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  • Writer's pictureSteven Hopkinson

It's not all fun and games...

It's not all fun and games. Sometimes, if we're being honest, living aboard our 39 foot Beneteau Oceanis 393, and working taking people on private sailing & snorkeling or sailing & diving charters in Roatan and the Bay Islands of Honduras (Utila, Guanaja & Cayos Cochinos) is a lot more work than it seems. There's a lot of preparation that goes into every sail and loads of preventative maintenance that goes into ensuring that our sailing vessel remains in shipshape all the time.

So while yesterday we had an amazing sailing excursion on the south side of the island, taking our guests out to a couple of, in their words, unforgettable snorkeling sites, today we cleaned City Dogs and did the necessary. We topped off the water, dumped ten gallons of diesel into the fuel tank and added some diesel preservative chemical that's supposed to keep anything from growing inside the tank and to disperse any contaminants in the fuel. It's a breeze filling the tanks since we got the handy siphon seen below. All I have to do it give it a couple shakes and the diesel flows down into the Baha filter before going down into our fuel tank. So much easier than, like, holding the tank and pouring it manually.

Then we changed the oil and the oil filter. We do that every 100 hours without fail. We've got a Yanmar engine and we've been told they can last forever if they're taken care of and consistently maintained with fresh oil changes. One of these days I'd like to upgrade my Jabsco manual oil pump but that's not a necessary purchase at this point. It still technically functions, but I'm sure there's a better, less labor intensive manner of getting this job done right.

We also changed out the thermostat on our fridge. We've got a Adler Barbour Cold Machine combo fridge/freezer and the compressor and fan have been continually cycling on/off lately when we're out on anchor and off shore power. On shore power or while we're getting good solar input or running the engine to charge the batteries, the fridge is fine, but when the batteries aren't charging and they dip below say 12.98 volts the compressor just constantly cycles on and off. And the fridge has been typically defrosting partially overnight. The troubleshooting guide for what I think is our model of Cold Machine suggests a thermostat replacement, so we decided to do it and we're testing the boat tonight to see what happens. Hopefully everything will be fine and frosty in the morning but we'll see...

We also fixed the aft head that was leaking a minuscule amount of water when pumping salt water to flush the toilet. And we taped the standing rigging turnbuckles with rigging tape. And gave the anchor locker a thorough rinsing with fresh water.

And then we took one of the winches apart. It was malfunctioning yesterday during a sail and turns out one of the gears had some sticky tabs that were failing to engage sometimes during operation. So we took it apart, cleaned it up real nice, replaced a couple of springs, re-greased them and put it back together and voila - it worked like a charm. Like I was told by the master rigger Jerry who did our new standing rigging in Ponce Inlet back in September 2017, you should be able to turn the winch with a finger. Now we can turn it again with ease.

Tomorrow we've got more things to do because, unlike Instagram indicates, life isn't one big constant highlight reel, even though sometimes, when you're sailing and diving and snorkeling in the Western Caribbean, it kind of is.


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