Thursday, April 08, 2010

Is there a boat contractor out there?

We are in the process of re-powering with a new engine (Yanmar - uncertain of model).  Our 35 year old Volvo Penta was just not going to do the trick.  So my dad has offered us the new engine as a wedding/ "get the hell off the dock and outta my hair so I can focus on my own boat" present.  Yeah, he's pretty awesome.  However, buying a new engine for a sailboat just isn't that easy.  First, there are engine mounts (where the engine bolts onto the bottom of the boat - everything on a boat needs to be secured TO the boat in the event of a knockdown) - each engine has its own "foot print" and adjusting these mounts for a new engine involves more than I care to get into in this post.  Then there is the exhaust; currently our exhaust is on the starboard side - but our new engine has a port side exhaust manifold. Then there's prop shaft rotation.  Ours is left, new engine is right.  There's more, but you get the point.  These "little" issues aren't impossible, they just make things more complicated.  Nothing (and I mean nothing) on a boat is turn key.  Nothing.  But, this is what makes it more fun.  Kindof like a rubix cube.  And boy are those fun! ;)

Numerous times, Scott and I have dreamed how nice it would be if there were a general "boat contractor" - someone you paid to execute the project at hand and put the right people in the right place.  We watch a lot of HGTV (home and garden television) and like to watch those shows where they flip houses.  Not to say that flipping a house is easy, but the fact that you can find people who can do whatever work you need through a simple Google search makes us a little jealous.  There are experts EVERYWHERE.  But then we realize that landlubbers will have those same people at their disposal if something goes wrong.  And herein lies the fundamental difference between those at sea, and those on land.  We will not.  If our plumbing fails - we're going to have to fix it.  If our engine dies, we're going to have to service it.  If our boat leaks, we're going to have to find it and plug it (*universe, please don't let our boat leak! Thanks!*) There is no 24 hour service in the middle of the ocean.  We will have to be self sufficient and, most importantly, we will have to be the experts on our boat.  On everything.

While this fact is sobering - it is exhilarating at the same time.  We are going to learn so much.  We are going to be challenged in SO MANY ways.  We are going to see what we're made of.  And, as an added bonus, we'll know exactly what our boat is made of. 


Brittany & Scott


Erick said...

Great post. While I wish I had the money to pay someone else to rebuild my boat, I love the fact that I will know it like the back of my hand and be self sufficient to fix it when need be. Its the blessing of being forced into DIY work thanks to lack of funds.

Lisa Hanneman said...

Man, I admire your moxie. Here's to no holes in your boat (insert picture of me with wine glass over tapas with wet hair...).

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