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

Monday, November 28, 2011

Just a little faster....

My new Doyle Cruise Laminate and Storm sails have finally arrived! John from Doyles Sydney loft managed the project and the sails were made in their NZ loft. I just had time to hoist the main before the cruel norwester blew me off the water on the weekend. The main has three leech battens and two full length battens running on Ronstan Ballslide cars, a Cunningham and two large reefs. I need to do some work on the mast gate to accommodate the slides but otherwise she hoisted by hand very easily. Rowed out and snapped a few pics without battens and she looks fantastic sailing on her mooring.

To compliment the new sails I installed new dymeena halyards and racing braid genoa sheets. Still practicing hi-tech braid splices (there's a few depending on the product). Next will be reefing lines. I was able to reduce all my specified line diameters by using hi-tech FSE Robline Dymeena, Usacord Racing Braid and Donaghys Spectra Speed braid products.

The cabin sole is now 95% done with only the floor anchors and nav seat floor to go. As soon as I clear the cabin sole of gear so you can actually see the sole, I will post a pic or two. I am very satisfied with the transformation of the cabin. As soon as I replace my crazed windows and I know the damn things won't leak on the saloon bench seats, I will replace the foam to make it more comfortable and re-trim the cabin....well I'll see what a quote or two comes back with first and if horrified, will break out my Sail Rite sewing machine and have  a crack myself....hell, its not like I'm busy!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cabin sole upgrade

Spent Saturday in the boatshed (Relles garage) adhering the Lonseal Mahogany and Holly vinyl to the marine ply sole. Prep was straightforward, sand with 60 grit, acetone wipe followed by a wipe with alcohol. I then set about completing a test piece by spraying with Ardex AF152 Sheet Vinyl Adhesive, wait 2 hours for it to tack off, wipe the sheet with alcohol and then lay in position. Next was the 3 section, 100lb steel roller! Damn that sucker was heavy.....poor little Kia certainly knew it was in the boot. I am glad I hired the roller from Kennard Hire, as it without it there is really no way you can effectively get the pressure required to set the vinyl onto the adhesive. Once happy,  I completed the remaining pieces and she looked a treat.

 Sunday was spent on my knees replacing the sole support strips that I previously treated with wood preservative so they would not rot away as they had done before. Laid the new sole and fitted a few lifting latches to make removal easier. after I change out the SS Keel Bolts and washers and paint the bilge with 2 pack. I can then install the PYI Floor Anchors - a quarter turn SS Zud style fastener that sits flush. I will then be IASF compliant for fixed floorboards.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Early Christmas!

The Jefa Alloy Tiller Lever and Autopilot linear drive have arrived and look to be quality products. The lever will replace the mild steel lever that was once epoxy coated but is now rusting away. The linear drive will provide better thrust and is far more robust than a wheel pilot belt drive. Best part is I can leave the wiring and fittings in place for the wheel drive whilst removing the drive mechanism so i can readily re-install if the primary linear drive ever craps itself. Third redundancy is the Hydrovane and fourth the Sea Squid!

The original 1983 rusted steel tiller lever showing the tie rod end  and rudder reference take-off.

 The flash new Jefa Hi Tensile Alloy Tiller lever, custom machined at no extra cost. Great service from Jefa so I bought one of their Linear drives below! The arm to the left is telescopic whilst the one to the right is fixed. The tierod pins all match the new arm so installation should be reasonably straight forward once dimensions are calculated.
My KISS HF counterpoise antenna ground arrived last week. This system replaces the need to run copper foil to a Dyna Plate though bolted to the hull and constantly immersed in seawater. Tuned lengths of wire run inside a 1" plastic tube and are connected to the auto antenna tuner and then run forward down both sides of the hull, reflecting the backstay HF antenna. Reports indicate the system works extremely well and exceeds performance of the ground plate system.......we shall see once the HF Radio has been procured and installed. I did find an old SEA HF (Oz compliant) on eBay, but went to dinner and could not get the last bid down in went for $580.00! (curry was too good to leave!). Probably fortunate really, as I knew the Offshore Racing Rules would require me to eventually have a DSC capable HF, but no one could tell me what year this would come into effect, so the SEA was a good, cheap stop-gap solution.

Well wouldn't you know.....Yachting Australia released new info the next day! All new installations post 01 Jul 2014 must be DSC capable and all yachts must have HF DSC by 01 Jul 2017. SATPHONE regs were also introduced and are welcome, as new technology can provide excellent SAT coverage and text messaging at minimal cost. The Notice of Race can now state if a SATPHONE can be used in lieu of HF. I prefer if every vessel can hear me if I am in distress so I will use HF and when offsore back up with an Iridium SATPHONE.