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Old 28-08-2019, 16:12   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Leavenworth, KS
Boat: 2011 Lagoon 450F
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....And Then Reality Hits

So, almost exactly a month ago, I posted "for all you dreamers"... About how after many years of dreaming, we bought a 2011 Lagoon 450.. "dreams come true'.. right?

Well.. 4 weeks later, and reality hits. about a minute after taking possession of our boat (one which our very thorough surveyor declared in above average condition... ) The generator wouldn't start. It was 110 in the shade, and we had no air conditioning. We thought it was a bad charger for the generator battery.. we bought a replacement one. US, and our boat is wired Euro, and then we hired an electrician to MacGyver it to make it work. Electrician came yesterday, and.. it may still be a starter, but we have a bad inverter that needs to be fixed before he can test it... Did I say "fix it"? I should have said 'replace'... B-O-A-T

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)

Then, today I went to fire up the engines.. (not sailing today, but I've been gone for a few weeks, and thought that I should check all systems).. well... neither engine would start. grrrrrrr…

Then, when I went out to the boat (we live in Kansas, and our boat is in Delaware), I went with 2 dozen specific jobs to get taken care of (or at least start the ball rolling)… 4 days later, my list has expanded to 96 items that need attention!!! Now, granted most of them are tiny... cupboard door that needs balancing... nailholes that need to be filled... water leak that needs to be traced, and fixed.. etc... But there are a few medium to big projects on the list. and still.... wow

And for those of you who will pipe in and say things like, "maybe you can't handle having a boat".. or "didn't you know about how much maintenance there would be".... I knew full well what I was getting into. But, knowing, and preparing, is one thing... but to actually be in it is another.

I have several friends who have also taken this journey and are anywhere from 3 months to 4 years ahead of us, and in talks with them, they have all gone through this as well. 2 bought brand new boats, that had major issues from the start, and had problems getting warranty work done.. my other 2 friends bought used boats. (much older and needing work when they bought them.) I felt absolutely SURE that we bought a very good well maintained used boat, and it is... And still we are feeling discouraged... or perhaps overwhelmed is a better word.

I think the most surprising part of this has been how fast, and how FAR the fall is once you realize your dream. I was hoping to have at least a little honeymoon period to enjoy how far we've come... But.. nope. So,to those still following along in my story.. even when you've done all your homework... and prepared fully for ownership... you will still be completely shocked at how much can go wrong so fast....

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...
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Old 28-08-2019, 16:17   #2
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Re: ....And Then Reality Hits

Welcome to the wonderful world of boat ownership!

Sometimes its a nightmare!
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Old 28-08-2019, 16:39   #3
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Location: Australia
Boat: Milkraft 60 ex trawler
Posts: 4,653
Re: ....And Then Reality Hits

Big money boat, big money repairs, often in exotic locations
Living the dream. (-;
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Old 28-08-2019, 16:49   #4
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Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
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Re: ....And Then Reality Hits

Scarlet, check the oil pressure in the genset. Some won't start, if the oil is low.

I'm sure the ElectraSan folks can tell you what needs to happen with your unit. You might actually prefer to swap it out for a new one over repairing it, but I'm pretty sure you can actually repair it, may have a bunch of seals to replace.

It is how life is, there are terrific highs, and sometimes you crash emotionally, and then you bounce back. Sometimes you just crash, and then float back to the surface, and it is a blessed relief, to just be in the middle.

You'll get it all taken care of, give yourself space to do things. No one ever has all of the things done when they leave, anyhow, because the list grows faster on the bottom than the rate of shrinkage at the top.

Who scorns the calm has forgotten the storm.
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Old 28-08-2019, 16:55   #5
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Location: Australia
Boat: Milkraft 60 ex trawler
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Re: ....And Then Reality Hits

We had electrasan in our vessel at some stage, didn't last long and more trouble than they are worth said the previous owner.
Replaced with saniloo. Very simple system in comparison.
Description below from 2007 article

This system features two close-mounted polyethylene tanks (385x235x360mm overall), one being a 7L reservoir of swimming pool ‘Liquid Chlorine (10% Sodium Hypochlorite) ‘ enough for a number of flushes. A peristaltic pump is triggered when the toilet’s macerator pump runs, adding chemical as the waste enters a 14L ‘kill’ (treatment) tank. When this is full the toilet pump forces the overflow either into a holding tank, or via a diverter valve, directly overboard. It’s a simple system, with just a few LEDs and level switches, designed for easy DIY installation, and retails for around $1,600.

Auto-San ( is a similar device
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Old 28-08-2019, 17:04   #6
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Re: ....And Then Reality Hits

What does "wouldn't start" mean? Did it crank but not start, or not even crank?

In the case of no crank, first step is to check the battery voltage.

