Home Boat Projects

They Say There are Two Types of Boaters… A Bump in the Water & Our First Tow

First of all, I apologize for the continual time jumping around in our posts. One moment it seems we’re leaving Ft. Myers, then we’re in the middle of a hurricane in the Keys, then we’re back in the Everglades in August, and now we’re skipping you back to present time in Miami.  We’re trying to catch up the travelogue & videos to be more real time, but life & adventures keep getting in the way that are just better shared pre-empted.

We’ll get back to a continual timeline, hopefully, one day!

This post.. is real time. As in just happened here in early November!

This post is a bit vulnerable to share and we ask for your kindness – it’s still fresh and ongoing, and we keep re-playing in our minds what we could have done better to have prevented this.

We’re so super thankful for all of the outpouring of positive support from our Patrons, Facebook and YouTube since we decided to share the details. In the end, Ship Happens (hah, love it!) – and this was a culmination of several factors, including post-hurricane conditions that up the skill levels.

We’re trying to be gentle with ourselves, realizing we all make mistakes and you don’t learn otherwise. Hopefully by sharing it helps other newbie boaters understand how on guard you have to constantly be.

If you’d prefer to listen to us talk about this tale, last evening we gathered up our courage and shared on a live video cast. Here’s the ~ 30m archive:

We left Marathon almost two weeks ago trying to get ahead of some weather, and ended up spending a week in Tavernier waiting our Tropical Storm Philippe and a couple cold fronts that moved through.  We’ll catch you up on those adventures later.

A sublime anchorage.

We had a perfectly lovely cruise on Wednesday leaving Tavernier, and a spectacular anchorage in North Key Largo. We even invited our YouTube followers on a live cruise across Barnes Sound to get there.

We woke up Thursday morning with plans to cruise to Boca Chica next – a delightful sounding stop.

A staged cooking shot.. seemed like this block of text needed a photo 🙂

I’m making breakfast with the generator on – we were overdue for a battery recharge, and our induction cooktop doesn’t run so well off just the inverter. Electrical upgrades – including solar, lithium, hybrid inverter, 12v fridge and engine alternator charging – were projects that got punted in the Keys thanks to Irma.

The generator sputters and shuts off. It’s been an intermittent problem for a while now, but it always comes back. It was “on the list” to fix at our next major stop in Ft. Pierce where all our boat projects had been punted to, along with Irma related repairs.

But not this time. Lots of diagnostics, bleeding the lines and we think we have a fuel pump out. No spare on board.

We call around the Biscayne Bay area to try to find a mechanic – no luck.

Ok, we’re heading in to the yard anyway once we get to Ft. Pierce – we’ll just adjust the pace, marina hop on the way for power and get in early.

Keeping charged up isn’t just important for keeping our food from spoiling, but many of our ship’s systems are off the house batteries – including chart plotting, toilet flushing, anchor windlass and VHF radio (we do also have a separate battery powered handheld).

Waterway Guide’s alert map – nothing posted for this pass (there is now!)

We guessed we had about a 1/2 day’s worth of power to safely make it to a power cord if we went into minimal power usage, and hoped we had enough voltage left to pull the anchor (we did).

We find a marina that is open about 40 nm north, and start heading that way.

Cruising is going well, nice day with a bit of wind.

In these parts, there are lots of narrow channels – so you cruise for long bits in open deep water, then have to aim for the crossing. It had been smooth sailing through them all thus far, and despite being on extra edge for post-Irma navigational challenges – we had found channel markers matched up with our charts. We had also checked Active Captain and Waterway Guides for any reported navigational alerts, as we do before starting any journey – there were none on today’s path.

We were feeling good as we officially left the Keys and felt we had successfully ‘escaped’ our Irma experience.

Complacency however, will get you. We should know better.

I’ve been at the helm most of the morning.

While we have an old clunky Garmin GPS (circa 1999) with a nice daylight screen – we use it only as a quick overview glance given how out of date the charts are and how antiquated in general it is (did we mention we have an upgrade list?). Our primary detail navigation has been apps on our iPads, at least until our refit where a total electronic upgrade was also planned.

