Planning an upgrade on your boat? When possible, Dave and I try (don’t always succeed but we try!) to do them when we’ll have a bit of time afterwards to shakedown the new system in a place that has access to parts and, if needed, technicians.
I’d much rather discover a problem while still in the US than after we’ve gone to the Bahamas. Ditto for our time in Mexico – we’d rather work out any bugs while in a large city with marine stores than in more remote locations.
Similarly when we need a repair, we try to do it immediately when we reach a suitable place rather than wait a few days – or weeks. If something doesn’t go quite right, or we need parts not available locally, we want to have as much time as possible to work things out.
If you’re planning to start cruising in a few years, it can be a bit of a juggling act to decide what projects to do now, and what to put off until you are closer to your departure date.
- Never order something or start a project until you are reasonably certain of what you want.
- Where technology is rapidly evolving (or costs are rapidly dropping), delay projects a bit.
- Where there is a big learning curve to using new gear, do it moderately soon.
- When there is likely to be longer lead time on getting an item, order it reasonably soon.
- Where systems are more likely to need some tweaking, do them soonest.
After we returned from the Bahamas and Florida East Coast last fall, we took care of several niggling little repairs we needed to do. But the bigger thing, honestly, was “repairs” to Dave: we knew there was something going on with him health-wise and that was the priority. It turned out to be GI bleeding and heart problems.
Now after numerous hospitalizations, 12 transfusions, and several heart procedures and surgery, it seems that he is finally on an uphill trajectory. So we’re back to doing boat projects and hoping that we might cruise the ICW next spring/summer. And it’s a bit of the same reasoning: on the ICW, medical facilities are easy to find as are on-the-water first responders. Think of it as a shakedown. Let’s see how things go before heading to more remote places.
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