Week two at the Shipyard

Second week at the shipyard completed. We are now in reconstruction mode and things are progressing, but only slowly! There is still a lot to do. What a massive job this business of fixing and repowering Anui is!

Repairs to the Starboard Hull

We have lost a few days with the repairs to the hull as it is a slow, systematic process and each layer has to dry out before the next can be applied. Strips of hard foam were glued back onto the ‘scar’.

Wayne & John glue strips of foam back on the cut
Bandaids on… and you can see the new hole for the saildrive

The next phase was fibreglassing.

Fiberglassing done

There are still several days of work to complete the hull repair by the time several layers of undercoat, paint and finally antifoul are put on.

Engine Bay Preparation

Before the Yanmars could be craned in, quite a lot of work had to take place. First the engine beds had to be precisely positioned. The space will be tight so the engines will be installed head to tail to maximise the space and allow easy access for the belts and for servicing. This means the hole for the sail drive will be in a different spot to the last one, thus requiring the old hole to be sealed and a new one drilled. In the images below, the round hole is where the sail drive will go and the square is for the engine itself.

Once all done, the bed had to be fibreglassed in and painted.

Then Wade was charged with sanding the bed, ready for painting. It is a horrible job in a confined space. As usual it took much longer than hoped – a whole day to get the two engine bays done and dusted, literally. Who would not love this handsome specimen?

Wayne at Finesse Marine followed with three coats of two pack paint over several days. Two days later it had hardened enough and we could walk inside the engine bays. Both of us then sorted and re-threaded the new electrical looms for the engines through the bowels of the boat, which took three quarters of a day!

There was still lots of fiberglassing, bogging and sanding to do on the old sail drive holes, old exhaust and a few patches on the hulls.

Old saildrive hole filled in and fiberglassed
John doing more fibreglassing
And it is bogged!

The saildrives were tested for fit on Thursday afternoon. The moment of truth was checking all was positioned properly, including the clearance for the props! As John said, “you measure as best you can but it’s not until you bring the gear in that you know it fits!” The saildrives have to be in place before the engines get craned in… a stage that will take place next week. Patience!

Saildrive going in, yeah!

It might take for ever to get the new engines in, but one excellent thing to report is the quick sale of our Kubotas and Selva drives, thanks to our Mackay friend Mick. He thought he’d be able to sell at least one of them and in fact got rid of the lot for us before the Yanmar were even out of the box! Better than having them go to the scrap heap!

Other Maintenance

While on the dry, we got the chain and anchor re-galvanized as they were rather rusty. Here are the before and after pictures, including putting back the chain markers:

This was done by the Australian Professional Galvanising Group in Townsville, but to be frank, we are not that impressed and would not go back there again. It is better than it was, but too many spots were missed on the links and we have ended up with lots of globs, a technical term for lumps of galv that make the chain stick.

Chris was on clean up duty for the anchor locker before the chain got winched back up, and she polished the stainless steel deck fittings which were also getting a bit rust stained. We both cleaned the waterline so it is back to white rather than yellow. Lemon juice and Magic Erasers worked well for this task. We probably need to do the same to the dinghy, but we will tackle that next week! Would not want to run out of options for activities!

Toughing it out

Life in a shipyard is not a lot of fun. The compounding fatigue of boat maintenance and repairs takes its toll. We are stressed, our bodies ache, we are surrounded by mess. We hope it will all work out but the whole exercise is exceedingly painful. It is a process, you can’t rush it… it takes the time it takes. Meanwhile our tropical winter cruising is at a stand still with half the season gone.

It has also been hard to protect ourselves from all the fibreglass and antifoul dust flying around because even inside the cabin it is settling on all the surfaces. We are feeling headachy and a bit itchy and so is poor Bengie. We clean and vacuum and wipe, but there is no escaping the wretched stuff. There will be a major hose down before we get back in the water!

A few of you are asking why we don’t just leave the boat and go inland touring while the work gets done! Tempting, but we actually want to understand and see how it all gets done. There are quite a few things we can do to assist too, which saves a few dollars. And Wade being slightly obsessive could not tear himself away anyway!

When not cleaning messes while all of this is going on, Chris keeps her sanity by doing some research – downloading satellite images of various reefs, looking for suitable anchorages, gathering information from locals and passage planning. Dreaming and plotting is good for the soul.

We did take advantage of having our mate’s car and played tourists during a couple of days when nothing particular was demanding our attention. We went back up to the Eungella National Park and walked along the Finch Hatton Gorge. Here are a few images.

A highlight was visiting our cruising friends Tam, Dee and their kids Riley & Blythe on Oceaneer, a 50ft Voyage catamaran. They were also at a shipyard, but at Shute Harbour, 160kms further north. We had not seen one another since March last year and catching up in person was well overdue. Of course we discussed cruising plans. We shared our research on the region offshore of Mackay and the Whitsundays. Hopefully we will soon explore these outer reefs together.

Dee & Tam next to Oceaneer

We all need to sail to places that make us feel rejuvenated. You watch us take off like a rocket as soon as the holes are plugged and the engines are working… and the sea trial has gone well…. and the weather cooperates! Okay, may be not so much of a rocket!

17 thoughts on “Week two at the Shipyard

  1. Wow, guys, I had no idea that this process was so deep and slow! I can only imagine how hard it is being there day after day in the dust and noise. The new sail drives look nice as do the engine compartments, so much time and work put into them. The photos at the park are beautiful, so much green and the waterfall is beautiful! A nice break from the shipyard indeed. Thanks for this post, so interesting! 😎🇦🇺

  2. Huge job! Just think how good it will be with ultra reliable, more powerful engines. Huge improvement!

  3. Great progress really. Certainly helps having professionals that know there stuff.
    Hope you asked a a discount on the regal price at APG. They don’t live up to their name.
    It will all be worthwhile in the end, but as you say its a process to work through and cant be rushed.

  4. A bloody huge task you two are undertaking. I understand why you are staying on board. The stress of leaving your boat, your home, your escape machine in someone else’s hands would be more stressful. Hopefully the rest of the work all goes smoothly and you are soon riding the high seas again.

  5. We’re cheering you on from this side of the world ….. the end must be now in sight!
    And Wade in cling wrap …. now there’s a vision splendid! Tough, awful job to do mate …. well done!

  6. It seems so scary to see such big holes in the bottom of your boat, but things gradually seem to be getting done and patched up. So many of the jobs involve a lot of waiting for drying or curing or sanding or application of multiple coats. I am glad to see you occasionally manage to get breaks from all of that work (and the news of the sale of the old engines surely must have given you a little boost). I love your statement, Chris, that, “Dreaming and plotting is good for the soul.” I suspect that many people having been doing just that over the past year as travel has come to a screeching halt worldwide. Keep dreaming–hopefully you will be able to start sailing again soon and all your research will come in handy.

    • The holes were alarming at first, Mike, but as we watch the repair process we feel a lot more confident.
      Dreaming is good but planning is better… closer to making it happen.

      • Planning helps to bring dreams to life, for sure, but sometimes it is the dreams themselves that keep us alive, that keep us putting one foot in front of the other, when we feel so paralyzed or weighed down that actually planning may not yet be possible. 🙂

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