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Old 09-13-2015, 12:28 PM   #1
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Default Afloat again

After living for far too long at my brother's place - five months in fact - I've finally resumed living afloat. Got back to Shenoa at Colmsley Reserve on the Brisbane River today after picking up a set of three used Hutton Arco 6 winches for the princely sum of $270.00 via Gumtree classifieds.

The new dinghy was still here thankfully, and for a change there's no water over the sole, but the battery charging system seems to have totally failed so this will be a quick message indeed.

I had to leave Ipswich. My brother's move to his new house had run a fortnight overtime due to delays in delivery of bathroom equipment, and was threatening to go on another 2-3 weeks. Added to that I was sleeping on a loungeroom chair with a single threadbare blanket, and for the past month sharing the room with a 25yo homeless guy that my brother invited to stay, so I can only describe the situation as non-optimum. Nice guy and all, but he tended to eat everything I bought, and also smoked RYO cigarettes constantly, sometimes even at 3am. *cough*

I'm considering staying here until I get this beastie to sail, which might mean foregoing the trip back to the house in NZ that was planned for December/January. Financially it makes little difference, but if I keep moving around the way I've been doing so far then nothing will get done at all. Should have a better idea of what I'm doing by early December anyhow, by which time I hope to have made significant progress. But then again I've said that before too. Life has a habit of interfering ...
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Old 09-14-2015, 04:55 AM   #2
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A quick check of the electrical system this morning shows that everything works but the batteries are not holding a charge at all. They're 3yo AGMs and require topping with water occasionally so I hope that's the primary cause. I'll know more when I get ashore and pick up my tools, which will be needed to remove the cables and expose the filler holes.

Mostly just cleaning today. Removing the rust stains from the "stainless steel" sink, washing away mildew from the walls and so on. Nothing stressful yet, I'll need a few long nights of sound sleep to regain my usual energy levels.
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Old 09-14-2015, 12:53 PM   #3
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It is good to hear that you have resumed a bit of your old self...Had thought we had lost you to the doldrums.
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Old 09-14-2015, 03:02 PM   #4
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For the sake of maintenance only, I would replace the batteries with a single N70 wet cell battery from K Mart.

Good to hear you are back in water-world. I hope you can manage to bend on a sail and take your vessel for a zoom about Moreton Bay.
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Old 09-15-2015, 02:34 AM   #5
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As suspected, the batteries were as dry as the proverbial dead dingo's donger. Took five litres and could have used another litre, a couple of cells are still dry.

Had a visit from Qld Maritime this morning, they were dropping notices on all yachts in the area to ensure that night lights were operational and anchors were secure. Judging by the number of unlit yachts in the main channel I'm guessing they've had a complaint from the cruise ship owners. Very dangerous indeed.

Anyhow, I've done my bit for the day, fully compliant again. The Century Marine Pro 720s are a great battery but they're not maintenance free by any stretch of the imagination.

It's unfortunate that they're used so lightly, the water just boils off within 12 months. Also unfortunate that the charge rate can't be reduced on the solar controllers, 14.2V is just too much for a maintenance charge. A big diode in series would probably cure that.
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Old 09-15-2015, 02:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldsquizzy View Post
It is good to hear that you have resumed a bit of your old self...Had thought we had lost you to the doldrums.
Hope you're getting in plenty of sailing matey. :-)
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Old 09-15-2015, 02:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auzzee View Post
Good to hear you are back in water-world. I hope you can manage to bend on a sail and take your vessel for a zoom about Moreton Bay.
Great to be back. Although with that wind-shredded jib, doing any actual sailing in the short term is still out of the question completely. The best I might hope for right now is to find a 6hp outboard and putter up the river.

"Zoom? This boat wouldn't zoom if you put four million volts through it ..."
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Old 09-15-2015, 02:33 PM   #8
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Must be a new model hartley. Shades ah la mazda zoom zoom.
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Old 09-15-2015, 02:43 PM   #9
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Fortunately, it has not yet run down the curtain and joined the Choir Invisible.

There a few used sail traders in Brisbane and there are always a few on eBay and Gumtree.
You could be lucky to jag one which fits. If not, re-cutting is not an expensive job.
These guys probably sell a better class of used rag: Available Sails
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Old 09-16-2015, 04:35 AM   #10
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Glad you're back in the water.

Bummer about the batteries.

You might consider getting (if you can) the caps that recover the moisture in the batteries. I don't quite know how they work but I've seen them for sale for some of the high end larger batteries for offgrid houses here in the states.
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Old 09-16-2015, 06:11 AM   #11
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Just checked over the sails again. In my estimation both the furling headsail and main are beyond economical repair. There's also a storm jib in usable condition but the inner stay that it hanks onto has a broken strand of wire dangling from the mast top that will need to be cut off first, and I can't seem to find any running rigging for it either.

Auzzee, thanks for the link. Their prices are reasonable if I can find sails that will suit. Biggest problem is accurately describing them (ignoring the fact that even if I measure what I have here, these sails may not be the right ones anyhow). I priced having random large sails recut locally and at around $350 a time it would be far better to find the right sizes already made up if possible. I have Hartley's original specs but unfortunately about 8 years ago a non-standard deck-stepped aluminium mast was fitted when the cabin was rebuilt.

I'll have to do a run to Whitworths tomorrow, the all-round white light has now failed and with Qld Maritime coming back for another inspection soon it needs to be working. Might get a new water pump for the 100 litre bladder while I'm at it, that failed within two weeks of my first visit and I've been drinking out of 10 litre containers since then.

Also had a look at the cost of new sails, but if it comes to that I'd be better off buying another old yacht instead. Typical prices here are $2500-$3000 each. Freow!
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Old 09-16-2015, 12:19 PM   #12
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After a couple of relatively good nights' sleep I'm wide awake tonight, which is a pity since the batteries haven't yet recovered enough to do much online.

Checked Whitworths and it seems the Jabsco Parmax 2.9 pump is on special right now, so will definitely buy one as soon as I go ashore. That may not be tomorrow though, since the skies opened up earlier and it looks as if there's a bit of heavy weather about for the next few days.

I watched the Sun Princess leave her berth for places unknown just before dusk. With some of the yachts moored so close to the main channel that it missed them by a bare 3-4 metres I can see why Qld Maritime were around the other day. Guys like that are going to ruin it for all of us, not a single light visible anywhere tonight. Morons.

Apparently the resident roaches have decided they want to be friends, but I have other ideas. I dislike cockroach bombs, they leave a nasty toxic residue on everything, but i dislike roaches even more. So next time I'm ashore they get the gas treatment.
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Old 09-17-2015, 04:44 AM   #13
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You can get boric acid at the pharmacy and sprinkle it around to kill the cockroaches -- it is the primary ingredient in many insecticides in the USA. You won't be harmed by the boric acid but it dries out the insects and they die.
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Old 09-17-2015, 10:39 AM   #14
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Glad you are back on board. Sounds like it might
be worth staying for a while and get things together
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