Changes afoot

As we hinted in our last post, Anui is still in the Mackay marina waiting to be hauled out, but there is a serious change of plan which is putting us out of action for several weeks. Let us tell you more!

Anui at the Mackay marina for a while longer

Our Selva saildrives, from an Italian company that no longer exists, have been giving us repeated problems and costing us a fortune. We are opposed to spending money on parts that do not last. We have also discovered our Kubota engines are smaller than we thought: 22hp rather than the advertised 31hp which explains why we motor so slowly. We are underpowered for the size of Anui and it probably contributes to our hassles.

So in the midst of waiting to be hauled out, we have been doing some thinking… always dangerous! We have done some research and have been weighing up options.

  • Option one: have the dodgy dog clutch and sail drive taken off in Mackay, sent to Brisbane for repair and returned to Mackay, and accept we will have to repeat the exercise in 12 to 18 months, earlier if the starboard one decides to go too.
  • Option two: get the temporary fix done then at the end of the year when we are at The Boat Works have the two Selva saildrives replaced with new Twin Disc saildrives. This means double handling one saildrive, a waste of a few thousand dollars! It would address the saildrive issue, but not the engines.
  • Option three: tackle both the saildrives and underpowered engines in one hit and upgrade the lot now. Scary amount of money and work involved, but we would be done with engine and saildrive issues once and for all.

We have bitten the bullet and are going ahead with option 3: repowering Anui in Mackay right here, right now. Well when we say right now, we mean soon… eventually!

The best known and reliable brands here are Yanmar and Volvo. As for the size we were looking for 40hp but none are in Australia! In the end we are going with what is in stock now, given the difficulty in getting gear in the country with Covid. The Yanmar 54hp and SD60 drives have been ordered, Mackay Marine Services will handle the swap over and John Sticklan, semi retired boat builder, will tackle the structural changes to the engine lockers, engine beds, through hull fittings, etc.

We’ll have two of these, thanks! Ouch!

We are staying at the marina for another ten days and are booked to be hauled out on 21 June, a painfully long but unavoidable wait. Our existing gear will be taken out, then the mechanics and shipwright will install the Yanmars.

So these have been our surroundings and will be for a while longer!

Mackay Harbour, looking south
Mackay Harbour, looking north

There won’t be any cruising for us until sometime in July, but we will get back into it with a vengeance as soon as possible.

Buying and maintaining an old boat is a voyage of discovery: you discover one problem after another! It drains your energy and your finances, yet you take it on because you have a passion for beautiful vessels, for sailing, for adventure. So we keep going! It is yet another unwelcome pause in our cruising, but it is the right decision for us.

30 thoughts on “Changes afoot

  1. At least you guys have a beautiful place to wait for repairs, I would also go with choice number three. Certainly more costly, but the vessel will be much more dependable when you need it most. Thanks for the photo of the power plants, I assumed they were outboard engines! 😎🇦🇺

    • Hi John, comforting to know you’d go for the full change over too. Dependability is much needed. We used to have outboards on our previous boat, but not on this one!

      • The new powerplants will be much better, I wanted to know what the lower unit looked like as I’d seen them in your underwater photos.

      • Did you look at the Beta option? The Guys doing your work are excellent tradesmen. Cheers

      • Hi John, We did but with the set up we had we were told Twin Disc drives were the only option to fit our Kubotas. Good to hear your thoughts about the tradesmen here. We have a good feeling about them.

  2. That will be an amazing upgrade! Well done. Are the new engines and drives any heavier? Will they change the boat’s trim at all? Huge job, but the rewards will be so worth it, along with a massive increase in confidence maneuvering, and peace of mind when cruising. I look forward to seeing the install on my favourite catamaran!

    • Hi Craig, so nice to hear from you. They will be heavier, like 2 passengers on the back permanently! It is a pain having to do this in the middle of our favourite time of year for cruising but we are on this boat for years, so it has got to be right. Posts of the install will definitely follow!

  3. Morning Chris. You are going to end up with the same engines as us! As for pausing, we are also paused as I wanted more time on the mainland to be closer to hospitals just in case there were complications after our first Covid jab. We are on a five day exploration of discovery in the Central Highlands. Hopefully all is well and we can get back to sailing soon, and who knows, we might even catch up to you! Stay positive
    Love to the three of you. xxx

    • Hello Trish – more walking for you guys! Wade had his first COVID jab and had a flu like reaction – in bed for a few days! I had mine over two months ago and was just fine. Enjoy the Central Highlands!

    • Hiya Ross, insane passion describes our life well! And right now we are getting even more nuts seeing our cruising interrupted and being stuck in a marina while we wait!

