The Boat Comes First

s/v Winterlude is our mistress, she always comes first. She takes care of us so we take care of her… So our first day after any extended sailing adventure is always spent fixing and replacing/upgrading stuff.    This last overnight was refreshing … not much went wrong despite the topsy turvy seas.  But we did discover a couple of things….

Winterlude  under sail to the Florida Keys

Winterlude under sail to the Florida Keys

But first we needed a good washdown – salt is so corrosive and harmful, and it gives a chance to re-inspect everything on deck.  I always take special care to fresh water flush all pulleys, blocks and anything that moves.

Winterlude From Aloft

Winterlude From Aloft

Next a top off of transmission fluid (dang leaking seal, gotta get that fixed in our spring haul out).  Checking the alternator belt shows that it may be on it’s last legs and replacing the alternator belt with a spare gets added to the maintenance list.  The first few days we were in Key West were spent making sure everything on the maintenance list was addressed.

Now to fix everything that has “gone on vacation” refusing to function:

1.  The float switch for the bilge.  Usually it’s just a corroded connection, but this time we had to replace the flipper.  No problem, there’s a West Marine around the corner for quick fix stuff.

2.  The anchor light works … intermittently.  Not good, especially on a dark hulled boat.  David thought it was the bulb, but after changing the bulb, we still had the same on again/off again issue.  Turned out it was a loose wire in the bilge (our anchor light is on the stern arch).  Now we just need to replace the red electrical connectors and heat shrink for the next electrical issue.   🙂

3.  Had to order no stretch (low stretch) line to fix the Monitor Wind Vane steering lines, but the line arrived and the Monitor steering is ready to go again.

We also had to replace our 50 amp to 30 amp adapter because the one we had always showed reverse polarity and not OK. Which is NOT OK!


Luckily, customer service at West Marine came through.  Despite our not having a receipt, they exchanged it on the spot without any questions.  It had only been tried twice, both with the same reverse polarity result.  When it didn’t work in the Exumas, we just assumed it was that marina’s electricity.  Since then it hadn’t been used until now.

I don’t often say this, but KUDOS to West Marine for customer service (did I really just say that? – yes, this time they deserve it!).

Now the boat is fixed and ready to go again …. it’s time for us to explore Key West!

What’s your favorite thing to do in Key West.  Please leave a comment and share!  We’re not huge drinkers, so we’ll need to find some other diversions!   🙂

Cheers — Jan


  1. Keith Davie says:

    Favorite thing to do in Key West? If I could just BE in Key West, that would be enough!

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