Winter 2023/24

Our winter hiatus has been both busy and restful.

To summarize, we arrived at Northwest Creek Marina, New Bern, NC on November 15. We met with several tradesmen and mechanics in the three weeks following, got services lined up and then headed out on our cross country road trip on December 6, 2023.

The road trip was epic. Home and back was around 9,000 miles. To get from NC to Washington, we took the southern route to Arizona before heading north. The trip back to the boat was the reverse.

Two oil changes and a brake job, enroute!

The epic-ness of the trip was the number of people we were able to see along the route: friends from many circles, relatives that we see only every decade or so, almost all our siblings. It was great. We were able to deliver Brenda’s mom to her So Cal winter home.

We ended up staying four weeks at our daughter and son-in-law’s house and had some precious time with the grand-kids. They are at a cute age. It was nice to see them all as well as our son.

We arrived back in New Bern on January 31. February has been restful, doing boat chores at a slower pace, spending time on hobbies, joining activities at church. We’ve taken a few trips exploring the area.

Winter work done on the B.O.A.T. (bring.out.another.thousand), subtitle, “We’re spending our children’s inheritance”!

New canvas enclosure: We met with David of Custom Canvas Inc, New Bern before heading out on the trip. David had some good ideas on functionality of the windows. We decided on black as the color and we had screens sewn into the new windows on the aft deck. He was about 90% done with the job when we got back and he finished it up shortly thereafter. We think it looks great!

New refrigerator: Our previous refrigerator was 25 years old and only worked on AC, that is, it only worked while we were plugged in to shore power. It was supposed to work on both AC and DC, but would not work while we were motoring or anchored. We ferried refrigerables back and forth between a portable camping fridge and the boat fridge when not on a dock. We had a local tradesman in to look at it while we were gone. He determined that the board was bad on the 12 volt supply side and a new board would cost about 2/3 of what a new refrigerator would cost. We decided not to repair, but to replace. We worked with a local RV dealer to buy and install the updated version of the fridge that fit perfectly into the allotted space. Lance had to remove some trim around the door to the deck, but the old fridge was able to be removed and the new fridge brought in with less trouble than was anticipated. The RV guys don’t like to work on boats because it is never straightforward to do what you want to do. They were pleasantly surprised this time.

Brand new Norcold refrigerator. Bonus: the doors are metal and our magnetic picture frames work on it.

New dinghy: We started the trip last year with an inflatable dinghy from Costco and a 3 hp motor that would usually work. While in Canada, we got a bit of dinghy envy watching other people zip around to explore places. “We need to take care of the dinghy situation before we come back next year”, was our thought. We ended up buying a 10′ Highfield aluminum/inflatable with electric start and a steering wheel and a 20 hp motor. It is lovely. We can picture taking it back to Washington when we’re done and playing around on lakes with the grandkids.

New generator: The diesel mechanic we’ve worked with this winter, Darryl of Foster’s Mobile Marine, got the generator to start but felt that it wasn’t running correctly. The oil, when he changed it, was a pinky-grayish mixture that showed it clearly had water in it and perhaps coolant as well. After continued delays from a company that was going to come out to run some diagnostics on it, Darryl put us in touch with a local boatyard that could get us in to get a new generator in May. They had us send them pictures of the muffler and the generator. It turns out that the way the generator had been installed, water from outside would push its way into the generator while underway. Time for a new one. To sell the boat when we’re done, it will need a working generator. The timeline moved from May to Mid-March which sounded just right to us. So early next week, we will move the boat to Oriental, NC to Zimmerman’s boat yard for a new generator. They expect it will take a couple of weeks, give or take, to get it installed. We will start heading north once the generator install is done.

The cost of all this? I don’t wanna’ talk about it! Let’s just focus on the fact we are very excited with the thought of heading out on our trip with a working generator, a working refrigerator, a dinghy that will get up and go, and screens to keep bugs out!

2 Replies to “Winter 2023/24”

  1. Your winter has been very busy. Enjoy the coming season. The Lord keep you two safe. I will be glad to get home

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