Cruising= working on your boat in exotic places

Cruising has been defined as “working on your boat in exotic places” and i find it always so. Keeping a cruising boat working is a challenge. i am a firm believer in keeping almost all systems working, there will be the occasional system we can do without but it is a slippery slope. I see so many cruising boats that fall into disrepair, there seems to be a point where they fall off the cliff and never return.

The more complicated the boat the more to fix. My friends on Thoreau esq sailboats, no inverter, no generator, no refrigerator, no this or that, have it easy. If you can live without the creature comforts, keep it simple. I cannot not, i like ice cream, showers, big screen surround sound entertainment, dive compressors, big water makers, and all the joy of keeping them running. Also i have more people onboard than most and it takes its toll.

I usually have one somewhat major or immediate problem at a time, the kind that has to be fixed now. Recently it was a total failure of the house batteries, a constant battle. After 5 years and over $10,000 in exotic battery systems i am now back to the original stock system, 4 8d AGM batteries and all is good. i got the new batteries in Subic Bay.

Keeping the ol gal looking good is also part of the deal, so when i found cheap and good labor in Subic Bay Furthur got a make over, complete wax job. The boys were able to remove the water stains caused by polymer coating applied back in Mexico. the water got under the coating. i got an estimate to do this repair in Australia, $3000. here i got it done for $420 including waxing the entire hull. So Furthur is looking better than ever now. The factory installed Awlgrip paint has held up well.

I also had a failure that had to be fixed, one of the solenoids that control the dinghy lifting motors died. i found a temporary fix by simple switching the power wires on the motor to change from up to down. i had new solenoids shipped to Coron and when in Subic Bay we went about changing them. i quickly determined the problem was over my head, literally as the motors are in the saloon overhead, and skill wise. i hired a local electrician who tried for two days to get it to work before confirming we had the wrong solenoids. On the third day he got it back to where we started, moving the motor wires. i was not happy with the idea of getting replacements, paying shipping and duty (50%) but saw no option, damn.

So here is where i find i am a fool!!! knowing Rule had stopped making 24v motors i bought a complete replacement set before i left home. They were stashed in a hole and long forgotten until another issue forced me to open that hole. there in all their glory, forgotten in time was a complete set, mounting and all of the proper solenoids! Had i remembered or better yet cataloged the spares i would have saved hundreds of dollars, tons of time and a whole bunch of grief!

So the other problem that prompted my journey into the spares hole was the failure of the anchor windlass. i have had issues with it before but realize my anchor windlass does more in one year than most boats do in a life time. We are at anchor 80% of the time and move a lot, often in deep water.

Coron is a third world town, but it has many boats and many motors so i hoped to find a repair man there. We removed the windlass, took it apart and tested the motor, no good. i took it ashore with Anna in tow to translate for me. We hopped on a tricycle and the search was on. After three stops we found a rustic, and i mean rustic shop in a lean-to, old electric motors piled around the crude work bench and a young man working on one. With Anna doing the talking we called his boss who came right down. He took the motor apart and found two loose wires, soldered them up, cleaned the motor and charged us a whole ten bucks! This would have been hundreds in the States.

So the anchor goes up and down and so does the dinghy, i learned some valuable lessons and all is well in the Furthur world.

1 thought on “Cruising= working on your boat in exotic places”

  1. Brian, love your blog but I’m wondering if you have pictures posted of your awesome adventures ?
    Maybe I’missing them ? Anyways keep up the great blog……Kerry

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