1st Year Cruising Review

We’ve travelled 3,281 nm since we left Kemah, TX last February, and 4,656 nm overall since purchasing our vessel.

Ok, so most nights we slept... and when we weren't sleeping, we were thinking about sleeping.

Ok, so most nights we slept… and when we weren’t sleeping, we were thinking about sleeping.

How we spent our nights:

  • 6 nights on land, 2 with the boat on land
  • 277 nights in a marina or at a dock
  • 56 nights at anchor or on a mooring ball
  • 27 nights at sea
Beaches and swimming feature heavily during our days. No surprise there.

Beaches and swimming feature heavily during our days. No surprise there.

We spent approximately 21 days at the beach. We visited 25 museums, volcanoes, national parks, zoos, gardens, waterfalls, and aquariums across 8 countries and 14 islands. We swam with turtles and sailed with dolphins and whales. We went scuba diving on 5 days. We cleaned up a beach. The boys completed a year of home schooling, which means roughly 210 instructional days by our count. Duncan is still slightly behind in math, however both boys are ahead in several subjects not to mention being exposed to new cultures, languages, and all sorts of marine life. Duncan is still struggling with the autism spectrum thing, but he is improving. One of his biggest problems has always been dealing with change, and we think that the diverse experiences he is having out here are helping him learn to cope with everyday life.

All play and no work... Okay... so there is a lot of work involved too.

All play and no work… Okay… so there is a lot of work involved too.

For the aspiring cruisers out there, here is a rough list of the work we’ve put into our boat. This list includes the prep before we departed on our cruise. It should give you some idea as to how much effort it takes to keep your “new to you” boat running in the first year. Basically assume that everything you haven’t replaced or fixed in the first year will need replacing or fixing soon. It is not unreasonable to spend 50-100% of the purchase price of your vessel on new systems and maintenance in the first year, if not more. Smile a lot if this doesn’t happen.

  • New Systems:
    • installed wind and depth instruments
    • installed chart plotter, radar, and autopilot
    • installed solar panels
    • installed a new shore power outlet
    • purchased new dinghy
    • new LED running lights and tricolor at the masthead
    • new LED lights throughout cabin
    • installed high water alarm
    • installed gas alarm
    • installed additional charger for 50hz countries
    • installed new fans
    • purchased wind scoop
    • purchased parachute anchor
  • Main Diesel Engine:
    • replaced primary and secondary fuel filters once
    • changed the oil 4 times
    • replaced the water pump
    • replaced the house alternator
    • replaced both house and engine regulators
    • replaced exhaust hose
    • rerouted throttle cable
    • replaced air filter
    • replaced volt, temp, oil pressure, and rpm gauges killed by faulty regulator
    • repacked stuffing box
    • replaced stuffing box
    • replaced impeller
    • replaced belts twice
    • replaced old propeller with max prop
    • changed transmission fluid
  • General Maintenance:
    • replaced the house and engine battery banks
    • replaced the house battery bank (again) killed by fault regulator
    • replaced burnt out battery disconnect switch
    • replaced backstay
    • replaced anchor chain and rode
    • replaced main and jib halyards, and reef lines
    • replaced fridge compressor and evaporator
    • serviced winches
    • bedded one leaking shroud and one port
    • bedded 3 leaking hatches
    • replaced both heads
    • changed outboard engine oil twice
    • changed outboard lower unit oil once
    • removed and serviced outboard carburetor
    • replaced outboard propeller
    • replaced gas solenoid
    • patched old dinghy
    • patched jib three times and main twice
    • oiled and realigned steering cable/quadrant
    • replaced binnacle gasket
    • polished approximately 1/8th of our stainless deck fittings
    • bottom job (e.g. repaint the bottom)
    • replaced faulty wiring on fridge, fans, AC input, and inverter/charger
    • adjusted standing rigging
    • replaced zincs twice
    • replaced mainsail shackle at gooseneck
    • serviced air conditioner
    • replaced chart plotter (under warranty)
    • serviced inverter/charger
    • replaced broiler element in stove
    • replaced bilge pump and switch
    • replaced vent hose and inspection port on one water tank
    • cleaned raw water filters multiple times
    • cleaned sump filters multiple times

Are you exhausted yet? I get exhausted just thinking about this list. Never fear. It’s been a great year and we’re looking forward to the next one!