April- May 2023: Behind the Scenes

Between our YouTube Channel and our blog, we share a lot of our life on the water. However, there are always things that go undocumented. Over the years, we have met plenty of new liveaboards who feel like they were “duped” into this lifestyle by its romanticized portrayal on social media. In our experience, living full-time on a boat is expensive, it is hard work, and it is time-consuming. Is it worth it? For us, yes. Is it worth it for you? I’m not sure!

So, in an effort to paint a more realistic picture of boat life, here is a bullet-point list of things we failed to document in April- May 2023:

We had our wedding the first week of May and forgot to post our list from April. So, we have included it in this month’s list.

  • I polished our stainless twice in April and twice in May. The boat got extra salty moving to and from St. Thomas/St.John/BVI so much; I found things got rusty quickly, despite our best efforts to rinse the boat often. Usually, I polish once a month. 
  • Ray recharged our top-loading fridge once. We have a refrigerant leak that would require replacing the entire cooling system to fix, so for now, whenever we turn it off and back on again, we recharge it. We keep all supplies needed on board, which initially cost ~$100.
  • We noticed our generator was emitting more exhaust and less water than usual. We replaced the impeller but saw no improvement. I dove to check the intake thru-hole, and it was clear. Ray discovered a small filter right before the heat exchanger that was completely clogged, a lot of carbon buildup in the exhaust elbow, and the anode in the heat exchanger had become white mush. He cleared the filter and exhaust elbow and replaced the anode with a spare we had on board. The generator has been fine ever since! *knock on wood*
  • We changed the starboard engine impeller while underway after noticing the engine was getting less water than usual. The old impeller looked fine, but we tore one of the fins during the removal process, so we went ahead and replaced it with a spare we had on board. The water flow issue was a sargassum clog in the raw water intake holes. 
  • We changed the filter on our water maker once. We haven’t had to do this often since we’ve been in the Caribbean! 
  • Ray added sensors to our propane tanks, allowing us to see how much we have in each tank. The sensors cost $30 each on Amazon.
  • Ray scrubbed the teak in our cockpit once. It’s been two months since we had it refinished, and it is still looking great! 
  • We replaced one of the blocks on our dinghy davit system after it started squeaking, and lubricating it did not help. The replacement block cost $40 in St. Martin. 
  • The fan in the owner’s cabin finally died (we started having issues with it in January). We replaced it with the newer version from the same brand, Caframo. The replacement cost $120 at Island Water World in St. Martin. We’ve noticed a significant difference in the performance of the new fan, as it sits farther away from the wall, which seems to increase airflow. 
  • We accidentally left a hatch open in rough seas and spent two days cleaning the salt water from our port forward cabin. 
  • We helped a fellow cruiser get their watermaker up and running using our spare boost pump. So, we purchased a new one for $431.95 in St. Martin. The folks we gave ours to said they would replace our spare, so eventually, we will have two backups on board. 
  • The raw water pump for our port engine has a seal that’s leaking, so we bought a new pump for ~$450 in St. Martin. We hope to get a rebuild kit soon, so we will keep the old one as a spare. 

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