Next Sail: 03 Mar Port Stephens to New Plymouth NZ

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Next Race:
2018 Solo Tasman Challenge 01 Apr 2018
Start: 1300h Port Taranaki New Plymouth NZ
Finish: circa 11 April 2018 - Mooloolaba QLD

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The list is getting smaller

It was a beautiful day on Sat but unfortunately it was another another busy weekend on the tools as I put the Whitlock Cobra steering back together with new bearings and tie rod ends. Nice not to have the slop in the rudder accompanied by the loud clunk! I also have a new Jefa tiller lever being manufactured and a Jefa Linear Autopliot Drive on order that connects directly to the new lever. My current drive is a wheel mounted S1 Wheelpilot drive. The Jefa unit is also much stronger so there should be not repeat of the stripped gearbox I experienced in a gale north of the Whitsundays last year. I will be confident the steering will be right for another 10 years.

Spoke with my sailmaker on Friday and the sails should be ready by mid Nov. I still have a fair chunk of work to do by way of installing the Solent Stay, a 6m trysail track on the mast and T-Track sheeting points on the cabin top for the #3 and Storm Jib before I can test these two sails. There is a bit of fabrication required to make sure the Solent stay is anchored to a strong point on the hull; in my case the forward bulkhead.

 Rogue Wave's cabin sole ready for a makeover!


The other job I have on (I like to mult-task!) is refurbishment of the cabin sole (floor). I have pulled up all the sole and will be installing a product I saw at the Sydney Boatshow. To face the sole with teak and holly is cost prohibitive so I needed to look at other options. Rogue Waves sole was replaced by her previous owner, however the laminate used was a light beech coloured woodgrain effect so it looks out of place. It is also slippery when wet! So the product I am using is from Lonseal and its a Mahogany and Holly non-slip vinyl and I think you will agree, it looks fantastic. It will certainly brighten up the interior. While the sole is out it provides an opportuinty to dry and air the bilge, replace some rotted wooden sole supports, and design a system to lock the sole in place using 1/4 turn fasteners. Busy times.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Whitlock Cobra 4 Steering Pedestal

Strangely enough, the frustrations of separating the dissimilar metal parts of the pedestal did not eventuate, and all parted company with a minimum of abuse. With the assistance of a three inch 2 jaw puller, some quality Australian made 'Bolt Off' penetrant, an impact driver and some persistence, she stripped down without a hassle. Patience is the key....spend a few days giving every bolt, screw, shaft and nut a little spray every morning and afternoon before taking out the tools - you will be rewarded.

The frustrations came when the search for parts came on a Sat. Only one bearing mob open and they had all but one bearing.....the main lower bearing. Oh well, probably needed a week off the tools anyway. Parts should arrive mid week and I hope to have the pedestal back in the boat next Fri evening. Won't hold my breath given the tempo at work at the moment. Will post again when she is back on the water.

This is the solid bronze pinion and the front of the pedestal. Great condition for its age and so it is for the bronze quadrant rack gear - don't see this type of HD enginneering much anymore without paying through the nose.  By the time I shim it all up she should be nice and light on the helm. The shaft is supported on two R16 ball bearing races. Replacement items are: R16 1x2x3/8" (open type) at around $22ea.

This picture shows the shagged lower bearing 9R24 (QTY 1 fitted). Some balls had turned to powder! Replacement items are: Lower shaft bearing (QTY1) R24-2RS 1-1/2x 2-5/8x7/16 (sealed type $31)
Upper shaft bearing 6205DU (orig) replacement 6205VV (sealed type $16).

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Knock sail this weekend

Just when you think all is well, Murphy lets loose with the old curve ball.
I heard a slight tap and had a bit of play creep into the steering pedestal somewhere off QLD early this year. As I made my way south so did the tap....which has finally turned into a loud knock! It is now a problem so the pedestal is off the boat to see if I can overhaul. A 28 year old pedestal with a mix of alloy and stainless should present some challenges on disassembly !
In the meantime I have fitted my emergency tiller until I can replace the worn components. The worst part is not having an autopilot which means no easy self tacking if solo. So apologies guys, this weekend is cancelled so I can get stuck into the repairs.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Rogue Wave off the Gold Coast QLD

Here's a short video of the final leg of my single-handed sail from Southport QLD to Port Stephens NSW that marked the end of 4 months long service leave and also the end of my Malaysia to Australia adventure. I departed Southport around 1600 h after several days port bound due to wild weather. The Gold Coast Seaway was pumping at around 4 metres and breaking right across. I have crossed that seaway hundreds of times and every crossing still gets the same respect as if it was my first. I left on the heels of the front to take advantage of the strong E to NE winds.

We punched our way out of the seaway at the top of the tide and bashed E through the 3 metre swell to get some sea room before I headed SE to round Point Danger off Tweed Heads. Great breeze on the beam provided swift passage all the way past Port Macquarie. After two nights at sea I motorsailed through the heads of Port Stephens at 0500 h to a great welcome home by family and friends.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

RW on her first Social

It was good to meet a couple of keen crew in Daz and Danielle on the weekend when they dropped by to check out RW and her skipper at the Soldiers Point Marina. Unfortunately they couldn't sail on the weekend but there will be many more opportunities over the coming year.

Only one crew this week as JJ joined me as first time crew and first time yachty, but he does own a ski boat so its not all foreign. After the mandatory safety and nautical jargon brief we headed off double handed to hoist sail and follow the fleet from PSYC as they set off on the opening social cruise for the Spring/summer season. We had a nice breeze of around 10-12 knots and set off for North Arm Cove.....the opposite direction to the start line! I had not officially entered the cruise so the plan was to give the fleet room so we could chase and have no pressure at the first congested turning mark. I don't plan to break my crew least not on the first few outings ha ha guys are precious in this time poor world!

Well all went to plan, beer in hand, except RW overtook about four back markers by the first mark! We then goose-winged our way west away from the main pack that were flying spinnakers and headed directly for the next mark. Commonsense kept my asymmetrical kite in its bag until crew can work up to launching without bursting a pucker valve.! So by the second mark we dropped back to second last, hung wide to let others past and then we were back onto the building breeze. JJ was doing a good job helming RW as Skip played decky. We sped along at 8.1 knots and made our way toward Shoal Bay on one long tight reach hitting 8.7 knots at times. A role change saw JJ on the winches and trying not to macrame' himself with the sheets as we approached Shoal Bay! After rounding the mark and heading back to Soldiers point we had a wind shift that had us tacking all the way back to Peppers Anchorage in the narrowest part of the channel against an ebb tide. As the breeze increased, the temperature decreased and JJ once again helmed. After many tacks and alot of winching I remembered why I now Skipper..... The breeze hit 18 gusting 22 knots at times so we whipped in the first reef and furled in a metre of genoa to reduce the workload......after all, we are supposed to be cruising!!
We cross tacked with a large cat and and dusted off a smaller yacht as we fought both an ebb tide and wind on the nose. By 1630 h and under a very threatening sky, I peeled off course as we passed Peppers to take up my mooring in Salamander. A quick call to Relle and we were picked up and back home, warm and dry before the torrential downpour and hail. As always, a great day on the water.