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Old 04-10-2007, 10:06 PM   #21
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 9

Originally Posted by Trim50 View Post
For long distance cruising purposes, I could put forth a VERY strong arguement why anything other than 6 Volt Lead Acid

would be a mistake
I agree that 6 volt lead acid are the ONLY way to go. I know of at least three boats that had Lifeline AGMs fail early based on charging problems.. either too little or too much. Lead acid are easier to measure for problems, and there are lots of books available about testing procedures. If you have a good charging system, they are pretty low maintenance. Just add water and clean the tops every so often.

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Old 04-11-2007, 01:21 PM   #22
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 41

In the end everything will break down... Sun, salt and moving-all-the-time are serious killers.

That doesn't mean you have to go basic, just make sure you understand what you carry and to be able to live without.

And, the most important, keep it all very simple. Wire everything seperate, no more electronics then needed (for example: a watermaker only needs a on/off switch and a high-pressure valve: you can do without all other knobs and meters). Digital charts on notebook are OK, as long as you have back-up information available (pilots, (printed) paper charts) so that you can make landfall. Electrical autopilot is fine but doing a very important job and one that you definitly need: steering. So take a full spare or, even better, use a windvane self steering.

What 'big things' failed us during a 2 year circumnavigation:

- 2 brandnew oversized harken blocks (causing $1200 damage to railing and scepters )

- Simpson & Lawrence (now Lewmar) anchorwinch (old, but hardly used) no more parts available after Lewmar bought the company...

- engine rawwater pump (amidst shipping lane T in the red sea, with 0 knots of wind...). Spare took only 5 days to arrive in Massawa Eritrea (send from Holland with dhl).

- compass (!!!) of raymarine autopilot: no course keeping after that....)

- Furlex forestay roller (able to temp fix to reach trinidad)

- lot of small parts, blocks and lines, due to wearing and tearing.

Just be prepared. Carry spares for the most important parts or be able to repair them (or do without) and make sure you stay in touch with others. Remember, there is hardly a place on earth where there are no other cruisers and/or a fedex/dhl agencies for help and supplies!!! We helped a lot of other cruisers and were helped by others.


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Old 12-11-2008, 02:38 PM   #23
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 38

This is such an interesting, informative topic. Thank you.

Any more system/equipment failures?
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Old 12-12-2008, 03:48 PM   #24
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Home Port: Washington DC
Vessel Name: SV Mahdee
Posts: 3,236

Originally Posted by Trim50 View Post
I had a $5 water hose (between raw water pump & heat exchanger) break that almost sank my boat.

Lessons learned:

1) Cheapest parts can cause greatest damage.

2) Diesels engines can continue running when almost completely submerged.
First response:

Follow up response:

On boats, regarding hoses, o-rings, belts, other little stuff...folks are frequently penny wise and pound foolish (e.g. "I'll fix it if it breaks") or the opposite--throw money at the big things without understanding if the dollars spent are really increasing performance and/or safety and reliability of the boat but yet overlook these little important items. True too often, the money for routine maintenance just isn't there and folks justify to themselves that they'll be able to deal with a problem if/when it happens. Its a fine line for each of us to know what "needs" to be replaced and what is just throwing money at the boat in fear of something breaking.

Both David and I are, umm....well, "hard on things" puts it lightly. We expect things to perform. Once, we took a nice 35mm camera into a shop for repair to the shutter. It was a three year old camera that had seen many spelunking trips, canoe trips, sailing trips, and it was pretty grungy of course. When a friend of mine and I went to pick it up, the repair guy asked what it had "been through" ... my friend, who knows David and I so well, quickly chirped in that "her husband is the kind of guy who feels like you should be able to throw the camera on the ground, stomp on it, pick it up and have it work perfectly"

We do have a philosophy that when something breaks--we seriously consider whether it is needed, if it is designed to the rigors of what we're doing with it, if a simpler, cheaper solution will be more reliable--or if we need to beef something up or get rid of it because realistically we cannot maintain it in the harsh environment we're likely to use it in.

Still in the boatyard, so can't tell you what broke "out there" but looking forward to finding out soon

"Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda

What we're doing - The sailing life aboard and the Schooner Chandlery.

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