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Old 28-08-2019, 19:20   #16
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Re: ....And Then Reality Hits

I bought a boat a few months ago - felt the same way. Was the surveyor asleep? I think so. Did everyone (brokers, us, seller) want to get the deal done? Yup. Could I have known more? Yup. My to-do list will NOT go less than two pages no matter how many things I fix. After fixing five things, it almost went to 3 pages, but I changed the margins on the list.
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Old 28-08-2019, 19:47   #17
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Re: ....And Then Reality Hits

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Congratulations on new boat ownership! The more things you have on the boat that can break, the more time you will take to fix broken things. After awhile youíll figure out whatís worth keeping and what you can do without.
Gotta say you did a great job of figuring out what was worth keeping on your old SMJ. It was ready to sail day one after I bought it.

Just my two cents but if you buy a boat like I did from someone who has been living on the boat for at least a couple of months (more in your case) it is likely more things will be working.

Also important to me to have simple things on a boat. I would have no idea how to deal with a joker valve or an electric toilet; but even a dummy like me could figure out how to deal with a composting head.

While I have never had an issue with the electric start on my 9.9 Yamaha outboards they do have pull start if needed. I did replace the accumulator and later the water pump but again the hard part was crawling in the anchor locker; the rest was easy.

As for the OP I would advise that the worst thing you can do to a boat is not use it. I run the engines at least every two weeks when I am on a ball or at a dock. Same goes for the electronics and other systems. The more time you spend on the boat the better. As others have pointed out it should be second nature to figure out if the motor won't start because of no juice from the battery or something else.

Hope you get things figured out soon. There is nothing that makes me feel better killing the engines and falling off the wind and feel the boat under sail. Keep at it and get on the water; that will cure a lot of your ills.
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Old 28-08-2019, 20:13   #18
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Re: ....And Then Reality Hits

I'm glad to hear that you got your cat. That was a long time coming.

One thing on the toilet that swirls but doesn't actually discharge the water - is it a Raratan? I'd guess that your impeller is just turning on the shaft and the reason you see the water swirl is the macerator blade. It's happened to me several times.

It sounds like you don't have a lot of time to do some of the electrical repairs yourself but maybe you should try a little. Mechanic's crack me up - they remind me of the saying "Prognosis without diagnosis equals malpractice"
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Old 28-08-2019, 20:33   #19
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Re: ....And Then Reality Hits

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(one which our very thorough surveyor declared in above average condition... )

Surveyor needs a taste of his own medicine. Invite him to a halyard party.
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Old 28-08-2019, 20:40   #20
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Re: ....And Then Reality Hits

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Surveyor needs a taste of his own medicine. Invite him to a halyard party.


A surveyors job is to assess a boats condition on a given day and in my experience they are unable to determine what and when something will break.
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Old 29-08-2019, 00:09   #21
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Re: ....And Then Reality Hits

Also in my limited 2 year ownership experience, if you aren't doing it yourself, 50% of the time when someone else touches your boat, there will be 2 more repairs to do after.
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Old 29-08-2019, 00:30   #22
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Re: ....And Then Reality Hits

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Also in my limited 2 year ownership experience, if you aren't doing it yourself, 50% of the time when someone else touches your boat, there will be 2 more repairs to do after.
This. 100%. Same goes for cars too.
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Old 29-08-2019, 01:11   #23
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Re: ....And Then Reality Hits

The more you fix the more you know your boat. You will be very glad of this at some point
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Old 29-08-2019, 03:06   #24
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Re: ....And Then Reality Hits

Hello, and welcome to the club!

We bought ours 400S2 ex charter, survey says good condition.

Since then lots of minor and bigger repairs, but not complaining, worth it once you are on the water.

Toilets clog with calcium if flushed with sea water and hoses stink. After a month the pipe was a solid limestone rock. Now i use HCl chlorid acid, as concentrated as possible, put a liter or two in the bowl and pump it into the system, then 5 minutes later add another liter of fresh water and pump it in to get the acid out of the pumps, but keep it in the hose, add some water every 15 minutes until I assume the acid is out, then flush the system and dispose the tank.

Keeps the hoses clean from builtup, alternativve, use fresh water for flushing.

Generator, same situation, eventually not astarting after a longer break. Reason, generator battery is not connected to onboard chart sources by dessign from lagoon. Battery dead. Refitted the system to use the engine battery to start. Worked, left the boat, a month later, generator starts and stops. Reason no water flow for cooling. In the strainer at the throughhull some little weed, not too bad, the strainer at the genny empty. Tried to suck water in, not working. There is a reverse flow preventing valve at the hose. Removed and checked it, there was a jelly fish inside grown up and clogged the valve, must had been too small when entering the system, has passed the first strainer. A half jear later, same problem. Thought, it had a brother, but no. This time it was the impeller. Glad I had a spare. Everything working now.

4 leaking hatches, needed to cut out and reseal, chart plotter touch ceased to work, wind vane needed replacement, log wheel blocked by barnikles, bimini repair, new cushions, air fans ceased in the engine compartments, AC primary pumps died, pressure vent for the fresh water pump caused problems, water heater element totally corroded, needed replacement, dinghi engine gear shift corroded,...

There is always something to do. Not complaining. In addition I have done a lot of improvements too, new galley, electric, lithium batteries for serious energy, solar, 5kVA inverter charger, rigging of a parasailor, second chartplotter, depth sounder with forward scan (not worth it), usb outlets everywhere, new sheets, anchor upgrade to Mantus 85lb.

We cruise the Med now for 5 months, I have a complete workshop with all power tools on board and some spares for repairs just in case. With every problem you get to know your boat better.

