Getting Sava Fixed

Getting Sava fixed so we can return to the water

A trans-Pacific 30 day passage does a lot to a sailboat. Our time in the yard in Tahiti isn’t over! While resolving the known issues, we’ve found more problems with our twenty two year old boat. From sails and rigging to appliances, we’re getting Sava fixed so we can return to the water.

The Reasons We Hauled Out

Sava had water coming in through the stuffing box due to a vibrating engine. So we had to replace the engine mount and stuffing box and realign the prop shaft. We also needed to dry out and rebuild the rudder. After two weeks, we’re making progress on these jobs.

The engine mount is rebuilt and working. The prop shaft was straightened and realigned and is now installed!

Propellor on sailboat Sava
The propellor is improved and reinstalled

The rudder is dried out, refilled with fresh epoxy, and fitted with new rudder shafts. We know everything fits properly and will be reinstalled next week.

rudder on Sava
The rudder was rebuilt, refilled, and coated.
Rudder shaft being fitted
Ensuring the rudder shaft fits!

Sava has one coat of bottom paint and is waiting until just before she is ready to splash for the final coats.

Since we have the time, we gave Sava a polish. She looks shiny and newer, and we like the extra sparkle!

Sailboat Sava
Sava looking polished

After two weeks, we are making progress here and hope to return to the water next week. However…

New Problems

We found other problems in the ongoing struggle of getting Sava fixed. I guess it’s good we’re finding them while we’re in a place we can hopefully resolve the problems. Hopefully is the operative word.

Anchor Chain

The last time we checked our anchor chain was a year and a half ago in Curaçao, so this week we pulled it out of the locker. Our 200 feet of stainless is in good shape, although we’re swapping out and cleaning some of the depth markers. We had to replace the last 100+ feet of galvanized chain due to rust and corrosion. So we got new chain delivered, detached the old rusted bits, and reattached the new anchor chain. We rarely anchor that deep that we use the galvanized, but now is a good time to replace it for when we do need it.

Old Anchor Chain
Someone in the yard will salvage some of our old anchor chain



On Thursday morning, we opened our freezer to find it wasn’t working. Fortunately, we caught it in time! I threw everything into a backpack and biked it back to the Airbnb freezer.

Fortunately we hadn’t started provisioning again and only had to throw away a few things like some old hot dog buns and scraps for making veggie broth.

We spent a few hours biking to all the appliance and marine stores asking for a new 12 volt freezer but had no luck. Now we try to get her fixed. This freezer came with the boat and has spoiled us. I don’t know how to live without it, especially when we head back to more remote islands for cyclone season!


bilge pump replacement

Our high pressure bilge pump died without our noticing it. Something we rarely use, Brian replaced it just in case. If we had a hole in our boat, we would need this to work so now it does.


Jib Furler

Our jib sail detached from the furling again as our attempt to fix it in Nuku Hiva didn’t last. Since we aren’t allowed to unfurl the sail in the yard, we’re having a rigger come to the boat once we splash. Getting Sava fixed will continue once we’re in the water. Who am I kidding? It’s an ongoing experience while we live on a boat!



Tahiti is great, we enjoy the food and culture, but we are tired of being in the boatyard. Thankfully we have a long stay visa and can afford the time to fix our boat. We’re in our second airbnb but really want to move back on board and resume our lives. Think good thoughts for us and I’ll keep you posted!

Pin Fixing Sava
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Author: Mel

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

2 thoughts on “Getting Sava Fixed”

  1. Hi Mel and Brian, just read your blog, but see on Noforeign map, that you are already in Moorea. Hope this means, that freezer is fixed, all other jobs completed and you can enjoy sailor’s life again. Hope to see you again somewhere later this year

  2. Hi Pia and Köbi, we got back in the water last Tuesday. Once we realized the rigger couldn’t see us til September, we came to Moorea. It’s beautiful here! We hope to get into the marina so the rigger can do his work next week. New freezer is being shipped. We may still be here when you get back! See you soon!

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