Cutter Bank between Card Sound and Biscayne Bay – to the right is where Green Marker 15 should have been.

iPads with fully engaged bright screens to be readable outdoors & GPS burn through battery power (oh, did I mention we have no USB charging up on the flybridge.. yet, another planned upgrade). Since we were trying to conserve power – I was turning the screens off and only verifying our course at detail levels when needed. I kept a constant glance on the old Garmin.

As I was approaching Cutter Bank leading into Biscayne Bay, there’s a sail boat slowly motoring through. I have plenty of depth and plenty of room to give them a little space to exit before I approach myself. Since this is the first boat we’ve seen all morning, there’s no need to unnecessarily crowd.

All charts show open water leading into the channel. As long as I merge into the clearly marked channel entrance in time, should be no problem.

I had turned the iPad back on to zoom in and make sure I was solidly on approach for the channel.  I hadn’t had time to really study the channel super close, and after all.. the markers where clearly visible and thus far we hadn’t encountered missing markers and there were no alerts.

And then ..

Up we go.

Side ways we go.

Down we go.


Then we level out.

We’re still floating. We still have power, and I put the engines in neutral as we’re pretty sure we hit a prop with that sound.

Now.. what to do. We’re blocking the entrance to the channel and there are rocks a bit off to the east we definitely want to avoid.

We do a quick engine check – port side seems normal, but the starboard has a clunking sound. So with one engine, I get us back out of the channel opening to open water.

Under otherwise normal situations, it would be logical to drop the anchor at this point. But knowing we likely didn’t have enough power to pull it on our own, we didn’t want to unless we really needed to.

Instead, I stay at the helm keeping us hovering around while Chris goes down below. The starboard shaft is indeed wobbly.  He checks for any signs of water coming in, and there is none (whew)!)

Had I been zoomed in and studied, I would have seen green marker ’15’ on the chart. But visually it looked like red marker ’14’ was the opening marker and that’s what I was gauging my approach on.

Meanwhile, I’m feeling comfortable we have steerage and power on one engine. So we make the decision to transit the pass on one engine while we decide what to do.

As we pass “the spot” we look for what we might have run over.  Something was submerged in the channel opening that wasn’t marked on the charts as shallow water or a hazard. As we pass by “the spot” again and confirm with our charts & GPS track…. the spot was marked as a … MARKER.

Yup, the opening channel marker was underwater/chopped off – and I happened to go right over whatever remains thinking I was still approaching the channel. (I’m not sure I could intentionally hit it if I tried!)

Don’t know if it was Irma related or newer damage – we hope it’s newer damage because two months is a long time for it go unnoticed and unreported.  (I have since reported it to Coast Guard, FWC, Active Captain, WaterWay Guides and CruiserNet – so hopefully others can avoid our pain.)

We got through the channel and decided to call our TowBoatUS towing service (kinda like CoachNet for boats – we recommend both highly!) for advice. They got us in touch with the local captain, and he’s pretty sure we’ll need a haul out to fix this.

While we could limp in our own to a nearby marina, he’s only 30 minutes out – so we decide to accept his offer of a tow. Having a set of experienced eyes involved was reassuring.

Our first tow – thanks TowBoatUs!

He starts heading our way, and when he arrives he had already called to all haul out services in the area and found one that could take us on Monday morning.  However, it’s 25 nautical miles away and there’s nowhere to dock up there while we wait.

Our seawall spot feels more like a campground!

So, he brings us to Homestead Bayfront Park at Hoover Marina – his base – where there’s available space on the seawall for the weekend. Thankfully it’s been temperate so AC isn’t needed, because they only have a 110v outlet for us (and at that, we had to scurry around town by Lyfx to acquire the right adapters to use it with our 50A setup).

It’s a very pleasant park with walking and a swim beach.

But we’ve not been just dilly dallying around.

We got our GoPro camera and mount to our Shurhold line handling pole out, and took it under for a closer look – to discover we not only bent the prop (and shaft), but discovered the bolts to the prop support strut had completely sheered off.

