Todo list – Attempt #7

What this post was supposed to be…

Let’s start at the basics. I over-complicate things. For example, I already know that due to Season 1 of the Sailing Stories podcast (which was their own audio adaptation of Brave Or Stupid, by Tracey Christiansen, Carl Andersson, Yanne Larsson), our living document will be called “The Effin’ Todo List”. And since I’m not certain how I’m going to do that, but I still want to capture things, here we are. Every time I modified this as a draft, I iterated the following number. Attempt #7.

This draft has been sitting here since we bought the boat. From here down, I’m going to try to take what was already written and modify it. We’ll see how this turns out. Sorry if I repeat myself, but this is the last draft I need to get published before I start regularly posting real-time updates.

There is a trope one hears about while embarking on researching sailing and/or cruising. Read books, watch sailing channels on YouTube; It’s some combination of…

  • You will find no shortage of people to tell you it can’t be done.
  • Cruising is fixing your boat in exotic locations.
  • There’s always an excuse not to cast the lines.
  • A boat is always ready, but never prepared.
  • Everything takes longer on a boat.

I don’t know about you, but for me, before I was in this lifestyle, staring down the maw of a cruising life, it was a slippery concept. I heard it, I could repeat it in conversation, but the idea never sunk in. Not really. It wasn’t until the first simple boat jobs turned into multi-week affairs that I started to get it.

Quite literally, we had two major things to do (although I’ll be the first to admit that my definition of ‘major’ right now is a lot different than what it was all those months ago).

First, since the boat has been a marina liveaboard for at least year, there was an expectation of a sheltered marina, and shore power. So the first thing on our list was to make sure stuff doesn’t fall over when we are sailing. The gimballed stove/oven was removed who knows how long ago, and there was a little office fridge sitting where that would be, with a microwave on top. Honestly, for a daysail, it probably would have worked to figure out a way to lash it down and hope it doesn’t fall over. Spoiler Alert (which will be outlined in its own article at some point in the future): we wound up ripping out the icebox, researching 12v refrigerators, installing a new counter and whynter 12v fridge. More than a month of trying to figure it out (while working and adjusting to life on a boat in a pandemic), and we got to a point where we didn’t need it there.

That brings me to the second thing. Actually take the boat out (safely). We installed the new fridge, but when it came time to sail, we just set it on the floor of the galley. I don’t regret it, but it really wasn’t necessary to go sailing (this was the first of many times we’ve revisited the idea of “necessary”). We went out, motoring to the inlet, about 5 miles away. And then the engine started making weird noises. We turned back. Here, I should insert a bunch of links regarding tightening up the belt, changing the fuel filters, and (I loved this turn of phrase) Bleeding the Bleedin’ Perkins. I’ll save that for another post I can procrastinate writing for a day or two…years. Let’s just say that as soon as I started troubleshooting, the engine never started. We needed help. I needed help. And since this is Florida, professional websites, clear prices, returning of emails and/or calls, and the ability to understand how a calendar or time works, are not a given (I may write about that in another post, but for now, lets just say I’m not a fan). It took a lot of calls, including to what was described to me as some of the best, before I realized that even though these Westerbeke 40s (Perkins 4.108) are allegedly bulletproof, that results in very few people in the first world knowing how they work, or how to fix them. No help at the marina either, with the exception of a recommendation that didn’t work out due to the age of the engine. Turns out the friends I’ve managed to make here all have electric engines, which seems awesome! So another couple of weeks, we found Ray. I’ll write about this guy later, because he’s pretty amazing. A couple weeks afterwards, the engine was taken apart, the injector pump was rebuilt, etc.

I mentioned this part in my last post I think, but essentially, we got the engine running, went out, sailed, and learned. Mostly, I learned how long everything takes on a boat. I also learned how long everything takes in Florida.

I originally wrote this to be a todo list. I knew I needed to put words to stuff, and this is what came out among drafts. I think I actually figured out how I want to do the Effin’ ToDo List, but wanted to finish this. More soon!

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