Sailing to the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean 1500

Problems (continued)

 Once we were running low on fresh water, we stopped using fresh water to wash dishes. The galley saltwater foot pump didn't work, so we ran the washdown hose into the galley from above. You can see the coiled green hose coming down through the hatch. When it wasn't in use, we hung up the nozzle on the vegetable netting.

Problems / Difficulties Due To Boat Design / Build

Big problems with significant consequences:
Moderate problems with some consequences:
Relatively small problems with minor consequences:
Problems Due To Crew Mistakes

Big problems with significant consequences:
Moderate problems with some consequences:
Relatively small problems with minor consequences:
People Problems / Difficulties


I have a couple of observations, but again I remind you that I don't mean to complain or criticize.

I think a lot of the problems we experienced were due to not having enough time to work out the kinks in a newly acquired boat. Therefore, you wind up encountering the kinks along the way and hopefully you can work them out as you go. There is obviously a tradeoff between how much work you do before you leave and how much work you do along the way. As it turns out, you always do lots of work before you leave, and you always do lots of work along the way, so there's no escaping doing lots of work.

I think the strategy Jeff followed was to take care of the big problems first, then take care of the little problems later. But even though a little problem by itself is small, a big enough collection of little problems can wind up being like a big problem and can seriously compromise the voyage. Also, I think it can be much more difficult and expensive to solve problems while you're cruising in remote areas, compared to solving them here in the States. But like I mentioned above, any way you look at it there are tradeoffs.

Another thing that amazes me is how many of the problems caused secondary problems, and sometimes multiple secondary problems. It's pretty discouraging to encounter not just a primary problem but also a cascading chain of secondary problems. Sometimes a secondary problem doesn't occur right away or may be masked somehow, but it's still lurking and waiting to spring up.

Therefore it seems to me that a really important part of boat management has to be avoiding all problems in the first place, since that way you don't have to worry about secondary problems. It might take an unreasonable amount of time and money to avoid all of the problems all of the time, so it might be useful to analyze potential problem situations to figure out which primary problems cause the most serious secondary problems and concentrate on avoiding those primary problems. If you fail to anticipate the cascading chain of secondary problems, it can be pretty easy to dig yourself into a hole when a primary problem occurs.

That's finally the end of the problems. In the next section, you can take a taxi tour of Tortola.

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