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

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Photos of the P Bracket and mast work

RW haulout Jan 12
Solent Stay fitting and Harken halyard deflector
Cracked shroud chainplates
Metal polishing the new chainplates
P-Bracket Stypol filler cleaned out
P-Bracket ready for re-install
African Teak laminated block for internal P-Bracket support
West epoxy laminated
Side covers locate the 13mm 316 through bolt
Hull prepped for P-Bracket
P-Bracket alignment support using yard stand so cutlass bearing is a slip-in fit, then West epoxy applied .

West epoxy applied
Second layer of epoxy
West epoxy and layers of 10oz cloth and 450gsm bi-axial matt applied.
Teak block epoxy encapsulates the P-Bracket and through bolt.......she is stronger than original.
P-Bracket glassed in using eight alternating layers of 10oz cloth and 450gsm bi-axial matt and International HT9000 epoxy.
Finished P-Bracket dots are my cutting guides as the cloth size receded. Layer #8 finishes just above the block epoxy fillet.

Monday, January 30, 2012


Thankfully during a lull in today's strong winds we managed to re-step the mast. The Surveyor came and did the rigging survey so hopefully the Insurance company will be satisfied. Its a lot different than car or house insurance as there are so many variables. 'Real' work tomorrow, so its back to after hours work for the next week. Will see if I can wrangle splash back next Mon morning 06 Feb......will have to see what my workload will be.

I have removed a couple anodes from the hull that did diddlysquat, and ground out a couple of osmosis blisters (just to see how deep they were), followed by an epoxy repair. The blisters are only just under the gelcoat and they are only small.......just a lot of them, but most are still hard! Its a job for another year..or two.

Hull has been sanded and ready for the Jotun hi-build epoxy on some of the worn areas tomorrow followed by the 1st coat of Jotun Seaguardian antifoul. I will put the final 2nd coat (3rd waterline and leading edges) on Sat after the guys reposition the cradle posts.

Final parts yet to arrive (due tomorrow are 4 x Polyflex engine mounts. As I have replaced or repaired everything aft of the gearbox new mounts were required. Finally grunted one out this morning and my suspicions confirmed.....just hanging together by the last bit of rubber. The surveyor was telling me a story of a yacht in the 98 Sydney Hobart race that capsized in the gales and the engine physically fell off its original mounts where the rubber let go!

Friday, January 27, 2012

......still going....

I took an extra week off work ( thanks guys) to finish RW and today was the first day it hasn't bloody rained! Finally today I was able to start the P Bracket re-install. All the messy grinding completed and the P Bracket hole opened up a little so fresh epoxy could bond with good GRP and it was time for alignment....check once, twice..... six times and then epoxy. The shaft was centred in the stern tube rather than rely on the engine alignment; mainly because I didn't have a 27mm deep socket to raise the rear mounts. When I mated the shaft to gearbox coupling it was easy to see how the engine had sagged in its rear mounts by a good 6mm - so I just kept the shaft centrelined in the stern tube.....very conveniently with 2 x 1/4" drill bits seperated by a 9/64" bit. This made a nice little cradle for the shaft to sit in whilst maintaining perfect alignment.

Down below, the shaft also needs to be centred in the aft end of the stern tube - a little more difficult to measure, so a tongue depressor turned into a 1/4" go/nogo gauge made life easier. The final step is to ensure the P Bracket cutlass bearing slides evenly along the shaft, in and out of the P Bracket, indicating no load on the bearing. A yard stand was used to hold all in alignment and when satisfied all was ok .........I pulled it all apart so I could prep the wet out the area with epoxy! End result, the P Bracket is now in and the alignment is spot on.

Tomorrow...if the weather holds... I will glass in the underside and finish off the teak box I laminated up to encase the topside of the P Bracket. Then epoxy and fibreglass my butt off before it rains again!!

