A Tale of Woes

This last week back on Take It Easy has been rather painful – stress wise and money wise. Between the insurance claim process, the haulout, the engines close to carking it, and the mainsail needing a slight re-cut, nothing seemed to be going our way.


We have been going through the claims process with Top Sail Insurance. It was just a slow thing on our part as we had to get two quotes organised for the replacement of the stolen navigation equipment and building of a new housing. We sent the second quote on Friday and on the bright side we have just heard back with the OK to go ahead!


The haulout at the Queenscliff boatyard took place over two days. It is a bit nerve racking coming into The Cut, a narrow channel that connects Swan Bay to Port Phillip Bay. The tide rips through the narrow pathway, so it is a challenge to motor through and keep going straight, especially if another boat comes charging the other way and the wind is blowing hard.


Coming into The Cut at Queenscliff

Another nerve racking thing is seeing our catamaran lifted out of the water by the Travelift. We normally come out at the Gippsland Lakes on a rail, so seeing our cat dangling up in the air was a tense experience. Don’t drop it!


Haulout 31-1-18 – Scary!

We cleaned up the weed and barnicles off the bottom… not too bad after two years. We antifouled, polished the hulls, and TIE now looks much smarter. While we were out of the water, we also got the outboards serviced, but that’s another story!


The bad news is that our two Yamaha outboards are on their way out. One outboard is bad, the other will soon be. The upper oil seal on the drive shaft leaks oil from the engine into the crank case. With 1100 hours on both engines, rather than pay for an expensive repair we opted to get new ones. However they have to come down from a couple of different interstate  dealerships, which will take at least a week. So we will be back at Queenscliff when they arrive.

But wait, that’s not the end of the story. The engine woes really came up an extra notch when the Travelift dropped us back in the water and we discovered that the ‘not so bad’ engine’s water pump was not working – the speedy way to instantly destroy an outboard! At $700 a haulout, we were not gettting lifted out again and manoeuvring in this tight spot with one engine was out of the question. The Yamaha service guys were at fault and quickly came back to finish the job properly, but what a frick around!

Yamaha mechanics at work!

Would have been easier to check the engines while we were on the hard stand!


And our brand new sails have to go back to the sailmakers as we expected. The mainsail needs a bit of trimming as the top two battens on the trailing edge hit the back stays, and we also need telltales (bits of string that indicate the airflow along the sails and help with sails trimming) to be put on all three sails. The worse thing is having to climb to the top of the mast to release the two furlers, then needing to put all the sails back on once the job is completed.

So all in all, we are having a very frustrating start to the year! We are now chilling out at Observatory Point for the weekend, just across the bay from Queenscliff. We needed this small escape away from crowds and busy shores. There is no one around, just peace and quiet to recover from all our woes. Then next week we will head back to Melbourne to get everything sorted out. Who knows when we can leave for Tasmania, but we are not venturing out on the exposed West Coast of Tassie until all our gear is ship shape.

38 thoughts on “A Tale of Woes

  1. Wow, sorry your having all the added difficulties along with the theft of your Nav gear. Grrr! The hulls look much better after the scrub! The outboard engine config is something I’ve not seen before, being underneath. I hope everything will come together very soon!

  2. What a bugger!! Lousy way to start 2018. But you are on the way to getting things better now

  3. I understand your dilemmas with the stuff that was stolen, then your outboards being in bad shape, the sail not being done properly the water pump not doing what is supposed to do, etc. After all these frustrations and discomfort…Think about this: If any of those things would have failed to work during your next voyage, in high seas or stormy weather, do you think you would have been better off? I’m glad that all these things happened when it did. Your lives are more valuable by far… 🙂

    • Very wise comment HJ. It is good to have you put things into perspective. You are so right. At least we will soon have brand new sails, instruments and engines, ready for the next adventure.

  4. Good news about the insurance. You’ll be on your way soon, lucky time is something you have plenty of 🙂 ❤

    • Hi Maree – yes things will work out in the end! We’ve probably got a week or two in Melbourne while we wait for the instruments and outboards. See you soon.

    • Yes, although a bit of a shock, it should be smoother sailing once all sorted. At least we will have totally repowered the boat: new sails, new engines, new instruments!

