Boat maintenance is in full swing… no artistic photography this week! After a week in Mooloolaba where we got Anui’s engines and rigging checked, we left for the Gold Coast on Sunday. We sailed to Coomera over two days and got lifted out bright and early on 1st December at The Boat Works. Bengie was brave and jumped off for a quick leg stretch before the scary part began. Then as the boat was up in the air and getting sprayed, she hid in a dark corner and cried a little, poor little kitten! We are now in the thick of life in the shipyard: heat, dust, noise, exhausting long days…
This year we are in the posh side: the Superyacht Yard, not because Anui is a superyacht, although she is to us, but because we wanted her weighed and the 300 tonnes lift is the only one with scales!
Her specs show 9.5 tons dry weight (which means empty water and fuel tanks, no food, clothes or toys loaded on board). The bets were on: Wade thought 14 tons cruising weight, Chris thought 11 tons. The verdict: 12.5 tons, pretty light for a boat this size! Now we know, even if we had to go through the dangling in the air stage to find out! A bit unnerving but the travelift operators are very skilled and it all went smoothly!
We will go back in the water via the less exciting hydraulic Sea Lift: cushioned arms are driven under the bridge deck to support the hulls, lift her off the ground and she is driven gently down the boat ramp into the water.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves! Before any of the tasks began Anui got a water blast to get rid of algal growth and a few barnacles on the hulls, followed by a quick acid wash to clean the gunk off the blue paintwork.
Once Anui was cleaned up, work could start in earnest. This year, given our decrepit physical state we are outsourcing most of the work to our trusted shipwrights at 143 Boat Building. Ryan Thacker’s business has grown substantially; he has the capacity to tackle just about anything we throw at him. We have developed a great relationship with Ryan. With the horror year we have had, even outside of Covid, it is good to be able to lean on him. We want Anui looked after well, so she looks after us for many years to come.
Props & Saildrives
The first and long awaited job while on the hard was the installation of the new folding props we bought back in January. You might recall we lost one of our props last December a fortnight after our last haulout and questionable work on the sail drives by the previous mechanics. We limped around ever since with a temporary fixed prop because that was the only type we could fit ourselves without needing to come out of the water again. The trouble with a big wide boat is that your haulout options are limited as well as expensive and there was nothing suitable down the South Coast. Nor were we inclined to pick up any more costs as a result of someone’s stuff ups!
The two new folding propellers will make such a difference to Anui’s performance under motor and its fuel consumption. No more rattling, no more imbalance, better motoring speed.
Trent at 143 changed the oil in the saildrives. In the process of doing this, he discovered we will need new shafts and seals next time, which we are ordering well ahead of our next haulout! Nothing like starting the to do list a year in advance!
Antifouling is the other reason for the haulout, a big job which our shipwrights are also handling. Like last year we have asked them to spray it on. We think we get a much better finish with spraying rather than rolling the antifoul and are too wrecked physically to do it ourselves anyway!
We are also getting them to sand last year’s antifoul off the starboard daggerboard and redo it so we can move it up and down more easily! We thought the antifoul was spread too thick last year and collected in the wells, making it impossible to lift the daggerboard out of the water fully. But in fact it was discovered that the starboard daggerboard is thicker than the port one and needed to be reshaped, re-glassed, then antifouled! Not sure how that difference between the two came about but it will be sorted. It just takes time!
Paint Touch Ups
The next task is repainting the back steps on the sugar scoops as they are showing a lot of wear and tear through continuously landing there with the dinghy or the dive gear!
143 are also waxing the hulls. We would have liked various poorly handled paint repairs to be redone by our gun painter Geoff from Millennium Marine who is very skilled at preparing, blending and colour matching, to the point where you can’t see where he has been! But he was urgently called away on a big job so we will live with the blemishes for another year.
New Sail Bag
Mike Sabin from Goldcoast Sailmakers is making us a new mainsail boom bag and sun strip for the jib to replace the worn and torn ones. We have chosen pacific blue for the cloth instead of dark grey to reintroduce a bright colour, but we resisted the temptation to select orange. Anui is a vastly different boat from Take It Easy so no copy cat look! We will show you what our pride and joy looks like with her new trims next week!
What else? We got the dinghy engine serviced and new sea cocks fitted in the port hull. Other jobs we tackled ourselves: replacement of both watermaker membranes, fixed a leak in the port toilet, re-riveted the trampoline frame where it was coming undone, various bits and pieces you’d rather tackle when you are on the hard stand.
It was a week of clean up and organisation too: food supplies checked, their storage re-arranged and documented, lounge and cockpit cushion covers laundered, and a big one, our insurance sorted. More on the topic of Boat Insurance in a forthcoming post!
We will be back in the water next Monday, but won’t leave the precinct yet. It is always open ended when you are getting work done! One repair leads to another, things take longer than hoped and one week can morph into two! So stay tuned for the next maintenance episode!