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Old 03-13-2015, 07:34 PM   #21
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My guess is you should be dealing with your hull insurance company.

Assistance towing was never designed to cover worldwide.

Transoceanic in a $100,000 or less boat might be one you and the insurance company might walk away from mid ocean....but at some value....a tow job is worth it.
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Old 03-13-2015, 08:00 PM   #22
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Being self sufficient is the key. Knowing how to "fix it" is the next key factor. I helped change a lot of tires, befor I was 13. But, I learned how to fix a tire on a tractor so that I could keep planting, when I was 14. Taught to me by a Mexican field hand. The tractor was an OLD Stieger 4WD with an 855 Cummins. Big tires. The flat one had fallen off the rim. Even tho the engine had a compressor and I had an air hose (had been re airing the tire for awhile) I could not get the tire to reseat on the rim. Hecter plugged the hole with twisted cotton from an old rag, the strands he coated with gasket sealer, because that was in the tool box, he hooked the air chuck to the valve, sprayed my ether (wouldnt start without) into the tire cavity and then made a pass across the tire with it. Lit it with his zippo and the tractor jumped several inches when it exploded. Tire was seated, air was going in, life was good, no ass eatin tonite for not getting finished. There is no substute for experience. All the book larnin in the world wont help you if you havent actually done something.
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Old 03-13-2015, 08:03 PM   #23
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The boat we have in the PNW is a 42 year old, solidly built, twin-engine boat. Despite the age we feel quite confident in this boat in our coastal waters. We've needed the spare engine four times during the last 17 years for various reasons, three for cooling issues and one for a mistake I made during a fuel transfer. But each time we simply continued the run on one and resolved the problem afterwards.

With the exception of the main engines and their drive trains the only other thing on the boat that if it failed could cause a significant problem is the fresh water pump. Which is why we carry a spare. The boat has two heads and two independent toilet/holding tank systems. The boat was built long before the advent of today's environmental requirements so if we had a problem with a holdling tank system we can valve each toilet directly overboard if we had to.

There is sufficient redundancy in the navigation equipment (other than the radar) that a failure of a plotter or radio would not be an inconvenience.

The generator is very old so it's anybody's guess how much life it has left in it but other than having to have the starter completely rebuilt it's been surprisingly (to me) reliable. And if it failed (which it has a couple of times when the starter acted up) it will be inconvenient but we can continue the kind of cruisees we make today without it.

Were we going to take an extended cruise, say for a few months to SE Alaska, there are some things we would most likely replace or overhaul before embarking on something like this. But for the year-round weekend cruises and once-a-year two or three week vacation cruise, we don't worry much about the boat's reliability.

We are, however, very much aware of the age of some of the boat's systems, so there is always a bit of "will it work" apprehension when we flip a swtich or push a button.

In the not-very-distant future we will start boating in a totally different environment, one we have no experience in whatsoever. We have surpreme confidence in the boat because it's brand new. Our apprehension and lack of confidence in this undertaking is not with the hardware but with the sofware. In other words, us.
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Old 03-13-2015, 08:10 PM   #24
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So, when you are way offshore do you worry at all about the possibility of a failure? Even though I haven't had a major failure yet, and even though my engines and transmissions seem to have a great reputation, and even though I maintain per schedule and inspect thoroughly and regularly (I am confident that I will notice the first signs of any problem), I can't help but worry about the possibilities of failure. I believe my fear is irrational and if actual, relevant, statistical data were available to me I might worry a lot less (it is not, hence this thread). I like your response -- what is your secret?

No, not at all. Maybe me first time we took the boat home which we had made a mistake in the fuel system and were under wing engine power for 5 minutes. Otherwise we got bigger things to worry about, like what's for dinner.
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Old 03-13-2015, 08:38 PM   #25
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Perhaps I worry too much (hence my original question), but I have visions of trying to contact anyone at the nearest Marina (which may be Mag Bay in about the middle of Baja California), with no phone numbers to anyone at that local "marina" and SeaTow telling me that it is out of their range but they will call me back if they find someone.

