Breaking Strength

Toward the end of our recent trip, we remarked to ourselves that the boat had done really well.  We had the sense that nothing had broken, but a review of the log tells a different story.

At the end of the trip, the “broken” list was:

  • The washing machine doesn’t work on inverter power.  It comes on, but then freaks out and generally just doesn’t function.  The inverters are supposed to put out a pure sine wave, but I assume the washer is sensitive to some noise or anomaly in the signal.  To get the washer to work correctly, we have to run the big diesel generator for the whole 90 minute cycle (per load).
  • The generator stopped inexplicably on two consecutive runs early in the trip.  I waved some tools in its general direction and it seems to have taken the hint.  No more trouble.
  • The inner forestay tang broke.  I have no idea how this happened and I’m a little disconcerted by it.  I would not have guessed that this shroud was ever under enough load to break, but maybe three days of wave action generated by TS Debby was enough to fatigue it.  We replaced the staysail halyard with a low-stretch line, cranked it down, and carried on.

Broken Inner Forestay

  • Our anchor loads during the storm were enough that we could watch the bridle legs stretch.  Despite adjusting the wear point several times, the lines chafed enough that I think they warrant replacement.  And spares.
  • We leaked in places that we’ve never leaked before.  If those are the conditions it takes to make those places leak, then they aren’t even worth fixing.  The rain was tremendous and the wind didn’t allow the water to drain properly, so the boat was effectively submerged.
  • A newish cordless drill was dropped overboard by one of my little helpers.  It’s expected that tools will go overboard from time-to-time, and I took this in stride.  I did dive to look for it, but it was nowhere to be found.
  • Our free kayak developed a new crack after we let the kids use it.

Four on a Kayak 1

  • Our radar refused to turn on.  It might be a simple fix, or it might be time for a new 4G broadband unit.
  • The starboard alternator belt began squealing when the alternator load came on.  It was funny because we’d be motoring along just fine, then Tanya would use her Vita-Mix for something and the belt would start squealing as the alternator tried to compensate.  I’d had the belt off recently and probably didn’t put it back with enough tension.  Time to replace it anyway.
  • The port engine got reluctant to start.  It normally starts easily enough, but runs rough until it warms up.  Not wanting to start at all is new.  Probably the injectors need to be rebuilt.  I should carry spares.
  • When docking at our destination marina, I had the brilliant idea of using a dock line to check the boat’s momentum instead of using the engines.  What I didn’t account for is the upward force on the cleat from the fixed dock.  The result was a broken deck cleat, but it didn’t just fall off like the picture implies.  I found that broken piece 90 feet away.  I’m probably lucky it didn’t give me a haircut along the way.

Broken Cleat

  • The dinghy motor’s electric tilt and trim stopped working again.  I think I’ve replaced that switch three times already.
  • Last, but not even close to least, Tanya’s Vita-Mix stopped working temporarily.  Apparently, it was just over-heated, but for an hour it looked like we were all going to starve.  We’re adding a refurbished machine to our complement of spare parts.