Category Archives: Hylas 54

Last Week Was Not a High Point: Still No Engine, More Breakdowns, Almost Out of Water

By Rich

Like the “vacation week” I tried to take during our cruise last year, last week was a “character builder” for me when it comes to the live-aboard lifestyle. We continue to wait for the part needed to get our main engine operational again, which could take three weeks to arrive from Japan – although the actual delivery time is a total unknown since the mechanic sent the pump to a rebuilding shop, who ordered the part from a distributor, who ordered the part from Yanmar. So chock up the arrival time on that part – and the continuation of our cruise – to “?????.” Note to Yanmar: you suck for not offering this pump for sale anymore. There are tons of us out here with this engine!

In the meantime we have been on the mooring and taking advantage of Newport, but last week things took a turn downhill on the mechanical side. Unless we want to be towed to a VERY expensive Newport slip, we are 100% dependent on the generator for power. And with water running low early in the week, I planned to commission the water maker, which also relies 100% on the generator and will dramatically increase it’s scheduled runtimes. On Monday the generator started to stall during the evening charge. By Tuesday morning it was becoming so unreliable that I shut it down to investigate the problem – easily ruling out clogged fuel filters since I had recently replaced both. I traced the issue to a dead fuel lift pump – a part that, luckily, I found was in stock at the local NAPA, which meant a shore crew could be sent in to fetch it and I was able to install it after work. Problem solved, but not without some stress and very good luck that this pump was in stock because it is also used on old carbureted cars. Since they had two in stock, we bought both to have a spare onboard.

Continue reading Last Week Was Not a High Point: Still No Engine, More Breakdowns, Almost Out of Water

Passage Making Cruisers: Adopt These In-Port Bilge Pump Checks!

By Rich

There are two fascinating difference between our prior boat, the Sabre 42 (and most similar coastal cruisers) and our current Hylas 54 from the standpoint of automatic bilge pumps. The first big difference: on our Sabre, a variety of sources would cause the (single) automatic bilge pump to run regularly quite apart from any leaks that would be alarming to the crew or a threat to the vessel. For example, rainwater would run down the center of the mast into the bilge which could cause the bilge pump to run periodically during rainy periods. Also, the Sabre’s air conditioning and refrigeration drained condensate directly to the bilge (neither of which were particularly desirable) which would trigger automated draining of the bilge by the pump. Whatever the cause, while aboard we regularly would hear the bilge pump run and therefore had an awareness that that the bilge pump worked.

Continue reading Passage Making Cruisers: Adopt These In-Port Bilge Pump Checks!

2021 Cruising: Getting Ready!

By Rich

We are beginning to shake off our winter slumber and get Rover ready for the 2021 cruising season! Brian has been working very hard cleaning & polishing the boat and managing a variety of contractors who have painted the bottom, made repairs to the plumbing in the forward holding tank, and repaired a variety of leaky hoses and other related items on the generator. Below is the dodgy repair I had to make last summer to keep a cracked cooling hose from failing; hoses like these have all been replaced along with a badly corroded heat exchanger. The contractor raised the generator off of its mounts to do the work – something I could not do while were still cruising and living aboard.

Continue reading 2021 Cruising: Getting Ready!

Winterizing The Hylas 54 Is a BEAR

By Rich

Rover is hauled out for the winter here in Annapolis and I’ve spent essentially every free moment for the last two weeks getting her winterized. The process has been about what I expected, which is to say confirmation of why it’s easier to sail these boats 1,000 or more miles south to somewhere warm than to winterize them! Here’s a short list of the task list with some details on the methods I chose: Continue reading Winterizing The Hylas 54 Is a BEAR

“You Work From The Boat Full Time? How’s That Going?”

By Rich

We bet a lot of you wonder how it’s going with three of the four of us working day jobs from the boat. It’s an interesting question because while I have been working from boats for long periods full time for several seasons between Rover and our prior boat, Le Saberage, those experiences were very different in that the boats tended to stay in one marina for weeks at a time, most often at a slip. That meant marina-supplied WiFi, electrical power supplied from the marina, and a known cell phone signal strength.

Continue reading “You Work From The Boat Full Time? How’s That Going?”

Hylas 54: Reflections On Ground Tackle

By Rich

Fortunately for each member of Team Rover, we are all aligned on preferring to be at anchor by far over moorings or slips. That’s a really good thing because the experience is considerably different for each of the three options. Slips and (in particular) moorings are more or less tie-up-and-forget-it affairs, whereas anchoring requires more diligence and skill in choosing the right spot and monitoring to be sure swing radiuses are appropriate and the boat is not dragging in stiff breezes. So far we’ve been anchored more than half or 3+ week trip and I have the following reflections to share about the experience so far: Continue reading Hylas 54: Reflections On Ground Tackle

Paula’s First Post!

By Paula

Greetings from Rover!  This entry covers almost 3 weeks of information on our stops to include site info, workout options and food.  Future posts will be shorter as I get into the groove of writing.  So, here we go…after 10 years of planning, we finally embarked on our “around the world” excursion on June 27, 2020 from Annapolis, MD.  Like everyone, we needed additional thoughtful planning to account for the new normal, “living with Covid.” More of that to come for sure. Continue reading Paula’s First Post!

We Are Giving A Live Seminar This Sunday!

By Rich

Join us this Sunday at 5PM! We are giving the first of a three part seminar for the Annapolis Yacht Club on our transition from inshore Bay racers to offshore passage making and cruising. Here are are the details, we look forward to seeing you there!

3-Part Cruising Webinar: Starts this Sunday – 4/26, 5PM
Part 1 (April 26) will be an introduction to the crew and will cover our preparation for the cruise. Part 2 (May 3) will focus on yacht selection and Part 3 (May 10) will be about what we’ve learned so far.
Meeting ID: 822 7315 2784
Password: 251750