April-May 2024: 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 April-May 2024:

Note: we began our Pacific crossing in April, arriving in the Marquesas Islands on May 11. This list includes issues from April 1 to May 31. 

  • We repaired our helm enclosure several times. We replaced the front portion a couple of years ago with higher-quality strataglass and UV-resistant stitching but didn’t want to spend the money to replace the back portions at the time. Now, we’re dealing with the consequences of that decision! The thread on the original sections has practically disintegrated, forcing us to hand-stitch it back together when it rips. Maybe it’s time to invest in a Sailrite sewing machine…
  • The cover on our continuous furling line became loose, allowing it to bunch up and jam the furler. So, Ray cut a portion of the cover out and stitched it back together. 
  • We use Commoderizers in our heads, and one of the plastic screens/filters broke. Ray made a replacement using a portion of thin plastic cutting board, which has been working just fine! 
  • We lost one of our handlines while fishing underway. Ray was able to repurpose the old band from my pole spear as a snubber to make a new one.  
  • Our starboard engine blower failed. Ray took it apart, cleaned out the carbon buildup, and put it back together several times, but the spacers had disintegrated, and the bushings were shot, so there wasn’t much else he could do. We have kept a close eye on the engine temperature while waiting for a new one to be shipped. We ordered two, assuming the port side will fail sooner rather than later, for €91 each. 
  • The snubber on our preventer broke after days on end of rough conditions during our Pacific crossing. We have ordered a new one for €29. 
  • I polished our stainless steel once. 
  • Ray washed the boat twice. 
  • I cleaned the bottom of the boat once. After our 27-day Pacific crossing, we had some soft growth around the waterline and minimal barnacles around the sugar scoops. 
  • We had to conserve power and run the generator more than usual during our crossing and these past few weeks in the Marquesas, as either the sails or mountains shaded our solar panels for most of the day. 
  • One afternoon, while running the generator, our bilge alarm went off. We tasted the puddle: fresh water. We were running the air conditioner in our cabin, so we opened the compartment under our bed to look at the unit. The condensate pump had an airlock, making it impossible to pump out the overflowing condensate. Ray whacked it to clear the airlock, and we sucked the water out of the bilge with the shopvac. 
  • During heavy rainfall, we noticed a leak in the saloon ceiling near the compression post. The wires at the base of the mast were letting water through. We identified which one(s) was leaking and re-sealed once dry. This happens every couple of years. 
  • We got 40 gallons of diesel for ~$230 in Nuku Hiva. There was no fuel dock, so we lugged our jerry cans back and forth from the dinghy to the gas station. 
  • Last night, we noticed a black spot in the lower left corner of our chartplotter screen. It has grown from the size of a dime to a little larger than a nickel. We’ve been calling it “the tumor.” This is a common indicator that the screen is failing. We will need to figure out a replacement soon… 

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8 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Holly thanks! Love hearing about the trials and tribulations! Happy to hear them verses living them today. Had dreamed to be doing what you all are many years ago. Enjoy living them vicariously through you and Ray! Many thanks!

  2. BOATT life! The best part is being able to do it with the one you love… all our best to you two! May the repairs you work on be in the most beautiful places… with abundant supplies!!

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