The revolving strut while underway can cause substantial damage under such a long tow as it knocks around on the hull. So thank goodness we had this time to pause and prepare.

Our starboard prop and strut unattached – so thankful the bolts sheered. Or else it could have ripped a gapping hole in our hull!

TowBoatUS has arranged a diver to come out before the tow to inspect things closer underneath and remove the prop & strut.

Not everyday is like this…

So, Monday should be interesting as we’re towed up the Miami River to our haul out. We’ve spoken to the yard – they sound great, and liveaboard is allowed and they have facilities (bath, shower, etc.).

We do have a spare prop and shaft onboard – so hopefully that will be helpful in speeding things along. But we also suspect the rudder was damaged.

So.. always an adventure! Not always rainbows and sunsets.. but always an adventure! And always learning.

And in our attitude, if it’s a problem you can fix with a credit card, it’s not really a problem.

PS. About the title… they say there are two types of boaters. Those who have run aground. And those who haven’t yet. Not sure if this counts as ‘aground’.. but close enough.  


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60 Comments - Still Plenty of Room for Yours!

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  1. When we first got are 32 foot cruiser my husband ran are boat into an oyster bed that was clearly marked. Your boo boo seems to have been unforeseeable because it was down? We are in Houston and boat out of Kemeh. Its so scary to know what can happen out there and the cost to do repairs! Yikes!

  2. Interesting, my mom also lives in Melbourne, used to live full time with my dad on a 42′ Grand Banks named Y Not, and they were cruising the Great Loop on their last voyage. Sorry to hear about your recent “challenges”.

    My inlaws accidentally caught an anchor line while maneuvering in tight quarters in Tampa Bay. When the strut broke loose it took a chunk of hull with it. 40′ of cruiser on the bottom in a matter of minutes! So glad you fared better than they did.

    If you stop in Melbourne on your way, try out the Eau Gallie yacht basin. Not quite a regal as it was years ago but convenient and quiet. If you do, check out the homes built over the water. I grew up in the one with the slanted windows. Safe travels!!

  3. Ho boy, been there done that. Bent the rudder on a Catalina 30 hitting a submerged broken off piling. Jeez, I hated myself that day.

    Cruising presents a whole hosts of new challenges. (Fortunately is wasn’t a “hole host” as my spell checker suggested:). But they are just that, challenges. Nothing capable people like yourselves can’t surmount. Hang in there.

    You touched on an important issue with the anchor and electric windlass problem. That would have concerned me too.

    I, a relative RV newbie, was caught in a very sudden 40+ knot blow while boondocking in my motorhome in southern Utah this spring and, quite oddly, my first thought was of dragging an anchor! Haha. Anchoring and ground tackle are usually the first challenges that confront new sailors and their insurance companies. I’m sure you’ve made a very careful survey of your windlass size and condition, spares, wiring and relays; the anchor’s size and condition; sufficient length and size of chain; swivel condition and snubbers. If not, that would be a good thing to discuss while you’re on the hard in Miami. It’s very comforting to know that you can dependably hold ground in a strong blow and drop anchor in an emergency.

    Fair winds and following seas.

  4. Hey guys welcome to the club! Glad you are all ok and the damage is repairable. Someday it will just be a story to tell, and while it may not seem that way now, you’ll look back on it fondly because you survived it and moved on with more experience under your belt.

    FWIW, we had to replace both shafts (1-3/8″ so smaller than yours) in 2009 due to an extreme stray current issue and the cost to custom build us new ones (each was about 12′ in length) was $1500 delivered from Deep Blue Yacht Supply in Davie, FL. That included the crating and freight cost up to RI and shipping my props and couplings there both ways to fit the taper. It was still waaaaay cheaper than a local shop. They did good work and we have had no problems since.

    While you have the shafts out consider adding dripless seals if you don’t have them already.

    Couldn’t figure why you didn’t have engine generated power while underway, but I see from the other comments there is something amiss there. Equipping at least one engine with a high output alternator and a programmable external charge controller is something to consider.

