Juniper is a wonderful blue-water sailboat that has a circumnavigation under her belt thanks to her previous owners and many adventures in California and Mexico with me and Scott. I love this boat which has been my home for the past six years but this boat is meant for ocean passages and cruising and I’m just not going to do that without Scott. Therefore, I’m taking the boat back to California and listing her for sale. I’ve hired Captain Holly Scott and her crew and they’re coming to La Cruz on May 1st and helping me take Juniper back north. In the meantime, I’ve been getting the boat prepped.
The first thing I needed to fix upon my return was the bilge pump. Thankfully, the problem was that our bilge is so dry that the pump needed to be primed. l also needed to replace the float switch so I ordered a replacement Ultra Safety Systems Pump Switch off of Amazon Prime Mexico and it quickly arrived.
Next to go was the batteries. Now, this wasn’t a surprise. Scott thought we could get one more cruising year out of them but they were not holding a charge at all. Had friends from SV Windcharmer and SV Wings come by to see what was up and both pronounced the batteries DOA. Fred from Wings took his time and walked me through exactly what was happening and how my batteries, shore power, and inverter/charger worked together. Luckily, replacing them with three new 4D batteries was pretty painless and I had help from electrician John Pounder who did a wonderful job connecting the new batteries and checking all the electrical systems on the boat to make sure everything was OK.
Then I turned to the refrigerator. Longtime readers of this blog know about our refrigeration woes. Scott tried and failed to get the unit to freeze. I reached out to a local refrigeration technician and emailed the owner of the maker of our unit. I also read the manual and watched a few YouTube videos. Our unit is pretty simple and is meant for cruisers to maintain when out in an isolated anchorage but I didn’t have the initial confidence to take it on myself. After the technician came aboard, vacuumed out the existing refrigerant, and added a resistor, I took matters into my own hands and adjusted the amount of refrigerant in the system to get the unit to the right amount and now the unit is freezing! This was a very good day aboard Juniper and I celebrated with a margarita.
Next, I polished the stainless and put on a few coats of varnish. I also reached out to PV Sailing and North Sails for help putting up the sails as that’s a two person job. Next up was getting the engine serviced. I called upon Javier from SeaTek who spent a few hours servicing the engine.
PV Sailing putting up the sails Javier servicing the engine
Afterwards I did a quick sea trial with help from Don and Lisa on Windcharmer to test everything out and found out I had a new problem: the oil seal for the output shaft coupling needs to be changed. That means hauling the boat out of the water. And if it’s going to be out of the water, might as well get the bottom painted, the thru-hulls checked, cutlass bearing, and rudder checked, get our Max Prop serviced, and have a survey.
Sea trial Don and Lisa from Windcharmer Juniper in the travel lift In the yard
Juniper is now back in the water and I’m doing the final prep for our trip and making room for an additional three people on board.