November 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 dealt with in November 2023:

  • We bought a new pump for our dinghy for ~$75.00 from Sea Safety Service in Grenada after our old one broke. 
  • I polished our stainless steel once. 
  • Ray repurposed our old mooring lines to make a new anchor bridle.  
  • As Sabado ages, we’ve noticed many lower-quality odds and ends breaking. So, we spent an afternoon with some epoxy and superglue repairing busted cabinetry buttons and the thin plastic tachometer bezel. 
  • We blew a capacitor after trying to run the generator without enough fuel which caused surging and fluctuating output. It got so hot it melted the wires and the plastic box it lives in! We trimmed the wires and swapped out the capacitor with a spare we had on board. The generator ran fine once we re-fueled.
  • We paid $12.00 per night to stay on a mooring ball in Saint Lucia.
  • Our front-loader fridge/freezer began acting up. It was running twice as much as usual, acting like it needed to be defrosted, but it didn’t look like it! Ray removed the tray under the freezer compartment, which solved the problem. The refrigerator now maintains temperature for longer, running less often. We’re not sure what the purpose of that tray was, so we’ve stored it away in case we need it again! 
  • We noticed a squeaking/grinding noise when the boom moved during our sail up to Martinique. Upon arrival, we purchased some Teflon washers for ~€3.00 and sandwiched them between the metal washers in the mast connection. We noticed an immediate decrease in noise that has held up during subsequent sails.
  • We bought one bottle of two-stroke oil for our outboard engine for $15.00.
  • The zipper on our Mack Pack sail bag broke despite being less than two years old! This is not the first time we’ve had an issue with it, so we decided to take it to a seamstress. The seamstress at the North Sails shop in Martinique said the zipper was 1/8th the size she’d recommend for a sail bag. We had her replace the entire zipper and add some fabric to make it easier to close. The repairs cost us ~€650.00.
  • We paid $15.00 per night for a mooring ball in Dominica.

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4 comments / Add your comment below

    1. Hey, Paul! The general rule of thumb is that you’ll spend ~10% of the boat’s value per year on maintenance and repairs. This does not include upgrades or moor/dockage.

  1. Thanks! I like your advice regarding the teflon washers. It seems that many boats have lots of issues with noises coming from different parts of the rig (gooseneck, mainsheet through blocks/guides, traveller, etc). I have not seen any YouTube videos comprehensively address the causes and solutions so maybe you could tackle that in one of your videos if you want. I would love to hear your suggestions.

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