    For the charting, besides the phablets, we have a handheld GPS as primary backup. Ours is an old Garmin GPS76 loaded with the local charts. It has a sunlight readable reflective color screen and it will easily run for days, if not weeks, on a set of ordinary AA batteries. Can’t tell you how many times it has come in handy when the fancier equipment developed an issue. Plus it is ruggedized and waterproof so we take it with us in the dink when exploring a new harbor, great for avoiding the local submerged objects. Also use it for land hiking.

    Good luck with your repairs and hope you are able to continue on your journey soon!

    • Keep in mind.. outfitting with solar/lithium and alternator recharging, as well as a total electronics package replacement was all stuff that was in works in Marathon before Irma hit. We were on our way to Ft. Pierce to handle all that.

  5. No, there are two types of boaters- those that have run aground and those that lie about it! Love reading all your stuff. Jane and I will be heading south in January from Baypoint Marina in Norfolk where you visited us on our 42′ Bertram- M/V No Particular Harbor. Hope to see you again sometime. Captain Mike.

  6. Hello Sherrie and Chris, I have been following your adventures for a few years now and have thoroughly enjoyed the ride along. I know this may sound strange but I live in Miami, Coconut Grove to be exact, and if you need a place to stay, I have a 2015 Forest River Rpod 179 parked in my yard that is yours for as long as you need. Kiki is also welcome.

    A little about me, so your not too freaked out. I’m a single mom of a 19 year old. We live in an old Spanish in Coconut Grove that has a big enough yard for my TT so we just park it in front. I am the manager of a local real estate company. I have been following the full time RV world, and you, for a couple of years now in hopes of one day heading out… For now, I am here. If you have any interest, my number is 305-987-2644. Feel free to give me a call or text.

    Warmest, Leigh Fortuna

    • Aww.. thank you so much Leigh for this very sweet offer. We’ll be in touch if it looks like we might need to take you up on it… considering the yard is right under the airport approach, it might be nice to escape the chaos if we end up here for a bit 🙂

      • You are very welcome anytime. We are located about a 5 minute walk to the Village of Coconut Grove and if you haven’t been here, it is quite nice, very peaceful and near the water. The trailer has electric, water, full kitchen and wet bath so I often use it as a guest house. It is yours should you want that escape… All the best, Leigh

  7. Certainly no more of a newbie lesson/confession than the damage I did to the back corner of my RV, turning too sharply coming out of a gas station. Yup, this kind of thing happens “once” to many of us, and we fix and move on a little wiser and more cautious. Good luck with your repairs and getting back to your travel plans quickly.

  8. Hi Cherie, regarding your intro to this blog, no one is perfect and hopefully we learn and grow from our experiences. What’s that saying, “Go easy, if you can’t go easy go as easy as you can”. I am just happy, that in the end all is well for you both and kitty!

    You are both an inspiration for me and my soulmate. We are gearing up next year to finally hit the road to become nomads, working and traveling. Originally we were going to chose the boat option but realized that we have barely seen America’s landscapes and all her beauty. Thank you both for sharing your experiences and life with us all.


    • Thank you for the positive support and reminder to go easy on ourselves. Wishing you guys all the best as your ramp up for your own adventures! There’s so much out there to explore!

  9. Good luck with your repairs and refit. Hope you have smooth sailing from now on, you deserve some good luck after this summer!

    • While we’ve had some challenging experiences, we so far counts ourselves extremely lucking in in the outcomes. But indeed.. we’re ready for some smooth sailing 🙂

  10. The vulnerability of being on the water is what keeps me from considering taking on a similar adventure, but you guys certainly handled this “bump” with the calm of veterans. I can’t imagine!! Glad the tow service was close enough and able to connect you with helpful options. Don’t know how you could have avoided the mishap so don’t be too hard on yourself.

