Practical Boat Owner

Caribbean adventure
nick & annabella Atkinson
Sat 8 Jan 2011 14:42

We thought it would be good to give you a glimpse of real boat life outside the glamour of the adventures and sites…



The trips have been great, but there is a real part of boat life which takes up the patterns of our week.  On top handy tips, we have discovered that Glade Sense n Spray is fantastic at keeping the boat smelling fragrant, and cleanliness is absolutely paramount – those bottles of flash spray shipped over from the UK have done themselves proud!  Washing days are also interesting, as we have been challenged with a lot of laundrettes not having self service.  Our first experience of having our laundry done for us is hopefully our last, as we received a bin bag full of our coloured clothes – many new – complete with a matching array of blotchy bleach stains.  In St Maartin, our only alternative was to sneak in to a laundrette meant for residents of a time share a mere mile away.  Laundry days are now fraught with dread!


We have to say, Tom Tom is generally spick and span and this has helped us to avoid the regular hazards of unlocatable boat smells etc.  On the DIY front, Nick has been the superstar he always is – always practical and always able to put his hand to anything.  The latest big task has been to change the engine mounts which has stopped the engine vibrating – normally the task of an expensive engine mechanic.  After a gruelling afternoon of blood, sweat and tears, Tom Tom is purring like cat content as the new mounts kick in with complete satisfaction.  Other boat maintenance includes tweaking the backstays.  For this, we managed to recruit the offer of assistance from C’apin Matt (Matt and Trish have been our life line of fun, games and bouncing ideas off during our time in St Maartin, and we eagerly look forward to catching up with them later in the year.  We have also managed to blag an invite to St Tropez in the South of France so we would be mugs not to take the offer up!).  Matt skippers a boat called ‘Dark Star’ which we mentioned earlier but really is the most beautiful boat in harbour and far more classy than the larger super yachts -   100 feet of absolute luxury and finesse.  Matt’s background is as an engineer so he and Nick have jolly old chats about the merits of a rivet (to which Trish and I contemplate switching off!)  For kicks, Matt loves doing boat maintenance and jumped at the chance of giving us an hour of his free time to do the job – saving us a small fortune in the process of having to pay someone to do it!  A sterling job was done and Tom Tom is for now in tip top condition and sailing the high seas….