By the way, I saw a personalized California license plate "B and B" Small world if that is you.
Definitely not us. But use the fears to generate positive actions, to prepare. Think of what you would do in an emergency in the places you're preparing to go. One of my fears was to be hours or days from shore and a medical emergency. So we both trained as did others with us for Medical Person in Charge plus we subscribed to a service so we can reach doctors and get guidance at any time, and do have on board a full medical kit.

If you have Active Captain, you have marina phone numbers. Look at TowBoat US and SeaTow's maps. Ask them what they do if you're outside Mag Bay. You're only about 200 nm from Cabo San Lucas there. Plenty of help to come from Cabo San Lucas. If you're inside it, there are sources of assistance. If nothing else, other fishermen will get you to safety.

Don't let the fears defeat you. Let them inspire you to solutions.
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Old 03-13-2015, 09:07 PM   #26
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I have a competent guardian angel, so all my automobiles' and boats' incapacitating failures have arisen in the garage or the berth, and all boat groundings (six of them) have been on a rising tide. (This is since the 1960s.) The only incapacitating failure on the Coot is when the universal joints for the propeller shaft fell apart in the berth when nearing completion of docking; no harm done.
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Old 03-13-2015, 09:12 PM   #27
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At some point you have to go local. There may not be one number that does it all.

People will generally help out in an emergency.

It would probably be a really good idea to learn spanish if you atr going to Mexico.

That and be self sufficient, which I think you are doing.

With redundant drive trains there is not a whole lot that will disable your boat, so you can generally always make it to a safe place. Then its a matter of getting parts.

A buddy of mine drove his tender approx 40 miles back to port to go get a starter once on his single engine boat.

Almost forgot, GEEZ. I myself back in 2003 when I was doing my first Gulf of Alaska crossing hit a log doing 26 knots. Took out both props. I made it very slowly to a little bay called Icy bay (Google that one ) and called for help. Well a pilot flying by heard me and relayed messages back to the little town of Yakutat. From there I hired a floatplane and a diver to bring me out a set of new props which I air cargo's out of Seattle.

So yes, Bad things happen, but with a little creativness we can get help.
Fast forward to 2015 and things would be allot different. I have satellite communications. No relaying necessary.
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Old 03-13-2015, 09:27 PM   #28
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Greetings,
Our vessel is 110% reliable...until something breaks. So I break down 500 miles from shore/help. Simply a prepaid Viking funeral...
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Old 03-13-2015, 09:43 PM   #29
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Owning an older, less than perfectly maintained boat, and having no tow service available in this part of the world, we have to depend on other means of assistance. So far that has worked out.

We have to be fairly self sufficient, - knowing all systems on the boat intimately, and carrying a good selection of spare parts and tools. Keeping it simple also makes it easier with being self sufficient.

When there is no tow service, and don't see any other boats all day while cruising, you have a different perspective than someone who knows assistance is just a phone call away.
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Old 03-13-2015, 09:57 PM   #30
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If you're crossing an ocean there are ships with cranes that have been know to pick you up it might cost a far amount but you don't have to scuttle your boat. They are always moving big parts around the world.
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Old 03-13-2015, 11:40 PM   #31
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Listen to your boat. When you think something sounds a bit strange, vibrates a little, drips a little etc., find the reason why. Don't put it off until something goes wrong. Catastrophic failures can and do happen but they are rare. Usually there is advance warning.