Cranking but not starting is a totally different kettle of fish.

I'm alarmed that you still don't know if it's the battery, the charger, or the starter. The most basic of troubleshooting steps would have told you this. Why did you think it was the charger?
Bristol 31.1, SF Bay.
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Old 28-08-2019, 17:05   #7
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Re: ....And Then Reality Hits

My boat's a few steps away from my back door, but there's always SOMETHING to fix.
Had a couple visit yesterday, she's probably 200 lbs, he's gotta be at least 300.
Long story short, they wanted a tour of the boat.

They were very polite so we broke our "no fat chicks" rule.
Upon exiting the boat, he put his whole 300+ on his tippy toe left foot as he exited the cockpit.

When he did I heard what sounded like a gunshot. It was a teak bench board snapping in half.

He just said, "Sorry about that". That was the end of it.
I was too much in shock to say anything.

Oh, and one more thing, he has a wood shop for a hobby.

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The question is not, "Who will let me?"
The question is,"Who is going to stop me?"

Ayn Rand
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Old 28-08-2019, 17:09   #8
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Re: ....And Then Reality Hits

The individual issues the OP posted aren't really what I see as the point. They were just reported as examples of situations that lead up to the "Oh ****, what have I done?" that comes with boat ownership when things aren't going "right".

I recently bought a catamaran that I knew needed a lot of attention. Background:
I rebuilt a monohull from the ground up, so I know how challenging boat maintenance can be. Basically, I told myself every single system would need to be renewed soon. And sure enough, I've been slowly replacing things, letting the next thing to "fail" guide me as to priority. I had a fuel tank pumped dry today because it started leaking. Lost 50 gallons of fuel (200 dollars and it cost 350 to pump the tank dry). That hurts. But you knew what you were getting into right?

It can get really overwhelming. The key thing is to go slow, handle things as they come up (including maintenance) and one day you'll get as caught up as you can. But in the meantime, be sure to enjoy the boat and have fun with it. Lower the expectations for the boat and increase your expectations of having some fun while on the boat.

Boats are never perfect. Neither are people. But they're both amazing.
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Old 28-08-2019, 17:10   #9
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Re: ....And Then Reality Hits

Trying not to be condescending, but did you watch too many “gone with the wynn’s” videos and think you could just buy a boat and sail off………

It doesn’t work that way in real life, it didn’t work for them either. They just glossed over how many repairs and how much money went into getting their boat ready to go. They probably spent 150K on repairs and upgrades just to go over to the Bahamas……..

Anyhow, welcome to the real world of cruising………. Learn how to fix it, or be prepared to pay…….
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Old 28-08-2019, 17:25   #10
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Re: ....And Then Reality Hits

LOL! I have an older boat, less complicated boat and feel your pain. It truly is always something from leaking tanks to the raw water intake being clogged with seaweed!
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Old 28-08-2019, 17:41   #11
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Re: ....And Then Reality Hits

Hey Scarlet, I know it hurts and is intimidating. We are going through it too, including the travel between home and boat.
Take it one step at a time, get one system working based on your own priority. To quote from the movie "the Martian"
*At some point, everything's gonna go south on you and you're going to say, this is it. This is how I end. Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work. That's all it is. You just begin. You do the math. You solve one problem and you solve the next one, and then the next. And If you solve enough problems, you get to come home.

Keep at it and see you on the water
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Old 28-08-2019, 17:50   #12
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Re: ....And Then Reality Hits

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 you’ll figure out what’s worth keeping and what you can do without.
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Old 28-08-2019, 18:03   #13
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Re: ....And Then Reality Hits

The good news is after a while you'll look back on these problems and think, "Man those issues were nothing."

When you're out at sea and you think to yourself, "God, I hope I make it through this..." then you'll have a much better perspective of how trivial the problems you just listed here are. I'm not kidding.

Just keep the faith. The risks are worth the rewards.
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Old 28-08-2019, 18:07   #14
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Re: ....And Then Reality Hits

Positive waves. I feel your pain, shock, and amazement. At least you're finding these issues before a shakedown / passage. Hang in there, you can do it.
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Old 28-08-2019, 18:10   #15
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Re: ....And Then Reality Hits

Originally Posted by smj View Post
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 you’ll figure out what’s worth keeping and what you can do without.
This is the voice of experience.

Your list of 96 items has about 80 items you can do later.

Get on those 20 important ones that will make you feel better. Generator is #1 if not at a dock. Get the AC working so you can cool off and think.

Make threads here about each problem. Google specific problems and models of equipment.

Every boat is just like yours. New or used. It's our job as owners to stay reasonably ahead of it.

Don't feel overwhelmed. Try to get used to having a boat list. We all have an extensive one. You're not alone.
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