Heart surgery for a geriatric sailboat

Back to land stuff

We are back on solid ground, we fortunately found a 1 month rental in the marina complex.  I always dreamed of living in a gated community (insert sarcasm).  Actually it’s perfect. It’s a safe 5 minute walk to a supermarket, swimming pool and the hardstand all on scootable/bikable streets.

It’s not perfect that the cost of living here is equivalent to Australia.  My days are filled with parenting, Justin’s with boat work. This wasn’t the plan, but there are some positives.

1. My dad visited!! Poor dad didn’t have much of a holiday, but the kids and I had a great time with him and saw him much more than if we’d been on the boat.  Megathanks for babysitting and accompanying us on random ventures out of the marina bubble dad!

2. Hello space.  We were bursting at the seams with six people on a 12m boat.  Kids don’t respect personal space, what there is of it.  Here they have a ‘backyard’, they’ve become expert scooterers and we’ve been having ‘swimming lessons’ in the resort pool – much to the astonishment of the Chinese tour groups busily photographing themselves (and us) beside a pool.

3. Land luxuries. There is something to be said for a daily shower, AC, intermittent WiFi and water/electricity on tap.  (Unfortunately NO washing machine)

4. Unexpected highlights. Seafood feast in a fishing village; An impromptu bus trip to Phuket town with Patricia (aka Gran); A tour of Soi Dog who do amazing things for the stray dogs and cats in Thailand.

Boat stuff

The kids and I jumped off the boat 5 days early to leave the others to sail to the marina.  When the wind didn’t cooperate the dingy played piggyback, then a final tow up river.  We were excited to see them arrive safely and haul out.

What happened next?  The old engine came out, the new one went in.  But to access the engine compartment the top of the cockpit and half the galley (kitchen) had to go and then be rebuilt.  The Fabrizio trio have also tunneled a larger exhaust and commissioned a new propeller and prop-shaft.  I could go on….I won’t.

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Part 1. How to remove an engine: massive machine comes alongside, lifts engine out, dumps it beside boat. Job done.

Part two: Install new engine, rebuild galley on top of engine, redo cockpit woodwork.


Shiney new prop

Next steps?

Test the engine in the water then, then – who knows?  After all their boat labour, Justin’s parents are going travelling so we will be sailing on our own for the first time.  Eek! Guess we gotta start sometime!  Stay tuned…


  1. Hopefully everything will work well once the boat is the water. Hopefully today ??? A lots of Love and happy sailing from me Lillian xxxxx


  2. So glad to hear from you,thought about you over Christmas,wondering how you were getting on.You sound much more up-beat,good to hear.Hope you enjoy your solo traveling,and everyone is well and happy.Loved the photos of Bruce and the children too.As always,keep safe, love from Wilma & Eric.xx

    Liked by 1 person

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