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Old 03-13-2015, 11:51 PM   #32
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If you're crossing an ocean there are ships with cranes that have been know to pick you up it might cost a far amount but you don't have to scuttle your boat. They are always moving big parts around the world.
My first cruise-ship adventure, from San Diego to the Hawaiian Islands and return, our ship made a 600-mile detour to rescue three sailors from their sloop. That was just the first! What further adventures might there present? Well, hurricanes, a collision, and other assorted mishaps which are to be expected

The sloop was left abandoned, drifting in the mid-Pacific.
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Old 03-13-2015, 11:55 PM   #33
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Don't let the fears defeat you. Let them inspire you to solutions.
They won't defeat me, they just stop me from truly enjoying the experience. We were on a friend's boat and the wife's owner noticed that she was particularly happy and asked me why. It was then that I realized that I am much more relaxed when I don't have to worry about something going wrong. That said, years ago with my first boat, I worried about the darn thing sinking when I was 20 miles offshore. I convinced myself that I could swim in, in a pinch. (Back then, I couldn't afford a life raft.) That didn't stop me then, and the prospect of being DIW too far for a tow doesn't stop me, just diminishes my joy.
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Old 03-14-2015, 12:00 AM   #34
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It would probably be a really good idea to learn spanish if you atr going to Mexico.
More than half of my hours have been in Mexico, so I am fully motivated to learn spanish, and took spanish in grade school, junior high school and high school. Very little rubbed off. For the past 20 years, two of my best friends are native spanish speakers. Still, I can't pick it up, pero muy poquito.
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Old 03-14-2015, 12:04 AM   #35
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Is there a caro so I can take a rido to a towno to buy a watermenlo? What the heck. ... If I can use body language to gain access to an Italian nunnery for an overnight stay in Venice, there is hope for all non-multi-linguists. (It helped to have a reservation. The hostess, a non-English speaking nun, was very cooperative/understanding. And we left a generous tip.)
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Old 03-14-2015, 12:07 AM   #36
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How Reliable is your boat?

On the 4th year of spanish, and still can't congregate a verb. One more year left.
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Old 03-14-2015, 12:18 AM   #37
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My opinion which my not mean much is:

Reduntancy, back up and redundancy. I could repeat that and it might be redundant.

I have only owned 3 boats all under 30 feet and all bought brand new by me. Also I spent 12 years working for a auto manufacturer in the 70's and 80's so I have some exposure to new vehicles. I was surprised by the (low) level of quality in boats. I did experience an outdrive failure 13 months after purchase in the Puget Sound on a 28' crusier in the late 80's. All of the boats I have owned have been operated in very friendly water.

For yacht operation off shore my back up systems would have back up systems. Just like your first post .... has a spare fuse, had black box failure and you had others, blower failed and had 3 others. Boating and being prepared for boating has to be like that. The environment is harsh, the equipment is used to a higher load than land counter parts and the stakes are higher as well. Not to the standard of aircraft and certainly higher than land based vehicles.

Experience in your equipment and your abilities is just as important as well. Knowing what you don't know is just as important as knowning what you do know.

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Old 03-14-2015, 12:22 AM   #38
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My sons(Air Force world travelers) highly recommend Rosetta Stone products for those of you desiring language skills. Works for them, might for you too.
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Old 03-14-2015, 12:27 AM   #39
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Had a couple of months Spanish lessons in seventh grade (55 years ago), so I'm comfortable pronouncing taco, burrito, and guacalome. As well as Martinez and Pacheco.
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Old 03-14-2015, 12:57 AM   #40
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I spent 12 years working for a auto manufacturer in the 70's and 80's so I have some exposure to new vehicles. I was surprised by the (low) level of quality in boats.
Thank you for your input. I have done all I can to have spares and the knowledge to use them. On the McGyver schedule, I am pretty near the top (good). But on the worry-wart scale, I am even closer to the top (no good).
I will say this == years ago, an american car was considered reliable for about 50,000 miles. Then Japanese cars came along and they were better on delivery (fit and finish) and had a much greater reliable life. From what I have seen, boats (but maybe not their engines or transmissions, but on a boat with lots of systems, most everything else, are not nearly as reliable as their automotive counterparts. I do not give a second's worry to my car breaking down (although years ago I would have), but can't help but worry that engines, transmissions or running gear will fail.
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