  11. Of course! That makes total sense. It’s been only a little hard to follow, but you’re doing a great job–good for you carrying on! The unbroken timeline (a great loop of its own) will be a priceless record of your adventure and accomplishment. <3

  12. You guys have had a rough summer. The good news is, these things pass.

    I don’t think you should second-guess yourself too much. This was a combination of several pieces of bad luck, not just one. That just happens sometimes, and is why we all try to have redundant “systems” to cover things so that if one unlucky thing happens it doesn’t result in systemic failure. If you had had more time to do your prep/modifications you would have had that redundancy and almost certainly would have avoided this. Unfortunately, Mother Nature has been chasing you around, throwing plans awry. So what does that say? Your plans were and are good. You should have faith and stick to them. You just happened to roll snake eyes this day.

    Best of luck on successful repairs.

    Us, we’re looking at a radiator recore AND a trans rebuild on a transmission Allison no longer supports. We’re a little worried around here, but hoping and trusting it will all work out. Sometimes I wish we had bought a new pickup and a 5er instead. 🙂

  13. Glad you’re still floating and you had a good experience with the tow captain. A couple of suggestions – take them for what they are worth to you (which may be nothing, I realize):

    1) I believe most power windlasses have a manual mode.

    2) Paper charts may sound old-fashioned (and they are not invincible either), but they are something that can be a great help when there are charging issues, lightning damage, etc. (another nice thing is that you can lay them out to be massively large/big picture compared to any screen). Not saying not to have and use electronic means too though. Just that they offer a unique redundancy, and a large perspective (that part may not have helped in this incident, but it can be nice at times).

    No comments on the repairs because you are nothing if not great researchers, and you are there to see the shaft/strut/etc. in person.


    • We do have paper charts on board that we use in our overview planning… but they’re not practical up in the open elements of the flybridge where we prefer to pilot, nor do we have a space to lay them out.

      • I’m glad you had some paper 🙂 Understood about the space issue. I’ve never had a flybridge (but have been on other people’s – soooo nice and quiet for a powerboat, and the view!). I’ve typically been in an open (sailboat) cockpit. So I had to look at my charts down below too, for planning. That said, since I boated before anyone had giant, glorious plotters up on deck (or iPads) (yes, I’m ancient), I would fold a chart to the section I was going to use for the day, or hour, and stuff it in a waterproof chart pack (clear plastic).

        Anyway, even with all systems go, I found that the ICW/entrances could be fairly confusing: Shifting bottom, convergence of various marker systems, etc. And that’s not even counting sheared off buoys (!) which I (thank the stars) never encountered. So to me you are starting in challenging waters.

        It’s interesting to hear folks comparing RV-ing to boating. I guess human minds like to compare and contrast (mine sure does). While RV-ing isn’t without its challenges, I find it easier than boating. It’s a very rare day I can’t drive, and even rarer that I can’t hold still — I never worry about my house moving in the night. Hence I get a lot more nights of full sleep. Weather is something to keep an eye on, but rarely is it ultra critical to my safety (given that I’m not RV-ing in snow country in winter or etc.). Mostly I just want a comfortable temperature, no ridiculous wind (if I’m going to be driving), and no forest fires. After a few years I feel reasonably experienced (whereas even after 50 years of boating, I feel like a novice). I find myself wanting to do more boating again, but RV-ing is just so darned easy and un-scary most of the time. (Though not without its challenges, of course.) And you can just zip around the US, for the most part, at whim. But I do miss boating so. You just can’t beat it. Guess we’ll see what happens (storing the RV is also a bit challenging for me).

        I’m REALLY enjoying doing some vicarious boating through you two. Thanks so much for writing about it.

  14. “And in our attitude, if it’s a problem you can fix with a credit card, it’s not really a problem.”–I love this! You are all OK and it can be fixed and you’ve learned from this! Good luck with the repairs!

  15. Wow! The difference between an ordeal and an adventure is your attitude! And you guys have a great attitude! Being a boater all my life, I’m hear to tell you, RVing is a million times easier and less stressful….what you just encountered will be very typical when traveling in unfamiliar waters. I’m surprised folks are not hitting more “stuff” floating in the water down there after the storm. Good luck on you voyage.

