Thursday, September 29, 2011

Snowballs in September!

Did you ever notice how one thing leads to another? Seriously, things seem to escalate. In ordinary lives, little things like wiping up one small spill on the counter can start an unforeseen chain of events ("Uh-oh, now the rest of the counters could use a swipe. And, look, the stove needs attention...") and things just grow. And grow. And GROW!! 

Equinox's annual hurricane-season spruce-up this year seems to be no exception: usually after 8 to 12 months of cruising, there are the expected, regular things that need attention and require maintenance. This year though, with over 2000 hours on the engines and many more nautical miles under her hull, many more systems were due for attention. To name a few: the hydraulic stabilizers and bow thruster needed a required replacement of parts and an oil change at the 2000 hour mark; the engines, exhausts, rudder seals, shafts and seals were inspected and serviced where needed; the auto-pilot brushes were worn and needed replacement; the leaky hot water heater was replaced with a smaller, marinized unit, and one of the depth sounder transducers were replaced, among other smaller projects. Such is the case with a boat! You love it and you maintain it, so it treats you well! Yet, one maintenance item leads to another and things just snowball! Better duck!

This year though, we also incorporated a few upgrade ideas: we added a back-up raw-water pump for the hydraulics system, so that in the event of an issue with the primary pump, we wouldn't have to deal with squeezing past a hot engine to repair things while rolling in rough seas. (Typically the time when things would - and do -  go wrong!) We added a sun pad to the top of the pilot house for the pleasure of our sun-bunny guests, and devised a sun-shade/rain-catchment awning for the area aft of the flybridge. (Aboard a boat, we get plenty of sun as without even trying, and hopefully, the sun-shade will allow for cooler temperatures below.) We're also moving the life-raft from the foredeck to a mounting on the railing of the aft flybridge for easier deployment if necessary (and boy, do we hope it's never necessary!). Finally, we're replacing the obnoxiously loud and power-hungry freezer on the flybridge with a more efficient unit that will run off the inverter. One improvement led to another...snowball, snowball!

This week, of course, is crunch time, as we are now trying to wrap up the work at the yard, and get Equinox back in the water. As always, if it weren't for the last minute, things would never get done, so now...we're in it up to our eyeballs! Snowballs, snowballs... avalanche!!

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