Now you're Suckin' Diesel !

Work to be done onboard

May 2024

If you are a regular reader of the website, it must seem that we seem to spend a lot of our time working on the boat. This is typical of boat ownership. Casual observers might think that owning a boat gives you the opportunity to go sailing when you like, that everything works and the weather is always favorable. The reality of sailing is illustrated by the saying: "imagine being in a cold shower, fully dressed, and tearing up €50 notes". But the reality of boat ownership is that for every hour of actual sailing, there is more than an hour of maintenance. As the boat gets older the maintenance often increases.

Suckin'Diesel is now 44 years old. I have done my best to look after her over the 24 years that I have owned her. Having lived onboard for a few years, gave me the time to keep maintenance up to date and also gave me the time to update her many systems. Remember, a boat has water and gas plumbing like a house but in terms of wiring, she has a mains wiring for when we are plugged into shore power. She also has 24 volt DC and 12 volt DC circuits for lighting and other electrical items. And then there are electronics.... The navigation system has units like depth sounders, speed, etc wired to displays and shares data between them and a autopilot computer and chartplotters. Added to this is the power generator units like solar panels and wind generators. So you can see the boat is a complex beast, even before we talk of sails, mast, rigging, etc. Over the last 10 years, I was able to keep on top of work as I stayed on the boat a night a week during the winter.

This year I have not been able to spend as much time onboard. Mainly this is because I am now working closer to where I live, and further from where to boat is. Also Anne and I are spending more time looking after her Dad who is in a nursing home near where we live. For the forseeable future, this means that we will be doing less maintenance and less sailing, as we are reluctant to be away from him for more than a few days at a time. So we have decided to move the boat to a cheaper location and take her out of the water for an extended period. This will allow the hull to dry out fully and get professionals to do some cosmetic work on her. We found New Ross Boat Yard has the space and staff to work on her. It seems like a well run spot with pleasant staff and we are looking forward to bringing Suckin' Diesel back to her best. We are giving a year for work to be done, and hope to be back on the water looking and performing better.