Four Year Report, the Boat

Now with nearly 6000 hours on the Cummins Engine and over 30,000 miles of cruising it is safe to say Furthur is a supreme cruising vessel. She had performed remarkably well and in comfort unknown to most cruisers. I simply could not ask for more.

All this comes with some cost of course, in 2012 i spent about $20,000 on maintenance and new additions, some big ones. The just over 1000 engine hours and a complete 5000 mile circumnavigation of Indonesia plus generator time cost just under $12,000 in fuel, so i figure ten bucks an hour for the main. We spend 50% of the time in Thailand and 100% of the time in Indonesia on the hook so moorage is minimal. Food and entertainment is cheap here, really cheap. I laughed the other day here; went to dinner in a nice place, two of us. i got the bill and gave the waitress what is a ten dollar US bill, and she shyly said she could not make change! if you are in the US or Europe think about dinner for two paid with a ten spot and getting change, ya!

Furthur got a complete make over in thailand; chain regalvinized, bright work done like artwork, fiberglass repairs, engines serviced, generator got some big parts replaced, new hot water tank, new 220v electrical system, and to our great joy, air conditioning.

The big win this year was getting the new 25hp two stroke Mercury outboard. i cussed and fussed over the original 4 stroke Honda its whole miserable life. When i left America i never saw another Honda used by any local anywhere, should tell you something. it finally gave up this year, some ethanol fuel killed it, seems outboards older than 2010 do not do well with ethanol. The blog entry for this passing was rightfully entitled, “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” .

Yamaha dominates the outboard market outside of the US. All you see in Mexico, across the Pacific and SE Asia are Yamahas, with a few other two strokes. i tried to get a Yamaha but sold out, so found the Merc, which is really a Tuhatsu now. It weighs in at just above half of the Honda, it starts everytime, uses less fuel (surprise to me) and has way more power. i upsized the prop and now my 11′ AB Aluminum hull RIB will plane with 4 divers or 6 people. Did i mention it starts everytime!

i would strongly recommend any cruiser leaving the US to leave your Honda at home, no service anywhere, parts are horrid and they are so fussy on fuel that they seldom run.

I went trailer trash cheap on the air conditioning, and so glad i did. i kept seeing the commercial boats running household aircon units so i looked into it. Simple installation, cheap cost, low power drain and NO maintenance. Not pumps, thru hulls or leaking lines. the condensor sits on the upper deck hidden away and the main unit on the soffet in the galley. the drain runs right into the sink. it is silent and uses 5 amps producing 18000 btus, usually too much. It is a far cheaper, better system than any of the complicated yacht systems i have

The generator has been a source of entertainment. The cooling system is problematic, i burn through an impellor every oil change. i replaced the water pump thinking it is the culprit with no luck. Apparently the gen does not like to run with light loads in warm water, which i do often. The exhaust elbow failed causing a combination of symptoms which were misinterpreted so i got new injectors just for drill. The good news is i now know that motor inside and out. The Cummins, on the other hand has been absolutely trouble free, i have changed impellors twice, done the usual service and that is all.

The Simrad electronics, circa 2005 have been Flawless, as have been my PC based computer navigation system, until recently when i crashes every so often, probably replace the computers this year.. i have two, one just for back up and have yet to use it. Simrad was such a good company but it seems they have fallen from grace. They bought the old Robertson Autopilot, arguably the best AP on the small boat market, i have the AP25, love it. The LED digital read out on the remote failed. Get this, with the thousands of AP 25’s out there, you cannot get a replacement remote now! yikes.

Things i still swear by: ESI fuel polishing system- a must, articulating rudder (paid for itself in fuel savings by now) oil change pump, Rolex Flopper Stopper, seawater/freshwater heads–just makes sense, mast/boom dinghy system, the 48 Selene offset pilot house, big anchor-size matters, and the Bower dive compressor have all served me well, all on the do not leave home without it list.

On the non boat side, i still use my Fuji WP camera, on my third one. Wore out one and broke the latch on the second. The Nikon D70 is still used too. the Underwater video is seldom used as it is just too cumbersome. i got a Go Pro thinking it the answer but it failed instantly as did the replacement parts and two others that crew had, i have now got a nice underwater camera being shipped.

Way not boater stuff; i have a beautiful Gibson acoustic guitar, cost a pretty penny. I worry every time i take it to shore in the dinghy or to beach side bars, and faint if anyone touches it. this did not work. i played a Yamaha acoustic last year that i liked. turns out they are made in Indonesia and cheap. i got one for $170 usd, has a great pickup with equalizer and a built in tuner. it stays in tune, sounds great amplified and i use it regularly now. It came with a soft case with backpack straps, so you may see me with it on my back in the dinghy or motor bike headed to a gig.

The work list for this winter; fix electrical gremlin that eats batteries, get new batteries and solar panels. interior wood work, mounting pins for storm windows so i can lower them and open the salon windows. get all systems going, dead original AC, hot water tank, replace Spectra lines on davit, get old water maker running, repack bearings on stabilizers, bottom paint, and cosmetic work.

So we end year for, still running strong, still committed to keeping Furthur in excellent shape and still loving the cruising life.