Sunday, December 28, 2014

Boat maintenance in exotic locations





This season we have experienced more than our share of boat maintenance.   I know, I know, "poor Rob and Nancy....  Living it up in Mexico, and complaining about a few boat chores"  I can just hear a teeny little violin (not even a cello) being played right now...

When you start using a boat more, you would expect that you would have more stuff to fix.
I get that, but for one reason or another, this year has been by far the most..... challenging.
Maybe being 17 years old means that Shindig has become a surly teenager.

When we put the boat to bed in June we  usually spend two weeks decommissioning the boat for summer in La Paz.  All the sails come off, anything bolted to the rails gets put down below.  There is a long list of chores that we power through in the heat of June so that we feel good about leaving the boat for 4 months during hurricane season.

The recommissioning process in the Fall usually unwinds all that was done in June; then we can apply proper fixes to things that broke the season before and make a few upgrades for the next season.

I always expect there to be a few bumps along the way but not like the Baja 1000.

Here is our recommissioning list and maintenance log so far. This list is exported from a handy to-do application on my iPad.  It just keeps reminding me of all the things to do, as I juggle these projects with the proper amount of socializing required of me.  I won't go into more details, but you might say that it is a wonder that Shindig has moved from the docks in La Paz,got a few fun days in the beautiful islands nearby, and is now in the marina at La Cruz.  And that Nancy is still aboard and not flying out of here.

Let's just say that I am ready for the New Year and hopefully more sailing and less boat maintenance.

Recommissioning list  (what you do normally in the Fall to get ready for a Season)

Above Deck
Inspect for hurricane damage (bent stanchion, lost tricolor lens, broken dock line)
Put Diesel fuel in jugs
Get Dinghy fuel
Replace dinghy fuel filter
Mark anchor chain at 50 ft increments
Install fishing rod holders
Install lifesling
Install engine hoist
Refill scuba tank
Remount Lifting harness on outboard
Unlock dinghy lock
Inflate dinghy
Wash dinghy chaps
Make body strap for new hookah I can use for cleaning the bottom and sides of the boat 
Polish and install outboard motor lock
Lube outboard steering and throttle, inspect plugs
Re-rig all halyards
Bend on jib
Bend on main
Add chafe discs to outhaul
Install board racks
Put up bimini
Install solar panels
Test output of solar panels
Clean out aft lazzerette- cleaning supplies
Test hookah
Rig outhaul and move line above boom light

Below deck
Inspect and replace zincs as needed
Place oil pads in bilge
Put in new galley water filter
Check fan for battery box
Water maker - remove and replace RO elements
Fit new damage control pump impeller
Lube aft fans
Install new raw water impeller on Onan
Flush raw water and fresh water side of Onan with barnacle buster
Zinc in heat exchanger - Perkins
Flush raw water and fresh water side of Perkins with barnacle buster
New coolant for "Perky"
Flush raw water side of Perky
New raw water impeller on Perkins
Engine and generator vacuum brake inspect
Transmission cooler service
Lube steering cables
Test Generator - not getting to RPM - 95 volts and 52 to 54 HZ - white smoke
Drain shocked water from tank
Backup computer and photos to server and external HDD
Check A/C
New bilge pump impeller
Turn on refer and inspect for freon leaks
Flush generator with barnacle buster
Flush Perkins with barnacle buster
Inspect and tighten Allen bolts on shaft coupling
Inspect engine batteries- voltage differential
Service all strainers
Test bow thruster
Test sailing instruments and radar
Test VHF
Test Ham Radio
Test Pactor modem
Test navigation lights


General and Unexpected Maintenance
Generator -  remove exhaust system and repair blockage
Generator – make new exhaust manifold gaskets
Generator – clean and pressure test heat exchanger
Generator - clean head for exhaust gasket
Generator - exhaust tube weld patch
Generator - Retest generator for water leaks
Generator - Touch up paint for Onan near water pump
Generator - backside and pan cleanup
Generator - heat exchanger cleaning and paint
Generator - mixing elbow cleaning and paint
Generator - exhaust manifold cleaning and paint
Generator - Reinstall generator sound box
Generator – Raw water pump leaking – replace with spare
Generator - Remove failed heat exchanger – replace
Generator - drill out drain cock for generator coolant

Install new dinghy transom guard
Fix red LEDs in electrical panel for sockets, water heater and microwave
Water maker – diverter valve failed - re plumb without diverter valve
Water maker - install new boost pump and test
Aft head leaking - pinhole in hose – replace 8 feet of hose (Yucky job)
Fix port deck fitting that was broken off. – fill and paint
Install new boom light
Replace lost tri color lens
Touch up paint on boom vang
Paint thru-hull handles
Replace failed aft cabin fan
Replace failed thruhull for generator raw water
Fix green washdown hose
Paint outboard flushing device - rusted
Re adjust belt and pulley on refer
House alternator is misbehaving – measure output and monitor
Pressure switch for fresh water failed – replace
Pressure pump weeping from bottom – rebuild pump
Clean switch connections on primary winches – port side intermittent
Clean corrosion on the transmission CV joint and paint
Replace failing Perkins exhaust hose 2.5 ft
Paint and install new exhaust mixing elbow on Perkins
Replace mater maker RO  elements and test
Replace failed bilge pump
Replace failed AC recirculation pump
Replace failed sump pumps
Install torsion springs on door latches that are broken
Fix chicken loop on kiteboarding harness
Rebuild spare generator raw water pump
Fix bent stanchion – gift from Hurricane Odile
Replace aft head manual pump
Firmware update for solar controller
Replace failed alternator cooling fan
Replace corroded stern shower H/C handles
Lube primary winches
Replace failed 24v alternator
Service clickers on both fishing poles
Replace hot water tank pressure relief valve

Upgrades
Install 24v fan at nav station
Install Wichard folding pad eye on mast for dingy hoist



Missing Tricolor lens after Hurricane Odile
Going up the 70 ft mast is needed for this photo

Replacement of the RO elements for the water maker.

Restriction found in the generator exhaust

Pressure testing the generator heat exchanger - FAIL

Two fried alternators, leaking pressure relief valve and failed heat exchanger.  Merry Christmas

5 comments:

  1. It is always nice to squeak at least a few upgrades into the process !

    Max

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  2. As full time, liveaboard cruisers, we can totally relate to your angst!! We have an older boat who is going through that thirty-something age challenge!! Friends along the way help to make it better - speaking of which, we hope to see you in Zihua on our way back North from Huatulco in late Winter/earlySpring!!

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  3. Im exhausted just reading your repair list!

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  4. Thanks for your blog.Very amusing and instructive , good reading. Keep it up please.

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  5. Rob, Very impressive!! I couldn't wait to share with Tom and to say "Look at ALL the things Rob has done." Which got me the stink-eye in response. Yes, we are working on our projects too, but I don't think we are productive as you.
    -Sylvia

    ReplyDelete