We’re back aboard Peregrine and slowly getting ready to leave for Panama. To me, there are issues to be resolved besides cleaning and provisioning. Gene is taking his usual stance that I am over-reacting and seemed content to ignore my views until we had a “Streetcar Named Desire” type yelling match in the marina. I don’t know why it always takes a fight to get my point registered. I am very concerned about one of the steel plates that a few keel bolts go into. The plate is rusty to the point of flaking. This was the area where Peregrine’s ‘ribs’ were broken when we hit the reef in Malaysia. I wondered if this particular plate has a tiny leak which is causing the rust. It is most likely just rusty because we ALWAYS have a wet bilge.(Ridiculous design #5) Gene says all bolts were tight when we checked after the reef incident and that the rust is not affecting anything and there is nothing to worry about. I have learned over the years that Gene isn’t big on upkeep. I asked that he take a very good look at the plate before we leave.
Another issue we’re having is liability insurance. Some companies wouldn’t cover because of Peregrine’s age, and those that might require an out of the water survey even though we only want liability. So far, one company has offered insurance at a ghastly rate with a $2,500.00 deductible and an out of the water survey. The deductible part is fine, but the rate is twice what we paid in Europe. The insurance company we had there won’t cover American yachts in American waters. (Obviously, too many greedy people and their attorneys). We have a few feelers out. Gene isn’t concerned about getting insurance; he just wants to show up in Panama and deal with it then. I don’t think we will be able to get into the marina in Panama without it. His point is that we’ve gotten covered by a local company before when we needed it. Gene is convinced a surveyor will say we need new rigging even if it looks good just because of its age. I think a survey at this time would be good. Peregrine has got to be as tired and worn as we are and a surveyor might see something we don’t. It’s just that I would prefer having the survey and work done in Panama. The yard here seems excellent and might be the best place to do things, but it is in a dismal spot. We are surrounded by industry and the bus stop is a mile and a half away. There is nowhere decent to bird within walking distance of the boat. In Panama, there is a rain forest behind the marina/boatyard. If we have extensive work to be done, I would rather be there. Also the marina in Panama sounds as if it offers a good life with many amenities; even machines to do your own laundry.