Most people that are ‘out there’ sailing and cruising will tell you ‘Cruising is repairing your boat in exotic, or not so exotic, places’ I wanted to share this with you and our ‘repair’ experiences in the first 100 days after we set off on this adventure
Some of these ‘break downs’ are normal maintenance , some of these are ‘true defectives’ and surprisingly , or not so surprisingly for those with knowledge of electrics and electronics, several happened during the warranty period .
So what broke down within warranty ?
- the Victron solar controller , this one surprised me as Victron has a stellar reputation but the SmartSolar 100/50 just stopped producing power one day . Luckily I still had the old controller and after swapping we had power again . The supplier was quick and very generously offered to send out a new controller after sending him the RMA and tracking info for the old controller
- one of our (very expensive) Caframo fans started to smoke , this one is a bit of a pain as sending back the old one is difficult . I ordered a new replacement as we need fans and I will probably send the old one back from the canary islands
So what broke down that I did not expect to break down ?
- the 220v generator , even though we don’t use this one (much) it died on us while running it . After research and measuring I found that the most likely failure would be the 40uF cap. After ordering a new cap and replacing it it worked again.
- Our wind mast top unit, this one works intermittent now (stops in low wind speeds) I have a replacement unit now and we just have to go into the mast to actually swap it. I will repair the old one (probably some bearings) and keep it as a backup
- anchor winch, I had to service and clean the brushes to make it go again but its worrying to know that spares are unavailable . If it breaks again and needs parts I will probably have to fork out $1500 for a new winch.. ouch
- Fridge needed to be refilled with gas and now works , but there’s an issue with the fridge freezer combination and I am still trying to figure out exactly how the 2 interact , sometimes the freezer or fridge seem to shut off and playing with either thermostat makes them go again . Most likely operator error but it still eludes me as to how it works exactly
- Our 120Amp alternator bracket is defective as one of the threaded studs just broke. I need to find a new stud for it but I am not sure if I will connect it again . It puts out enough power to charge the banks but we don’t really need that power now. Also I suspect it heats up our batteries and shortens their life . So I will repair the bracket and make it good to go but will leave off the belts . in case of an emergency I can always hook it up again
So what broke down that I expected to break down ?
Surprisingly very little of what I expected to break, really did break ! , I expected problems with our watermaker but none of that , our washing machine just needed to be taken apart and the small filters needed to be cleaned , so knock on wood but all spares I brought are still in their boxes
General maintenance will of course continue , daily oil checks and top up’s , belt checks , chafe on lines etc are addressed during daily walk throughs while we sail and so far (again knock on wood) I have not encountered much that I didn’t have the tools for and I am very happy that I lugged around 30 – 40 Kg’s of hand and power tools and brought them to Blue Pearl when I did ! By now I have used most all of them for various issues and projects ! I can’t imagine what I would do without my tools
So , this is our first 100 days ‘out there’ and we’re averaging about 1 breakdown per week , lets hope it stays on that average
I think we will do a later ‘what works well and what disappoints’ post as well if anyone is interested ?
anyway, back to work in exotic places 🙂