Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Start of "The List"

I'm sure that everyone that owns a boat has "The List"...the items that need to be fixed on their boat.  And from what I understand, the list is never really complete as items are often added as fast (or faster) than they are removed.  From the survey on our boat, we have a moderate sized list.

The main reason that I am moving onto the boat in Florida is so I can start working on, or at least coordinating work on, the boat. From the survey, here is a list of some of the higher priority items that I will need to address:

  • Service engines.
  • Rebed stantions.
  • Replace running rigging for reefing systems.
  • Mount loose bilge pump automatic switch.
  • Chase down issue with intermittent power to port forward cabin lights.
  • Deal with some wood rot around the refrigerator (suspect plumbing hole in box allowing condensation-need to seal).
  • Replace leaking exhaust mixing elbow on generator.
  • Clean/sanitize fresh water system.
  • Replace 110v socket that doesn't work (can't insert plug into socket).
  • Upgrade anchor.
  • Fix windlass.
  • Repair, or more likely replace, the dinghy.
As you can see, they weren't all that serious of items, more general maintenance. After taking possession of the boat and moving it, we found some additional items that needed to take precedence:
  • Engine running warm, check/clean/replace heat exchanger.
  • Propane appears to be leaking out of fittings in propane locker. Investigate and repair
  • Engine and transmission controls are excessively stiff, need to replace.
So those were the items I was expecting when I arrived at the boat.  Since I still have my full time job, I needed to start work so I unloaded my car and took the stuff I brought to the boat.  I quickly stowed stuff and fired up the computer so I could start working at my job.

Well, after being there a few hours, some ripples in the marina caused the boat to rock and the bilge alarm went off.  I quickly run around the boat inspecting bilges to find out where the issue is.  What I find is some red liquid in the bilge of the starboard engine compartment.  Sigh...guess I have another item to add to the list.  I also need to quickly pump some of the liquid out so the bilge doesn't trigger again...discharging this red liquid into the marina. I confirm a few more times that the levels in the engine compartment are not rising and with Pete's help, find someone to come take a look tomorrow.  Red liquid usually indicates transmission fluid, which doesn't sound good.  

After work I unpack some stuff, and being completely exhausted from the marathon drive, make the bed and go to sleep.  That is how the first day living aboard went.  So far I have no propane system and the refrigerator is off so I could dry out the rotting cabinet.  It feels a bit more like camping on a boat...or a cramped hotel room with a long walk to the bathroom.  Hopefully tomorrow will go better.


  1. When our list hit 100 items Tim said he was no longer going to be the keeper of the list. It was depressing him that things were getting added to the bottom faster than he could get them of the top. I took over the list purely on a financial preparation basis but we don't pay too much attention to it. If a hatch leaks on our heads, we fix it.

    S/V Kintala

    1. Tell Tim I can understand that feeling. The perfectionist side of me wants everything to be fixed and working jury rigging, etc. The practical side of me is realizing I'd need to have 47 hours a day and do without sleep to get everything done.

      So, I prioritize. Speaking of leaks...upcoming post on that one.

      Oh, and if you think that low of 41 in Velcro Beach Monday is bad, it is supposed to be 29 or so here in Hammock. I thought Florida was supposed to be warmer than Colorado. ;-)

  2. Don't worry, the high today in the Denver area is about 10.

    1. Oh...whew...then the reputation is still alive. ;-)

  3. Nice list!

    Looks like you have some fun work ahead of you.

    My guru for doing my own repairs is Rodd from Compass Marine. He posts a lot of useful information on his site. ( He also posts on and the under the name MaineSail. He is an extreme helpful guy and makes if very easy for the ambitious to do our own work.

    Good luck and fair winds,


    1. Yep. And seem to be finding more every day.