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Old 07-08-2012, 12:32 PM   #15
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Yep, looks that way ... although I plan to sail around Australia first so could probably delay the inevitable for a couple of years. Besides I need the money to fix the old Perkins diesel as a priority. I've been researching ways to fix a hole in the block - it threw a rod while the previous owner had it - but even without a new block the full overhaul kit is about $1200.00 There was an Evinrude outboard supplied, but fitting that is a dumb idea in the long term and I'll probably sell it to pay for the repairs.

On another tack, I have now arranged to do the MROCP exam in a week or so.

MROCP test: $59.00
Class B non-assigned marine licence, 5 years: $255.00
Amateur apparatus licence renewal, 5 years: $346.00
WIA charge for a callsign assignment: $20.00

It sure adds up, doesn't it? Even getting into this the cheapest way still isn't cheap.

Since I don't have a permanent home on land I'll be applying for a VK9 ham call (external territories) which can be used in any state or territory without changing the address on record.

Rob
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:39 PM   #16
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Hi Rob,

I don't have a permanent home on land ... been living on the water for so long now that I can't imagine living in a box. I use the local yacht club as my mailing address and thats about it.

I don't have any radio licences, I only have VHF and don't chat on it ... monitor sure.

Its good to get whatever licences and qualifications you can I guess but I don't feel I have been disadvantaged by doing things my way.

I suppose I don't like paperwork and like to mostly live a quiet relaxed kind of life.

Enjoy your process and remember its the journey thats important ...

Lexx
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:44 PM   #17
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On the engine issue ... I don't think its a good idea to fix a hole in a block ... Perkins are popular motors and you should be able to source one without too much trouble. Maybe buy a second hand one and rebuild it.

Mine is an 85hp Perkins 4 236, love it, was rebuilt under 100 hours ago and has loads of power for my 20 ton ferro yacht.

I have found Perkins in Brisbane to be very friendly and very helpful many times.

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Old 07-09-2012, 06:57 AM   #18
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Where I'll be going HF radio is a necessity and the MROCP is a permanent qualification. I'll also have VHF for inshore of course, but even then there's lots of coastline that isn't covered by it.

A secondhand Perkins 4.108 is about $3500 before overhaul so repairing the block might be a better option. I've found YouTube videos of guys who have successfully used JB Weld and a tinplate insert so it isn't impossible. Just need to keep the oil in and the dirt out after all. Of course it all depends on the general condition of the other bits, if the crankshaft is too worn or everything is out of spec I'll be looking to replace it. Won't know until it comes apart really.

A couple of months ago there was a Perkins for sale in Wollongong that had been disassembled for overhaul and the mechanic found that the crankshaft was down to the last regrind. I think the whole thing went for $75.00 so maybe I'll find a cheap block somewhere.

Rob
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Old 07-09-2012, 07:49 PM   #19
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We're already off topic but I note that this topic started with a complaint about expense and given that you're really trying to get ready for cruising in the most inexpensive way you can, let's have this discussion:

It's a given that "good deal" boats often come with a large laundry list of costly things that need fixing. One of the old sayings "there's no free ride" is especially true for boating.

Not free but less expensive parts can sometimes be found, here in the USA, folks with Perkins engines often take advantage of (less expensive) John Deer tractor parts as replacements of some things. Is it no so there in AU?

Regarding engines, sails, and everything in general--once a boat gets "big" (and I won't define big except to say that by the pic of your boat it looks like it's at least in the "medium" and heading over towards the "big" category) things get really costly. In terms of repairs, Small=hundreds of dollars for a fix, medium=thousands, big=10's of thousands. You'll need to be prepared to pay for unexpected costs in far away places. That means you could end up buying a new engine for your boat, rerigging it, new mast or other big-ticket-items if something unfortunate happens. So, the cost of repair or replacement that the average Joe pays rather than an innovative fix price might be what you'll have to spend someday. We can all hope for the opportunity to do things the frugal way should something bad happen, but the boat we choose to cruise with with dictate just how frugal we can really be.

If you're planning on cruising on a tight budget, you might seriously consider getting rid of your "good deal" boat which may well eat you alive (or at least your cruising kitty) and get into a well-priced-small and simple boat. Remember the Pardeys saying "go small, go now." which is all about picking a boat that fits the budget so you can get out there and cruise with very little money rather than struggle to find ways to pay for the larger, more complicated vessel. The Pardeys have cruised two different small boats w/o an engine for close to 40 years now. Also w/o many other systems that boaters think are required aboard. Smaller is also easier to solo sail; if you're planning on sailing alone you'll appreciate that as well.

So, while considering the costs of registration of the vessel for use outside AU, before spending the money, you might seriously consider whether this is the vessel which will take you where you want to go, fit your needs, suit your budget, and allow you to cruise with the crew you plan to have aboard.

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Old 07-11-2012, 07:13 AM   #20
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Hi Bo,

You make a good point. However the demand for boats in the "small" category wrt cruising are often far more expensive. I believe a better deal would take a long time to find.

The work situation lately has made me look at every expense with a jaundiced eye and my frustration at not being to just pay someone to fix the engine must be showing. But I'm a DIY kinda guy and still young enough to patiently put it together, with the added benefit that I'll know all the onboard systems intimately by the time I've finshed.

Just found a guy in Poland (see link below) who makes very nice lasercut power boards starting at 32 euro complete with switches, fuses and meters. And I'm progressively accumulating enough radios and safety gear to reduce the risks once out there.

switchpanels.eu

I'm pretty sure single-handing a Queenslander won't be too difficult once I get a jib furler. It's a simple setup after all. Can't imagine living in anything smaller for extended periods.

