A Comprehensive List of Everything That's Broken on the Boat So Far


Real talk: boat life isn’t always filled with sunshine and calm seas. Is anything? I love sharing all the fun aspects of living aboard because honestly, 85% of the time, it’s absolute best. And I’m not the type of person to let little mishaps and unforeseen expenses get me down. But that doesn’t mean that Brian and I haven’t run into some serious boat-related challenges in the eight short months since we moved aboard.

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If you’re seriously consider living aboard (and I wholeheartedly recommend that you do!), you’ll want to keep in mind that things break on boats. All. The. Time. So, I’d recommend factoring unforeseen repairs into your budget.

In the spirit of keeping it real, here’s a comprehensive list of everything that’s broken on our boat to date. For context, The Catalina Wine Mixer is a 2001 Carver 444 Motor Yacht in excellent condition. We completed a thorough inspection before moving aboard and have kept up with all the regular maintenance and care that our yacht broker and the previous owner recommended.

  • My toe (OK, it was just a sprain, but my nail turned black and blue. It really hurt!)

  • Our pride (we fall, bump our heads, and stub our toes a lot now. It’s just part of tiny living)

  • Our coffee table (we have to move it every time we open the engine room. It didn't hold up well, but we have a new, more durable version now!)

  • The pipe under our galley sink (we keep a pot under the leak for now. New sink coming soon!)

  • The toilet bowl seal in the forward cabin (a slow leak that requires a special part)

  • The Lectrosan (waste sanitation) system (we couldn’t use the toilets until it was repaired)

  • The Lectrosan power fuse (we had a leak which caused the system to work overtime)

  • The boat’s main power chord (it got totally fried)

  • The A/C system (during a heat wave!)

  • The toilet hoses in both bathrooms (they were 17 years old – it was time)

  • The microwave (it decided to stop working while I was attempting to pop popcorn)

  • The shower pan in our aft cabin (thankfully, it was just a minor back-up)

We’ve also tackled countless clogs, three blown fuses and two minor floods – one in the engine room while attempting to drain a sea strainer, and another in our forward cabin when a faucet started spraying out of control.

Living aboard has been quite the adventure so far! Not that I’m complaining. If this is the price we pay to live out our dream, I’m totally OK with it.

Unless both toilets break at the same time. Then, we might have a problem!

Just kidding 😊

Jaclyn Westlake