29 December, 2006
21 December, 2006
The final steps in completing the dodger are now in place. I have built a frame to hold the Lexan in place when I secure it to the dodger. Because it is bent this frame will have to stay until the silica is dry and the Lexan is held firm. I have placed rubber spacers in the window frame so the silica will not be pressed out by the frame. Within a few days the hard dodger will be complete. All I need now is to give it a final polish and fit the hand rails
11 December, 2006
The dodger is fitted and securely bolted down to the deck. It looks great and fits perfectly. I will put a wooden cover strip over the bolt heads to make it look finished.
The side windows went in without much of a hitch although it was a lot of work. The front window will be the challenge with the curvature. I will embarked on that today.
10 December, 2006
The final stage of the dodger is in sight. I am concentrating on the inside to make it look less rough. I filled in the spaces with foam and used a bit of micro cells to smooth off the inside. It has turned out rather well with a smooth surface. I flow coated the inside and sprayed it but unfortunately ran out of the Almond Ivory used on Malua.
Vince told me last week that his Lexus Lexan Mate did not have the dark grey Lexan. I had suspected this for some time which confirmed that I should have walked away from
I have now sourced the polycarbonate and will fit the dodger down at the coast.
17 November, 2006
Yesterday I started to fit the hard dodger onto Malua. It was quite a challenge because the wind was blowing and it was cold. The wind reached almost 30 knots directly from the Antarctic. I had to keep it tied down and move it carefully when I needed to cut the bottom to fit the boat. It took much longer then I expected but in the end the fit was very good indeed.
I started to form a glassfiber lip on the inside of the dodger which will be used to secure the dodger to the vessel. Today I will add more layers and start the create a lip on the front outside. This will be removable and secured by bolts. The solution to the opening for the halyard on either side still has to be solved.
When the fitting is complete I will remove the dodger and take it to
26 October, 2006
I finally added the additional battery bank which is 4 six volt Sonnenschein SB6 200 amp-hour under the aft cabin bunk. It fitted well and I was able to secure then with little effort. Then begun the task of rewiring Malua to divide the electronics from the motor based equipment. It was obvious that I had to isolate the chart plotter from the other components. After 18 hours of sailing with the autohelm the draw on the current fell below the chart plotters cut-off voltage and it would cut out.
To overcome this I split the electronics on one battery bank and the motor based equipment (winches, windlass and autohelm) connected to the second battery bank. There is still the starter battery. To achieve this I had to install a second four position heavy duty switch (Off, 1, 2 both). This then had to be wired and the other wires re-routed to suit the new layout. I created the attached wiring diagram well before tackling the job. It was easy to follow and everything fell into place. I also uncover an anomaly that had challenged me since I completed the original wring. The power no goes off then the negative is switched off.
The test will come with a overnight sail with the autohelm working away but with 1,000 amp hour I am sure there is enough capacity. The gen-set will have to work hard to keep the capacity up but with a 150 amp alternator and a smart regulator it will find it easy. The two solar panel are able to put in 8 amps of current which will ensure it is always topped up.
14 October, 2006
Yesterday, the hottest day of the spring we decided to fibreglass the plug. Vince's yacht is in his factory and the deck is right under the roof so the temperature was right up there like an oven. As a result the fibreglass went off well before time and we struggled to get it wetted out. In fact it was a debacle. The plug was covered with different thicknesses of glass, some of which were well covered in resin while the others were still dry. Thank goodness it is only a mould.
I designed the windows on the plug then set about cutting the wood to form the frames in the female mould. These will be screwed to the inside of the mould.
Vince will remove the female mould from the plug and buff the edges to form the final mould. I will then return to
07 October, 2006
I took the dodger plug to Newcastle to fit it to Vince's Adams 40 which is still under construction. This gave me a change to check the measurements and to see it in situ. I think it will look good although there is still a long way to go so there is still a down side risk.
Collected the sails from Noth loft after having a snuffer fitted to the big spinaker. They repaired some wear and tear on the working sails. I am still very pleased with the choice of North sails - the value, quality and service.
02 October, 2006
I took measurements from my existing dodger and made a pattern. Then set about constructing the initial plug in wood. After a few design changes I set the final design. Then came the construction from timber I had in the yard. When I had almost finished I received a telephone call from Vince in
The final product is now ready to ship which I will do on Thursday.
25 September, 2006
After the setbacks of the bar and Ulladulla slip I felt it was time to make some progress. I called River Quays to see if they had a free slot to lift Malua out of the water using their travel lift. Friday would be OK. With the weather forecast of wind from the south at 15 to 25 knots it was a great invitation to take off for Sydney. I left Ulladulla at noon on Tuesday with the breeze behind me. This wind continued all afternoon and right through the night. I had the full main up with the genoa on the spinnaker pole. This continued all night. It was a great down wind sail.
I arrived outside Sydney heads at about 5:00am and set a course for Balmoral Beach to put the anchor down for a few hour sleep. The sun was just below the horizon as my head hit the pillow. I slept for a few hours then picked up the anchor and motored under the bridge to Blackwattle Bay under the ANZAC bridge right next to the fish market.