I fitted the Jefa Linear Auto Pilot drive assy yesterday and I am extremely happy with the result. It certainly looks industrial size on my little 36 footer! Will wire it up up once back at the mooring. Took the opportunity to clean out and tidy the aft locker under the cockpit....and remove the heater.....yes, a heater. RW has a Eberspacher diesel heater system ducted to all cabins  (worth around 5K!!!). Not sure of its condition, but hell, something to do when I retire and want to sail to Tassie!   Finally I have finished the seacocks and nearly all hoses have been replaced. Shower drain will have to wait as the sole needs to come up. Also replaced a cockpit drain that needed modifying so I could install the Jefa drive. Probably the biggest win of the day was removal of the rusted keel bolt under the shower ...this baby gave me a good hour of grief as the nut was just about gone. You should try standing on one leg, leaning on an elbow with your head wedged against the dunny whilst fighting with a 3/4" breaker bar + a length of pipe for that little bit extra oomph!  Finally she relented and let go, and a new stud and washer have been cut ready to fit. The keel is nicely bolted on by 15 x M24 SS studs. As she is 29 years young and crevice corrosion is SS worst enemy, I bought 3metres of 316 M24 threaded rod and 316 nuts and made my own washers ( orig were mild steel) made from 316 plate.
The PSS dripless shaft seal arrived today and Port Stephens Sheetmetal finished making my shroud chainplates. Great service from Jamie. So while the glass is curing tomorrow, I will metal polish the top of the chainplates, reseal and install. Prop shaft, PSS seal and couplings next and then onto the antifoul sanding and a new boot top strip. All go, go go.... and the light at the end of the tunnel does not appear to be another train!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

and the work continues.....

RW has been on the hard for some TLC since 10 Jan, and if all goes to plan, will splash back 30 Jan 12.
Over the past six months I have slowly piled up a mass of parts ready to go....its a much better way than experiencing the sticker shock of buying it all the week before haul out!

So what have I been up to you ask?......the mast is out and fitment of the Selden forestay combi-box and Solent Stay has been completed with plenty of impact driver use separating parts - but surprisingly it all went quite well. New dymeena and spectra low stretch halyards have been run, an adjustable forestay toggle fitted (for adjusting mast rake) and the huge 'Blipper' radar reflector removed to lower windage aloft; a new gooseneck and vang brackets for the 20 Rodkicker have been installed and trysail track installed and obsolete crap removed from mast and boom.

While I had the mast out I found the mast T-Base (the part that locates the mast on the deck) was cracked so a new one has been installed. I always suspected the T-Base was fitted arse-about (180 degrees) and when I married up the new T-Base with the mast off the boat it was clear I was correct. There is a hole aft of the T-Base that mates with a hole in the aft side of the mast heel sheave box, so when your shrouds fails and the mast falls over, it will hinge on the pin fitted in these holes. Before installing, I built up the slight depression below the T-Base with West System epoxy so all should be well for another 30 years. Will whip the chainplates out tomorrow for a quick inspection and if all ok, the mast goes back in Mon or Tues...... depends on the wind.

The other major pain was the P-Bracket that supports the prop shaft.... there was about 3-4mm vertical movement and water was seeping out of the joint....not good. I had to replace the cutlass bearing anyway so first task was off with the prop shaft.....or so we thought. Daz came along and had a crack at that job but there was no way the coupling would budge. I later tried heat and finally the had to resort to using my thin SS cutting wheel that made short work of the separation. So with the shaft now slid back I could see masses of crevice corrosion where stagnant water had been sitting in the stern tube.......about four years worth in Malaysia, a worn shaft at the cutlass bearing and a chunk of corrosion right where the stuffing box runs! So off to D.H. Porter for a new shaft, flex coupling, shaft coupling and cutlass bearing (ouch!).

The Sigma owners manual shows a representative drawing of the P-Bracket installation and it looked like it I needed a few days to effect a repair. The bronze P-Bracket has a 200mm SS rod installed sideways through the bracket after it passes through a slot in the hull and then the whole shebang is encased in a hardwood block, some sort of glue and then glassed in. So with a drill and chisel I set to work, firstly I drilled a string of 1/4" holes and then chiseled off the top (and stink!!!!) , followed by the sides. I wasn't game to use my mini saw on the angle grinder until I knew the SS rod location. One side was dry but the other was saturated so I chiseled out the stinking wet wood first and then cut and chiseled the dry block. I have had the area drying for the past four days and will attack the repair on Monday. The rod is very loose in the hole so will re-engineer the fixing method slightly.

A new alloy tiller arm replaces the rusted chunk of mild steel that is the standard tiller lever.the seacocks are being replaced (again with help from Daz) as all but two were seized either open or shut. A new auto bilge pump and some new through hulls will ensure bilge water exits the boat.....not flow into the cockpit as they do now
New 10mm tinted perspex windows have been installed in the frames (hope I don't need to do that again in a hurry!) and the sealant curing for the past two weeks - if I have time on the hard I will refit but this job is not a priority, and besides, a minimum of 7 days is required for the Fixtech sealant to cure direct sunlight. The reason being the expansion of the perspex will break the seal if exposed before it has cured. The topsides have been polished (thanks again Daz) and I will paint the boot top so she looks the goods!