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Drilling holes in boats is never a stress-free activity. I still remember our friend John posting a photo on Facebook showing the hole through his hull (into the water) that he wrote: “had not been there moments before.” I will admit that I too have drilled through a bulkhead in error but fortunately, in my case, it was not an exterior bulkhead that would allow water to enter the boat.

We have spent a bit of time doing prep work for the installation of our watermaker. This included visiting Scott and Brittany’s boat and viewing their install (they have basically the same watermaker), reading the manual and digging around the lockers of the boat. As several of the watermaker’s components need to be fixed to the hull, and I have an aversion to screwing into the hull (remember John’s story), we decided to prepare backing plates to affix to the hull that we can screw into instead of the fiberglass.

We measured off several sections and had our friend Steffan cut us some pieces of marine grade plywood. We then mixed up a bunch of West System epoxy and coated them to ensure that they remain sealed against water, not that we plan for them to get wet. Later today I plan to stick them to the hull with adhesive. The hull has already been scuffed up and cleaned to help with bonding.

holes in boats

World’s largest wind chimes?

That takes care of most of the smaller holes but we still have one larger one that is causing me some stress. I need to figure out the run for the output hose, the one that will get water from the forward pipe berth where the watermaker is going to live, to the locker where our water tanks are. Although they are nearby one another, the run is not as easy as passing the little hose through a pre-existing hole. On the contrary, it has me a bit puzzled. So much so that I have been asking friends for their suggestions. We’ll figure it out, I’m sure.

While this work and more has been ongoing, we have been multitasking, completing countless other jobs. We have several tradesmen in play to complete other areas of our refit. Some are very professional. Others, I’m not so sure.

Our passports are also due to expire 8 months from now and we realized that if we didn’t get them renewed now, we’d be in a real pickle. Rebecca has been spearheading that project. I’d post copies of our new passport photos but I think they might scare off some of our readers.

We loved the show Breaking Bad!

I’m happy to report that all this work is being completed for a purpose… yesterday we officially booked our first charter! We are extremely pleased but even more so because our friends Bob and Sheila, owners of Paradise Connections Yacht Charters, the ad which you will find to the right of this post, booked us over Christmas with one of their repeat clients. Their confidence in us means a lot. After receiving the booking, I called the client to introduce myself and tell her that we were looking forward to having them aboard and that we appreciated their belief in us too. They do know that we are newbies. Shortly after having done that we received word from our clearinghouse that a different broker had placed a hold on the week over New Years. Yeah, the fun is just beginning!

Fresh bread for our guests. I joked yesterday on Facebook that Rebecca had a bun in the oven.


  1. Congrats……You will always remember your first (charter)

  2. I couldn’t tell from the picture – is it a Boy or Girl? LOL

  3. Mike:
    What is the source of water? Doesn’t that need a through-hull?

    Where is that, and how you getting that to the watermaker in the forward compartment?


    • Yes, it requires a thru hull. There is already on in that locker. It fed a toilet as that was a crew cabin (not this crew). That toilet was removed two days ago.

  4. And so begins what sounds like one HELL of a new career! 😀

  5. Maybe you covered this in a previous post, but how did you choose the Cruise RO and which model are you installing?

    Jim Fenwood

    • How? Referrals by friends and some basic comparison of specs between it and the one we installed on ZTC.
      Which model? 40 GPH generator driven.

  6. Mike, out of curiosity, which adhesive are you using to attach backing board to hull?

  7. There is a great book, you might have it Artisan bread in five minutes a day, I made bread on our boat from it. It’s easy, good and doesn’t use a bread maker. Just a thought.

  8. Is your concern with the hole drilling a structural integrity issue, fiberglass damage or ?

    If the hole(s) exceed 1/2″ in dia, I’d most likely opt for a hole saw or paddle bit.

  9. I’m with you! I’m allergic to putting holes in boats. I tend to glue things in so I don’t have to drill holes! So I think you came up with the right solution! Congrats on getting the first two bookings of many!

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