Ready to come home!
April 18th, 2017
After 2 months and a number of delays and setbacks, “Kissed Some Frogs” is ready to sail to her homeport in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina!
Brenda and I have been traveling back and forth to Palm Beach Gardens Florida for the last 2 months managing the upgrades and repairs on the boat. First, we had all of the 10-year-old electronics upgraded to the latest and greatest Garmin systems. We also had the majority of the items from the Marine Survey that was done when we purchased (similar to a home inspection) taken care of. It seems that our Surveyor was not as thorough as he should have been as there were a number of other items that came up during the repairs that were added to the worklist.
We had two major setbacks during the work. First, the boat was hauled out of the water for the installation of our new transducers (measures depth), some repairs to the trim tabs, and some new bottom paint. When it was put back in the water, we found that the seals around the propeller shafts were leaking and needed replacement. So, the boat came back out of the water!
The boat was built in Marion, South Carolina, but the company is French, so most of the boat is Metric. We ordered new shaft seals from a local supplier, but they didn’t fit. It looked like we would have to order them in from Europe, which would have cost us an additional week. Fortunately, we found some just outside of Charleston, SC so I drove there, picked them up, and delivered them to the boat so that we could get back in the water.
The last major work was to clean the heat exchangers on the engines. When the mechanic attempted to remove the drain plug, the socket had rusted and the exchanger cracked. Given that it’s a twin-engine boat and everything is in twos, we decided to replace both sides. New exchangers were ordered for overnight delivery, one arrived but when being prepped for painting, it was noticed that there was a crack in the casing, so, I drove to Tampa to pick up a replacement. Each exchanger was $2,800 plus installation, so an unexpected $9,000 last-minute repair.
Overall, the repairs went as well as can be expected on a 10-year-old boat, When we purchased it, I was “happy” that the boat only had 360 hours on it. Now I understand that light use in a boat is not necessarily a good thing. Boats that just sit around without the engines running and water flowing through the systems, tend to corrode faster and key components dry out.
In the end, our repairs included: New electronics, new batteries (12), new water pumps, new heat exchangers, new shaft seals, replacement of one of the trim tab actuators, replaced main engine exhaust lines, new engine zinc’s, replaced RPM indicators, replaced fuel tank gauges, replaced a valve in guest head, replaced bilge pump, generator grounding repair, added clear view bowls to the fuel filters, added pressure gauges to the fuel filters, replaced engine crankshaft seals, repaired handles on skylight hatches, cleaned or replaced numerous corroded fittings and rusted clamps, new fire extinguishers, added Carbon Monoxide and smoke detectors, replaced shore power connectors, upgraded the Satellite TV system, Full detailing and teak deck 3 step treatment, a new dinghy and motor, new wiper blades, and new graphics for the re-name!
Phew! We had budgeted about $20,000 for repairs, but in the end, we were close to double that! The boat is now in tip-top shape. There is still a short punch list of items that I can fix once we are home, but the major items that might impact the trip home to South Carolina are taken care of.
I’d like to take a moment to compliment Hartman Yacht Maintenance in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida who did the repairs and managed the electronics installation. Mike Lohan the manager and our repair team of Carlos and Wilson did a fantastic job with the boat. They were very conscious and careful on the boat, kept us informed every step of the way, gave us options to save money, worked after hours and weekends to get the boat ready on time. Hartman was recommended by Denison Yacht Sales where we purchased the boat, but I had no experience with them I’d been warned to “watch out for those Florida yacht guys, they’ll try to rob you blind.” Hartman Yacht Maintenance and Mike Lohan don’t fit into that category! They quickly instilled confidence and we feel that we received an excellent level of work at a fair price. Given the difficulty in locating some parts due to the French design, they did an excellent job. We highly recommend them to anyone needing repairs or re-fit in the Palm Beach area.
Also, a comment about Soverel Harbor Marina in Palm Beach Gardens where we had the boat during repairs. Soverel has just completed a major face-lift.
They have excellent facilities, the marina is convenient to restaurants (there are 3 and a fabulous grocery store adjacent to the docks), and many more within easy walking distance. There is a West Marine and Enterprise car rental also within walking distance. Steve the manager was very helpful, and we appreciated the 24/7 security patrols (even though it’s a very secure and quiet place).
On Sunday the 17th of April, Geoff Gow our training captain arrived. On Monday the 18th, Brenda arrived and we took the boat out for a Sea Trial to tune the Electronics and make sure that all of the repairs held up underway. We got back in with a shortlist of fixes (The trim tabs and bow thruster had issues due to some wires that had been jogged loose during the electronics installs). We took care of those and provisioned on Monday night. Tuesday AM, we finished up the repairs and provisioning, returned the rental car, and at 2:00 PM, we pumped in 310 gallons of Diesel fuel and headed north!