We thought we might escape from the shipyard at the end of this week but no, not yet! The engines are in but more needs to be done to reconnect the systems and test everybody’s handy work. So we are here for a bit longer.
The new Yanmars are in
As indicated in a previous post we have upgraded to two Yanmar 54hp diesel engines and SD60 saildrives. We did not particularly want 54hp, in fact we would have been happy with 40hp, but there were not two of these in the country. With the pandemic creating severe supply chain disruptions, and the demand for engines being high too, we took what we could get. Everything is a compromise! And yes we will be able to water ski behind Anui because these things will fly!
What did not fly as quickly as hoped was bringing the gear on board and connecting it all. The port engine went in last Friday and we thought the starboard one would be forklifted in Monday but it did not happen! It was sent away for brackets to be made for the water maker and alternator and it took longer than expected to return! It was Wednesday when the starboard engine was lifted on board, thus dashing our hopes to get back in the water at the end of this week. We are now looking at next week.
Getting the Yanmars through the engine bay hatch was tight but went remarkably smoothly and the beasts were bolted in with ample space around for servicing.
Jim from Mackay Marine Services is tackling the long awaited installation and the major job of reconnecting all the systems. Gauges, filters, fuel lines, exhaust pipes, water intakes, engine control cables, batteries, hot water system, water maker, alternator, new cockpit display panels, all have to go back in. The reconnection exercise is taking several days. From where we sit very slow progress is made each day. It is not helped by the fact the brackets made for the alternator and water maker did not fit! The fabricator had to be brought back in to fix this. Then the wrong bolts for the props were supplied, so we had to get the correct ones. And in the midst of waiting, emergencies happen on other boats and Anui falls down the priority list which annoys the hell out of us!
Of course with bigger engines, we needed bigger propellers. It’s a boat… one thing leads to another! We had Flexofold two blade folding props before and our suppliers, Headland Engineering, gave us the option of replacing the lot with three blade folding props, or keeping our hubs but fitting larger blades (18 x 14), thus saving two thirds of the cost, which is what we have done. For those interested in the results of a test comparing 15 different propellers for speed, thrust, drag, stopping distance and price, follow this link to the Prop Test!
For the information of those reading the review, two aspects to note:
- Prop walk is of no value on a catamaran because you have two engines which can be run in opposite directions to maneuver and pivot on the spot.
- Minimising prop drag is important for a sailing vessel, since most of the time you are not motoring but sailing hence the preference for folding or feathering props.
The Big Clean Up
We were desperate to give Anui a clean up. At long last with all the repairs and sanding completed, we were able to hose down the boat and get rid of all the sanding dust, accumulated shipyard filth and coal dust from the port further south. It felt a lot better! We even scrubbed the dinghy which was looking very grubby.
The clean up extended to Ross’s car which needed some TLC – wash and polish inside and out, the least we could do since we have been making great use of it for weeks.
Most days while we are beavering away or just hanging around, Bengie plays escape artist. She takes off down the ladder morning and night, disappearing if you don’t keep an eye on her. Fortunately we now know her favourite hidey spots with sprigs of grass and patches of sand, so we can find her and bring her back home! And the shipyard workers have brought her back to Anui a few times too! She is a bit of a hit with them. And of course she checks out what is going on, like the engine getting lifted in!
We had a brief half day escape ourselves last weekend. We went to Cape Hillsborough, about 40 kms north of Mackay. It was nice to get away, even if we got bogged in the mud trying to walk across at low tide to the little island you see in the centre of the first aerial photo. We were hoping to find the fossils our Mackay friends Lyn and Mick had told us about. All we can say is “don’t try the shortcut across the bay”. It might look inviting but it is not! With mud up to our knees and sandals getting sucked in deep, it looked a bit dire for a while, but we managed to extract ourselves from the quagmire and clean up. The aerial shots were taken once we got back on hard sand! We did not send the drone very high as it was quite windy and Chris thought one disaster was enough!
Hopefully there is only one more maintenance post to come, then we can share with you something a little more exciting than shipyard activities. Getting closer!