Well, we’re almost a week into owning our new boat. Or as has been corrected many time, our yacht. So what are the joys of a new yacht? Aside from learning the ropes (literally) on our maiden sail earlier this week, what else goes into breaking in a new yacht? LOTS is the answer.
Before we left dock, the first thing covered is all the work completed by the seller and yard. This takes hours upon hours of carefully reviewing everything that was done, ensuring it was done properly, testing, re-testing, and signing off. As expected, you cannot catch everything, however in this case we made out very well and the work completed was top quality. We did find one small water leak in a generator manifold used to move cooling water to/from the genset, and the yard had that fixed up in two days for us. Suffice to say, that’s only the beginning of the process.
On the delivery sail, we tested all the running gear and it performed flawlessly. We need to get out and run some more miles on her before we can really ring the boat fully out, but the first sail with many critical eyes was certainly a success. We did realize we were short a few docklines and fenders upon arrival, however, being stationed at Island Water World is both a blessing and a curse as we can easily access what we needed immediately. It is a curse, because it’s very tempting to just walk into the store and go nuts! Fortunately for us, our neighbour on the dock ADELA was kind enough to provision a plank to get on and off the boat. This proved highly valuable given the relative height difference between the transom stairs and the dock. Good to have great neighbours.
Once you own the boat, you then need to learn every system aboard. It’s not completely different on every boat, but by the same token, it is very different on every boat. It’s almost like equating it to a two cars – both will have steering wheels, radios, seat belts, filler tubes for the gas/diesel/electrical, but there is no consistency between makes, and in some cases, even models. So you spend a lot of time just figuring our where things are, and how they work on YOUR boat. And I mean a lot of time. It’s also the perfect opportunity to fix or note issues and add them to the list of projects. From fuel and water systems, to electrical and plumbing, right through the dock systems and onboard audio and entertainment – there is no end of things to explore.
Next you’d likely want to clean. Not unlike when you move into a house for the first time – regardless of how clean it appears, you always want to put your own standards to the test. This doesn’t sound overly daunting until you realize there are 6 cabins each with 2 lockers and a huge storage area below the bed and myriad shelves, a saloon and galley with some many hiding places, 4 heads w separate showers, a fridge/freezer combo, lockers galore both inside and out. It took almost 3 days just to clean all the nooks and crannies of the boat, and we’ll need to do it again soon. Cleaning – we’re going to spend a lot of time cleaning!
We took time to dig deeper into the bowels of the boat and start looking at things like filters and some of the more sacrificial parts. To say most of this was in a state of neglect would be kind. For example, while the shower pumps worked, they were terribly slow and something had to give. Remember there are 4 showers, so 4 shower pumps, and 4 shower filters. Each one of these was miserably dirty or blocked with some foreign object, and in fact two were installed backwards. No wonder they didn’t really work!! A quick hour and all was right again. The same goes for the air filters on the air conditioning units. They were miserable….we didn’t even try to clean them, just did a full replacement with new elements.
The final thing to do….enjoy the boat. We did take time to just chill and relax and decompress after almost a year of work to get to this point (and a lot of ups and downs). One thing that we recommend to anyone is to ensure you have a broker and surveyor you completely trust and who have your best interests in mind. Our broker, Mike Disch from The Yacht Shop, was tremendous in the completion of the deal in all steps. And our surveyor Ian Martin of Martin Marine Surveys, put our minds at ease in the long process of acquiring the boat. Oops, Yacht 🙂