    • RVing certainly is easier in some ways.. but we’ve also had our stressful moments. Nothing like losing your breaking power on a downhill with nowhere to pull over. Or having your engine overheat in the middle of nowhere. Or hydroplane while towing a trailer and ending up spinning down the interstate in a jack-knife. Yup, all real RVing emergencies we’ve had in our years on the road that could have ended badly too.

      Water just has new ones and different ways to get yourself in a heap of trouble quickly.

      And for us, it’s about the new experiences and learning.

  16. I love you guys. It took courage to tell us about the boating misadventure, but I love you even more for sharing. Thank your being real.

  17. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences. This is so valuable for those of us who will be following you on the Loop in the future. You set a wonderful example of meeting these challenges by pulling together and finding the positives. Thanks again for sharing. I am learning so much from your posts.

  18. The bolt that holds the strut on go completely through the Hull careful that the water pressure doesn’t push them through. And assortment of round dowel plugs are good to have on hand
    If you’re going to get hauled out. i’m sure they’re going to replace the cutless bearing on the strut
    Also you might want and check the true run on the shaft. While it’s out of the boat
    When everything is all back together,, an you do the Final shaft coupling too engine alignment in the water. That tolerance is only 1.mm

    It’s all in a days sail,,,,. you might want to stock up on the wine
    What I was a lot younger I used to work at a marina on the Miami River at second Avenue. what you did was quite common
    you’re going to be in seventh heaven with all the mom and pop Cuban restaurant in that neighborhood
    I’m kind of envious

    • Unfortunately, the inside access to bolts is under the engine starting batteries – so not easily accessible. And we’ll need our port engine ready to go for helping navigate up the Miami River while undertow.

      We’ll have the diver take a look closer before we head out however.

  19. Thanks for sharing. I am so glad that you can take a licken’ and keep on ticken’. I appreciate the written version, short on data right now.

  20. Chris & Cheri, we can sympathize with your experience. We own a 2002 Bayliner 4788 in Northern CA and hit a submerged object in June. It took out our port running gear. We hit an irrigation pipe with the engines in idle and the transmission levers in forward gear. The prop, prop shaft, prop strut, rudder and transmission were damaged to the tune of $9,117! Be sure to report your incident to the Coast Guard so they can mark the location as a Hazard to Navigation. In our case, the prop had two bent blades and was repairable. Our prop strut was bent and was repairable. They dropped in a new Cutlass bearing. While you are hauled out, it would be advisable to check the Cutlass bearing on the other side for wear. In our case, it was still in good condition. Our shaft was bent by only .040 inches. They tried to straighten it, but it began to twist. Consequently, they had to make us a new one. Bayliner no longer makes this part, so the prop shop will make a custom one for you. $2.6K of the bill was for this new shaft. Our boat was in the yard for 5 weeks, which also means you will probably need new bottom paint. The anti-fouling properties of your bottom paint are negated when exposed to the air for an extended period. And, we had the bottom painted just a year ago. Our rudder was being nicked, only when in reverse gear. It was not bad and they were able to file down the sharp edges. Our tranny leak was not discovered until we had put another 20 hours on the boat. We returned to the boat yard for another two weeks. It was just a broken seal. They ordered the part and took the boat out of the water for the minimum amount of time so the bottom did not need another coat of paint. My advise would be to pay for some extra work on any other issues you may need addressed while the boat is hauled out. Replacing “zincs” and lubing the rudder shafts come to mind. Good luck resuming your trip on the Great Loop.

    • Thanks for the excellent experience sharing! We’ve been going through our list of projects for Ft. Pierce to see which ones we can address this haul-out, and perhaps avoid needing a haul out later. We shall see.

      We do have a brand new spare shaft on board, as well as two propellors – so hopefully they’re all usable if needed.

      Glad your work is done and you’re back to enjoying your awesome 4788.

      (Oh, and yes.. as indicated – we alerted several resources about the hazard, CG included.)

  21. That your pioneering spirit allows you to meet the challenges as thoughtfully and focused as you do, to problem solve (and problem solve!) is exactly why I enjoy keeping up with your adventures. I can only imagine the future dinner — w-a-y in the future, like, when you’re my age! — that you’ll be enjoying with friends when, over a lovely glass of wine, your retelling of this particular incident will be infused with much less “beating yourselves up” and much *more* laughter!!
    Sail on, Sailors! Salty Captains in training!!

