Posts Tagged ‘Oil Pressure’

Penny Wise and Pound Foolish

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Most would say we’re crazy. Not for sailing, although with sailing too most would say we’re crazy. We’re crazy to order parts from the US and have them flown in by FedEx.  Yeah, we’re doing that, flying spares into Panama.

Oil Pressure Switch

Oil Pressure Switch

We have an oil pressure switch that isn’t functioning correctly. I spent all day Monday traipsing around Colon looking for a replacement. All this adventure cost was 1/2 day and about 5 bucks taxi fare.  I couldn’t find one and as stores kept saying just around the block or just in town or just out of town I finally had had enough and took the bus back to Shelter Bay.

There I decided to call the maker of our generator / water maker  (AquaMarine) to ship me a spare. Not just one spare but 3. We’re heading into the Pacific where supplies are minimal and far, far away.  And ordering 3 parts would give me a working part and two spares.  Cost for the parts $100. Cost of shipping $80.

Now that sounds like a lot. Of course I could maybe save 20 bucks on buying the switches in Panama City; that is, if I can find them. This is how I figure. The cheapest route to Panama City  is about $5 per person. If W/ chooses to go with me then we’re up to $10.  Next I need to get around in the city. If we rent a cab by the hour and we’re lucky we could pay $10 / hour  so estimate 3 hours before I get too tired looking for the pressure switch or I find the part. If I buy them then I now need to return to Shelter Bay.  Cost the cheap way is again $5 for me and if W/ went along another $5. Then once we’re in Colon we can hopefully get a taxi to take us; it;s now dark or close to it, take us to Shelter Bay; cost if we’re lucky $25.

As a summary, if we’re lucky the minimum cost would be $65, and the maximum on the cheap would be $75.  And remember, there is no guarantee we would have the part. We could well be out $65  or $75 and a days traveling and still not have the oil pressure switch.

And so it goes, I order the parts and have them flown in. At worst, this cost me a difference of $15 for shipping and at best I will have saved $65 just by not taking the chance of finding the part in Panama City. What would you do?

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long