Everyone runs their household in a different way, and the same goes for boats. No two crew or owners do the exact same thing or feel the same way about almost anything. One dive instructor prefers the scuba tanks mounted here! The chef needs her spices there! The owner must have his things placed just as they were last charter! The Captain needs his coffee and over-medium eggs at just the precise time! The boat doesn’t go to *that* place because the current and tide align just right and last year everyone slept terrible because of the roll!
It just happens- the “quirks” of the boat, crew, and owners must be tended to, and so a routine is etched into the grains of time.
There is a distinct happening on Lolalita, without a doubt! Days start and end early; cocktail hour is reverently observed; mornings and breakfast are quiet times of meditation; when one person is working, everyone is working; Friday starts on Tuesday!; see a need, fill a need- there are no “blue” or “pink” jobs; don’t leave that dirty dish in the sink! But more important than those daily items are those more difficult, long-term considerations.
For example: when we purchased the boat September 2012, our main engines – original 1996 Yanmar 140hp diesel – had 21,000 hours on them. It was incredible that they worked as well as they did, or even at all at times, considering the layer of rust that was basically the entirety of the engine. In fact- we called Yanmar to ask them how long they expected their engines to last. After hearing their answer of 14-15,000, we asked if 21,000 was normal. It was not, in fact, and they wanted us to send in the engines for further study. I’m quite proud of that- my boat had superior main engines, thank you very much.
So, we were faced with a decision: do we replace the engines before or after they fail? Easy answer for us as a busy charter yacht. Yes. Before. Go.
So the process was initiated: finding the new engines, lining up the work, blocking out the time in our busy chartering schedule. The process was surprisingly swift and painless and *boom* we have charterability security.
Which, if you weren’t aware (I know I wasn’t), is addicting.
And so Lolalita’s utmost business policy was formed: anticipate, prepare, and replace. We anticipated the engines’ demise; we prepared ourselves by ordering new machines and lining up the work; and we finally *did the dang thing*.
Today, just a year-and-a-half later, every system possible is redundant- two A/C chillers, two generators, two battery chargers, etc. And if it isn’t redundant, there are ample back-up parts to completely rebuild *whatever needs our attention*- a spare starter, pump head, rebuild kit, etc.
There is no substitute for preparation! For us, it is worth it in the end to have everything functioning well – ne’er a hiccup – so all those highly-anticipated, precious vacations with us can happen seamlessly and magical. Not to mention, the crew can breathe easy! A happy crew is a happy vacation!
And now that all the machinery is brand-spanking-new, momma gets new window treatments. And a painkiller from the beach!
Until next time, Happy Sailing!
Megan (and Ernie) Schlobohm