    • Oh we so wish! We’re on Day 16 of Whole30 (and doing great!) – no alcohol, dairy, sweeteners or legumes. And we decided, no caffeine. Amazed we got through this as well as we did 🙂

      • Wow, major self-soothing challenge! Besides the health benefit, you’re saving money, which you’ll need for that credit card bill. BUT There are so few means and methods left to help you cope!
        FWIW, it would be ok w me if you left the past in your own memory bank and just focused on the future with blogs and video.
        Keep your chins up and take heart that your tribe is with you.

      • Oh we totally want to capture the entire Loop.. skipping the posts about Marathon and the trip this far would be heartbreaking. This blog is primarily our place to record our journey to look back on 🙂

  22. I have never seen a 4788 where the starboard engine alternator was not connected to a battery isolator and used to charge both its start battery and the house bank. I upgraded my starboard alternator and replaced the stock isolator with a blue sea systems acr… many people actually put the house bank in one engine and then use the other engine to share the start batteries—and some only use a single 8d as the start battery for both engines when they make that mod. Any electrical questions just ask happy to help!

    • We suspect the prior owner made some modifications last time he replaced the house batteries. A situation that will be addressed in our electrical upgrades – we’ll have solar, generator and alternator charging!

    • With our pending electrical upgrades we are likely to go with a 24V house bank, so we will need 24V alternators for the house and 12V for the starting. Going with just a single starting battery is an interesting idea – though two is probably better for redundancy.

      Thanks for the thoughts,
      – Chris

  23. The marine version of CoachNet sounds SO much better than the RV version. How nice that he not only towed, but helped to find a spot to stay and also haul out locations. Considering how stressful the situation was, I’m sure that helped the comfort levels. Such a bummer that you have to be hauled out, but hoping it doesn’t take too long to fix. Thanks for sharing the story too…I know that’s always an emotionally tough thing to do. We’ve got all paws and fingers crossed the repair goes smoothly!

    • We have been super impressed with TowBoatUS and the captains here helping us. Such a huge relief to have the assistance to navigate resources like this in a new location. Best $149.99 boat expense we’ve had!

      Our experiences with CoachNet have also been fabulous (such as our engine overheat, they helped us a bunch to find a shop).

  24. Does insurance cover something like that? Just curious. I guess if I was driving my car and ran off the road at a curve it would be covered. But my rates would jump before I got home!!

    • Yes.. it would be covered by insurance. But we’ll wait to see how bad the financial damage is before we decide if we really want to have two claims in two months (we have an open claim for the Irma damage already).

  25. What an adventure! still i say these are stories for grand-kids…. I remember your response from last time that there would be none; but please reconsider– people such as yourself actually should reproduce! (we need more folk like you) this boat thing is nothing that cannot be fixed… your insurance might be a little complicated, but I predict you guys will be back in the water within just a few days.

    • Oh, we’re way too old to even consider “reproducing” at this stage of life and I long ago had the parts removed. We’re firmly childfree by choice, and I have absolutely zero desire.

      • Knowing that is a good thing. Our daughter is child-free by choice which means we are grandchild-free by choice and we are all OK with that.

  26. That is an odd one for sure. Since this was a marker and on the charts you might prevent any other adventures by using what I used to do when in unfamiliar waters. Look at the chart and get the coordinates of the markers for the channel. Plot them on your chartplotter as waypoints. I always steered toward the first Red Marker until I was sure I had the proper marker in sight then set the course to the next etc. Many times in the Chesapeake bay multiple channels were very close together making just a sighting and ded reckoning a guess more than a surety. If you had done that you may have noticed the marker was missing or displaced from the charted position. Not sure you would have avoided it just maybe.


    • For sure.. if we had full power for the iPads, I likely would have spotted that something was amiss instead of turning over trust to my visual on the channel. Also, had Chris been helping with verifying markers with binoculars – that would have helped too.

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