Life on a Boat – September 18-24

  • September 25, 2020
Life on a boat September 25
Life on a Boat - September 18-24

Life on a boat sounds so romantic, until it doesn’t. This was definitely a week of storms both literal and figuratively. I woke up Wednesday night to, perhaps, the loudest rain ever to hit our fiberglass roof. Then we went to bed last night expecting significant wind overnight. While it wasn’t as bad as forecast, we still were bouncing a bit.

While the literal storms were easy to prepare for, it was the figurative storm that continues to be harder to wrap my head around. This is the ongoing saga of why our new starboard engine has a broken push rod, stuck valve and other assorted damage.

So welcome to life on a boat for September 18-24.

It could be worse???

Life on a boat September 18 - oops

This is not the right block-off gasket for a closed cooling system… those two little circular holes are causing a few grey hairs right now.

Or maybe I’m trying really hard to be optimistic since the option is sitting down, crying and drinking way too much wine. When we bought our 1978 Tollycraft 37 as our liveaboard and cruising boat two years ago, we knew she had some mechanical issues. Ultimately, we decided to change out the engines and install new ones instead of trying to fix parts here and there. The thinking was we (me) would be more confident when we were on the water.

Now, with just over 40 hours on the engines, they are hooped, pooched, broken, you name the word that’s what they are (well starboard definitely is and I’m pretty sure port is the same). Why? Because somewhere along the line, “professionals” installed the wrong gaskets on our cooling system.

We needed block-off gaskets. We don’t have block-off gaskets. We have the opposite of block-off gaskets. So from the second the boat splashed into the water, we’ve been running raw water through our brand new, pretty engines.

How did we not know? None of the normal symptoms presented themselves. We did not have any overheating issues until the thermostat finally had enough of the muddy river water running through it. So we replaced the thermostat. The liquid level in the heat exchanger never dropped. Of course, it was full of water instead of anti-freeze. So, even though we checked our fluid levels EVERY time we fired her up, it wasn’t doing us much good. There was also nothing in the exhaust to make us think something wasn’t right. Well, at least until something was really wrong.

Now, three of eight cylinders have ridges that evidently the pistons do not like. All eight cylinders have water damage. One valve is completely stuck and the others have various degrees of unusual wear and tear. Plus, we haven’t even gotten started on the port engine.

What are the next steps? Not sure yet. We are going back to those who sold the engines and those who installed them. But without a major fix, we ain’t going anywhere soon. Except probably on the hard – which is, oh so much fun, when you live on a boat.

Did we truly downsize if we have a storage locker

Life on a boat storage locker September 18

Still some work to do in the storage locker, but happy to have my favourite coasters, my childhood Tonka tractor and wedding bouquet in our home again.

We had about 6 weeks from when we learned we had a liveaboard slip until we sold our condo and moved on board full time. While I had already downsized and minimized a fair amount, we still owned way more stuff than could fit onto the boat.

There was also stuff we hoped would fit on the boat, clothes I hoped would someday fit and a few items we just weren’t (aren’t) ready to part with. So we rented a storage locker.

It’s a small storage locker – I was determined we would actually downsize for this next life chapter. The storage locker would be a temporary solution.

Two years later, and with barely a dent made, it’s time to get serious about ridding ourselves of this $125 monthly charge and stuff that probably isn’t even worth $125!

When a friend’s daughter was looking for a sewing machine and I had one sitting in a storage locker not being used… I renewed my resolve to get through the stuff in the locker.

So we brought home some special items we wanted to fit on the boat and I eliminated two garbage bags worth of clothing that doesn’t fit and even if it did fit again, I really don’t want. We also, turfed two large suitcases. We’ve gotten pretty good at travelling with just carry-on so these two large suitcases were just taking up space.

We still have work to do but significant progress was made this week. Our goal is to be free of the storage locker as of December 31 or November 30 if possible.

Food Highlights

A first for me…

Hamburgers for the win!

I’m one year away from a fairly big milestone birthday. And yet in all those years I’ve never made hamburgers from scratch. Not sure why I thought it was too hard for me, but I’ve either bought pre-made burgers or headed to the pub.

Turns our making burgers from scratch is easy. I did use a recipe because well…I’ve never done it.

We added some applewood smoked cheddar – we were celebrating National Cheeseburger Day after all and put my jalapeño buns to the test (they passed). With some yam fries and a glass of red wine – a delicious Friday dinner. And there are four burgers in the freezer!

Pizza Nirvana Achieved

Deep Dish Pizza

I LOVE deep dish pizza. Other pizza crusts are good but deep dish pizza is where it’s at. And on Sunday, I achieved deep dish pizza nirvana.

The crust was light. It was crunchy. And it probably wasn’t low calorie. And it definitely was not Keto (so glad that isn’t my thing). I went to bed thinking about that pizza and woke up thinking about it. And I’m making another this weekend!!

Other recipes I used this week

Looking ahead to next week

So that’s life on a boat for September 18-24. Not my favourite week so far, but all things considered not the worst.

There’s sunshine in the forecast for next week which means time to refinish Shiloh’s teak cap rail. It’s in poor condition as the Cetol finish was not maintained before we bought her and we haven’t done anything since. I’m looking forward to getting rid of the Cetol and putting something more natural in its place.

There is also the ongoing saga of Shiloh’s engines – last week I had my fingers crossed so maybe it’s time to cross my toes too!

Stay safe and happy cruising.

wife on a boat






Life on a Boat September 18

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