Hive of Activity at The Boat Works

After weeks of killing time, we are killing ourselves with work as well as killing our bank account. You guessed it, we are on the hard at The Boat Works at long last and it is a hive of activity!

While we were still afloat, we had started the process of taking the sails off, disconnecting the wires from up the mast before we got hauled out, in preparation for the removal of the mast and re-rigging. We successfully stored the spinnaker, screecher and jib in the ‘coffin’, the long locker under the catwalk. We got to the Boat Works haulout pen last weekend and took the mainsail off early in the morning before the wind picked up, managing to concertina it down into the boom bag laid out on the cabin roof, which was rather good! It is staying on the roof as it is too bulky and heavy to move.

Bright and early on Monday we were the first boat to be lifted out. It is always a nervous time seeing the Sea Lift bring our home out of the water, but the guys at The Boat Works are experts and it went smoothly. For catamarans, the Sea Lift is a much gentler ride than the dangle high up in the slings with the Travel Lift.

Then it was time for the big pressure wash to get the weeds, barnacles and muck off the hulls. Considering it had been 18 months since our last antifoul, we haven’t done too badly.

Pressure wash

While they were pressure washing the boat, we shouted ourselves breakfast at the Galley. When we came out we could not find Anui! It was quite funny, we kept looking, row after row… “Have you seen our boat, it’s the big blue cat, we’ve lost our boat!” A new area at the very end of the grounds has been set up for “Live Aboard’s”, and we found Anui there, tucked in right next to the amenities block. Perfect! Not far to go for showers, toilets, kitchen and BBQs! We are really impressed with the continual improvements that are made at The Boat Works to make haulout time a little easier.

There she is!

A shout out to our Contractors

This year we have major work happening which we can’t do ourselves and we have contracted out most of it. It was all go as soon as Anui was in her spot in the yard: marine survey and shipwright inspection, rigging and mast down, old davits off. It felt like the big de-construction before all the re-assembly in the next one or two weeks!

Geoff Cruse, Marine Surveyor, handled the out of water survey. This is for insurance purposes as well as for our own peace of mind. Other than the mast base problem we already knew, there was only a small area of delamination discovered and we will need to put double clamps on all through hull fittings.

Scott Keogh of SK Yacht Rigging is tackling the mast removal and rig replacement. He reset the chain plates and resealed them after finding they were not set properly and might be letting water in. He has removed the single line reefing set up from the boom as it always got stuck, so we moved to slab reefing. He will also make improvements such as organizing emergency steering, upgrading a few pulleys for the spinnaker and screecher.

Why have we taken the mast down? Because ever since we have had Anui there has been an area of depression at the base of the mast with cracks in the fiberglass that let water pool. It has always worried us, being the point of greatest load on the boat. So this was the opportunity to get this attended to. The second photos shows what is under the metal base: hardwood – well, actually not so hard any more. It is just as well we got that examined!

Ryan Thacker, our trusted shipwright at 143 Boat Building is handling the investigation and repair. As is often the case, the more Ryan dug under the base of the mast, the more nastiness he found. The reason there was a depression was that the base under the metal plate was rotten and the whole mast had sunken down! Ryan has been digging out the rotten timber. The area is extensive, not just under the mast base but also under the winches. You can see the cut out progressively getting bigger in the photos. There is more to do, but he has to dodge the storms, hence the plastic covers so the rain does not dribble inside the cabin (not a pretty sight in there either)! He will then rebuild and re-glass the area and re-install the mast base and winches. Bloody hell, even with a mainly foam construction, you still have to deal with rotting bits of timber!

Also on Ryan’s list is re-sealing one of the escape hatches which was developing a weeping leak. Given the hatch is just above the water line, this is one leak we definitely did not want to get bigger. We are pleased we got that checked as the hatch surround was wet. A failing escape hatch would have disastrous consequences.

Wade helping with the hatch removal and clean up, Ryan will handle the rest of the repair

And finally Ryan is attending to the area of delamination behind the port engine hatch, which got picked up during the survey. An inspection hole showed it is just delamination, not rot. You have to be grateful for small mercies! This will be handled with resin injections.

The 143 team has also prepped the hulls for antifoul. We have decided to raise the height of the antifoul. It will come just above the top of the existing white line which is permanently tea stained and grubby as shown in the first photo; for some reason it is more acute on the starboard hull. Although the water level is normally below the top of the antifoul, algae and weed accumulate at the junction of the antifoul and the boot line and between the white and blue paint. It is a constant battle to keep it clean… We are over it so off with the boot line!

Chris Vanstone from Shine Stainless Steel Fabrications has custom built some new davits for us. He tackled the removal of the old ones and the installation of the new set up is happening later today! We will show you what it looks like next week.

Sea Tech Marine is handling the servicing of the Tohatsu outboard for our dinghy. The dinghy being pretty much like our car for anchorage explorations, ship to shore transportation, picking up supplies, etc… it is essential it does not let us down. Here too we have had a surprise. Sea Tech Marine did part of the service but delivered the engine back to us without changing the impeller, fearing they might do some damage trying to get to it. To replace the impeller you need to remove the lower leg which is jammed onto the upper leg. No working impeller means the risk of blowing up the engine so the outboard is back with them with our okay to use ”brute force” to separate the lower leg from the upper leg! Being a two stoke engine, we can no longer get a replacement in Australia, so if they damage it and can’t get us second hand parts, we might be up for a new outboard! We will soon find out!

