|Peek-a-boo!! You can't see them, but they can see you!|
While Scott is doing manual labor on the boat, my job - besides caring for the best baby on the planet (wink) - is to do research. Lots and lots of research. I order parts he needs, email companies and research solutions for problems. Between Scott's manual labor and my super-sleuthing, we have discovered some not-so-great things about our new boat. I will chronicle them here in the hopes that a) we don't make the same mistakes again and b) if any of you are looking for boats, you can keep your eyes peeled for these things.
Six Less-Than-Ideal Things to Discover About Your Boat
- Your chain and anchor are undersized. We knew this when we bought the boat. Not a big deal. When it comes to ground tackle we go big. In our opinion, this is not an area to cut corners on. We were planning on upgrading the 50lb generic claw anchor and 5/16 BBB chain anyway. We figured all we'd need was to purchase a new 73lb Rocna and swap out the old gypsy with a 3/8 G4 High Test gypsy and we'd be good to go. Not so. Which leads us to number 2...
- Your windlass no longer exists, and neither do the parts it. Unfortunately, the above projects are much bigger than originally thought because our Simpson Lawrence windlass is no longer in production (I literally have scoured the internet for hours and have yet to find another photo of it) and parts for an unidentifiable out-of-production windlass are hard to come by. The company has apparently been bought by Lewmar and is slowly being faded out of existence. I contacted the folks at Lewmar and they told us that our windlass is so old that not only does a 3/8 gypsy not exist, but neither do any spare parts. It's looking like we'll be in the market for a new windlass...sigh.
- Your winches no longer exist, and neither do the parts for them. Another project I was given was to purchase some service kits for our winches. Turns out, our Barient winches are also no longer in production and finding parts and service kits for them borders on the impossible. They might be working fine at the moment, but on a boat, it's safe to assume that everything will need servicing sooner than later. Guess we'll have to hope for the best here because we are NOT replacing all of our winches.
- You have aluminum water tanks. Aside from the fact that aluminum pits and corrodes, did you know that aluminum is linked to all sorts of health issues from Parkinsons to Alzheimers!? I did not. Some people suggest coating the inside of the tank with epoxy to help with corrosion and/or drinking aluminum which sounds fine and dandy, but to open up, clean out and paint our water tanks would involve tearing the boat apart. Like, literally tearing it apart. Again. Anyone care to weigh in on this matter? Big deal, not so big deal?
- Every lightbulb on board is halogen. Energy efficiency is key on a cruising boat and Scott and I replaced every single bulb on Rasmus with LEDs. They last longer and use up to 75% less energy than other types of bulbs. While this is NOT a cheap undertaking (LED bulbs range from $10-$50 bucks a pop), it was well worth it in energy saved. Last night, I went through all the lights on Asante (except the ones up the rig) and determined that not only is there not a single LED on board, but every friggin' light is halogen. Heat generating, energy sucking, fire hazard creating halogen. Sweet. Replacing all these is going to be very costly and a bigger-than-it-seems project.
- Your boat is housing baby German cockroaches. This one is the clincher. Remember when I found that one cockroach on Rasmus? Yeah. I nipped that problem in the bud right away and we never saw another after that. The other day, Scott and I were inspecting under the floor boards when we saw these tiny brown bugs crawling around. A little Googling here, a little photo identifying there and it's official: our boat is housing baby German cockroaches. The thought of this makes me gag and shudder with creepy-crawliness so Scott is, at this very moment, getting an arsenal of cockroach killing supplies (foggers, boric acid, roach motels - the works). We are not moving aboard until after we kill these bastards and, obviously, thoroughly clean the boat to remove any traces of toxins from all surfaces. Insecticides and babies do not mix.
So yeah, we're taking two steps forward and two steps back at the moment and not in the cute Paula Abdul kind of way. It's how it goes in the world of boat refitting. We'll get as much done as we can and leave the rest to accomplish as we go. In the meantime, if any of you have any advice/solutions/thoughts on any of the above we'd love to hear them!