Constant Boat Work


“Living on a sailboat is doing boat work in exotic places”

Sad but true. After living aboard Sava for nearly 10 months, we are constantly doing boat work.

One step forward..

We have some good news, but I am afraid to celebrate too much for fear of jinxing us. We are embroiled in what feels like constant boat work but have some good news: the engine and auto pilot are still working!

And several steps back

Just because I haven’t posted recently about breakdowns doesn’t mean they don’t exist. I will recount the latest issues we’ve had with Sava.

Recent Boat Work


We tried to anchor in a new spot a few weeks ago only to have the windlass fail again. We moved onto a mooring ball at a lovely marina with a great restaurant, Whisper Cove, while trying to fix the windlass.

Brian dismantled the windlass, unwound the entire anchor chain, and consulted professionals. They cleaned it and couldn’t find anything wrong.

When Brian reinstalled it, it worked better than ever. While we don’t know what was wrong with our windlass, it’s raising and dropping the anchor perfectly so we are happy.

STATUS: Working


One of our goals when we arrived in Grenada was to get our watermaker working. Without the ability to convert saltwater into drinking water, we can’t do long passages.

Since we are settled in Grenada for a few months, it’s time to tackle these big projects. Brian disassembled the watermaker high pressure and heard something “clinking around”. Not a good sign. Turns out the pump is shot and we need a new one imported or to rebuild it. At least we’re in an exotic place! ????

STATUS: A professional is working on it.

Sunset in the anchorage near Benji Bay, Grenada


Our fridge has never been fully functional but with our other problems it’s been a low priority. Since we’ve been in Grenada, we’ve moved the fridge up the list. No more moving our beers to the freezer so we can drink them cold.

Our fridge needs a bigger compressor, a larger plate, and better insulation and soon we will be drinking cold beverages straight from our efficient and cold on boat fridge. Can’t wait!

STATUS: A professional is working on this.


The other day, our engine wouldn’t start. We were safely anchored in a well-protected bay but this is very scary for us. To not be able to move if we need to is not safe. Fortunately, a professional came to the boat and it was easy to fix. A faulty wire was replaced.

STATUS: Working

Our Garmin nav chart worked until we moved out of the Virgin Islands and needed a new set of charts for that region. Charts for these plotters are electronic and uploaded onto an SD card. We purchased the charts for the West Indies and a card and then realized the chip reader didn’t work.

Our solution was to buy a new chart plotter, place it downstairs, and network it with the old chart plotter rather than rebuild the cockpit console to accommodate a new chart plotter in the same location. We bought the chart plotter in Martinique but didn’t have all the equipment to network. We ordered a Garmin ethernet hub, which arrived a week ago, hooked that to the electricity and connected it to the radar, creating a new network. Now we can see where we are, our depth, AIS, and follow the detailed chart in the cockpit as well as downstairs at the navigation table.

We needed professional help to get the network connected and the electronics working right but now we have all the information we need when we’re under way AND we can see all of it downstairs which is great in bad weather.

STATUS: Working

chart plotter boat work
Our chart plotter downstairs on Sava


Our secondary toilet works but is not completely connected. On one bumpy passage, a couple of the hinges came apart from the stand. Again, we had so many more important problems that this has been broken for months. Now that we have time, between all the fun we’re having at Camp Grenada, we are working on reconnecting the toilet so we can use it again.

head boat work
Need to reinstall this toilet

STATUS: In progress


A couple other boat work projects are underway while we wait out hurricanes in Grenada.

Bimini Shading

We have a seamstress creating more shading for our cockpit, increasing the bimini covers. Once this is installed we will be much more comfortable outside. There’s so much heat from the sun these days, we are really looking forward to shade! Will share photos once this project is complete.

STATUS: A professional is working on it

Cockpit shade
We are getting more shade in our cockpit

Our master stateroom bed is too big for regular king sheets, and we had one bottom sheet made custom in Turks and Caicos. We will buy more material and get another one made as a backup.

Status: TBD

Please know, we are not complaining! This is the life we chose. And we are doing this work in exotic places. Grenada is being very good to us!

Hurricane Watch

We are lucky to be anchored in Grenada because Hurricane Dorian didn’t affect us. Those in the Bahamas are not so fortunate. We enjoyed our time there and Bimini, and more seriously, the Abacos and Grand Bahamas are being hit hard. Our thoughts are with those who live, work and play there and if you want to help here are some suggestions:

World Central Kitchen: Chef José Andres helped in Puerto Rico and he is in Bahamas now to help feed people after Dorian.

Hope Town Fire And Rescue: Located in Bahamas, setting up a paypal to get funds directly into damaged communities.

Author: Mel

Living aboard a sailboat, scuba diver, cat parent, cyclist, blogger, love the water and exploring new places.

3 thoughts on “Constant Boat Work”

  1. My I enjoy your posts, and what an education. You guys are so amazing. Experience of a lifetime.

    So happy you are out of Dorian’s reach.


  2. Stay busy my friend. I’m happy to hear from you. I hope Grenada stays out of harm’s way thru hurricane season. We are truly missing our girl. Oct14 will be here soon.

  3. So happy to get your update and see you relaxing (ha ha) in Grenada. Can SO relate to the boat work. It has been a constant for us over the past 5 years. For whatever it’s worth, we LOVE our Novo Kool fridge/ freezer ($979. Cdn) and our Raritan toilet! ($300.US)
    Stay safe and have fun …

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