4.5.18 @ 1000 Local, 1700 Zulu Day #11
Latitude: 12°26N Longitude: 122°37W Covered Distance Last 24 Hours: 134 Distance to the Marquesas: 1644 Distance from Punta de Mita, Mexico: 1228 Weather: pretty blue sky with about 30% cloud cover Winds: 20 knots NNE Sea State: 5′-6′ NNE Barometer: 1016 Crew’s Mood: Outstanding
Zoltar the Great
Captain’s Log Star Date something and something again,
Where do you find the Zoltar machine when getting ready for your passage? What spare parts do you take? How do you make an I don’t know guess at what might possibly fail during your voyage.
When you find out let me know. I’ve tried to look at the critical high wear items like the raw water pump and or the necessary parts to rebuild it. Voltage regulators, alternators, belts, seal, hoses, screws, etc…. Where does it stop? I’m here to tell you that no matter what supplies you have on hand the thing that will stop working, fail, or go away six feet under will be the one thing you don’t have. So, trying to be a fortune teller is a hard job when it comes to the what’s next repair item underway.
Fortunately this voyage we have only had to restitch a seam on the main sail and replace a head hose. Luckily, I had the parts, supplies and tools to effect the repairs.
There are others out here with us right now that are experiencing an array of different issues. One vessel had to replace a fan belt. While two others are experiencing various engine troubles. One boat turned back about a month ago with a broken shroud. A wire rope that holds the mast upright on the boat. Two boats are experiencing battery or charging issues. One of those boats has turned around and is returning the Mexico.
Be somebody, or be somebody’s fool. Deferring maintenance is easy to do when your boat is more of a floating condo at a marina. But seriously, if your plans are off shore travels you should not pass up or defer maintenance of critical issues. Last December, I removed Dazzler’s bowsprit to sand it down to wood for inspection and then repainted it. I had done it about ten years ago and it seamed like the right thing to do again before heading off shore to a place with very few resources. Jilly and I completed a list of about fifty maintenance related issues on Dazzler during our four months in the La Cruz area.
Why? Why not? Not deferring those replace or maintain items gives you peace of mind. I have a friend that owns an older power boat. A few years ago the steering on his boat was so stiff it took two men and a boy to move it side to side. One day he had enough and ordered a new steering wheel and components. Wow! What a difference new makes. Hummmm!
I’m sure I’ve said it before, but I do almost 100% of the maintenance on Dazzler. That way I learn how things work and work together. Therefore, if something needs repair out on the high seas, I have a very good idea of how to fix or replace it without too much difficulty.
One of the boats out here, asked me via an InReach messages a question about a radio issue he is having with his high frequency radio. I explained that it is about 95% wire connection related and I explained which wires he needed to clean or replace termination connections on. He said he guessed he needed a technician to check it out for him.
The other day when a 700 + or – foot tanker passed by in front of us going to Japan, I thought how great to have a floating fuel station. I told my friend that we had seen the tanker and that I couldn’t be sure, but I thought I saw a radio tech barge floating next to it. Ha ha ha. He laughed also. I coaxed him into checking his own connections and cleaning them. He hasn’t finished the job yet so I’m still waiting on the outcome.
Boats should be called Fords. Fix or repair daily. It feels like there is always something that goes wrong or needs attention. Spray, screwdriver or bigger hammer. There are times that I find something completely off the track of what I’m currently fixing that also needs to be repaired. I ask myself the question, how long has that been like that? If you hired a mechanic to fix something, I would hope to shout that they tell you about something else observed while making the repair.
Have you been up the mast lately? There is a whole other realm of potential issues up there. Seek and you shall find. If you don’t seek you will find it later. It will usually take out something else when it lets lose or breaks. Finding those potential issues early on is financially in your best interest. Be diligent and seek out that which is not right thus resulting in many more hours of trouble free sailing. Remember, just because you think you just replaced it a few (5-6) years ago doesn’t mean it should or will last forever.
Have a great day on the water. We are! Cheers!