Before we can cast off for a long trip we need to finish a few maintenance items – we’ve learned that it’s much easier to perform preventative maintenance than to do repairs in some remote place. Some projects had to wait for warmer weather such as working on the davit (a small crane that lifts our 600 lb dinghy up to the boat deck).
We had to replace some spacers between the sheaves as well as the “cable”, which is actually a synthetic rope (called Amsteel) that’s as strong as a steel cable. The rope is a bit pricey ($2/foot) and it requires an eye to be spliced at each end, but I’m a pretty good splicer. If we ordered the prepared rope from the davit company it would have cost $450!The next project was to adjust the valves on the main engines – a job that should be done every 1000 hours or so. We put a lot of hours on our engines and it pays to take good care of them. It goes pretty quickly, though there are 12 valves on each engine to check. And while we were doing engine maintenance, Jim replaced the impellers that draw seawater through the heat exchangers to cool the engines. The old ones were in good shape, but they were getting too old…
In the meantime I’ve been giving the boat exterior a thorough washing and a bit of Awlcare. Cloudy/rainy days are the best for washing a black boat since the sun heats the hull too much and the soapy water can get baked on if I’m not quick enough with the rinse. Sometimes people ask us if we want a bigger boat and we always say no. A bigger boat is more boat to wash and clean… things are bigger than two people can handle easily… and you pay for dockage and haul-outs by the foot. This is plenty of boat for us to take care of!
On the other hand, if you have to wash your mega-yacht, you need to be comfortable with climbing gear and heights!