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Old 01-12-2008, 13:04   #1
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Here's a question to you all: WHAT IS HONESTLY THE LONGEST YOU HAVE CRUISED WITHOUT ANY PROBLEMS? All cruisers that I chat to are always fixing something, waiting for a part or just waiting for something to break. One guy told me that cruising is 95% work and 5% fun!!! Not too long ago I cruised for a WHOLE WEEK without anything being wrong. But then the watermaker started to make a funny fuweeeeep sound, followed soon by falling oil pressure on one engine (so something WAS wrong after all). The more you cruise I suppose the less stressed out you get, because you know: SOMETHING will always be wrong, hahaha, the sooner you fix one thing, the sooner something else spits the dummy. DOES ANYONE HAVE MAGIC BOAT WHERE NOTHING EVER GOES WRONG??? Lets see who has the most magic boat (or looks after it the best anyway). This obviously applies to those who are actually cruising their boats.

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Old 01-12-2008, 13:21   #2
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I better get this in quick, because the record won't hold up long.

I did two weeks in a 30 year old wood powerboat with no problems. 1000 miles. I had just bought it. Figured I'd have a belt break, alternator fry, gauge quit working, depth sounder fail, head stop working, something on a boat that old HAD to break. But it didn't. Of course, it made up for it over the next 3 years.

Now, if you're gonna count groundings and ropes in the props, then the above don't count...

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Old 01-12-2008, 14:00   #3
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We've been live-aboard cruisers for thirty-seven years. Sure, I've had problems, but I often will have a year or two pass by with nothing other than timed maintenance work. We've loged 50,000 miles over those 37 years with no events greater than removing a transmission for repair; blowing out a genoa; or cutting away a fowled anchor. Sure we replace a pump now and then or replumb the galley or head, but no more often than my friends in houses. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 01-12-2008, 14:42   #4
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Captforce you have the magic boat. I will need to pm you to find out exactly what make etc all your systems are haha. But what's that funny noise i hear in your engine room? Is that smoke I see? Just kidding.
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Old 01-12-2008, 14:50   #5
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5% percent!!! Sounds like one of my ex wives describing our marriage.

Of course she was right and that's why I faked my death to get away from her.

If cruising or living was only 5% fun I'd be seriously evaluating my life.
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Old 01-12-2008, 14:58   #6
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Getting ahead of the boat is the key. Preventative maintenance should be just that preventative.

Being realistic about how long things last is another key. We have a few things on our boat right now but to be honest they are not a surprise, except the impeller. Mostly just deferred maintenance that we knew was coming.

Most boats are 30+ years old. It takes a lot to stay in front of that.
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Old 01-12-2008, 15:31   #7
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I've gone a year and a half. but the boat is on the trailer
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Old 01-12-2008, 15:55   #8
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I have to say that my experience most closely parallels dacust. I had a 33' cruiser for 6-7 years that was a sometimes liveaboard: 6 months on, 6 months off, 12 months commuting to the boat on weekends and vacations, another year of 50/50, a couple of years of occasional weekends on board, etc. Finished with 18 months liveaboard.

During that time I think once for about 2-3 weeks was there nothing broken or on any of my maintenance or repair lists. However, I will say that there were many months when nothing broke but I did have a list of maintenance work on my todo list.

It also became very obvious after a while that the times when everything was working were the times I lived aboard with greater regularity. I think it was for two reasons. One of course because I stayed ahead of the repairs, but also because fewer things broke even though they were used more often. My theory is the more frequent use was actually beneficial, keeping things moving and lubed, warmed up and dried out, not sitting static and allowed to corrode and freeze up.

Also, for me fixing things and keeping the boat in good order was part of the enjoyment. Learning how things work, how to fix things that I didn't know how to fix, installing new gear were all interesting challenges. Now that I have been landbound for a few years the experience has been quite beneficial. I have been able to do a lot more DIY projects around the house which contributes greatly to domestic tranquility and will hopefully contribute to getting me back on the water in the near future.
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Old 01-12-2008, 16:47   #9
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I think CaptForce is right about something. I am not so sure living on a boat is that much difference maintenance wise than living in a house. I was ALWAYS fixing/upgrading SOMETHING on my house, mowing, painting, etc. I bought a brand new home and had the heater go out in 3 years, the garage door jam shut (auto opener), found out I needed more insulation in the attic, had the stucco start to crack and had to get that fixed (warrantied but still a pain), busted the mower on a water meter that the township had put in too high, etc.

It just goes with living, I guess.
“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly.... who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” T.R.
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Old 01-12-2008, 18:19   #10
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We puchased our Privilege 39 directly from the factory, and we had very good luck with our major systems for the first five years of our circumnavigation. The only issue I had was needing to replace some of the rigging wires on our diamond stays by the time we reached French Polynesia.

I had the distinct feeling with our Privilege that we had a five year grace period in which very few things required attention. But after those first five years passed, we were like any other boat. If you do routine maintenance at convenient times, then things don't break at inconvenient times. If you neglect routine maintenance, then lots of things will break at the most inconvenient of times once your grace period is over.
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Old 01-12-2008, 21:52   #11
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Procrastination is the expensive way to boat. One of the two things I procrastinated just cost me $3k+ USD, a sizeable percentage of my boat's total market value. The other one I've delayed is deck wood work, which is likely to cost me just as much since one of the coamings appears to be developing a crack.

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Old 02-12-2008, 00:04   #12
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Longest period I have cruised 12 months, during that time I had a sounder fail to poor installation (my bad) and a main sheet shackle fail (no apparent reason). Can't remenber the exact dates so lets say 6 months between failures. Lack of failures mainly due (I believe) to being pedantic about everything on board and a dose of good luck. Although good luck seems to favour the prepared .
All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangereous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. T.E. Lawrence
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Old 04-12-2008, 10:42   #13
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If you can point to it on a boat, or even vaguely heard of it existing on your boat, it will fail eventually. The sole exception I've had to this was solar panels, which behaved flawlessly. Everything else is work, work, work. Were I to pick mean time between failures for things:

Refrigerators 5-10 years depending on the make model.
Pumps, probably about 2 years with regular use.
Heads, jabsco's need to have their chocker valves replace every year or so and be completely replaced every 5.
Outboards are good for around 1200 hours, then you should sell it and get a new one before the repairs get to be too expensive
Diesel engines. Maybe good for 20-25 years?
Plumbing fixtures probably good for around 10 years.
Interior paint, carpet, floors, upholstery are good for around 10 years.
Sailboat canvas is probably good for around 5-10 years depending on type.
Rigging probably should be inspected and possibly replaced every 10 years or so.
Flourescent bulbs are good for about a year, LEDs should be good for 10.
Electronics are good for around 10 years or so.
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Old 04-12-2008, 11:28   #14
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very good thread, thanks to all specially to Dave at Exit Only I think the and Ex-calif got to the core of the matter here
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Old 04-12-2008, 17:18   #15
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On my 1991 cat the 'grace' period is definitely over. I've only owned this boat for about 9 months, despite a great survey everything that can go wrong has gone wrong w.r.t. systems. Luckily we are still doing shake down type cruising before we head across the pacific, I am slowly getting getting ahead, hopefully by Feb next year all will be more or less sorted (and hopefully my budget will not be completely screwed). I built both my previous 2 boats: 54footer and a 120ft its a new experience to own a production boat previously owned by quite a few cruisers...and undoing all the funny stuff.

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