  5. Wow. As the saying goes, when it rains, it pours. It sounds, however, like things are looking up and that gradually you are making some forward progress, despite all of the delays and frustration.

    • Yes we felt a bit down with all these expensive calamities happening. It is a bit better now that things are lined up. It is just a waiting game. Thanks Mike for taking the time to comment – always appreciated.

  6. Wow what a trying time!!! Best of luck, and hope you are soon back to happy sailing on Take it Easy

  7. Sorry to hear about your woes. Not having been there myself I cannot really feel what you are going through. I hope you get through this and enjoy the rest of the year.
    Best Regards, Dean

    • Hi Dean – nice to hear from you. Yes it has been a disappointing and costly time, but things are improving. Hopefully we’ll soon be on our way again. Cruising ups and downs!

  8. I feel for you. I was surprised of the hours on the outboards. I would have expected a life of three times that. Are you replacing with Yamahas? I always thought highly of those motors. Nothing worse than unreliable motors when at sea. You really can’t take chances on the ocean. Not so bad on the river where in most cases you could walk ashore. My Perkins diesel has done 7500 hours and I am hoping for at least double that before major work. Concrete trucks expect 20000 plus hours before major overhaul. Peace of mind is so important when heading out to sea. If you think it may go wrong you will prove yourself to be right.
    cheers Clive

    • Hi Clive. Yes we were surprised as we had replaced them 5 or 6 years ago. But they are petrol outboards, small and light, and so not long lasting like diesels. We are sticking with Yamahas 9.9 hp. They have an extra long leg and high thrust, better than 15hp. We were told that once over 1000 hours you should trade them in. Because we are heading off to the West coast of Tassie, we don’t want to take any chances. It would have cost $2.5K per engine to fix. So we are biting the bullet but at $8K for the new pair, we hope not to pile up the hours too quickly now that we don’t sail on a schedule or it will end up being a very expensive regular cost!

      • I have experienced that recently launching Juanita. Not as scary as jacking 8 ton of boat over a meter in the air so the low loader could back underneath. It took 12 hours one block at a time. Things got wobbly.

      • We used to get winched out on a rail in the Gippsland Lakes – much more sedate! The guys at Queenscliff moved quickly – half an hour to an hour. But a friend who built his own catamaran on his farm had a truck pull him out similarly to what you describe, Clive. He was very tense, but the truckies were very skilled!

  9. Really sorry to hear all the bad news. I’ve never known that to happen in Melbourne. Horrible. The Queenscliff Cut is interesting. First time I went in there a plastic bag got sucked into the port engine intake. No fun at all with an emergency engine shutdown and the tide racing out.
    Hang in there. One day you’ll look back on this as just another unpleasant challenge dealt with successfully.

    Terry on Macanudo

    • Hi Terry, yes we figure we should be glad all this has happened within the protected waters of Port Phillip Bay rather than on the West coast of Tassie, as a few friends have said! We are now waiting for the new gear… the instruments are on their way but not sure how we’ll go with the engines as they are in rather short supply in the country. We will know more in a week or so.

  10. Hi Chris & Wade, I have been following your site for several years now, and hoped I would meet you some2here in the great outdoors. I can sympathise with your problems. Have had similar issues with my 9.9’s by having poor tradies work on my motors. Have had fantastic support from Port Phillip Yamaha in Werribee. You can even get an introductory month berth fee at Wyndham Harbour for a month at $250. Hope this helps. Happy to assist with other referrals should you need.

    • Thanks for the recommendations John and always nice to hear from followers! Looks like two motors are coming to the Yamaha dealer in Geelong. So we should soon be back on our way.

      • Great. FYI. Your new motors will have an attachment for flushing with fresh water. Not sure how your motors are mounted on TIE, but it might be useful to have the attaching hose extended prior to installation, so they are easier to access in the motor mountings once installed. You would then attach the flushing connector (for the hose) to a suitable position on the TIE motor chamber.

      • Interesting, the last time we flushed our engines regularly was when we had a trailer sailor cat, but we have never flushed the engines of our last two bigger cats, other than at service time. It is not practical for us to do so … we normally don’t stay at marinas. The problem with the engines was not corrosion related. It is a choice we guess!

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