Keeping the Boat Running


Jeffrey Siegel founder of Active Captain responded to a challenge on facebook to describe his hobby badly.  His response was that he fixes boats in exotic locations.  I can’t think of too many things that have resonated with me that well, it describes a large portion of what I do on the boat.  And I love it.  The mechanical aspects of the boat are a big part of what I enjoy about boating.  With some notable exceptions I enjoy tinkering and improving things on the boat.  I enjoy most of the maintenance (head systems being a notable exception) tasks on the boat and I certainly enjoy the sense of accomplishment from keeping everything running and in good shape.  As I look back at a few of the things that I’ve done on the boat since we left here’s a partial list:

  • Oil change on main engines and generator, twice
  • Impeller change on generator and main engines
  • Oil change and spark plug change on the dinghy
  • Fuel filters changed twice
  • Main engine breather filters replaced
  • Engine zincs changed
  • Shaft zincs changed
  • Seakeeper zinc changed
  • Refrigerant added to salon compressor (thanks Don!)
  • Crossover valving adding to allow the generator to draw and return fuel to either tank
  • Four additional house batteries added
  • House bank wiring redone
  • Countless latches replaced (Apparently the Southco 5 & 10lb latches have about a 13 year life)
  • Hacked together a deck mounted overboard discharge system as our boat lacks one
  • Fiberglass repairs on the dinghy (thanks dad!)
  • Resealed a window
  • Recaulked many linear feet of exterior seams
  • And the never ending task of waxing the boat…

We recently moved from Treasure Cay where we enjoyed the beautiful beach, nature to explore and beautiful resort to head to Marsh Harbour.  Marsh was a provisioning and maintenance stop.  We were able to get to a grocery store that looked like the grocery stores to which we’re accustomed.  I was able to get to a hardware store (twice of course), a marine store and an auto parts store.  I plumbed the necessary valves and adapters in to allow the generator to draw from either fuel tank (an important improvement to try and even out our port list.)  I was also able to perform an oil change,  change several zincs, replace breather filters and generally check out everything in the engine room.

While doing all that maintenance I looked through some of my records and came to some interesting statistics.

  • Since we left Chicago we have put 350 hours on the main engines
  • We have traveled 3,301 miles
  • We have burned 4,783 gallons of diesel
  •  We have been underway for 315 hours
  • We’ve traversed 34 locks
  • We’ve had 59 travelling days
  • We’ve stayed in a marina 158 nights
  • We’ve stayed at anchor 10 nights
  • We’ve stayed on a town wall 4 nights
  • Since the last time I posted one of these reviews we haven’t added any props to our propeller body count so I’m not going to talk about that any more

A few interesting notes about expense.  Thus far we’ve averaged $60.82 a night for dockage.  We’ve averaged $2.67 a gallon for diesel.  We’re spending less per night than we thought on dockage.  We’re spending about what we expected per gallon of fuel but we’ve definitely used less fuel than we were predicting.  One of the things we’ve discovered during the trip is that we are generally much happier moving slower.  Because of the design of our boat when the water gets rough we need to pick up the pace some in order to gain better stability.  That means that we’ve actually gone faster than we might like some of the time in order to try and get a more comfortable ride.

We’re currently sitting in Hope Town waiting out some 30 MPH winds before we decide whether to head south to Exumas or continue our exploring the Abacos some more before heading back to the U.S.  Either way I’m happy to know the maintenance is current and everything looks to be in good running order.


  1. Kathleen Burnett · March 6, 2017

    You may have lost me at oil change! But love the updates!! Wish you were here… or I was there! Miss you all!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. George Earle · March 6, 2017

    Winter is windy in Bahamas. Lots more to see and you might not get back soon. Land and sea park is very nice. Thunder ball cave is fun.

    Randy Sent from my iPhone



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