Archive for May, 2022

Contrasts

Saturday, May 28th, 2022

Our lives are an adventure in polar opposites. We hauled the boat and had secured an AirBnB near by. Walking distance. A week before we hauled the AirBnB owner called to let us know that a contractor had informed him of an earlier start. The unit would not be available. Oh-oh. That was the bad news.

A couple of tennis friends we have shared much time with had gone to the UK for a few months. They kindly offered their place for us to stay while the boat is being hauled out. We accepted. While a bit farther away, we still have the car. Driving to the new and walking to the old was about the same time.

And best of all, when working on the boat we would be tracking less yard dirt and crud into the boat. We could leave it cluttered with tools when we left and begin where we left off when we return.

And yet mother nature had other plans. We knew the weather predictions. We also know that Mother Nature either doesn’t read or doesn’t care what the weather service expects to happen. Four days after we hauled, the rains set in. And they stayed. For an entire week. So much so that not only was boat work stymied, tennis too was cancelled many times.

What little could be done on the boat was accomplished.

When we hauled I had a seacock that a contractor had cracked the bolt attaching the handle. I didn’t do anything with it till we hauled out. A seacock is the beefy Bronze item that keeps water out of the boat and allows water to pass through the hull into the sea. So I waited until now. When the boat is out of the water working on this is much safer.

I thought the easiest would be to drill the end of the bolt, and use an Easy Out to remove the screw. I couldn’t get the drill centered well. I drilled anyway. I was able to get a couple of left handed bits at the nuts and bolt store. What luck. Drilling with the left handed bit would help ease the bolt end out. It did not move. I put in the easy out and twisted. The easy out didn’t hold. I needed to drill a larger hole and then use a larger Easy Out. To do that I would most likely damage the threads. The alternative was to remove the fitting. Fortunately we have kept every paper that came with parts for the boat. We have 9 folders full of manuals, instructions, and details. There was a diagram of the parts. I removed the piece.

Next, I needed a machine shop to remove the bolt and then I could reassemble everything. Remember, we live a life of contrasts. I first went to Jock at the Scarborough chandlery. I asked two questions: Where is a good machine shop to get the bolt out and can I order another replacement item.

For the most part Australia has been a wonderland of boat supplies. The seacocks we use are Groco, high quality bronze – US made. They are available here, in limited places, and pricey. It is a boat. What did I expect. First,

Innards of a Groco Bronze Seacock

Jock told me of a machine shop owned by a cruiser. Sweet. Second he would make some calls and see about the part. I gave him the part number. Hopped in the car, W/ and I drove to the shop. Always take W/ , she is much better dealing with people than I am. 🙂 We couldn’t find it the first time and called on the phone. W/ did. After chiding us for not finding it; he said he had been there for decades. He would stand out by the street making sure we didn’t…. drive by…. again.

We showed him the item and as any good machinist would do, said he would try. We left it with him and returned to the boat. We stopped at the chandlery again and Jock informed us that there are no parts available for the Groco in Australia. I could buy a new one, but not the part. Add that to my list. It is however still raining. I wasn’t yet ready to call the US, find the part and have it air freighted over. We do have a daily yard rate while hauled. 🙁 On to the next task while awaiting the results of this one.

Lubricating the seacocks. They need to be lubricated so when and if there is an issue with any leaks one can turn the handle and shut out all water. While in the past I had Rube Goldberged the process, this time I was doing them right. I had purchased two small grease guns that never, ever seemed to work properly. Again W/ and I hopped in the car looking to buy a real, full size grease gun. We did and proceeded to load it with grease and complete the next task. Now to get the Zerk fittings to grease the seacocks. Found them! Great. The 90º fitting fell apart. Some of the Seacocks were in; not impossible, but hard to reach places and I needed that elbow.

Back to the Chandlery. Jock didn’t have any with imperial threads. Remember, I said this was a US made product. The only suggestion was Zackleys; where I bought the left handed drill bits. Off I go. Here I got lucky; they had Zerk fittings with elbows and imperial threads! They didn’t have any straight fittings with imperial but my straight ones were ok. I bought a couple; always good to have extras and back to the boat I went. W/ and I began the process of lubricating all the remaining Seacocks. I love when things work and now they opened and closed easily.

The following morning we stopped by the machine shop. Ian, the owner came out with a shiny piece and the stud still in it . He showed me the corrosion and said no matter what, this would not keep water out. The best he could suggest was a new one. My head was spinning considering the cost of shipping from the US, the shipping time; sourcing the supplier; I didn’t like it. He suggested he could make a duplicate out of 316 SS. How much; $100! Hell, shipping the fastest way from the US would cost more than that! I asked him to make two. With a spare on board, that would guarantee never having another issue. That is what sailors believe, and I’m sticking to it.

