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The Elephant in the Room

So the elephant in the room….our boat seems to break down...a lot. As any boat owner knows, maintenance is an inevitable and ongoing part of boat ownership. We once heard someone say their boat is on a 3 day schedule--the first day something breaks, the second day they fix it, and the third day nothing is broken on the boat, and then the process repeats itself.

It’s something we expected (honestly maybe not this much), especially knowing we essentially hopped on a 25 year old boat that wasn’t really used by the previous owner, and use it as our home and mode of transportation 24/7. So we’ve been working out a lot of kinks along the way--some ourselves, some with professional help, and some a mix of both. But when Sweet Day stalled and wouldn’t start again while pulling into Port Huron, Michigan, we knew we had to address whatever problem our engine was causing us before we could move on.


Here’s what’s happened.


Sunday July 25th 4:30 PM: Sweet Day stalls pulling into Port Huron, MI



Monday, July 26th 7:30 AM: Beg for help from the local mechanic. He says he can try to fit us in. (This leads us to the unhealthy habit of sitting on our boat staring at the mechanic shop waiting for him to show up over 4 days).



Tuesday, July 27th: Welcome new looper friends to the dock. Share a potluck leftovers meal.


Wednesday, July 28th: Meet yacht club sailors and they give us their left over breakfast burritos

they didn't eat during sailing in the Port Huron to Mackinac Race. (They were frozen and still very good).


Thursday July 29th, 5 pm: After 2 visits, local mechanic calls and says he can no longer help us. Sweet Day is still not fixed. Try to make a list of all other local mechanics that might be able to help. Don’t have a lot of success, so instead head to the yacht club bar for $2.50 cocktails.


Friday, July 30th 10 AM: Meet a new looper who pulls into town and happens to know his way around and diesel engine. He hops on board and is able to get Sweet Day started.



Friday July 30th, 6 pm: We throw a “boat starting party” with other loopers but realize our boat is still not reliably starting. We make plans to take Sweet Day to a Volvo Penta shop on Monday.



Monday, August 2nd: We say a prayer, get Sweet Day started, and successfully take the boat 30 miles (in the opposite direction we want to go) to the shop. We drop off the keys, pick up our rental car, and hope to be back in a couple weeks to get back on the boat.



What's Next:

We are hoping Sweet Day will be ready by August 20th. The mechanics are replacing a mechanical lift pump and having the injectors cleaned and checked out for any needed repairs. We may have to scoot a little faster than we would have liked around Michigan, but still should be able to make Chicago in September.


So until then, we will continue to explore, celebrate milestones, and visit with friends and family living life at 75 mph instead of 8 mph, in a 2021 Ford Edge, which ironically starts with a simple push of a button. We’ll recap our road trip in our next post (partly because we’re still on it), but in the meantime, making the most of it and hope Sweet Day can get back in action soon!