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Our friend John, the owner of a brand new Fountaine Pajot catamaran, recently asked me about what spares we will be carrying on board the new boat. While I couldn’t answer him in detail because that is still a work in progress, I can say that it is a subject that we have given considerable thought to.

It seems like ages ago that I wrote this post about spare parts. If you check the date on that entry, you’ll see that it was published in our first year of boat ownership, before we had left the relative safety of Lake Ontario. After cruising 10,000+ miles, the idea of self-sufficiency is even more real to us.

We purchased a large number of spares for ZTC’s outboard engines before we set off cruising, some of which, at the time, I had no idea what they did. As it turned out, a couple of those parts really saved our butts.

Just prior to this visit to the US, while we were staying on our friends’ boat, the subject of spare parts came up one afternoon and Kirk broke out a brand new macerator pump that he’d been carrying as a spare for his electric heads. Keeping an assembly like this on board is similar to carrying a spare carburetor for the outboard, the idea being that it’s easier to swap out the non-functioning part with a new one so that you can continue to operate (the head, the outboard engine, etc.) and then fix the damaged part at your leisure. Of course, this type of preparation is limited by two very important things: money and space (weight). It’s obviously not possible to keep a spare for every single thing that could break on a boat. So, we’re once again left with the decision of which parts to carry.

The macerator pump for an electric head… US$176.99.

Yesterday, I tried to order some spare parts for the Leopard’s Yanmar engines. I say tried because I wasn’t entirely successful. I first called Mack Boring in NJ and was told that I’d have to call the Yanmar guys in Florida because that is where we wanted to have the parts kits shipped (Miami). When I called the number they gave me, those people still wouldn’t take our order. No, we were told that we’d have to call one of their distributors. By the time I got through to the third guys, I was told that they didn’t have the items in stock and that unfortunately, we’d just missed the cutoff time to have the parts shipped that day. Seriously? I’ve never worked so hard just to give people some money! Let’s hope that today is a bit more fruitful.


  1. Mike, try First Mate Yacht Services out of St Augustine, FL. They are very helpful in getting Yanmar parts. They had everything I needed for my 3YM30 engine. Good luck and look forward to reading about your future adventures.

  2. Michael – I have ended more than one day recently feeling the same way. I recently told a General Manager, “there is nothing more frustrating than chasing down your service guy for the privilege of giving you money!” Another recent occasion we had one of the top canvas guys in Annapolis out to give an estimate. We wanted one aspect to be a particular way and he says “we don’t do that, its too hard.” Are you freaking kidding me? Its crazy! BTW, I too am preparing my Yanmar order prior our departure south this fall. I cannot wait for that experience.

  3. What’s next? Spare hull? Geez…

  4. Mike, I get all of our Yanmar parts from Mastry Engine Center in St. Petersburg, FL. They are the distributor for the southeast area, but also sell to individuals. I’ve had them mail us things & also have gone to their office & bought. Highly recommend them. Phone is (727) 522-9471 .

    • I am dealing with Mastery at the moment (after Mack Boring called them). When I spoke to Mastery yesterday they told me that they would NOT sell to us directly and that we needed to contact Mavex, one of their distributors. This morning Mavex told me that what I wanted was not available, even though Mack Boring sells it. Frustrating!!!!

  5. Mike,
    Try Complete Yacht Services in Fort Lauderdale. 954-462-6977. I bought my Yanmar engine from them in 2010. Have great sales and service.

  6. Welcome to the ever fun world of Yanmar parts distribution. I have been hitting my head against the wall for a year now. Yanmar strictly enforces territories to protect their dealers. I wish I could order from but no go. Torresen Marine seems like a really sharp group of folks and best prices. I am forced to buy from three local shops and they are all quite horrible and high priced.

    This is the ONLY downside of Yanmar IMHO. What a great motor, tough to beat.

    Sorry to be negative but this subject really gets me spinning.

  7. Hi Mike and Rebecca,
    I ran across your blog from staying in bed nursing a bad flu. I normally just glanced over most blogs however your blog piqued my interest so I spent 2 days reading your voyage from beginning to end.
    Congrats on completing part one of your dreams (I’m sure there will be more parts to be added in the years to come). I admired you two for your courage, “confidence” and faith that you have in yourselves to pursuit your dreams with what you have.
    Too bad I came across your blog a little too late– you are already left CA, I would love to meet you two and have coffee or take you two out on the town for (no not waterfalls and hiking, I’m good at neither) a taste of ethnic food! How’s that, I’m somewhat of a foodie.
    I’m thinking besides of being captain of this charter boat venture, do you think you and Rebecca can also draft up something like “exploration tours guide” i.e. such as miniature tours of sort for the Hikes and Waterfalls for us land travelers who are not really in shape to do all the strenuous full Hash that you do. I’m thinking may be like a short hash– short hike to the hot springs. This also beneficial for people on cruise ships who will be dock at the island for about 5 – 7 hours; so a short excursion like an hour to 2 hours hike (low to moderate difficulty) & to see waterfalls and scenery would be nice for any tourist (land or sea). Btw, these cruise ships have their own excursion trips but they cost minimum of at least $150 – $200/per person which is costly take into consideration of at least 4 ports per voyage and not all of them are my cup of tea. I rather call you up and arrange a mini tour instead if you can whip up something like that which gear toward the budget minded vacationers, the fat wallets vacationers can join too if they willing to hang around us common folks– hehe!!!
    I’m thinking of flying down to BVI for a much needed vacation in August, but I’m apprehensive of doing it solo (this has prevented me from going anywhere abroad in the last 5 years), so I’m hoping to connect with you two so that I will have company once I’m down there, but you will be so busy with your new endeavor. So maybe not (I know Mike would be pulling his hair out and says she waits until she’s grey and die to do anything)!!!! Hehe, do you have any tips on how I can hitchhike to BVI? I don’t have a killer body in Bikini like Rebecca’s so it’s out of the question 🙁
    Sorry to sound stupid, it’s my first time, do I flying to Grenada or Tortola? I think searching for airline I only see Tortola (EIS), how far is it from Grenada? Oh yes I just liked you guys on facebook and will follow you blog regularly, also I ordered your book “ready to get wet” as a coffee table book 🙂 for I don’t know if I’m able to visit them at all in this lifetime.
    Keep up the good work and bon voyage on your new venture/adventure. 🙂


    • Hi Kellie

      Thanks for the nice message. We really won’t be in the BVI in August. We will be leaving, heading south towards Grenada, at the first opportunity. I doubt we’ll be doing much hiking ourselves in the next few months as we have a LOT of work to do. As for Grenada vs. the BVI, they are hundreds of miles apart. Google a map of the Caribbean and you’ll see what I mean. Each destination is quite different. You might want to do some more reading before selecting a vacation destination.

  8. Mike,
    Write me at my work email and you cna use my shipping address (MD) and then use Torresn Marine to get your parts. Mastery is a rip-off and charges more for their parts than any Yanmar territory does. I made a deal to buy 2 yanmar 2GM20FC’s and sialdrives at Annapolis sail show with a Mack Boring dealer. She quoted me $3K less than Mastery and that is before paying Florida sales tax for a Mastery sale.


    • Thanks, Tom, I appreciate that offer. I’ve already killed two days messing around with this. My intent was to get the parts to Miami by Friday (without paying an arm and a leg for shipping) to have them consolidated with our other shipment.

  9. Breakdown maintenance-In the marine enviroment there is not another way, and then you can made your journey (or cruise) as happy, lighter and easygoing as possible

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