Knock Wood

Life aboard a boat is complex.

Jupiter’s crew dwells within a bio-mechanical beast of remarkable complexity.  Scores of systems, seen and unseen, are awkwardly balanced in the marine environment between function and failure.

Pumps and hydraulics

Consider the pumps-a-plenty suctioning and pressurizing oils, fuels and fluids in an endless roiling turmoil.  And seawater, freshwater, wastewater, hot water, cold water surging and purging through hoses, tubing, pipes and ducts under decks and overhead, trying to find a way to leak and spread.

One of three electric panels

Electrical currents, high and low voltage and amps, bundled in miles of wires from batteries hidden every-which-where with alternators, generators, shore power or ships power, working motors, fans, inverters, converters, compressors and manifold functions of volts.  Every connection might cause lightning bolts.

And two great hot engines thumping and torquing, driving gears, turning props in the underworld of rudders and thrusters, mostly evading the flotsam of long logs, and rocks, constantly lurking to stop the clocks.

The Underworld

Needs we have to make our own electricity, and fresh water from salt, with two critical high-strung machines, either of which ends the cruise with one single fault.

All this is lorded over by a cortex of processors, controls, safety switches, toggles, actuators, breakers, and knobs whose alarms, whistles and beeps are sufficient alone to give the crew the creeps!

Engine room and mechanical layout

Jupiter is a relatively small craft, but her arrangements and modalities are those of a little ship.  Cruising unaccompanied in the wild Pacific Northwest requires a robust maintenance program, but also faith and good fortune.  Knock on wood…

Repairs in the engine room often hurt 

While the crew is on shore-leave Jupiter’s excellent service team from Northwest Explorations sent a skilled and resourceful technician to visit the boat in Petersburg to perform several repairs and mid-season maintenance tasks.  And, our Alaskan boat-watcher has been cleaning the boat’s topsides and removing weedy growth from the needy waterline.

Boat’s crew is returning to turning wheels (and whales) soon!

Boat owners need to abandon the idea that “EVERYTHING aboard will work”, and find joy in the paradigm “MANY things work.”  – T. J. Babbitt, Boat Brokers’ Guide to Managing Expectations, 2013

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