There are different ways of living the boat-life. What you learn early in your boat owner career, is that you will never get bored and run out of things to do (but it has not scared us as we are still doing this, more than 30 years after we started). The different ways of do it is that you can wait until things break and then fix it, or you can do maintenance; check the boat from top to bottom and stern to bow and replace or repair parts that are at the end of their life. We are fan of the maintenance way, and when we look back on Cubaneren and the last 20000 NM in 15 months, we did not tear one single sail, one after guy broke on the Transpac. Apart from that we were big consumers of propellers for different stupid reasons, but the sailing part of our time out there was without any damage.
The purchase of Octopus was very quick, and the previous owner almost did not get the time to take out his clothes before we moved in. For that reason, we got a lot of spare parts, but also parts that did not work any longer. There are also different demands from all boat owners and we have had some struggles removing propellers (that has probably been at the same place for nearly 20 years), before mounting 2 new folding propellers. We have changed all thru hull fittings to composite, which also was due time to do. During the search through the ship we found a new starter engine to replace the broken one with, so we have definitely found some good parts on board!
We have fitted two new heaters, one in each hull, and now it is dry and hot on board all the time. The heating tubes, which are insulated, and the rebuilding of the toilet systems has been a challenge to do as there are few access points behind the innerliner. A lot of time has been the solution to get it in place, but the things we have done is now working as they should!
Refitting a boat is good to do here in Gosport. The Premier Marinas, Endeavour Quays, You Boat (the boat chandlery), Marine Tech (the engine part place), Marine Power (the Yanmar specialist) and the people here are helpful, friendly and on top of that, the prices are very reasonable.
The last few days we have had our first visitors on board! Inger and Otto, Karl Otto`s parents, took a pre-Christmas vacation. Well – Otto has spent more than half the days in the engine rooms and Inger has cooked lunches, so we guess we can call it a work camp too, but we have also had some nice walks, fun evenings at the pubs and on their last day, a sailing trip between the mainland and the Isle of Wight. It was heavy wind conditions for a test trip but for us it is good to see that we have purchased a good sailing boat. Tacking angles at 90 and boat speed at 8 knots are good numbers. Bearing away slightly took us up to the double digits.
Tomorrow we start to move east and after that north. We will have more sailing stories as the time goes!