We will go to a marina for the winter, i expect to do some more work there including installation of a diesel air heater for colder climates and doing all the maintenance on the engines after the season and continuing with the refit for liveaboard . Will be fun.
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Old 29-08-2019, 03:57   #25
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Re: ....And Then Reality Hits

OP- is the generator by chance a Fischer panda? I think they are prone to unreliability
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Old 29-08-2019, 04:06   #26
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A live aboard boat is but a floating house, sooner or later things need doing.
New bathroom, new kitchen, repairs to damp course, leaking roof, rewiring..
The only bonus is you can change your back yard at will.
Hang in there, its worth it.. Just..
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Old 29-08-2019, 04:10   #27
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Re: ....And Then Reality Hits

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Anyway... that's my sob story and I'm sticking to it!!! btw... I still absolutely love my "most beautiful boat in the entire world.... " And I would rather spend one day on the boat, with all the system failures.. than spending a day without her...
This is the right positive attitude to have. It can become overwhelming at times but just take every thing and every problem step by step and you should do just fine.

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Old 29-08-2019, 04:22   #28
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....And Then Reality Hits

Youíll work though it if your doing the work yourself.
If you try to be an absentee owner and expect to have everything done for you by outside help, itís likely going to break you financially.
I think I remember your Husband is still working and you guys live away from the boat?
Then what you have to look forward to is every weekend going down to the boat to fix things, then ordering parts when your back home and carrying them to the boat to install next weekend.
Probably take every weekend for a couple of months.

It took me two years, but my boat was much older and and in my case 99% of the work I did was installation as my boat was not equipped at all, so I knew going in that I would be installing lots of ďstuffĒ

You know now, but put no cleaner into a head except Raritan CP, itís expensive, but extremely concentrated, one bottle lasts us a year. We only use one head.

There will always be continual maintenance and improvements you will want to make, but Iím likely to jinx myself, but once you get ahead and are performing preventative maintenance as opposed of fixing broken stuff, Iíve been real pleased at how trouble free everything has been so far.
The key is two fold, learning the systems is step one.
Step two is getting ahead of maintenance and be preforming preventative maintenance as opposed to fixing / replacing broken stuff.
Preventative maintenance is key, and there is lots of stuff that requires it that you donít know about yet like the windlass for instance.

Iím guessing here, but it sounds like you have an electrical problem that is not fully charging your batteries, for all three engines to not start surely is dead batteries.
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Old 29-08-2019, 04:44   #29
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Re: ....And Then Reality Hits

I would have have thought most owners of a new to them boat would want to change the toilet hoses, and water hoses (unless rigid push fit) anyway.

Generator is neither here nor there. So long as you have enough solar or are on dock to charge batteries. I bet most boats sitting in 37-40c Mallorcan heat don't run AC and get along just fine.

Getting the engines started is of course important, at least one of them, so that would probably be my priority after finding the water leak (if it is large enough to be bothersome).

Otherwise, just fix/maintain at your leisure and try not to stress about it.
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Old 29-08-2019, 04:50   #30
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Re: ....And Then Reality Hits

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That was problem one.
Problem 2... The toilet in the master hull stopped working. I snaked it... detached the hose from the pump to the holding tank... clear... Took off the housing, and checked the Joker valve... it was fine... water is leaking out when the system is taken apart.. but when it's together and the electric pump is run, the water swirls but doesn't exit the system. So, before I started replacing pumps (seeing as though I'm a newby at this) I decided it might make sense to hire someone to take a look at it, and walk me through what I should check... guy said he would do it.... and never showed up.... So... that head is still out of commission..

So, on since I'm on the subject... One of the toilets in the guest gull is an electroscan unit. The previous owners showed me how to use it. (we haven't used it at all) However, I did run the system a couple of times Just to keep it moving. Well, It smelled really bad, so I used a marine toilet cleaner that the owner had left in the vanity next to the toilet. I poured some in... and left it in while we left the boat for a few weeks. When I got back to the boat.. I was checking the toilets, and ran that toilet.. and it had a failure. To make a long story short... the cleaner, they left there has ammonia in it, and after reading the user guide, found out that using anything with ammonia in it will seriously damage the unit.So.. I fried that toilet. Now, we only have one working toilet (knock wood)

Sorry to hear you've got problems. Take a deep breath... you can get through all that.

A hint, for troubleshooting something like toilets: there are several different types, and a fix for one might not be appropriate for a different type. When you ask for help, do that in a dedicated thread, and include toilet brand/model, type (vacuum, electric, manual, etc.) and whether fresh water flush or raw water flush. That can help respondents offer suggestions that might actually be relevant to your particular problem.

Another hint, using the same topic: related systems aren't actually all one system. An electroscan, for example is not a toilet. Instead, its a treatment plant for effluent that started in a toilet, but has since moved on from there. So to speak. The treatment system allows you to discharge TREATED effluent inside the 3-mile limit in appropriate circumstances (i.e. not within a No Discharge Zone aka NDZ). In the same way, a holding tank is not a toilet. And sometimes when you're having "flush" problems, the actual cause of the problem may be in any one (or several) of the connected systems.

The only hint that comes to mind for that first head just now is to check to be sure your holding tank vents are clear, and of course that the holding tank actually has room to accept a new flush. Clogged vents could cause the swirling/no eject symptom you describe.

But take heart, toilet-related problems can be a bit intimidating, but some (many? most?) are really easily and simply fixed... Just gotta start by knowing which system has which problem, relevant cause, etc.

Good luck! Take another deep breath! (If your toilet environment allows.) Enjoy! Eventually...

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