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Discussion Starter #1
I first posted this thread in July, 2008. Rather then resurrect the entire thread, perhaps this update will prove entertaining.

ORIGINAL POST

"After reading another thread about someone losing their steering, I started to think about some of the problems I've had with my 1981 Hunter 30. So, I thought I'd share my experiences.

Several years ago (2006) I lost steering on my Hunter as I was leaving my marina slip in the Abacos. After a bit of confusion, I managed to power back to the dock and toss them a line. The steering cable had broken and needed replacement. Oh well, no vacation cruising on the Sea of Abaco for us that year. We'd just have to hang out at our beautiful marina/resort and make the best of the situation. Stuff happens, after all.

Fast forward to the following year (2007).

Same slip, same marina, same cast of characters. After waiting 3 days of our 10-day vacation for the wind and seas to die down, its time to leave. While backing out of the slip (with my steering working just fine) the transmission cable breaks. I'm in reverse, heading toward the boats docked behind me, so I immediately shut down the engine. Luckily the wind pushed me back close enough to the dock so the dock guys could pull me back into my slip. The shifter cable had broken and needed replacement. Oh well, we spent the rest of our vacation sitting at the bar drinking Kalik. Stuff happens, after all.

Fast forward to this spring (2008)

We wait 2 days for the winds to die down before venturing forth into the Sea of Abaco. This year we're able to leave the dock without incident. Hooray! All systems are go and we've got lots of great places to visit and explore.

Because of the expected passage of a strong frontal system, we head over toward Marsh Harbour and anchor in a sheltered spot east of the ferry dock.

Well, after a glorious afternoon the clouds start rolling in and the wind picks up. By 1 am the wind is howling and the boat is swinging back and forth, testing the holding power of my Delta anchor. No problem, it's set deep.

The next day, the wind continues to howl (25-35 knts.), but were lying comfortably at anchor. We've got books to read, food to eat, and rum to drink. Life is good!

The following day the wind dies down a bit, but all the rum's gone, so it's time to resume our cruise. When I start the engine, the first thing I notice is that there's no water coming out with my exhaust. I head down below to check the raw water intake to see if it's clogged with something. Everything looks good, but warm water if flowing down under the engine and into the bilge. This tells me that the water pump is doing its job. I turn off the engine. Obviously, something's not right with the cooling/exhaust system and I don't want to risk engine damage. So, it's back to the marina we sail. This marks the third straight year that Intuition has kicked our butts, but hey, stuff happens.

Our poor, old boat now sits on a mooring ball waiting for a new exhaust. At this point, I have no idea as to the extent of the repairs needed or their cost. I can only hope that the old adage "Trouble always comes in 3's" holds true and nothing breaks next spring. I'm not getting my hopes up, because we all know that stuff happens."

FAST FORWARD TO MAY 2009

Well, trouble also comes in 4's!

This year my exhaust is working perfectly, but my 2-year old battery bank is dead as a doornail when I arrive at Man-O-War Cay. The boat yard is unable to get them to take a charge so I try charging them with a brand-new charger and get the same results, nada. Fortunately, I can replace them for around $700. Not a problem, except the boat yard doesn't accept credit cards. Well, I could buy new batteries and go down to reduced food and rum rations during my visit, or remain tied up at a lovely, credit card accepting, marina for $30/night. The marina wins, hands down.

So, this year's cruise was confined to the dock of the Man-O-War Marina and Intuition is now back on its mooring with a new starting battery to run the bilge pump. The big, expensive, house battery, will have to wait until next year.

I am convinced that next year we'll get to go cruising again. However, I'm not willing to bet money on it because everyone knows, "stuff happens".
 

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My heart goes out to you! What a disappointment and stuff happening 3 years in a row.
You mean not everyone has stuff like this happening to them every year? I thought that was why waterfront bars are always so busy!

I had the same thing happen with the transmission cable, actually, on a '77 Hunter 33, right as we were drifting to a stop between the open leaves of a bascule bridge. The result was the same too: we weren't 300 yards out of our marina leaving for a week-long vacation which then had to be canceled. That was my first major let-down in sailing. Since then, though, I've gotten better about simply taking such things in stride.

Reading Patrick O'Brian's very detailed and historically inspired Aubrey-Maturin novels has also helped. Sailing has ever been thus and ever will be.
 

