Welcome to Zenitude’s blog where you can follow us while we travel slow in our Lagoon catamaran. We update this blog frequently when we are cruising to let family and friends know where we are. Check the complete story of our adventures that started in 2006 when Zenitude became our home and cruising our way of life. Graciela and Oscar

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Zenitude prevails and she gets repowered

In 2006 we sold our home, bought Zenitude and moved on board. At that time Zenitude was just 3 years old, soon she will be 14. Since then we have sailed over 30,000 miles and enjoyed our cruising life immensely. We find the sailing enjoyable when everything goes well on a perfect day, on one of those days when you set up your sails and just go where you want to go without having to change sails twice per hour, but it has always been the 'getting there' and not the 'sailing there' that makes us happy. This is what defines us as 'cruisers' and not as 'sailors' but despite of all the ups and downs, we love this cruising life.   

Before we bought Zenitude, we were actually looking for a long-range trawler. At the time, we were living in the US East coast and after spending about a year researching and looking for the right boat we could not find anything that was right for us at a price we could afford. At some point, our friend John came to our rescue by suggesting we should take a serious look at sailing catamarans. At this proposition, we replied horrified that we always had motor boats and had no idea how to handle sails. No matter, he said, I will teach you and besides a catamaran has two engines suitable for going in trawler mode and on top of that, he went on, you have sails for getting you as far as you want to go. It was a good argument and you can read all about this story here. Almost 100% convinced we went on a search for our sailing catamaran and when we found Zenitude, we knew she was the one. Since then, never for a moment we regretted our decision.

Cruising with Zenitude

At anchor somewhere

Eleven years and all those miles later, we find ourselves with a dilemma, we are getting old. The stamina is not always there, we are avoiding long trips, we are lazy when it comes to handling sails, especially the big main and we are trying to avoid overnights. About a year ago, we started thinking and pondering if we should switch back to the trawler/motor cat idea, less work and more speed. We even pretended we were in the market and got to see some boats that could be affordable. Our shopping tour did not last too long, anything we saw looked like a big demotion of our cruising life.

The problem, as it turns out, is we are in love with Zenitude and by now, as Oscar puts it, we know every single screw she has. Selling Zenitude did not feel right and it seemed like a too drastic measure.

After a lot of thinking and research we started looking at our dilemma from a different angle. What if we re-power Zenitude, give her two new engines a bit more powerful, change her propellers for better and more efficient ones and treat her as a power cat when we do not feel like handling sails.
This ‘what-if’ scenario started looking like a good idea. Serious costing considerations came next. Negotiations for new Volvo Penta MD 40’s and their installation proved affordable if we could sell our old Volvo Penta MD-30 engines, which we did and sooner than expected our 2 engines went to another cat in need. Now our two new engines are waiting for installation in May and Oscar is busy preparing the engine ‘rooms’ to receive two shiny new engines.

Port engine 'room' ready

We think these changes will better suit our new (older age) cruising life style. Gone are the long ocean passages, instead coastal cruising in warm Queensland is our current pattern. If we change our minds, Zenitude is still with us to take us as far as we want to go.

At the yard in Gold Coast City Marina, ready for the new engines