Repairs in Paradise

What a great punch line while staying at Paradise Village marina! We spent 41 days at two marinas while in the Banderas Bay Area. Because boats require continual maintenance and repairs regardless of how spectacular the location and other distractions that may exist, it’s often most efficient to do crucial chores while firmly tied to something solid. Fortunately Bill is quite handy and resourceful so that we rarely need outside assistance (other than occasional parts we don’t have in stock) to get things done.

Some of the projects accomplished during our stay included:

  • Repair (weld) corrosion (electrolysis) on our swim ladder and install zinc to retard further electrolysis
  • Install and rivet new radar support mount to the mast
    • Subtasks:
      • Numerous trips up and down the mast in the bosun’s chair
      • Remove old radar mount (and carefully lower radar unit to the deck to attach new mount)
      • Clean bird s%#t off the radar, wax it
  • Install (replace) mainsheet traveler
    • Subtasks:
      • Drill new mounting holes several inches completely through the deck into the galley ceiling (all holes did not line up with old unit placement)
      • Research local source for stainless threaded rod for us to fabricate (weld) custom bolts long enough to pass through the new traveler and the thickness of the deck
  • Reconfigure and improve (weld) dive tank mounts on aft side rails
  • Sew up some nice tropical-themed fabric pillow covers for the salon
  • Fabricate and install new (larger) top step on the swim ladder
  • Empty the refrigerators and clean them
  • Repair (sew) fleece fender covers damaged at surge-y marinas
  • Replace sensor in forward holding tank (phew!)
  • Reconfigure and reinforce (weld) spinnaker bow sprit
  • Create/sew cover for bench/sewing machine case; this box is nice additional seating at the salon table.

For the novice, the special laws of boat maintenance and repair include:

  • Each project will take at least three times longer than your estimate
  • Projects will frequently take a minimum of 50 various parts and tools
  • Because of limited space, it’s rare to be able to work on multiple projects simultaneously
  • The tool or part you need most will be stored in the most difficult area to reach within the boat
  • The tool or part you need most will have somehow missed getting onto the inventory list and you will be unable to find it
  • Occasionally a tool or part must be sacrificed to the sea gods, via accidental ejection from the boat and into the water
  • Within Mexico, several businesses will have to be visited (even after recommendations from other cruisers) before the right part can be found (if ever)
  • Ability to improvise a plus!