So. Much. Cleaning.

And repairs. So many, many repairs.

Boats have many nooks and crannies, and they all collect dirt, grime, salt, and whatever else finds its way onto a boat. Our final week on the boat was spent cleaning, inventorying, and arranging the first round of repairs before returning to Portland. I think we took half a day during that time to knock off and enjoy a walk on the beach, but otherwise it was a grind every day, the whole day.

The previous owners did not exactly leave us with a neat and tidy boat. Ed and I have learned through our years on this Earth that we tend to be more particular about cleanliness than your average person, and we do take a certain level of messiness in stride with that in mind. Sometimes, however, I run into cleaning issues that just make my head implode…it is truly beyond my understanding how some people leave certain things uncleaned for many years–especially in kitchens and galleys. Yes, it’s hard work to take certain things apart and get them well cleaned, but it has to get done.

We also encountered a lot of deferred maintenance items. Lots of little things like light bulbs, fans, oil, filters, pumps, basic electrical and plumbing issues, etc. These things need regular upkeep, and by all appearances, this had not been done. We found a lot of stuff left on the boat that was serving no other purpose than to take up space. I’m starting to get the idea that a lot of folks who end up trying this lifestyle out for a bit (and don’t last long) think it’s all vacation and no work. Boat maintenance is, at a minimum, a part time job. On average, 20 or so hours out of a week, minimum, should be spent on maintaining the boat. Some weeks will be more, some less. Those of you out in the world who do not appreciate or enjoy caring for and maintaining a boat should just charter one when you want a vacation. Boat ownership will not bring you happiness unless you enjoy the work that comes with it on some level.

The oven was by far the nastiest cleaning job Ed and I tackled on this trip. I think in the 11 years this boat has been in existence, we were the first people to pull the oven off and scrub it. Although we broke up the work, the both of us easily spent an entire day getting it cleaned. The sad thing is that it’s not difficult to separate the oven from the cabinetry. It took us two minutes, and it’s not super heavy. You can see from the pictures how unsanitary it was. YUCK!

We also spent a few days going through every cabinet and storage locker and determining which items were serviceable or not, and what was needed or not. We found about 20 life jackets, most of which were mildewed due to lack of proper care, and had to get tossed. The galley had a number of kitchen wares that were duplicates, and were taking up too much space, so they got donated. More of it will get donated after we move on permanently and my own kitchen wares replace what’s there. We found windsurfing gear, cool! We also found a bunch of scuba gear. Neither one of us dives, but we can learn later. Unfortunately, much of the equipment had not been stored properly, so we took it all to a shop to get refurbished so that it’s serviceable. A few cabinets had spare parts (awesome), which we inventoried and stored in a more orderly manner. We will later add some more spares of critical items such as various pumps, engine parts, and the like. We also found lots of various cleaning supplies, some of which I can’t even figure out why they were on the boat, such as teak oil (our boat has zero teak on it). Many containers were empty, and some of it was stored improperly. We found a can of MEK that was almost corroded through…that would have been quite bad if that would have leaked and mixed with other chemicals.

Another fun job that Ed got to do was clean out the shower drains that were utterly clogged with hair. Ladies, we shed hair, especially when it’s longer, and it has to get regularly cleaned out. The bilges were also quite nasty. Bilges get water in them, through holes leak, A/C units produce condensation, etc. Bilge pumps do their job of getting the water out, but all the little bits of detritus get left behind. We suspect that the bilges had never actually been cleaned before…gross. Ed also found rat traps and poison in the bilges. Folks, keeping the boat clean will keep the pests out! Luckily we did not find rats or rat carcasses. It appears that issue got sorted out at some point in the past…thankfully.

We also met with contractors who will be doing the first round of major work of the boat. We are set for work to begin in early December, with hopes of it getting done by January. It’s going to be a busy couple of months for us as we have both the house and the boat getting lots of work done. Ed and I will be doing a bit of dividing and conquering. He is in charge of boat projects, and I am in charge of getting the house wrapped up and ready to sell! Yikes! We have also been on a part ordering frenzy. My next post will lay out in more detail the repairs that are set to start soon!

In the meantime, as we are on the topic of regular cleaning and maintenance, y’all need to replace your furnace filters, and clean the screens on your range hood!

One thought on “So. Much. Cleaning.

  1. Good for you cleaning out that yuk. When it’s your yuk make a big difference. It’s much better to have a clean boat so the vermin will ignore your boat !


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