Next Sail: 03 Mar Port Stephens to New Plymouth NZ

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

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!

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