  4. I was on pins and needles when I started reading this posting, Chris. I feared that you had discovered some fatal flaw that would force you to abandon your beautiful boat that stands out so wonderfully from the crowd, as the first photo shows. It is easy for me to say because I am not the one having to spend all of that money, but I am really happy to see that you chose the option that deals most definitively with the recurring problems. With your lifestyle, mechanical reliability has to be near the top of your priorities. It is somewhat reassuring that you were able to make this decision now, when you are at a location where the refitting can be done–it would have been a whole lot worse if you had broken down at some remote spot.

    • Ah Mike, there are times when I personally wonder if we made the right decision with purchasing Anui, but Wade sees it as the normal boat shit. In the end we are committed to this lifestyle and are grateful to be able to deal with the economic incursions! And as you point out, we have come to a port which can do the refit albeit with a long wait. But it did take us several days to get here! We were lucky it was very windy and we could sail all the way!

      • I guess it is sort of like owning a vintage car, albeit a really expensive one, that requires constant tinkering and costly maintenance. Anui is so beautiful, though, and I love seeing shots of her beautiful exterior and spectacular interior. You and Wade are fortunate indeed to be in a position to live a lifestyle that you have freely chosen and courageous enough to actually do it. Many of the rest of us are held back by fears and inhibitions that keep us from more actively pursuing our dreams. That, of course, sets us up to feel regrets for the things that we have not done, which is sort of the opposite of the moment of self-doubt that you may occasionally feel, Chris. Life is risky and uncertain and I admire your willingness to embrace that head on, knowing in advance of certain challenges and the likelihood of additional unanticipated challenges. Patience is hard, but you have a plan for moving forward and hopefully you can start to implement it soonest.

  5. today is a better day, a little warmer than yesterday when it only got to 10 in Sydney. Maybe 16 today. your new engines look BIG and impressive, I hope it all goes well and you are soon out to sea again!! I have had to buy another computer and I really like that it is soooo much quicker than on old one. Enjoy being landlubbers in Mackay.

    • Hi Sue, we’ve got the cold today! Started at 6 degrees… in the tropics! We’ve got the trousers, long sleeves, puffer jackets and Uggs on! Bright sunny day though…

      New computers are great fun, it is like coming out of the dark ages. Let’s hope it feels the same when Anui’s new engines are in!

      Using the time to do some research on the reefs offshore of Mackay since the Swains are put back to some other time! And we’ll take a few drives up the hills as another yachty is lending us his car from time to time.

  6. Wowsers… such a big change from the humble 9.9hp outboards on TIE, but I’m sure it be reassuring to have the power reserves to punch your way out of difficult situations. Thanks for the update.

    • Yes the TIE outboards are long gone and soon the troublesome Selvas and undersized Kubotas will be gone! Shame there’s a few weeks of pain beforehand!

  7. Can’t say my experiences in Mackay Marina have been great. Ten or so years ago we had a lightning strike on the marina right next to Macanudo’s pen. the surge blew everything aboard. All was replaced by the shipyard over several months, but I wasn’t there for most of it and the insurer’s loss adjuster had personal problems that kept him away, too! Long story short, we then sailed to Sydney to have much of the repair work done all over again. So stay close! But also enjoy the marina – it’s a friendly place and there’s lots to see in the area.

    • Hi Terry, Great to hear from you, but not so great to read this! We have a habit of hovering over the shipyard workers just as much to learn as to hurry them along so we will be there! And we are living on the boat in the yard too!

  8. Ouch! Expensive changes, but reading your logic, sounds like you’ve made the best decision, especially for the long term. But, 22 Hp to 56 HP!!!! You’ll be able to ski behind Anui if you’re looking for more fun to have!
    Here’s hoping this marina experience passes quickly …

      • BTW, just read in the Times that John Silvester died. Remember him? Paraglider pilot, climber, who flew all those amazing adventures around the HImalayas & Alps? A bit ironic, he died aged 61 of a heart attack. I’ll send you his obit …. will help you guys pass the time on the dock ….

      • I flew with him in Spain for the world comp! Landed in the same paddock after a hell flight! Nice fellow, unassuming yet in a totally different league with his flying. What a shame!

  9. You will love the Yanmars. I have 2x56hp ( at least that’s what the book says). You’ll love the power and reliability, which is what you adventurers need. I agree with Wade – it’s just boat shit.

    • That’s good to hear, Terry and yes we want reliability and are sick of getting stuck. Let’s hope the installation goes smoothly and we get on our way again.

  10. There are two main concerns of buying a second hand boat. The hull and the engines. You will get at least 10 years trouble free motoring with those new engines and drives which will pay back in fewer grey hairs in no time. I think with 54 hp engines and your light weight hull you should be able to tow a hydrofoil board for some fun? https://www.armstrongfoils.com/mother-board-86/

    Good luck with the refit.

    • Hi Phil, it took us a while to come to this decision but now we are happy and know the benefits we will get. A bit nervous about the refit. It will be pretty tight in there and reconnecting the water maker and big alternator might be a challenge.

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