Repairs on a boat have an uncanny tendency to multiply and drag on. You touch one thing, and another whatchyamaccallit pops up or some unforeseen delay happens to spoil your day. Every day on the hard costs you money and it is a real skill to chase tradies and get things completed, without getting them off side. Fortunately Wade does that nicely.
We have managed to get everything done and are back in the water after just over two weeks at the Boat Works. So what have we been up to?
We completed the installation of our new nets! What a hard job that was: we were at it for nearly three days in full sun and 38 degree heat, precarious too with the height off the ground! Our nets are made of polyester mesh, threaded through fibreglass battens and are laced to an aluminium frame with dyneema cord. We bought a large 5m x 4m length of polyester netting to do the job and used our hot gun to cut each tramp to size.
Once you take the old net off, you have to thread the battens through each edge of the new net (three straight sides, one curved), use copious amounts of cable ties to temporarily hold the net in place, stretch the net as you go so it does not sag, and emit lots of old people’s noises for good measure. Then it is time to lace the edges with the dyneema cord, a painfully slow process. Let’s hope we don’t have to do this again in a hurry!
The escape hatch
Our shipwright at 143 Boat Building completed the repair to the moulding around our escape hatch. It is back into place, properly affixed to the hull, and repainted. The other escape hatch was thoroughly checked, but it was all good – if it ain’t broke don’t fix it! However, having heard horror stories about catamarans sinking after an escape hatch failure, we have asked our shipwright to make us an emergency kit to patch the hole and make us watertight should one of the hatches give way.
We had scratched the inside of one hull with the dinghy outboard propeller, and it really irked us. And then some stink boat who had anchored too close to us put a ding on the outside of the hull at Paradise Point – that was it: can’t have Anui looking battered; all scratches had to go! Thanks to gun painter Geoff who normally works on luxury yachts for being even more fastidious than we are! We were referred to him by our shipwright. He did a superb job: we can’t see where he has been. Wish we had used him on previous touch ups! We know who to go to in future.
The sail drive
A phone call from the mechanic in Brisbane – Matt at CMA Marine – put a smile on our faces: he had completed the repair to the sail drive and it was delivered back to Marine Mechanical Solutions at The Boat Works on Thursday for installation! Reconnecting the engine to the sail drive and finishing the rest of the work on the engines took longer than hoped, but that’s the way it goes! No more hole in the port hull and no more freaking out when we can’t engage the reverse gear as we approach something hard! We now have two functioning sail drives even if this cost us a small fortune. We have been told to be firm with the gear changes… none of this gentle easing into forward or reverse which apparently wears out the dog clutch – same thing with a cone clutch. Engage the gear like you mean it! It is counter intuitive, but there you go!
Choice Stainless Steel installed the rubbing strips on the sugar scoops and the top of the dagger boards. The compound curve on the outside edge of the boat is a difficult precision job, which took longer than hoped, but each side is now well protected. Although the guys needed a lot of chasing, they did an excellent job!
Repaired boom bag
Our boom bag is repaired, reinforced and has been tested on animals. Bengie approves!
The crucial job of replacing the lower tangs on the rigging was done on Monday morning by Scott Keogh of SK Yacht Rigging. It was a bit close to the deadline, but we got there! Scott also changed the set up of our prodder so we can easily fold it up if we go into a marina, and checked the whole rig, declaring it sound. Now we have the green light to push Anui a bit more… “You should easily do 20 knots boat speed” said the rigger and marine surveyor. This seems a little scary to us, but we expect to beat our current speed record of 13.5!
The big shampoo
Anui was very grubby after two weeks in the boat yard: lots of anti-foul dust from all the boats being sanded in the yard, ash from the fires… It was a right mess. So we scrubbed and scrubbed on our hands and knees, got rid of rust stains, polished the stainless steel fittings and the white shiny top sides and sprayed her clean. It was an excuse for cooling off in the heat! And the dinghy got a scrub too.
Finally back in the water
We were originally scheduled to get back in the water on Monday afternoon but needed an extra day for all the work to be completed so splash back happened Tuesday 19th November.
Both engines and sail drives were checked by the mechanic as soon as we were in the water, to ensure all was as it should be! No leaks, and what a difference with the gears!
So that’s it for this year’s maintenance. Wade has a medical procedure today, I leave the country for France on Friday to be with my Dad and on Sunday or Monday Wade will start heading south to Melbourne with Greg while the northerlies are still blowing! Wish us all luck… We will try to keep you posted on what is happening at both ends of the world, but no promise!