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Easy solution - do what Maine Sail does - replace everything every year

Problem solved.
 

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Telstar 28
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Ouch... that sucks Alan...
 

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Has the boat's name been changed at some time and not done properly? :)

We decided to change the name of our Morgan 30 just after we got it, but didn't get round to doing it properly until this season. Prior to the de-naming/naming ceremony, we had a list of things went wrong - failed furler, broken shifter cable (twice), failed sea-**** etc etc. Since the officially ceremony earlier this year (with due pomp and circumstance), nothing has gone wrong.

Of course, being a rational and sensible human being (hmm, maybe that's overstating things a bit....), I don't belive in all this mumbo-jumbo stuff. On the other hand, one cannot be too careful when it comes to sailing!

Good luck with 2010 (maybe you could try a re-naming ceremony just to be on the safe side).

Stuart
 

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This is a very good point... while I won't say I'm a superstitious person, offending the sea gods is not something to be trifled with lightly. :) I've seen too many occurrences of similar events to believe that there is nothing to the sea gods.

Has the boat's name been changed at some time and not done properly? :)

We decided to change the name of our Morgan 30 just after we got it, but didn't get round to doing it properly until this season. Prior to the de-naming/naming ceremony, we had a list of things went wrong - failed furler, broken shifter cable (twice), failed sea-**** etc etc. Since the officially ceremony earlier this year (with due pomp and circumstance), nothing has gone wrong.

Of course, being a rational and sensible human being (hmm, maybe that's overstating things a bit....), I don't belive in all this mumbo-jumbo stuff. On the other hand, one cannot be too careful when it comes to sailing!

Good luck with 2010 (maybe you could try a re-naming ceremony just to be on the safe side).

Stuart
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Stuart,

Good suggestion!

I've been thinking about re-naming Intuition, "Damifino", after the patron saint of Italian sailors. By doing this I can incorporate my boat's new name into lots of conversations.

For example, if somone asks me if re-naming my boat is a good thing, all I have to answer is "Damifino".

If someone asks me what's apt to break on the boat next year, I can simply answer "Damifino".

Finally, if some one asks me what the new boat name means, all I need reply is "Dam-if-I-no"
 

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That's what I like to see, a man who can keep his sense of humour when the fates are dumping s**t on him! Or do I detect a hint of hysteria creeping in? :)

Stuart
 

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I would advise having a local agent you trust look after the yacht, run her up before you get there and keep the electrolite topped up in the batteries.

It would save you thousands $$$ every year.

Alternatively, get a condo
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Batteries were full, although I'm not sure how frequently the boatyard started up the engine. Will try to nail this down.

Actually, I've stared thinking of Intuition as my 30 ft. Abaco condo, permanently tied to the dock of a lovely marina. Hey, we all have to cope with life as best we can! It's either this or prosac.
 

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SaltwaterSuzi/CapnLarry
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A lady we met in the Bahamas a couple of years ago said, "Everything, EVERYTHING on a boat is broken. You just don't know it yet."

My own personal philosophy (from years of futile attempts at boat repairs):

The Rule of Threes:

"Every project on a boat will take three times as long, and cost three times as much as the original estimate. Further, you will discover, on starting any project that there are three other projects which necessarily must be done before starting the original project. Each of these three additional projects is subject also to the rule of threes.

Addendum: Any attempt to incorporate the rule of threes into your original estimate will result in yet another tripling of the time and money.

There is no method by which you can avoid this Rule without selling your boat. (You will receive about 1/3 what you expected. The buyer will pay about three times what he expected.)"

I have a silly poem to this affect:

