Three Year Saga, part 2, The Boat

So it has been three years of constant travel, tropical sun and heavy use on Furthur. We will soon hit 5000 engine hours on the Cummins QSL, averaging 1300 hours a year since I left. We have visited 17 countries, some twice and logged over 25,000 miles. We have gone months between marina stops and dropped anchor hundreds of times. This is usage far beyond the average pleasure boat, only a very small percentage get this level of use.

So what has the toll been? I have done reports all along of my maintenance, what I would change and what I liked, so the three year mark is a good time to do this again.

This year’s big projects; added 5 more batteries, did the bottom paint, zincs and usual bottom work, waxed the top sides, all at Boat Lagoon in Phuket. The workers were excellent and the jobs done expertly. I also had the alternator and the anchor windlass repaired there, both turned out to be loose wire connections and easy jobs. 

The big job for this year was adding a new and very big water maker. I brought back a 50gph FCI water maker from the states. We removed the Kabola boiler, it had not fired in three years and was taking up allot of room. Also I took out the failed domestic hot water heater, another useless piece of equipment in the tropics. The water maker fit nicely into the lazerette and I added storage shelves over the batteries. I also bought 2 new dive tanks at KK. I have been collecting dive gear all along and bought quite a bit in Phuket at a discount dive shop.

The engine has performed flawlessly; I did finally get a chance to use the Wesmar APU get home system when an impellor failed. This was just a case of me not doing maintenance as I should, I should have replaced it sooner. I do seem to have an intermittent oil leak that is on “the list” other than that the engine is perfect, still sparkles.

As Phuket is less than two months away, many items will be done there. “The list” is growing but all minor. I have a pesky drip leak in my main exhaust that leaves salt deposits in its wake. After it is repaired a whole aft engine room cleaning is planned. A full 5000 hour service will be done on the main engine as will service to the gen which now has 1400 hours (note it was new in 09)

There are a few small interior leaks around the big hatches, those too will be fixed. The extremes of heat and torrid rains have taken their toll. I will also have some tune up done on the interior wood. All in all the wood work has held up excellently, a regular dose of Murphey’s Soap has done wonders.

The leather interior cushions are a marvel and have held up superbly except for my side of the pilot bench, I am proud to say I am the first Selene owner to absolutely wear out a pilot seat. I am sure no other Selene seat has seen the duty mine has. I show off the hole in the leather with pride but plan on repairing it. I had the exterior cushions repaired early this year.

One problem that has followed me everywhere; I have US type fittings on my propane bottles and have a hard time filling them. Nowhere in Indonesia, a very few places in Malaysia and one in Thailand can fill the bottles. This year I am going to have one more bottle added with a local fitting.

The worst victim of the hard duty my boat gets is the dinghy. I popped a hole in it in Borneo and have replaced the patch often. The tubes are separating from the hull too. I have water coming in and air going out, neither acceptable in a RIB. The sun has given the poor dink a beating too. I will have new tubes made in Phuket and make a canvas boot cover for them, something I should have done a while ago.

I am going to break down and get air conditioning. I will install the “trailer park” type unit I see in all the commercial and many private boats. This is a simple fan driven compressor mounted on the upper bridge and one unit in the salon. The exterior unit is all plastic. This type is more common here, it draws less power, is quitter and has no maintenance, it is far superior to the water cooled units I am used to and infinitely easier to install.

To deal with the change in power supplies at marinas to 220v now I have one 220v battery charger that is hard wired to shore power, all is done off the invertor. I plan on joining the AC unit and a new small water heater to that box so the AC, H2O heater and battery charger work off shore power. This hybrid 220/115v system will work but not ideal. If I were starting anew I would have gone with a 220v boat.

That is “the list” today, I am sure it will grow and change. It is a small and minor list for such hard duty. Furthur has been a marvel of a boat, she is a testament to the fine boats built by Selene. I left with complete confidence in her and still have it.