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  • Capt. Eric

Sparecraft Carrier

In one of my favorite episodes of the classic "Top Gear" TV series, resident Orang-Outang Jeremy Clarkson noticing that his "Velociraptor" truck bed is mostly occupied by a huge spare wheel, remarks that the truck is basically its own spare wheel carrier.

Large spare wheel occupies most of the bed

There is a beautiful absurdity in it, as well as a very logical explanation for a go-anywhere rugged vehicle. In that episode they were climbing a snow covered mountain to rescue Richard Hammond who had been dropped at the top. Reaching the top first was the benchmark for success.

Enfin isn't going up any snow covered mountain anytime soon, and we're not made for speed. But I believe it does share the same "go anywhere" DNA as that big truck.

So we too dedicate a large portion of our available storage space to spare parts.

That realization made me refer to Enfin as a "Sparecraft Carrier".

We don't have an exact and clever computer based inventory of all our spares, but I do have a solid idea of what we have. I enter the parts number in our maintenance database too to make identification and reordering easier. I'm happy not to have an exact dollar account of what it all adds up to. The rough idea I have is already scary expensive enough. I'd argue that a cruising Nordhavn isn't fully cruise ready without a deep spare inventory.

First, I followed the maker's recommendation for long coastal trips spare kits for the 3 engines, and added many auxiliary systems.

Then, over the last 3 years anything that broke or needed upgrading was assessed as "essential for cruising, time sensitive repair" or "can wait until we get to port, find and order a part".

So we have a full readily assembled new fresh water pump, since no water circulation on board gets uncomfortable real quick. I also have a few used pumps for parts and a repair kit to add extra security.

Spare sump pump, and repair kit, repair kit for the macerator pump.

A full main engine coolant pump, with enough coolant to flush and replace the whole system on board. A full used and a full new consumables kit for the furnace, so about 2,000 hours worth of nice heat.

Enough lubrication oil for all 3 engines even though we need simple diesel engine motor oil found at any gas station, truck or tractor mechanic.

Oil and fuel filters to last us a theoretical 1,200 hours main engine run and about the same on the generator. Enough to go over 7,000 miles basically, or fight a spite of bad fuel oil if we needed.

Belts, pump impellers and more.

A whole kit of electrical connections, wires, wire protectors which combined with the electrical toolbox should allow me to investigate and hopefully track down and repair any fault. Let's not forget the spare alternator and alternator regulator in a much longer list.

So, like the Velociraptor of Top Gear fame, more than half our under settee storage is used for spare parts. Each part is bagged and tagged as needed.

A few of the parts taken out during maintenance

The whole aft section under the settee is dedicated to spare parts

Then I have a few dedicated boxes in the engine room and in the lazarette for more consumable items, ready for use where they might be needed most.

All in all, especially when you also count the space taken by all the tools to make best use of the spare parts, Enfin is a floating mechanical shop, a parts carrier to take us anywhere we want.

We've been checking and ordering parts recently in anticipation of us resuming our normal cruising so rudely interrupted a while back, and it feels really nice to know that we have what it takes to react to and repair most of the daily problems that are bound to arise on a cruising boat.

Of course, the next thing to break might not be on the spare parts list... And that's how we'll end up carrying even more!

With many main systems having been upgraded, renewed or checked/maintained over the last few months, I am as confident as I can be that we'll be resuming our cruise with a solid and reliable boat. And if needed, we'll have a good chance to be able to repair anything that happens along the way.

So we can make it to the top of our mountain too.

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