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The Rule of Three’s
By Elliot MacDonald<o>></o>
<o>
</o>
<o></o>It’s a perfect day to varnish, First Mate’s not here today.<o></o>
The sun is warm, the air is clear, teak looks a little gray.<o></o>
I can freshen up those hand rails in three hours, maybe less.
I’ll have it done in no time; I’ll even clean my mess.<o></o>
<o>
</o>
So off I go to West Marine with my list of stuff to get:<o></o>
Some masking tape, some sandpaper, some varnish and I’m set.<o></o>
I kind of set a budget; it’s not that big a chore.<o></o>
I’ll spend less than thirty dollars, or just a little more.<o></o>
<o>
</o>
Back at the boat and I decide this job could get done quicker<o></o>
With my electric sander and a little sip of liquor<o></o>
I sip my rum while I string out extension cords but then<o></o>
The electric isn’t working when I try to plug things in.<o></o>
<o>
</o>
So I’ll give up on the sanding and solve this problem first<o></o>
I trace the wires and find one loose, I anticipate the worst<o></o>
But luck is with me, it can be fixed with a crimp-on wire connect.<o></o>
I plug it in and smoke pours out, must be one more defect.<o></o>
<o>
</o>
I quickly throw the breaker off and hope no harm was done.<o></o>
I sip my rum and contemplate; this boat work’s so much fun.<o></o>
So then I check the main fuse to the inverter – then I groan.<o></o>
It’s a fifty dollar item and for sure the damn thing’s blown!<o></o>
<o>
</o>
And off I go to West Marine for the second time today.<o></o>
They all know me by my first name, I am how they earn their pay.<o></o>
They know I’ll stop and see them sixty times when I’m in port<o></o>
My visit’s brief, I’m busy, I must go back and find my short.<o></o>
<o>
</o>
I find the short and fix it and then replace the fuse.<o></o>
I plug the sander in, but first, a little sip of booze.<o></o>
We sailors have to drink, you know, it helps to keep us sane.<o></o>
It helps us to forget our woe, it helps to numb the pain.<o></o>
<o>
</o>
I go to the fridge; ice for my drink will make it nice and cool<o></o>
But what’s this puddle on the sole, it looks more like a pool.<o></o>
Oh, crap, the fridge is broken, I’ve got another task<o></o>
You know where I’ll be going soon, you don’t even have to ask.<o></o>
<o>
</o>
I’m back again to see my friends at my local West Marine.<o></o>
I’m sure that as a customer, I’m the best they’ve ever seen<o></o>
This time I need an obscure part for my marine refrigerator<o></o>
Jim says they always stock that part, they all fail now or later.<o></o>
<o>
</o>
I estimated thirty bucks, I’ve now spent ninety eight.<o></o>
My ice is gone, my rum is warm and back comes my first mate.<o></o>
She cheerfully unloads her bags and then I hear her sing,<o></o>
“And what did you get done today?” I answer, “Not a thing!”<o></o>
<o>
:(
</o>
<o>
</o>
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Ha! Our rule of three's was...if something goes kaput...2 other things will go kaput in short order.
(i.e. if the stuffing box is leaking badly...the bilge pump will fail...and the manual backup will suddenly need a new gasket. )
Maybe you should consider an addendum!! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Great poem! You've captured the essence of owning a boat.

When I was re-fitting Intuition in Ft. Lauderdale back in 2003, I not only got to know the folks at West Marine by their first names, but I also became bosom buddies with the folks at Sailorman and Boat Owners Warehouse. I think they still send me Christmas cards.

With your permission, please allow me to offer two more verses to your poem:

Not a thing? my admiral asks.
When I left you had your list of tasks.
But, honey lamb I tiredly plead,
On a boat like ours repairs we'll need.

Enough of this, says admiral wife!
Puddles and shorts will not suffice.
If only you had listened to me,
We'd be ashore in a condo, not broken down at sea.

Burma Shave
 

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SaltwaterSuzi/CapnLarry
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Not a thing? my admiral asks.
When I left you had your list of tasks.
But, honey lamb I tiredly plead,
On a boat like ours repairs we'll need.

Enough of this, says admiral wife!
Puddles and shorts will not suffice.
If only you had listened to me,
We'd be ashore in a condo, not broken down at sea.
GREAT! I particularly chuckled at the Burma Shave - brings back memories - Burma Shave and Mad Magazine were where I learned about great poetry. My favorite:

I think that I shall never hear
A poem as lovely as a beer.
The brew that Joe's Bar has on tap
With golden base and snowy cap.
The foamy stuff I drink all day
Until my mem'ry melts away.
Poems are made by fools, I fear
but only Schlitz can make a beer.

I'd bet money ( a small amount, I'm poor) that the author of that was a sailor, though it appeared in Mad Magazine (What, me worry?) about 1960. My copy was confiscated by my English teacher. Teacher's didn't get paid much back then and she couldn't afford to buy her own apparently.
 
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