Service of our “new” Lewmar winches

The other day we started with some service of our “new” second hand Lewmar winches we bought this weekend. During the same weekend we managed to find both bigger winches for the genoa and also smaller, ones that we will attach on the mast for the halyards, on a second hand site.

For the genoa winches, we have been keeping an eye for second hand winches of the correct size for a pretty long time. The winches we have works, but they are really heavy to use, are probably really old and only has one speed. Maybe they would still work better after a thorough service, which would have been our option if we weren’t to find any good second hand winches.

When trying to understand how big winches we should have, we have used the table HERE. From the table it says that for our sail area for the genoa and size of the boat a winch of size 40 is a good size for us. That is a pretty big winch and a new winch of that size costs a lot! So we were really happy when a pair of  second hand Lewmar 43 winches showed up on a second hand site. They are pretty old as well, but probably not as old as the ones we already have. They have 2 speeds but are not self-tailing, which is something we definitely can live without, even if it would have been nice to have that feature.

Two days after we bought the bigger Lewmar winches, a pair of smaller Lewmar winches, of size 7 showed up, which we will use for the halyards on the mast. As it is now we have wire halyard for the main sail and the furling genoa, were the wire is attached to the winch. We have two winches of that kind on the mast, one for the genoa and one for the main sail. They can only be used for one halyard per winch, and as we have a cutter stay as well we have no means to hoist that sail properly, since we only can do it by hand. Our new plan is to remove the wire system and attach the new winches, add rope clutches and new ropes. With this solution we will also be able to use the winches as help to reef the main sail, which might come in handy.

But back to the service of the bigger Lewmar winches (the small seems we only took apart and they are in much better shape than the big ones). We took them apart and inspected all the parts to check if they were in good shape. Apart for some small spare parts that were broken, it looked good. The parts that were broken was a distance between two bearings and a spring. The spring is a common winch spare part, so it is easy to buy new ones. We also cleaned them thoroughly, to get rid of a lot of old grease and other dirt that has gathered in the winches over the years. Next step will be to buy the spare parts we need and mount the winches back together again.

service lewmar winches
Service of our second hand Lewmar winches; taking them apart and cleaning the internal parts, which were filled with a lot of old grease. We cleaned them with white spirit and a standard brush.

We have also updated our sailing plan a bit. Our initial plan was to sail to the Caribbean, leave the boat there and fly back home and then continue sailing later. But as we noticed, a few days after we wrote our budget blog post, was that it is really expensive to leave the boat in the Caribbean. Of course we hadn’t exactly expected it to be free, but it was way more than we had expected. So we had a gloomy couple of days, and had to re-think a bit. Then we realized that we could make our sailing trip a bit longer and sail back to Sweden as well, which felt like the right thing to do once we came up with the idea. Another thing that we like with this new idea is that we won’t leave the boat unattended and all the work we do now will be lost. By sailing back we can continue renovating our boat when we get back as well, sail and explore more of the Baltic Sea and eventually we might leave for another, perhaps longer sailing adventure in the future. If you want to check out how and were we plan to sail, you can visit About->The Plan.

Another leakage found…

Last weekend when we, as usual, were at the boat working we noticed a new place with rotten wood and apparently a leakage from above. We found it when we were removing styrofoam in our aft cabin (see The Boat to see an overview of of our boat). This rot is underneath one of the seats in the cockpit an dour guess is that it is a leak in one of the storage hatches in the cockpit (were we didn’t add any new plastic during our big plastic repair job). But, this is something we will have to do later in the spring. Yet another thing on the to-do list…

But, of course we are glad  that we remove the styrofoam so that we find these things and can do something about it before we leave. We are also really glad that our sandwich hull does not have a wooden core (it is only above the waterline we have some places were there is a wooden core).

But some good news is that we are almost completely finished with setting up all mahogany! 🙂 And it looks so good, Thomas has been very thorough and it really shows. We have also started preparing for setting up som kind of roof panels, which will make our boat look even more fancy. We also plan to set up some LED-lists to put some light on our new hull and to get more light in the boat.

