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Although we don’t track this in any concrete way, Rebecca and I have both noted that blog posts with either repairs or drama garner infinitely more attention (comments, feedback) than those where I write about pleasant subjects. Unless, of course, the pleasant subjects include bikini shots. Someone joked recently that if we combined drama, repairs and bikinis in one post we would “break the internet.” 🙂

There will be no internet breaking in this post but here is my pre-coffee drama for this morning. Rebecca got out of bed first today as she frequently does, started the generator and put the coffee on. Immediately after she passed me a cup, I remembered that I needed to run the watermaker. Without even taking a sip, I headed up into the forward pipe berth to begin the watermaker start-up procedure. Although not complicated, starting the watermaker is not as simple as flipping a switch (although a switch will figure prominently in the remainder of this post).

I may not have mentioned this enough but I love our CruiseRO watermaker. I am extremely happy with my decision to purchase this unit. Although we had some initial drama the first time we ran it, all that was sorted and since then, it has kept our tanks full. That is no small task with multiple charter guests taking showers every day (sometimes several showers)!

Anyway, the last time I ran the watermaker I noted that the switch to the DC-powered boost pump was being a little finicky. In other words, it would not turn off properly. As we have both DC and AC breakers installed right beside the control panel, it didn’t pose a real problem because I could turn the power off with those switches instead. And that’s what I did. This time however, as I started up the system, I thought to myself that I really hoped that the switch didn’t turn off on its own while the system was running because the AC-powered high pressure pump really doesn’t like running without that boost pump in operation. Can you guess where this is going?

With the watermaker operating, I had just returned to my cup of coffee and had only enough time to take one single sip when the switch in question turned off. How did I know that it had turned off? Without the boost pump running the high pressure pump makes an extremely loud noise. A noise so loud there was no way I could miss it even though I was as far away from the unit as possible on our 46’ boat. Not wanting to waste the time to run all the way forward to the pipe berth to tend to it, or scare the neighbors by running up on deck naked (who wears clothes on a boat when they’re alone?), I quickly turned off the power at the ship’s main panel. Drama was temporarily averted.

The source of this morning’s drama.

Here is where Rich from CruiseRO really shines. I remembered that when we first received the watermaker he had included a package of plumbing bits and pieces, among them a spare switch. What supplier does that? After Rebecca retrieved the spare switch from its storage space under one of the berths, and after I donned some shorts to prevent us from being confused for a French boat (it’s a joke, don’t take offense), I returned to my hidey-hole in the pipe berth to swap the switch for the non-functioning one. The repair went quickly and the watermaker start-up procedure was repeated. All is, once again, well with our tanks being replenished and my still-warm coffee and I reunited. What’s next for today?


  1. Unfortunately clothes have become a bit of a requirement on our boat, the kids are getting old enough to understand what’ stowing on and we don’t want to permanently scar them with the sight of their parents walking around bare. But with the heat, most of the clothes we wear are bikinis and shorts.

  2. It certainly was fortunate you had a spare switch on hand. I can imagine replacing the spare is going to be on the to-do list promptly.

    Steve & Kelly
    S/V Shalayla

  3. Ah… My morning coffee tasted so much better this morning with my Zero To Cruising Fix. Really appreciate the effort you put into your posts for us wannabe’s.

  4. I think it’s schadenfreude, Mike. We observe the same thing on our blog, and I tend now to write about problems and repairs in more detail because, if the stats and comment history are indicators, that’s what our followers want to read. I’ll know I was not detailed enough if I get several follow-up questions in the comments…

  5. Just like reality TV, drama gets reaction and people want to help with advice. We all learn through shared experience. We like the pictures of new anchorages, ports, and blue water as it provides the virtual travel experience as we sit at work. But people probably don’t comment on those posts as what else can you say other than “wish I was there!”

  6. I wonder what is the gender breakdown of your readers? We males like problem solving and give you the ol’ whatcha aughtta do is…. and women arebjust looking for the M eye ke candy…lol

  7. It’s stuff like this that makes marine life so demanding.

    I live in a fairly complex mechanical world with a three-zone dual source HVAC system, multiple baths, kitchen w/many appliances, 7.1 surround sound home theater set-up, burglar alarm system, gas fire place, washer/dryer, multiple computers w/both wired & wireless Internet, two cars that have many ‘systems’, etc. etc. This is all fairly typical stuff for modern living, but it’s very uncommon that my day will be stopped short by some type of mechanical/electrical failure.

    When I lived on a boat it was just like what I read of your experiences, such that a week didn’t go by when I wasn’t dealing with ‘something’, be it dirty fuel in the outboard, a finicky depth sounder, the pressure water pump going out, etc.

    I guess it must just be that salty air that causes these myriad breakdowns of even such simple and normally reliable things as that simple switch.

    It’s good that you have the right attitude to deal with it with such apparent ease . . . especially before your coffee is ready!

  8. It’s no secret that I love technical posts, problems or just installs of equipment. I am an engineer, so pictures of wiring, engine bits, and boat systems is porn for me.

    That said, it never hurts to have your beautiful wife in a bikini, holding the broken part.

    Ps… I also loved all the early pics of Rebecca hanging off every vertical tree or pole she came across. Impressive!

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