Yesterday we read a blog entry by a German sailor we met a few months ago, just to keep up to date on where he is and what he is up to. After fifteen minutes we knew that he felt his boat was falling apart and that he was totally depressed. He sailed to the Caribbean in his fourteen year old yacht and is very unhappy that the high temperature, hot sun, high moisture and salt water was eating everything.
And what did we think when we read of all his woes? “Been there, done that!”
Just because a boat has worked perfectly in Northern Europe for fourteen years – or in our case over a quarter of a century – that does not mean it will continue to do so twelve degrees north of the Equator. The climate here eats boats.
We have written a complete list of repairs and improvements and it really does look like we have rebuilt half the boat. Our advantage is however that – most of the time – we don’t get too depressed about it and just treat working on the boat as an intrinsic part of sailing; although the anchor winch motor did get to both of us eventually, luckily on different days.
We have decided we need a new fridge and a device to make fresh water from sea water. Both are ordered and “somewhere in the DHL world” waiting for “something” so we have time for a few other jobs while we float just off Aruba.
Heidi decided it was time to repair internal varnish in the heads and in the saloon which meant lots of sanding back to bare wood and three days of trying not to touch the “wet bits”.
Heidi also read up on working with epoxy and is currently creating new floor boards for the dinghy. The same dinghy we re-patched a few weeks ago after it was ripped at the bow. Her epoxy plans are getting more adventurous.
The anchor winch is now completely rebuilt and showed the importance of having a plan and dry testing before we start using bonding material that dries in 15 minutes. It is also a good example of how satisfying it is when something is finished and done properly.
The tiller has been stripped and varnished and has its own protective sock to keep the sun and salt off it. It is hard to believe that this is still the same tiller. A new “super sock” is planned but for that we need a sewing machine.
The outboard motor is in a workshop completely stripped down and waiting for new parts from the USA. The clutch didn’t survive us dropping the motor in the sea in Spain and again in Martinique and all the seals need repairing.
So why are we not as depressed as the German sailor? Probably because we are more relaxed by nature but also because we are a team. Everything above we have done together. Each “project” has a “boss” who proposes what/where/when but then we discuss the ideas and work together. Four hands are far better than two and two heads make for more fun.