When you own a boat, maintenance is on-going, but once a year there is a concentrated effort to attend to the big jobs, those things that require “a man”, in fact several men to tackle them and also need the boat to be lifted out of the water. So this is it, Anui gets the works. Warning: It is a long post, so grab a cuppa, make yourself comfortable and read on!
This year we have outsourced a lot of the work. The few things we are doing ourselves include threading new nets for the trampolines, installing a wash down pump to clean up the anchor chain, swapping the chain around from head to tail, getting our three stainless steel gas bottles tested since they were all out of date, cleaning up rust stains on the deck and fittings, polishing to topsides and washing every cushion cover in the saloon and out in the cockpit!
The Professional Team
Things have been going like clockwork at The Boat Works. The trick with any haulout is to let the trades know in advance when you will need them and what you want done, then confirm your haulout date with them as soon as you are booked in, so your boat is in their schedule. And a call once you are on the hard ensures everyone reports up for duty!
Another important aspect is to accept that you will often be out of the water for longer than hoped. This is because if unexpected things are discovered, you have to get them properly fixed. Our approach is to attend to whatever crops up, because Anui is our home and we intend to cruise on her for many years to come. As a yachty friend Pete on Selah puts it: it’s a contract. We look after our beautiful ship and she will look after us.
What follows are details of the big jobs handled by the professionals. This is a shout out to all the marine trades we are relying on. All have been really impressive and we would recommend them to other yachties without hesitation.
Our shipwright Ryan Thacker and his team from 143 Boat Building had the lion share of the work. They have attended to our reef sins, done a cut and polish on the hulls, some touch ups to the paint work on the cabin roof and the hulls, and have sprayed new anti-foul. The boat looks amazing. They are also addressing two unexpected discoveries: some delamination near the base of the mast and suspect weeping around one of our escape hatches. The delamination got fixed easily. As for the escape hatch, the cedar moulding around it had to come off to investigate and revealed an area where the sealant had given way and water soaked into the moulding. It has been cleaned up, bogged and will be put back on properly and repainted this week.
We can’t speak highly enough of the 143 team. They are versatile, responsive and friendly.
Rob Arnold from Marine Mechanical Solutions, is looking after another crucial job: the engines maintenance. This involves putting an anti siphon on the exhaust to stop any salt water from coming into the engine, cleaning out the heat exchangers, fixing a leaky water pump and replacing the water impellers. Most importantly the dog clutch repair is also underway. The port sail drive has been taken off and sent away to specialists in Brisbane. It is a bit scary: very pricey and it will take a while as we wait for parts. For now we have a large hole in the port hull where the sail drive used to be, so there is no going back in the water until it is put back!
Scott Keogh from S K Yacht Rigging is replacing the lower tangs on the rigging, changing the worn water stays that support the prodder, improving the way the prodder is set up so it can be more easily folded up when in a marina, and tuning the rig. We have been sailing Anui very conservatively until now knowing the rigging needed attention and of course also learning to handle her. But now we have the green light from Scott and from our marine surveyor Geoff Cruse to push her a bit more! “You are not going to let monos and other cats overtake you, are you? She is capable of a lot more than you have ever done; giddy up!” I am game, but Wade is a lot more conservative than I am. We’ll keep you posted on that little challenge!
Bevan Dawson from Marine Canvas & Trimming has made us some new clears for the cockpit to replace the rotten ones. The difference is amazing compared to our tatty, cloudy, mouldy old ones! He has also repaired a couple of zips for the lounge and cockpit cushions. All this was done and dusted in two days. Very pleased!
Mike Savin from Gold Coast Sailmakers is fixing the tears on the boom bag, and has given us advice on the type of spinnaker we should get to eventually replace our ragged out asymmetrical one. He has taken the measurements and will be on standby to make us a symmetrical spinnaker to suit our cruising needs when the existing one gives up. Let’s hope Bluey still has a bit of life left as we have enough expenses to cope with right now!
We have had Print Image Signs cut and stick on One Way Vision Film on the big side windows to replace the badly discoloured shade cloth. This is the same perforated vinyl as we had put on all the hatches when we first bought the boat. This works very well to stop the sun and heat from penetrating in the cabin, but allows you to see out from the inside.
Geoff Stevens from Choice Stainless is fabricating more steel rubbing strips to protect the edge of the sugar scoops and the top of the dagger boards were the lifting ropes are cutting into the fibreglass.
There has been a hive of activity on Anui with all the guys doing their bit! Once you start, you are committed! Even though it is going to seriously hurt the bank account, it feels right to have our beautiful boat properly and fully attended to. She is going to be like new!
We should be back in the water some time next week. Hopefully by the end of the month Wade will be ready to sail to Melbourne with help from local yachty and follower Greg Wheat who came over to see us as soon as our last post was published. He is well experienced, qualified, and available! We are grateful for the help. Thanks to those who also offered to lend a hand. With Anui in the best possible shape, there will be no holding Wade and Greg back. It should be a speedy passage to Melbourne.
As for me I will be flying to France on 22nd November to spend time with my Dad and my sister. Things might be a bit quiet on the blog front for a while. I’ll see how I go. Thanks in advance for bearing with us.