So soon we will be able to show some really amazing before and after pictures. We have also made a slight change of plan when it comes to our sailing route, but more about that soon as well.

Budget sailing to the Caribbean

A big question-mark, but yet important thing when planning our sailing adventure to the Caribbean is what the budget will be. We have been googling a lot to get input on what it actually costs to go sailing. But it is hard to get a good answer since it depends a lot, what type of lifestyle you have, what kind of boat among some of the things. We have tried to gather some information and applied it to us, our boat and our lifestyle and thought we would share these thoughts here and in the future share how wrong it was, because it will definitely be… 😉

So, first some notes about us and the boat before going over our budget for sailing to the Caribbean and back to Sweden again.

  • We plan to be away 13 months, so that is the time plan we go for, more about where we plan to sail can be found under About->The Plan.
  • We have an old sailboat so maintenance for the boat is something that is probably needed, even though we are doing a lot of work right now to prepare the boat. We do all work ourselves and don’t pay extra for labor.
  • Back home in Sweden we don’t have a very extravagant lifestyle and usually don’t eat out on restaurants a lot, and we plan to keep it that way as much as possible.
Food & drinks
Monthly cost 7’000 770 665
Total 91’000 10’010 8’645

As said above we don’t usually eat out on restaurant a lot back home in Sweden, and we will eat most of our meals on the boat. But, we still want to eat good food, taste local meals or drink a beer or two at a beach bar so we will probably spend a lot of money on food anyway…

We will do our best to save money the best we can, by catching our own fish, buy a lot of food in places where the food is cheaper and cook as much as we can from scratch.  When calculating this budget cost, we tried finding price index compared to Sweden and thinking about how much we spend on food right now and an approximate of how much of the days we gonna eat out.

With this it is assumed that we would eat on a restaurant more than we do right now and with a pretty high monthly cost of buying food, hopefully we won’t spend this much on food, but time will tell… Worst case if we spend to much on food early on we just have to eat beans for the final part of the journey.

Boat MaIntenance

When searching on internet what the cost for sailing around the world is it is said on many blogs and websites that you should estimate to spend roughly 10-20% of you boats value on maintenance. We have chosen to set 25% of our boat value of maintenance. We have an old and pretty cheap boat so that’s the reason for adding some extra here. We will try save money in this budget post by doing all our work ourselves and also by doing a lot of work now, before we leave, and to bring spares from home. Hopefully we are wrong and our preparations and renovations before departure won’t mean that it will cost this much.

Monthly cost 2’615 288 248
Total cost 34’000 3’740 3’230

We will probably be able to use medical insurance from our current insurer in Sweden. And for the boat we will only have a third party, which is not so easy for us to find (more about boat insurance issues HERE), but as far as our research has been our insurance costs will be something like this.

Monthly cost 2’500 275 238
Total cost 32’500 3’575 3’088
Cruising fess & Marinas/Mooring

We will try to avoid marinas as much as possible, but for our time sailing through northern Europe there aren’t a lot of options except marinas. We will try to avoid the most popular, expensive ones if we can if we don’t really want to visit a specific place.

For northern Europe (north of Bay of Biscay) we will assume that we will stay in a marina basically every night (with a few exceptions; sailing during night and at some places along the east coast of Sweden) and after reading up a bit we have estimated that it will cost about 250 SEK/night for marinas. When we have crossed Bay of Biscay there seems to be a lot more options to anchor instead. But we still assume that we will have to stay in a marina most of the nights and maybe for a cost around 200 SEK/night as an average. After leaving the Canary Islands we will only go in to a marina if it absolutely necessary, but we still added in the budget some nights in marina after the Canaries. And at the way back we assume that when sailing in Europe again there will be a lot of nights in a marina.

The costs related to entering and leaving countries (and the Kiel canal and Caledonia Canal) are also estimated here. This estimation is based on internet searches (for example and will hopefully be quite accurate for the countries we plan to visit at this point.

Monthly cost 7’200 792 684
Total cost 93’600 10’296 8’892

Of course we will try to explore the places we visit by foot, or taking a local bus to save money. But occasionally we might want to rent a car or a scooter to go further, visit a fun museum, go diving or something else.

