The Three Most Dangerous Words In Boat Maintenance

JHHGH1-1070080We joined our friends Dave and Shelly, who live and voyage on their beautiful, and beautifully maintained, Able Apogee 50, Cadence, for dinner the other night.

I knew that they had spent the day on maintenance tasks on Cadence and I could sense that it might have been a tough go. (It’s a sure sign of maintenance stress  when cruisers grab their first beer of the evening with both hands and drain the lot.) Once David had lost a little of that wild-eyed look that I know so well from the mirror, I asked him how their day went. This was his answer:

In order to repaint our deck nonskid, we had to remove some hardware from the deck. While we were at it, we decided to replace all of our clutches. Of course the holes did not match, so we had to epoxy the old holes, drill new ones and make new backing plates.

While we were at it, we decided to replace some additional backing plates. In order to get to one of the backing plates, I had to remove a hose to a manual bilge pump.

While we were at it, we decided to rebuild the bilge pump. In order to remove the bilge pump for servicing, we had to remove the vented loop for the generator.

While we were at it, we decided to reroute the fresh water line to the water heater in order to facilitate access to the generator.

While we were at it, we replaced the vented loop for the generator.

While the vented loop was removed, we decided to redo a portion of the generator raw water system.

So what are the three most dangerous words in boat maintenance? While I’m here.

And, if you are wondering about the photograph. That’s Shelly reminding Dave whose idea all the additional tasks were.

Do you have a story of boat maintenance mission-creep? Please leave a comment, confession is good for the soul.

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John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for twenty years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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