Welcome to our mid-life crisis! These are the chronicles of Laura and Patrick, their young son Jack, and their goofball Labrador Retriever named Evinrude (Rudy), as they travelled the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific coast of mainland Mexico in their catamaran. We went cruising in search of a change of pace, a closer knit family, and peace of mind. We found all three and more. The fun all started in October, 2008 and nearly four years later the Mexican adventure came to an end August 3rd, 2012. With our mid-life crisis cured in Mexico, we are excited to start a new adventure - life back in America.

Patrick has since joined the Sales Team of Marine Servicenter as a boat broker. Whether you are looking to make your dream of sailing away come true, or ready to sell your boat he can help. He can be reached at http://marinesc.com/about/crew/patrick-harrigan

Candeleros Chico

Candeleros Chico
Just another beautiful day at anchor on the Baja. 2010

Dolphins at play in the bow wake 2011

Dolphins at play in the bow wake  2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It's Not Easy on the Hard

I haven't been posting much about our life while we were hanging out waiting in La Paz, trying to figure out how we were going to get repaired and moving again. It was just too depressing. We could have simply bought a brand new sail drive (our fourth) to replace the sail drive that had failed. We just weren't thrilled at that prospect since the $4,000 USD investment doesn't seems to last long before it begins to fail again and allow salt water into the engine. When we bought the boat the two brand new sail drives failed after two weeks of use and were replaced in early 2009 with another brand new one, and one was rebuilt. Things were fine until the starboard side began showing signs of saltwater intrusion again about six months ago and we nursed it along until April when the ball bearings began to go out. After all those failures, we are feeling very leery of trusting the wisdom of buying another brand new sail drive.

So we devised a new plan. When we first purchased our boat in 2008, a condition of the sale was to replace the sail drives since they were pitted and corroded from sitting in a marina 7 years. Instead of throwing them away, Patrick stored them in a storage locker in Everett, Washington just in case of a rainy day. Wise man. We have decided that it couldn't hurt to just refurbish one of them for a thousand dollars, and put that on. This way we save about $3000 USD and it will probably last as long as a new one anyway. Then we will take the one that is broken now and have it refurbished. We will find a place to carry it on board waiting for the one from Everett to fail. We plan to just keep switching them out and refurbing them as needed. That way, we will never have to be broken down waiting in some foreign port for months for parts to arrive. After our experience with our Yanmar sail drives, you can see how confident we are in them.

So on April 30th, Patrick flew "home" to Everett, picked up our car that had been in storage there and the sail drive, visited with friends and family and then hightailed it to California where List Marine in Sausalito refurbished the sail drive. He made it back to La Paz in about two weeks, arriving here May 12th. Jack, Rudy and I stayed on the boat, anchored out in the La Paz harbor during that time.

It took a few days to get reacquainted and rested and then we were hauled out of the water on May 16th at the Singlar Marina in La Paz. It really was a great experience and the crew did a professional job. Our boat is so wide that there was only about nine inches total to spare to squeeze between the concrete sides of the boat haul out slip. But everything went perfectly and we were hauled without a scratch. It was very impressive.

And now begins life on the hard. Some (smart) people simply rent a hotel room while their boat is on the hard, but we have decided to live on it while it is being worked on. We know that it will motivate us to get the job done quick, and we can keep a close eye on the work being done. Since we are parked over concrete in a boat yard, no water can go through the through-hulls which means no dishwashing, no handwashing, no toilet, and no shower on board. Also we are suspended fifteen feet in the air, above concrete in a crowded boat yard with boats all around - so no privacy, and no air. However, there is lots of noise, lots of toxic dust, and lots of heat reflected off the concrete.

We're taking advantage of this opportunity to get not only our starboard sail drive replaced (Patrick and a mechanic are working together on this), but we will also replace the seals on the port sail drive, and paint the bottom of our boat (we're doing it ourselves so we don't have to worry about getting a crappy paint job), and Patrick is going to install automatic bilge pumps, something that our boat did not come with. The automatic bilge pumps will probably never be used, but the day that you need them would be a disaster if you did not have them. The automatic bilge pump is wired in so that if there is ever standing water in the bilge, it automatically pumps it out. Right now our boat could be filling up with water and it is possible that we would only figure it out and manually start up the bilge pump when the water rose above the floor boards. So with all of this work to do, we are optomistically hoping to be out of the boat yard in a week. We shall see. Let the work begin.


  1. I feel for you! Living on the hard is not fun, and what are you doing about your dog? We repelled our pit bull over the side of our boat via our genoa halyard, and on one disasterous attempt he actually did a somersault mid-air. Getting sidelined by repairs is awful.

  2. Rudy is not very happy, but he is dealing with it. The first day, he stayed on for 24 hours. Then the next day he was so anxious to get off the boat he easily went down the back steps that end at about Patrick's shoulder height. Rudy then just climbed right on Patrick's back and was lowered down. It worked well.
    Unfortunately he has a blue tinge now to his fur from all the paint dust and even though we scrubbed him with soap it is not all coming off. I don't think he will be getting down much anymore!