First Time for Everything!

After 7 days aboard Optimystique, we’re reminded that moving onto a new to us boat involves a first time for everything. Literally every system. And sometimes things don’t work quite the way we think they should. Most issues are operator induced (I won’t say operator error because making an error assumes you know what you’re doing to begin with!) and easily solved.

But even so, what a difference from when we moved aboard s/v Winterlude – then every little issue was an absolute catastrophe keeping me awake every night — for years.

Welcome Home! One of the first things we did was to changed the hailing port to Neoga, IL.

3 of our first 7 days were hijacked by a typical boat project gone wrong.  In the survey, there was a leak in the diesel exhaust hose. The prior owner agreed to fix the leak as the only “major” recommended item in the survey.

The exhaust hose hole that was spraying salt water.

The problem?  Someone used 5200 to connect both ends of the exhaust hose. After countless colorful language by two sweat soaked mechanics, they finally cut the offending hose out, replaced it and then discovered they didn’t have large enough clamps. Hopefully soon we can start the diesel and make sure everything works.

Don & Willy from Gulf Coast Power examining the new exhaust and hose.

So much for taking the boat out of the slip and starting our learning curve driving a trawler!

While the mechanics have been diligently solving the leak, we deciphered countless silly little things … the Sony stereo for example.  It wouldn’t turn on. We tried everything …. even read the book. David’s final verdict was it wasn’t getting power. But a few hours later it magically just came ON!  Our Sony stereo is possessed! Another day went by & the dang stereo wouldn’t turn on during the day and magically comes on after dark. We discovered it’s connected to the cabin salon light switch.  When the lights are on, the radio’s on. Another boat mystery, solved! Tonight I managed to make it bluetooth connect to my phone & play Bing Crosby’s Christmas Classics!  SUCCESS!!!

David spent hours down in his new favorite place – the back lazarette – so much room!  He’s emptied all the rubbermaid tubs and found some interesting treasures.  Anyone need a replica of the original “washing machine” I took on s/v Winterlude when we left the USA? A manual spin by hand tub, I couldn’t even GIVE it away in Guatemala, those ladies thought it was nuts. So into the dumpster it went. If you’re going cruising, don’t waste your money, get a 5 gallon bucket & a clean plunger.

What else?

Prehistoric creature living in our bilge!

The washdown hose had a crack and while we had the mattress off the bed we replaced it, discovering a prehistoric creature living in the bilge.  🙂  Apparently someone attached some twine to it so it wouldn’t escape to the bilge!  Ha!

As boat projects will, one thing led to another and a hose clamp split when David was tightening it for a drip into the bilge.  Then the hose was rotten &  took longer than it should have, of course.  🙂  Luckily there was enough hose that once we coaxed the rotten hose off the barb, it all reassembled easily (after a trip to West Marine for the right size stainless clamp).

In the meantime, David got a grill for Christmas! And we got it attached to the back rail.  And I got a new Mantus anchor which David assembled & we put on the main anchor rode.

David’s Christmas Present!

My Christmas Present! New Mantus Anchor…

It’ll be good to muster up the courage to leave this dock to learn to drive the new boat soon!  Or maybe go here first….

Merry Merry Christmas!  Jan & David


  1. What fun! It is, of course, “always something” when boats are involved, but how fortunate to be discovering all those secrets now, when you’re comfortability docked and in easy range of parts!
    We’re spending the holiday traveling – in Bradenton Christmas Eve, to Maine on Christmas day if the weather allows, and poor Sionna is empty for the holidays. 🙁 We miss our boat already.
    Merry Christmas and a wicked good New Year to you!

  2. Merry Christmas! So glad to have your writing skills put back in the proper environment…ha! As always an accurate depiction of ANY boat job. “taking alot longer than expected” double ha.
    Blessings to you both

  3. Ha ha! Every boater understands your post so well.

    I always have to tell friends that our mishaps and problems are the same for everyone. It’s the tax we pay for those beautiful sunsets and visits from dolphins.

    A year from now, you’ll hardly remember the learning curve of making Optimystique your own.

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