Monthly cost 1’500 165 143
Total cost 19’500 2’145 1’853

We hope to sail as much as possible, but some costs will go to fuel. Both for the sailboat and the dingy. We have big fuel tanks on Anne-Mon so we will also try to fill them up where fuel is a bit cheaper.

Monthly cost 1’600 176 152
Total cost 20’800 2’288 1’976

Other cost that we might encounter; laundry, some shopping or anything else. As we won’t be away for so long we may not need to buy so much new clothes and stuff, as they won’t get worn out that quick. This sailing journey will be about exploring and see new places, not shopping so we will not buy more than necessary.

Monthly cost 1’100 121 105
Total cost 14’300 1’573 1’359

And this is what we end up with for 2 persons for 13 months away. Apart for the costs related to sailing we also have some costs from home that won’t go away; student loans and costs for our other boat. So those costs we need to include as well. We will also have some extra money as a buffert that will cover unexpected costs.

Monthly cost 22’300 2’453 2’119
Total cost 290’100 31’889 27’541


budget sailing to Caribbean
Our budget for sailing to the Caribbean in a nice diagram

We will keep close watch on our costs while sailing, same as we do now with the renovation, and we will share them here on the blog later. And then we will see how wrong our budget estimation is.

If you want to read about our renovation and equipment costs before departure so far, you can visit the pages under Costs & Information.

Links to other blog posts about sailing costs:


Building our own freezer

Before our summer sail we bought a new refrigerator from Dometic (more about in an old blog post, click HERE), instead of making our own, but now we will start building a freezer as a complement to our refrigerator so that we can store all fish we will (hopefully) catch. Next to the entrance under the bed there have been a cooling box previously, so we will use the same space as well, but with some modifications.

First up to do was to remove the old insulation in the box, and the old cooler. We will use another, newer, one we have already, from a refrigerator in a truck. It is a Danfoss BD35F compressor with a plate evaporator that we will mount in the top of the new freezer.

building freezer
Started to remove the old insulation. The cooling box as it was before didn’t have any surface above the styrofoam and some of them were really dirty and it was a lot of smell inside the cooling box. Very nice to get rid of it.
Styrofoam removed and the old cooler.
The box zoomed out.

As we want a freezer we will add more insulation than it was previously in the box, we will also use closed cell foam insulation that does not absorb any water. We will cover the insulation with white-painted aluminum.  This gives us a surface that is easy to clean. We removed some of the wood around the box to make it a bit bigger and since the new top will lay on the insulation.

building freezer

Unnecessary wooden parts removed and measuring how big the freezer we are building actually will be.

The freezer won’t be very big but we are prioritizing low power consumption instead of having a large freezer. This way the food we store here will be kept cold and if it should break for some reason the items will stay cool for a longer time.

During the weekend we have also started to prepare a roof to match our new mahogany strips. Our boat will soon look absolutely amazing! 🙂

Our boat is starting to look fancy!

We are definitely starting to make a progress with our mahogany interior. And the result is really good, we are really happy with our decision to do this work, even though it takes time. It both looks really good and also a lot of improvements with the boat smell. The entire boat is bit by bit starting to feel a lot fresher. One thing we did that has been a huge improvement smell-wise, is that we have set up old computer fans in the bilge to drag out the air in the bilge outside instead of it rising into the living area of the boat. We are also looking at renting a ozon generator to get rit of some old boat smell.

Now let’s look at some mahogany pictures.

Setting up some mahogany.
The final result! 🙂
This is how it looked before, hard to show on a picture but the fabric was pretty worn out, had lost a lot of color and had gathered a lot of the famous boat smell.
And this is how it looked behind the old fabric and the styrofoam we got rid of. Very dirty and some mold as well. Really nice that we opened it up and cleaned behind.

We have planned to add mahogany at two more places, around the navigation table and at our aft “cabin”. After that we also have some more work to finish our electrical installation and also continue with our autopilot, of course. And also get all paperwork in order.