Boat work

2018 Project List update

March 12, 2019

Another year of boatwork behind us, and it was a big one! We (started to) install a new engine, added more alternative energy, and completed a thousand little projects in between. Below is the highlights reel, which has also been added to the ongoing “Loving Halcyon” projects page.


Purchased and installed a new engine

  • This project should really take up more space on the page. In March, we made the decision and started doing research. In June, we ordered a new Beta 50 from the UK. In November, it arrived at Vista Mar Marina in Panama. In December (and January), we installed it. 

Removed the old engine

  • In anticipation of the new engine’s arrival, we pulled the old Westerbeke 4107 out of the boat using halyards rigged off the boom.

Scrubbed and painted the engine room

  • We took advantage of an empty engine room and scrubbed 40 years’ worth of oil off the floors and walls, then applied a fresh coat of paint. So clean and shiny!

Replaced batteries

  • Our batteries were not that old (see “2017” below), but they were damaged in the off season. We suspect a lightning strike through the shore power.

Replaced charge control board and then battery monitor kit

  • Our Magnum inverter/charger also died in the off season. After troubleshooting with Magnum, we purchased and replaced the control board, but it did not fix the issue. So then we purchased and replaced the battery monitor kit.

Added a wind generator and outboard crane

  • When we were in Mexico, another cruiser gave us a wind generator for free, but a new pole and mounting system can cost over $1,000! So, we held onto it and waited for the right thing to come along. In March, we found a 316 stainless steel pipe that was just the right size – for free. We mounted it and had some welding done in Costa Rica to add a crane to help us lift the outboard.

Replaced radar

  • Our radar worked intermittently, which was not good enough. John found a good deal on a newer (used) unit when we were in the states.

Fixed Honda 2000 Generator

  • Our generator stopped working in Chiapas in January. The local mechanic tried to fix it but told us it was dead. We did not believe him (an un-fixable motor in Mexico? Impossible). An expat in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua was able to fix it using just some oil, a screwdriver, some patience and a splooge of gasket maker.

Replaced windlass gypsy

  • The gypsy was starting to wear down and allowed the chain to jump the track too often. We bought a replacement in the states.

Replaced anchor swivel

  • We have vacillated on the best chain-to-anchor connection, from two shackles to a swivel and back. We settled (for good, I hope) on a heavy duty Mantus swivel.

Replaced anchor light

  • At some point, our anchor light took on a decidedly blue color. In his research, John determined this is sometimes what old LED lights do right before they die. We already owned an upgraded spare (a photovoltaic anchor light, tri-light and strobe all in one)

Adhered new name graphics

  • When we painted the hull, we had to scrape off the name graphics. I ordered new (identical) graphics from Prism Graphics in Seattle and affixed them from the paddleboard.

Removed water maker

  • The small water maker that we got for a “great deal” never worked right and leaked salt water all over our lazarette. The 1-gallon an hour it gave us (sometimes) was not worth the hassle, so we ripped it out for good.

Reinstalled engine room bilge pump

  • We have a separate bilge pump in the engine room. In Seattle, we disconnected it so that our oily bilge water wouldn’t pump overboard. Instead, we manually sucked up and disposed of it. We no longer have the facilities to dispose of it. Plus, with the new engine, the bilge is not nearly so oily (we hope!).

Prepared to cross an ocean

  • A thousand little things to get ready for an ocean crossing – like buying more bandaids and checking out of Panama and reviewing our ditch bag items and watching the weather and finding storage for 18 jars of peanut butter.

John and Becca Guillote

John is the photographer. He portrays the layers of history, emotion, spirit and culture in each moment through his application of light, perspective, and detail. He also takes pictures.

Becca is the writer. She tells vivid stories of authentic moments, highlighting the beautiful, dangerous, dramatic and hilarious with grammatically correct sentences and her tongue held firmly by her cheek.


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