Florida is having a hard time letting us go.  The months of September and October were already a designated project time for us.  As fate would have it, nothing boat-related goes to plan.  

When we’re undertaking something relatively major (or lots of large bites), I mentally double or triple the projected time to manage my own expectations.  It usually serves me well, since the marine industry can often be quality or rationality challenged.  Even so, the recent procurement of two big ticket items has been a strain on our patience and sanity.

Gory details aside (okay, I’ve added a cathartic recap below), our freezer evaporator plate AND dinghy each took at least three tries and an extra six weeks to get a functional product into our hands!  


Freezer Plate

Attempt #1:  New freezer requires custom aluminum plate - crushed upon shipment to refrigeration shop. 

Result #1:  +3 weeks to make new plate.

Attempt #2:  Second custom plate received and bent to fit at shop. Copper lines of only 3 feet braised on and shipped to Reach - too short to reach compressor!

Result #2:  Ship back to shop and rebraise 14 feet of copper line for run. + 4 days and lots more shipping.

Attempt #3:  Ship plate and new line back to Reach.  Braised copper line now too long @ 17 feet (?)

Result #3:  Install and coil extra line out of the way.  !Freezer works!




Attempt #1:  Visit dinghy broker and order latest model Caribe C-12X with custom 828 hypalon & double rub rails.

Result #1:  +3 weeks - shipping container did not make it on carrier

Attempt #2:  New dinghy arrives.  First night pulling up on davits reveals a hull full of water.  Troubleshooting & rebedding through hulls attempted.

Result #2:  Filling inner hull with water reveals significant leaks at stern seams!

Attempt #3:  Dinghy sent to Caribe Miami for repair.  Tubes re-glued but never tested.   Stern still leaks, plus rain fills inner hull due to new design.

Result #3:  + 1 week.  Dinghy still leaks.  Caribe loses bench seat - then ships wrong seat.

Attempt #4:  Dinghy sent locally for repair.  Also taped around hull floor to prevent rain ingress.

Result #4:  + 1 week.  Working dinghy & a month-plus extra in marina fees.


On the bright side, we now have cold provisions and I can start cooking again!  During the months without a fridge/freezer we were lucky enough to borrow a portable fridge from friends.  This covered the basics, yet we still ate out more than usual during this time.  

As much of a treat eating out can be, it does get old and more often than you’d think, not as tasty as doing it yourself.  Now the good food and motivation to cook is coming back!


Kiwi mascarpone tart

Chiles rellenos

Lastly, we sold our car and are left with the all-important dinghy as our main form of transportation again.  Despite the saga and disappointments in quality control with our new Caribe, we absolutely love how this new dinghy rides.  

It is exactly what you would expect from a decent hull shape with chines for planing and making sharp turns.  

The design planes almost instantly with at least four people on board and the ride is smooth.  

For those of you who rode with us on our “first” new dinghy, the Achilles 11.6', you will know we are happy to get rid of that uncontrollable, moon-bounce ride.  We are looking forward to a long life for this dinghy with its extra strong 828 hypalon (in fact, if we could’ve sourced it, we really wanted military grade 866…). 

We are on no schedule ~ yet remain at the ready to sail away.  Florida has treated us well.  The beautiful Treasure Coast, intriguing bird watchingendless resources, laid back yards and marinas and wonderful friends and have kept us content during these last three summer seasons.  

Florida scrub jay

Loggerhead shrike

Great horned owls

Being so boater friendly, the Treasure Coast is also a place where you will always be happy to run into a cruising buddy or two!

The Rachel's

The Lucky Touch's

© M&M 2019