Friday we picked up two new parts and I reassembled the seacock. Add the grease and celebrate one of the jobs completed.

Next: fix the water line with the Aqua – Coat, Fix the blisters, Paint the bottom and relaunch.

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Haul Out

Friday, May 20th, 2022
We’re getting closer to cruising again. Hauling the boat is one of the last steps before we cast off again. I am hoping for a week. ( I was off by 2) I am expecting about $5k to do everything ( I was wrong by about $2k) . We have not been out of the water close to 3 years.
 
Elysium being pushed

Elysium being pushed backwards to the haul out.

The marina has a great system of getting boats to the slipway. They tie a tow to Elysium and move it under their power. The boat is carefully moved to the slipway and the slings set. Lifted, power washed and then cradled for our work.

 

The power washed highlighted the first gotcha!

Elysium’s bottom after three years in the water

First in 13 years of cruising. We have some blisters that are not under the paint. They are behind the gel. Now

we get to play “whack a mole”. Every time we haul I’ll be looking for new ones to grind out, fill with an epoxy filler, sand, barrier and then paint the bottom.

After 14 years of cruising we have some blisters

It may be time to do some land travels when we reach Indonesia. There we can haul the boat and let everything dry out, fix and repair the bottom. And finally, start again with a fresh bottom. We’ll see what the future holds for us. For now, it is long tiring days, and another bucket of money. I’ll hire some of the grunt work. W/ and I will try to do the rest.

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Raymarine Australia- WOW!

Tuesday, May 10th, 2022
I am impressed.
 
I sent the depth sounder Hull Transmitter and Display to Raymarine in Sydney on Tuesday. By Friday they had it and replied that the battery was the issue. Raymarine replaced the battery. Everything works now- the tech said. They were sending it back. Yipee!
 
Approximately one week later I had the pieces in my hand. I re -installed the Hull Transmitter and powered it  up. Bingo! I have soundings.
 
Bottom line. I may have been able to replace the batteries in my original unit and had everything working. Instead of spending the extra grand and time getting the new system up and running. Oddly, all to often, spending money is what cruising is. Throwing money at an issue until everything works. Out here, where few things happen fast, where you don’t have all your contacts, where you don’t have loads of time, sometimes the best option is to spend more of those precious cruising dollars.

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long
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Frustrations

Sunday, May 1st, 2022
As things run along smoothly for a bit there are always road blocks that pop up. Wack a Mole is one such idea, Rosan Rosanadan made a skit out of “There’s always something”.
 
We’ve been moving along smoothly towards a departure of May-ish June. The epoxy coating is finished and what is left is on hold. We’be began going through minimal boat systems ensuring they are functional. Checking batteries. One handheld VHF seems to be toast and batterie for it are discontinued. The other came back fine. Refrigeration is sweet. Main engine change is in cooling system great. Dinghy leak fixed. At least one out of four inflatble fenders seems to be holding. Still working on the others.
 
The bump or maybe better described as a smallish sink hole is the depth sounder. We’re not interested in leaving without a functioning one.
 
About 4 months ago we went to check our TackTick wireless sounder. Opps, it doesn’t come on. I checked things out. Batteries not good and will not charge. I buy a new batter set. Still doesn’t work. Ok, I buy a new display. It will not connect to the bulkhead sender. Ok, must be a sender issue. I returned to Wentworths with the display that will not connect. They were willing to exchange it, with more money, for a complete system. That will solve the problem. Nothing fixes an issue like more money!
 

Testing out the New TackTick -RayMarine

As we’re getting ready to haul the boat I figure now is the time to install for a check out. Now, before I need to drill another hole in the boat and install a new transducer. By the way, I also ordered a new transducer. Not one; but two. I ordered one from a company here in Australia only to be stonewalled. They didn’t have one in stock and I had to wait for about two months. Getting scared I still wouldn’t have it in time I found what I wanted on Defender’s site. Defender indicated they had one in stock. I ordered it covering any potential problems. Both arrived on the same day! Go Figure.

 

Now with all the new pieces I tested the system out. I’m stuck at the fist step. I can’t get the Display to connect to the base unit. No matter what I try it will not connect. I removed all the old wireless sounder stuff from the boat and hide the pieces in the car. The car is a long way away. The display st still will not connect. Time to call Raymarine. But… it is Saturday. Not open. And Monday is Labor Day in Australia. Still not open. Oui’ vay! Tuesday, if it doesn’t connect, the item will need to go back to Raymarine and who knows how long the wait will be. The sink hole just got bigger!

 

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long
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