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Utilities 🛠️

Table of Contents

🌊 Nature cannot be fooled

Every boat owner knows that owning a boat is more about serving the boat, than it is about the boat serving us.

We are often reminded of this quote:

“For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.” — Richard Feynman

This was how, very succintly, Feynman told NASA to clean up its act after the explosion of space shuttle Challenger in 1986.

Why is this relevant for a boat owner, you might ask? Nature, the ocean, the winds and the waves exert a lot of force onto your vessel, and it is common to have a few tons of force exerted on our rigging in a normal day of sailing. Furthermore, let’s not forget that our “highway”, the ocean, is in fact a vast corrosive potion. It will attack everything, you just need to give it time.

As an owner, you can’t simply fix it when it breaks, because it might (and will most likely) break when you need it the most. Thus pro-active care is key for a successful liveboard life.

Here we layout all the checklists and resources we created for Nuvem Mágica. We are sharing these in the hope that they are useful to others. If we are missing something that is obvious to you, please do let us know!

📋 Protocols

👨🏽‍🔧 Maintenance Schedules

⏰ Manufacturer-mandated maintenance schedules

We track these in either the booklet that comes from the manufacturer and/or a spreadsheet so that it is always available.

We are still cleaning up the spreadsheets for the ones below, we will share it soon™

  • Inboard Volvo Engines
  • Fisher Panda Generator
  • Outboard Honda 20hp
  • Saildrives
  • Life Jackets
  • Water Makers
    • Dessalator
    • Rainman
  • Seagul Water Filter

💅🏽 Nuvem Mágica’s additional care routines

We track these using Todoist, a handy task-list app that enables both of us to have a shared view of what needs to be done

  • Stainless Steel. Every two weeks (yes, it is ridiculous how Stainless Steel rusts these days) we:

    1. Wash it with fresh water;
    2. If severe, use an acid-based product to remove the rust, then wash it with fresh water;
    3. Finally, we polish it to give it a protective layer.
  • Toilets & Black Water Tanks. Every month, we:

    1. Flush the black water tanks with fresh water using the deck valve until water comes out clean;
    2. Mix 1 liter of white vinegar & 1 liter of whater and put it in the toilet. We flush it slowly over the course of 2 hours. This helps prevent build-up in the pipes and clogs.
    3. Put enzimatic solutions (that smell like almonds!) in the black water tanks for a day;
    4. Flush it all again.
  • Halyards, Sheets & other Lines

    • Every month:
      1. Take out the halyards to remove the twists. We have broken a mainsail halyard in the past and, upon closer inspection, found that it was really very twisted. Our good friends from Ti’ama have now even made a video about this on how this is critical.
    • Every year (before winterizing):
      1. Soak the lines in a bucket with softener and fresh water for a day or two.

📒 The Playbook

🔮 For future owners

These are most useful if you are following the same path as us and getting an Outremer. If not, you can still use these list to compare to what you will be getting. Who knows? Maybe you’ll get new ideas out of these: