Posted by: catamarantwooceans | March 3, 2016

M&M – Miami and Maintenance

25.2.16 – Thursday – I flew back to Florida; Juda came to Fort Lauderdale to pick me up and we drove straight to the boat. Before flying back home in December, I left a long list of maintenance projects to be accomplished in my absence. Bad weather and problems with some of the workmen delayed a few of them. Trying to have things done on the boat by remote control is never totally successful, even with Juda in charge. So, again, I’ll sink into the maintenance mire before sailing towards the horizon.


Regarding the sailing plan – after considering a few options the final “float plan” was decided upon; the route would be from Florida to the Bahamas, then Jamaica and Cayman Islands. Next “Two Oceans” will return to Panama. I was also not very successful in filling the crew puzzle. On some legs I have no crew yet but I’m talking to a few people and had sent feelers to one of the sailing schools in Israel.

Back on the boat, the first thing I had to do was making the boat habitable. Juan, the fiberglass repairman worked on the interior, leaving a film of fine white dust all over the salon. a lady he brought to clean it just skimmed the surface and it fell to me to it all over again.

The house batteries voltage came down to 11.9 V and I started the starboard engine to charge them. Surprise! no charge! Another item for what was going to be a growing list. Port engine did the job but when the time came to shut it down the solenoid pulling the shutdown lever did not work and I had to pull it manually.

26.2.16 – Friday – Juan replaced a broken hatch on the forward starboard hull and promised to come on Monday for more repairs. J.P, the canvas specialist, came to prepare the new bimini for the mounting of the solar panels. He needed to cut holes in the fabric for the bolts connecting the panels to the bimini structure. Not having the necessary tools he left, promising to come Monday.

Ricardo, the instruments electrician, completed all his tasks; he tackled the depth meter repair but when we switched it on we saw that the meter showed depth in feet, not meters and from 3.7 feet jumped to a few hundred with no reason. We’ll need to see him again (on Monday?). The sail came back from repair and with the help of a young man named Michael, whom Juda employed to clean the boat, I connected it too the mast and inserted the battens.

27.2.16 – Saturday – Shopping for food, cleaning boat, trying to make a work plan that would enable me to leave for the Bahamas. After a few hours during which the port engine was run to charge the batteries I opened the port engine room to shut it down and was horrified to see fresh oil in the bilge. I identified it as gear oil and checking the quantity confirmed it. This engine was lifted here in order to replace the engine mounts so something must have happened when that job was done. Another critical item for the list! Juda said:”Relax, don’t  worry, we’ll fix it” but I simply can’t; the accumulation of technical problems is wearing me down.

28.2.16 – Sunday – This is supposed to be Juda’s day of rest but people are calling him with no regard to the time of day or night. A friend of his asked for help in sailing an electric motor boat he purchased to a marina from where it would be put on a trailer and driven to his home. Juda couldn’t say NO and invited me to come along.  “let’s take the Rolls” he says “I didn’t drive it for a long time”. Here’s another facet of the man – he is a cars enthusiast and has, in addition to his work pickup truck, a Corvette, a Range-Rover (the use of which was delegated to yours truly) a luxurious Maybach and the 1988 Rolls Royce Corniche convertible. He also has an old El Camino being renovated. 

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I had two telephone calls from young men wanting to join the Cayman – Panama leg. I gave them the necessary information; let’s see how that would turn out. Once the electric trip was done, we drove back to Juda’s place and the boat; J.P surprised me by deciding to come and finish the bimini job on his day of rest.

29.2.16 – Monday – More work: I replaced one of the water pipes connectors which were leaking into our wardrobe and completed tying the trampoline into place. Juan came again for more fiberglass work. Juan is originally from Argentina, he has a degree in marketing but did not like working in an office. On a visit to Florida he decided that it was the place for him and settled down doing work on boats.

Having finished the trampoline job I thought I might check the operation of the windlass, which was fixed in Panama last November. Surprise! The relay clicks but the windlass is not turning. Here’s another item etc. etc.

Mr. Ricardo showed up to explain the depth meter situation; hit turned out he installed an in-hull fish-finder transducer to get the depth information. According to him one has to lift the boat out to put a regular depth transducer in place. I wonder…

1.3.16 – Tuesday – First thing in the morning – I dismantled the windlass and Juda took its electrical motor to be repaired. In the afternoon a mechanic named Randy Russell came to take a look at all the engine issues. Investigating the matter of the no charge from the starboard engine he found out that the exciter wire was out of its socket on the electric board. How did that come about? Regarding the oil leak, he specified the necessary part I should buy and when we have it he would come and fix it.

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Juda came in the evening carrying our new toy – a 10’10” SUP; we’ll have to figure out a way to secure it on deck.

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I’m hoping the next few days would see the resolution of all our technical problems. I’ll keep you posted.



  1. Hold on man !!!

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