Wade and Chris’s own jobbies

And then there is the general maintenance which we are both taking care of. To date we have acid washed the hulls and topsides, cleaned up the filthy dinghy, re-riveted one side of the trampoline frame which had come undone, washed down carpets and upholstery, got rid of the mould in the walking robe wall lining, pressure washed the salt encrusted One Way Vision film on the hatches, re-organised the lockers, to sort through the provisions, pots, pans, clothes, and have got rid of stuff we don’t need. There is more on our list, but this will be for next week!

All this is happening in stifling temperature, humidity, occasional storms and downpours since we are at the height of Summer. The heat radiates from the concrete floor, so we are sweltering in our own little sauna. It is not pleasant. We are living in a mess. Here is a glance at the cockpit and saloon. Thank God for unlimited access to showers and laundry facilities which happen to be right next to us.

One member of the crew is very excited to be on land: Bengie loves shipyards. There is lots to explore, ladders to climb up and down, intriguing smells, grass to chew, bushy areas to investigate in the nearby paddocks! She is a bit of a menace if we don’t keep an eye on her: gone for hours! We have had daily search parties for the escapee ship cat!

There is still a lot to do before we are operational again and we are doubtful it will all get done in the original two weeks we had booked. As usual with boat work, it takes the time it takes. “Anui The Money Pit” or “Costalot” are names that come to mind with our boat at the moment!

24 thoughts on “Hive of Activity at The Boat Works

  1. Wow, there is so much work needed for Anui! A leak in the escape hatch sounds deadly to me. The mast certainly needed repair too, how terrible it would be if the mast had broken free or driven down into the hull. Boat: a hole in the water into which one pours money!

  2. You are project planners extraordinaire-all the right people doing the tricky bits of fixing all at once. It must have taken ages to get everyone lined up and it sounds like it’s going smoothly. Just as with houses any renovations and repairs always take longer than expected, and cost more! She will be like new when done so another 20+ years of sailing about on a well cared for Anui about to happen.

  3. Well done to you both coordinating those trades! Don’t envy you doing all this work this time of year though. N did some annual maintenance in January one year, never again. About to get some engine work done ourselves, so totally agree, boats are a money pit!! Good luck.

    • Thanks Amanda – we did not have much choice with the dates. The big ticket items were the rigger, shipwright and steel fabricator and February was it! Everybody is super busy and this was the earliest we could be fitted in, having contacted them in October. The Boat Works is full too. Never seen it so busy!

  4. Absolutely fascinating when one is sitting in a comfortable office chair in front of a computer. Wondered whether you were living on board . . . I am cheering on for Bengie – remember how much she enjoyed all this the last time around !! Well, at the moment you seem to have to put up with a lot of heat and humidity ! A ‘funny’ comment from a landlubber . . . am amazed again there is so little of the boat below the waterline to keep her afloat – pure ignorance, I know!

    • Hi Eha, it is hard work and we keep finding more stuff to attend to. It is the time to do it while we are out of the water! And yes it is amazing the buoyancy in a catamaran… broad, as light as possible and very streamlined hulls in the case of performance cats. Very different to a mono hull with lead in the keel and even to family cruising cats with big volume in and out of the water.

  5. As a couple you know the importance of maintenance. I can see both for Anui and yourself. A thing most people forget. Even Benji knows the importance of an explore when she gets the chance.
    Continued safe travels. Cheers C

    • Hi Caroline, thanks for saying hello. Yes we have to take care of Anui so she takes care of us, and the old bodies (of cat and people) need maintenance too!

  6. Fantastic blog, guys. Catina hauls out at Boatworks Monday week for a couple of months or
    so after lightning struck us at Bribie in December. Hope that outboard engine repair goes well
    but if it doesn’t we have a 10hp Honda 4 stroke in near new condition surplus to our
    requirements that won’t break the bank like a new one, if that’s of interest. Looking forward
    to catching up if you’re still around – it’s been awhile. Cheers, Glenn & Margaret

    • Hi Glenn & Margaret! Lightning strikes sound horrible and expensive!
      Catina is the third boat we know in this predicament. Thanks for the offer of the 10hp outboard. Ours is an 18hp so we won’t take you up on the kind offer; hopefully it will all be good! We probably will still be on the hard when you haul out. We are due for a catch up and joint commiserations! We are on Row 5, spot 1.

  7. Looks like all hands on deck …. all very exciting (if you’re not picking up the bill).
    They seem to really know their stuff, except for the outboard guy. I reckon every water cooled outboard owner knows how vital it is to replace the impellor!
    18 months between anti fouling seems pretty good! Peace of mind when it’s all done eh?

  8. I hope it is all going smoothly since we last spoke. I love it that Bengie is out exploring again. Pepa decided to explore the street yesterday when I was bringing in the bins. She loves to visit the neighbours, lots of different things to sniff. They enjoy her visits too. We have just had a doozy of a storm here, really heavy rain and boy is it humid. Take care & Love

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