Week Three at the Shipyard

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!

Saildrive in
Port Saildrive in and Propeller checked

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.

Starboard engine coming in!

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.

Port Engine and saildrive in but not yet connected to any system!
New bigger exhaust on each side

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!

Upgraded Propellers

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Hose down before the rain!
Dinghy about to get the citric acid treatment
Scrubbing the scum off

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.

Brief escapes

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!

She has to be involved at every step!
She is off!
Back up she goes

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!

Looking south towards the islet and the quagmire
View northwest towards Cape Hillsborough

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!

18 thoughts on “Week Three at the Shipyard

  1. I like the shipyard activities, so interesting! I was going to ask about the exhaust outlet for the engines but you answered that. The engines look nice anyway, you may come to appreciate the extra HP at some point. The folding propellers are brilliant and very much needed.

    I’m surprised at how grungy the bottom of the dinghy is. Benjie is so cute! Did I spell her name right? I can imagine how frustrating it must be to be in dry dock for so long, but it will be worth I’m sure! Great update!

    • Thanks John, I suspect our readers are just about over the shipyard posts… but the blog is as much a record of what happens on board as a story about the places we sail to!

  2. Morning Chris! Deep breath. I think all I can say at this point, is that in the ‘nicest possible manner’, I hope you are not still there when we turn up. See you ‘out on the water’.

    • Hi Trish – hoping to be back in the water early next week. We hope not to see you… in a nice way! We’ll be headed for the outer reef.

  3. Lots to do and good progress, despite the frustrating delays. I will be very interested to see what max motoring speed you get with the new engines, (once fully run in). I have fitted a bigger engine on Asti (6 hp to 10hp), but still come up against the hull drag hump so only a small increase. Would Need to fit a lifting Tee foil on the rudder to unload the stern and reduce stern drag. But that’s for another day!
    Roll on escape day for you.

  4. Love the way your new engine fits ….. like it was made for the size of the bay! Situation normal with parts changes and modifications, still, you’ll be away soon, sailing the high seas with panache ….

  5. I am utterly fascinated with all of the renovations, refitting, and such and am happy that you cover it in such detail, Chris. It helps to give us all a much more balanced view of what your life on the sea actually involves–it is not one continuous vacation. I love hearing of Bengie’s adventures and am not surprised to learn that she is a hit with the shipyard workers. Your pano shots at the end of the posting are lovely–I love the wide-angle view you can capture with the drone. I just got a GoPro camera and hope to play around with getting some wider shots than I am used to and hopefully learn a little about doing videos. We all need our toys. Your progress is visible, albeit halting, and hopefully the end will soon be in sight and you will be back on the water.

    • Hi Mike – Life afloat is definitely not a non stop vacation! We have always taken the view that we should share the ups and downs of the sea wanderers’ life not only as a kind of diary for ourselves but also to let readers know it is not all champagne sailing. The stage we are going through at the moment is the hardest we have had to deal with and with more delays with gear ordering since publishing this post, we are at our wits end!

  6. Hi Chris
    Thinking of you & Wade & Bengie and as always thank you so much for sharing your stories and amazing photos. Good old Bengie, please give her a big pat from us. We are so sorry you have had to go through such a frustrating time and hope things will get much easier soon and that you are able to be out enjoying exploring and sailing Anui again. Please know all your posts and photos are wonderful and inspiring and we certainly appreciate you showing us that there are ups and downs to take into account.

    • Thanks Lindy. Many people read the posts but few take the time to comment so it is really nice to get your message. We often think of you and Phil and young Ella Bleu, wondering what you are up to. We guess that Covid has not helped your cruising plans.
      Definitely lots of downs at the moment… very frustrating. We have to keep the positives of cruising firmly in our mind to get through this!

  7. I laughed a lot at Bengie escaping up and down the ladder, she is such a fun cat with the hidey holes. I laughed also at both of you being sucked into the mud, these things happen when you go exploring. I will eventually catch up on missed posts, makes for good reading.

    • Good we all make you laugh, Susie! Bengie was definitely the escape artist! As for the mud, Wade managed better than I did… I was arms in the air trying to keep the drone bag out of the quagmire! “Save the camera” as I was going down and down further!

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