I again dropped the anchor next to Tiaki – Peter and Jenny who I had met during their stop at BB on route from South Australia. That evening we had a great meal at the local pub.
The following day I motored up the river to River Quays who lifted me out of the water on Friday using their travel lift. Was I relieved to have Malua out the water.
No to get on with the reason for all this effort. The replacement of the shaft bearing in the skeg. Stuart had helped me make a set of pullers to remove the flange next to the flexible joint where the shaft attaches to the engine. This came off with ease – a dream. I then removed the Autoprop propeller. Again with a purpose built puller. Now the real job. The bearing in the skeg. The shaft was removed and I put the puller threaded rod through the bearing and set up the pipe spacer on to the skeg. By turning the threaded rod the bearing slowly moved out of the skeg into the pipe. It was a tough job – taking almost two hours of solid effort. Finally the skeg dropped out. I had catch a taxi to D H Porter to swap the bearing I had for a narrower one. This then was forced back into the skeg with the puller reconfigured the other way round.
No push the shaft pack through the new bearing. It would not fit. The compression of the bearing in the skeg had reduced the size of the hole. Simple process of reaming out the hole to suit the shaft. A great fit.
Next was to reattach the engine flange, dripless bearing and the propeller. I regreased the prop. During all this activity I was washing the antifouling and applying 14 liters of Micron Extra to the hull. That was two coats with a bit extra on the leading edges and around the rudder.
On Monday morning I was lifted back into the water and motored to Blackwattle Bay to wait for the compass adjuster.
06 September, 2006
The crew left in the morning to drive back to Batemans Bay. I cleaned up the boat before Denny arrived to take be back to the house. I arrived the next day to prepare for the evening’s slipping. I measured up the cradle and then made marks on Malua where the cradle should go.
Just before the top of the tide I motored over to the slip and waited for the manager to let the cradle back into the water. I then motored up on to the cradle. It was obvious that I had not made the marks and more water was needed for Malua to sit correctly on the cradle. I secured lines to the cradle and winched them as tight as they would go. Not a slight movement.As the tide was about to go out I for the second time in a few days, I had to back out of being stuck without sufficient water. With the engine in full astern the boat was not moving. I had to take the lines attached to the cradle forward and use the windlass to pull the boat off the cradle. What a relief to be free floating again. What to do next?
After about 30 minutes and the reality of the tide falling I thought it prudent to contact the BB Coastal Patrol to give us some assistance. We continued to drive forward moving the vessel slightly NE. We were starting to heel but not make any progress. We took stock of the situation and started to look for deep water which much to our surprise was sighted off the port quarter.I put the engine astern with full throttle, hoping that the swell would lift us off. Fortunately Malua broke free and we went astern into some deeper water. Not wanting to chance our luck any more we steamed back towards the breakwater. At that point the Coastal Patrol vessel appeared much to their disappointment. We drew alongside and thanked them for the offer of assistance. We steamed back into the Marina to wait for the afternoon tide which would give us an extra 400mm.
09 August, 2006
At last I have secured a spot for Malua on a ship to transport it from Sydney to the Med. The experience was easy with a very efficient email communication to Amsterdam. This is so unlike the Dockwise rip-off that I had endured earlier in the year. The ship is carrying a number of Sydney to Hobart yacht to Europe for the sailing season so I am sure it will leave on time.
Next week Malua is to go through its annual NSW Maritime commercial survey which should be quite straight forward this year. I then take the vessel to Ulladulla to the slip to replace the propeller shaft bearing and the rudder seal and bearing. Quite a big job if things go wrong but I am not expecting any real trouble.
The Batemans Bay Marina Cooperative is still being very uncooperative in not replying to my requests to slip the vessel and not responding to my telephone calls. I now have a strategy to put some pressure on them and the Department.
03 August, 2006
The lifeboat of the Batemans Bay Coastal Patrol.
If I am not on Malua, I am on the crew of the Batemans Bay Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol. We have three vessels: RIB, Shark Cat and the Waverney Lifeboat. We have a great crew and have undertaken a few "rescues" but nothing challenging. It is good to keep my hand in and to see how other organisations do things. It is quite different to the South African NSRI which, when I was a member was a very can-do organisation, with well prepared vessels to tackle the big seas out of Gordons Bay near the Cape of Storms.
24 July, 2006
13 July, 2006
12 July, 2006
11 July, 2006
09 July, 2006
I have completely redesigned the electrical system to add four new batteries and to route the power into two types - motors and electronics. This will save the loss of power when a motor starts up. It will also add some extra amp hours to use in an achorage. I will have to delay the implementation until after the survey inspection.
04 July, 2006
29 June, 2006
25 June, 2006
18 June, 2006
over the following months I will write this journal then continue it while on the cruise.
Spent the day creating a new site for Nicola. I published it at www.ozemail.com.au/~currentinfo
I hope she will like it.
I will have to update my site www.malua.com.au in the near future to keep it fresh.