I do admire the Pardeys' philosophy and will definitely be doing without refrigeration and some other electricity hogging stuff to avoid having to use a generator as much as possible.

Rob
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Old 07-11-2012, 05:18 PM   #21
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How big is that boat of yours? I really have forgotten.

You're looking at re-doing the whole boat (all systems as I recall) and that's never as inexpensive as just finding a good used boat with most all the stuff working/in good shape. Really. If money is one of your primary concerns, you need to sit down and seriously thing about it. Too many people on a too-tight budget never make it out cruising because they chose to invest in fixing up a "good deal" boat to make it into a good cruising boat.

On the other hand, if you are like many DIY folks, having the opportunity to fix things just the way you want them is worth the expense of spending more than you would have if you'd bought a boat with good systems and all. We fall into this latter group of control freaks who want everything just the way we want it... LOL. And, yup we spend more than we should on that privilege.

Our primary philosophy has been that the core elements of the boat are the most important to spend money on keeping in shape: hull, rig, sails, basic nav lights and depth sounder, ground tackle, safety equipment, and then (on a boat over 30') engine. All those things come before any comfort systems or electronics.

Fair winds,
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Old 07-12-2012, 03:04 AM   #22
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The Hartley Queenslander is variously cited as being anywhere between 33-35ft depending on how it's measured. Not huge by any stretch of the imagination. Registration shows her as 10.35 metres (34ft).

She came with a fresh repaint and antifoul of the hull, a major expense already taken last year by the previous owner. There is also a new battery, solar panel and nav lights fitted and the mast has been painted and fitted with LEDs. I did pretty well.

The urgent work is in fixing the engine, without which it would be nigh impossible to leave and return from the swing mooring safely, at least without far greater sailing skills than I possess at present. There's an Evinrude outboard with the yacht (extra long shaft, high thrust) that can be attached in the short term to get to a jetty to load my junk aboard and offload the diesel engine for repairs.

I have no idea of the condition of the main and two jibs that were included. There's one anchor and chain, a fire extinguisher, several safety vests and an ancient 4-burner stove. There's also a depth sounder, condition unknown, but I can fix most anything with electronics in it.

The last guy bought a Raymarine 2000 autopilot and a stainless wheel (currently has tiller steering) but these need to be fitted. The toilet is brand new but doesn't have a storage tank so I'll need a portable for use inshore in many locations. In all it's probably more than adequate for most people's usage, just puttering about inside Sydney Harbour. I plan to go a little further than that.

I've already bought HF and VHF radios - my exam for the licence is 8pm tonight - and currently negotiating a small switchboard to be built. Also have a notebook PC (IBM Lenovo ThinkPad plus docking station) with OpenCPN and a GPS unit with external antenna. I'll buy an EPIRB once I decide to venture outside the heads.

One of my other radios will be converted to receive AIS, which will be overlaid onto OpenCPN. For internet while inshore I'll be fitting a high powered wi-fi panel found on eBay. It may seem that the emphasis on communications gear is over the top, bear in mind that I'm physically in Brisbane at present and can't do anything much else on the structure or engine until I return to Sydney.

Internally the yacht needs a good clean - a woman's work is never done! - and maybe a few new cushions. Table and bench surfaces are showing heavy wear and will be replaced. There is some minor rot in the cabin in the plywood panelling but the weather stays outside where it belongs. Otherwise she's structurally fairly good.

Again, I have to concur that bringing her up to perfect condition would be an expensive exercise. But good clean Hartleys fetch $25-35K on average so there's plenty of leeway from where I started. Frankly I don't ever expect to get back what I put in dollar for dollar, but this is a long-term venture for me and will be my home for the foreseeable future, which is at least 10 years. When you compare the costs to renting in Sydney it's a no-brainer.

Rob
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Old 07-12-2012, 03:19 AM   #23
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Hey Rob,

I reckon you did just fine with your Queenslander. Even calculating your rent at only $100 a week thats 50 grand over 10 years so you are well in front. As you become more familiar with living on the water and gain in experience you will find cheaper ways of doing things and less expensive ways of living aboard.

Its a great size boat for one or two people and small enough to single hand without too much difficulty.

A headsail furler, auto pilot and lines leading back to the cockpit and bobs your uncle, single handed sailing made easy.

Good on ya mate,

Lexx
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:19 PM   #24
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...and the last time you could rent a shoebox in Sydney for $100pw was 1980.

The MROCP exam was a snack.

Rob
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:23 PM   #25
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Laughs ..I know I used to like in a tiny 2 bed terrace in Lilyfield that was 650 a week about 7 years ago. I was using a hundred bucks a week and a low base line to show that whatever you have to spend on your yacht its still a bargain.

Congrats on the exam.

Lexx
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Old 07-12-2012, 06:54 PM   #26
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Ah, it is a managable size for small crew, I'm glad. When I did a quick online search of your engine--I saw that it is often the engine on boats of about 40ft in length (and 50 hp?) so I was thinking your vessel a bit larger.

Indeed, it is a cost saving measure to live aboard vs paying rent--if you're doing so in a place where living aboard is allowed and feasible. Enjoy your projects. As long as local reg. is reasonable and you're not really benefiting in some other way from national registration, I'd still suggest not doing the national registration until you know this boat will be leaving AU though.

Fair winds,
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Old 07-13-2012, 11:05 AM   #27
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They develop 50hp at 4000rpm but no-one in their right mind would run one that hard. More like 35hp at 2500rpm.

Yep, national registration can wait a couple of years.

Rob
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