The title of this post is a well-known cruising witticism. When I would hear it in the past, I would laugh and think that surely this was part of some negative propaganda campaign that was meant to deter flocks of would-be sailors from crowding beautiful tropical anchorages.
Now, a few months into our journey, I see glimpses of truth in the saying. We’ve had broken stuff. And, I spend a lot of time researching, troubleshooting, fixing. Google is my friend, at least when WIFI is available. When not, I lean on more experienced cruisers for tips.
Here are the things that have broken so far, just off the top of my head:
- We had our brand new Garmin GPS unit replaced in Miami.
- We had our GPS unit reinstalled in Bimini and then again in Nassau. Now it works beautifully.
- Our low pressure hose blew off our engine-driven refrigeration compressor, creating a smoky mess in our engine room when we were 20 miles from the nearest land.
- We destroyed the bearings in our refrigeration compressor. It is dead.
- We ordered a Honda 2000i gas powered generator to run our AC refrigeration unit until we get back to Florida. It should arrive on a flight from the U.S. tomorrow.
- Both heads (toilets) clogged badly. (Marine toilets cannot be unclogged with a plunger. You must disassemble them and take out whatever is causing the blockage.) Not fun but I got stuff flowing again.
- We (okay, I) broke the pump handle in the forward head. Well, technically, it was the little bracket that the pump handle fits into.
- We ordered a new pump assembly for the aft head. It will arrive on the flight tomorrow.
- I rebuilt the floorboard hatch in the galley. It needed new plywood supports.
- I re-inforced the plywood divider that separates our anchor chain from our anchor rode in the anchor locker. I screwed in an aluminum bracket to give it strength.
- Our new LED anchor light on the top of the mast stopped working a few weeks ago. I had to go up to the top of the mast twice to try to fix it. Unfortunately it is still kaput so for an anchor light, we are using a lightbulb that we hoist up the mast 15 feet.
- Our saltwater washdown pump stopped working. I need to find where it is located and figure out if it is a pump or electrical issue. That can wait–I need a beer.
Of course, when we aren’t fixing broken things, we can spend quality family time cleaning and polishing stainless steel fixtures, sanding and varnishing teak, and of course, washing and waxing the boat.