybe I’m being dramatic). But truly, as I mentioned – there is nothing right about putting a human on a boat on the ocean. But that’s what makes it a challenge.

Even though the boat was in great shape when we stepped on it a month ago, here is a truncated tally of things that Ian has done (I, on the other hand, have read about a dozen books on nothing to do with boating):

-figure out why the third solar panel wasn’t feeding the batteries

-tone down his look of confusion and disappointment when he wakes up and the batteries are below 12.19 (units? I have no idea)

-register a name change in Canada, choose a font, print the name in vinyl and apply it to the boat

-fix the anchor light and trilight at the top of the mast (he had to climb it 3 times in one day) so other boats can see us at night in our attempt to avoid any blunt force trauma

-replace the kitchen faucet, this was exacerbated by the fusing of all the old bits into one corroded big bit that in the end needed to be cut apart with a grinder

-trouble shoot a fridge that just spontaneously turns off, trying to provoke me at random moments so as a couple, we can debate whether eating that chicken from yesterday would be suicidal or just accidental death

-act quickly when the kitchen sink suddenly starts to drain all over the saloon floor (McGivered it with a stainless steel washer replacing the metal strainer that had rusted away)

-“swap out” the old electric windlass for a new one after one episode of manually hauling up the anchor when the windlass failed – swap out is in quotations because it ended up not being effing easy and Made in Italy is not an assurance of quality engineering

-replace the transom light that he broke when jumping down onto the dingey

-tighten the fan belts on the engine in the constant quest to make topping up the batteries as efficient as possible – who, of anyone reading this, knows that tight fan belts are in any way related to efficent battery charging?

-start a collection of tools and spare parts for the engine, fuel pump, water pump, water maker, starter motor, and toilets so he can continue to fix all this when we are in the middle of nowhere

Oh, and I have lubricated the zippers of the shades in the cockpit – I never knew that there was even such a task as lubicating zippers, and have to say I’m big fan. Now it’s just effortless to open and close the shades every time there’s a cloud burst.

Eh bien, on avance

Swapping out the old windlass, anchor and chain
Getting the new name on the boat, straight

4 thoughts on “Boats that float

  1. What’s the list of all the things that drain a battery that you’ve already troubleshooted.
    *Leaving shit on 🙂
    *degradation inside the battery
    *belts? Too lose get slippage. Too tight = friction and broken belt.
    *check voltage when charging. Should be 14.4 volts(hint) or close.
    *a finicky fridge may drain it, no?
    Just having fun with you. Hope you solve the mystery. Let us know. Oh and my first thought about the chicken from the warm fridge. Calculate how long it would take to become symptomatic and flip a coin for who tries it first 🥰
    I would also love a McGiver compilation when it’s is all done. Would be a fascinating read!!
    Happy new year. Adventurous Blessings to you both.


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