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Old 10-18-2013, 03:03 AM   #1
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Default Keppelena, Part Two

Well, the trip to Sydney with the engine in tow wasn't without incident. My plan was to drop in on Del at Newcastle Yacht Club on Wednesday, atach a few PL-259 connectors for his AIS cabling, then set off Thursday for Sydney. Which is what happened, but with a few unforseen events along the way.

The first of these was the left trailer tyre blowing about 50km north of the NSW border. It was OK, I had a spare and made short work of changing that and getting moving again.

The GPS had decided that the fastest way from Ipswich to Newcastle was through Walcha and down the Thunderbolt Passage via Maitland. The thing with a GPS is that it has no need for fuel, unlike the vehicle it guides. There was a section of about 400km where no LPG was available. Nor, apparently, were any tyre repair shops, much to my chagrin.

About 200km from Newcastle, on said Thunderbolt Passage, the right trailer tyre gave out. I checked the GPS and found that the closest town was 5km ahead and 1km off the main road. When I got there it became obvious that this was going to require a bit of finessing ... the town comprised one general store, a community hall and a fire station.

The general store had one half-full drinks machine and almost nothing on the shelves. I bought a can of Coke and enquired about the possibility of having a tyre replaced. But evidently the only local who owned such equipment was on holidays. The owner, Max, sent me off up a dirt road to see his brother Bill and scrounge through the shed for a likely substitute. No luck. Then we hopped in his fourby and went to his Dad's old disused farm, where three old Holden wheels were found. One had a useless tyre, the other two were thrown in the tray and we headed back to Bill's place to test them for pressure.

Finding the tyre attachment for the compressor took another 15 minutes, but the compressor took that long to run up anyhow. One held pressure, the other leaked like a sieve. "What do I owe you, Bill?" "Arr, talk to Max about that."

I drove back to town and Max looked over the wheel. I explained that I'd left my used rim at Bill's place, so really only owed him for the tyre. "Don't worry about it, wouldn't have used that one anyhow," he drawled. I pumped his hand thankfully and promised to drop in on the way back north in March to tell him how it went.

Made it to Newcastle around 6:30pm and found Del at the Albion pub, having dinner with a group of friends. We hit the sack early, and got up around 9:00 at which time the soldering was performed. Then after a delightful lunch of calimari I was off on the final leg of the journey. I stuck to 90km/h the whole way and deposited the trailer at my mate Richard's place in Waitara around 3:30pm. I hadn't seen him for 20 years so we made time for a stubby of cider and a short chat. A bit of grocery shopping was done on the way to Woolwich and I clambered aboard around 6:30pm. So nice to be home.
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Old 10-18-2013, 03:17 AM   #2
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Keppelena has visibly deteriorated in the past 6 months. The hull paint is showing signs of armature rust from poorly done repairs. I dug the whole transom out - it was full of automotive body filler - but just didn't have the time to do the rest on the last visit. But paint is a poor substitute for cement, and it showed.

I can see why NSW Maritime had been getting crazy, she really looked shabby. The cover had detached on three of the four connection points and was shredded and flapping in the wind. The old boom cover, no more than a wrap-around with a piece of string holding it, had slid aftward exposing 80% of the canvas.

My first concern was to get power working. I had left a near-dead car battery aboard just to keep the notebook PC alive, and it measured 3.5V when I tested it. The AGM batteries went to Brisbane, and my supplier hasn't been able to get any more so I scrounged a better car battery from another boatie before leaving Brisbane.

Hooked it up, no lights. WTF? After 10 minutes of dicking around, with daylight rapidly fading, I finally discovered the problem. The +ve terminal (marked with a big Red ring) was actually the -ve terminal. I have NO IDEA how that could be, but swapping the leads over made it all work. Meanwhile I had destroyed the fuses in the VHF and Ham radios, blown my homebrew VA meter and one cig-to-USB adapter to bits and destroyed my 4-way cigarette lighter adapter. But hey, the battery was free so should I complain?

When I finally got on the internet a message from my brother tells me that Shenoa has broken her mooring and is now sitting high and dry on the mud adjacent the Brisbane River. I was there for 5 months and she didn't move more than 10 metres the whole time. Better him than me, I have enough to do. There was a gale brewing, and Thursday brought 75 knot winds all day. I ate and slept a lot.

I checked the head for leaks this morning to discover that the dreaded fungus had regrown, and had taken over the upper cosmetics cupboard. Photo of the junk I removed is attached. Looks like I'll be repainting that fairly soon. There's some serious rot in there too, more patching needed. *sigh*
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Old 10-18-2013, 04:06 AM   #3
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Hi there--sounds like you've had quite a go of it. Two thoughts--first, that fungus is awe-inspiring. Like a shelf fungus? wow. Second--ever use a tire repair kit (the sort with a soft rubber plug and vulcanizing agent?) before? Pick up one or more. If your tire didn't explode/tear but instead has a hole, you can repair the hole--even in sidewalls (though they say not to be used on sidewalls...)

Best of luck in getting everything else in order.
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Old 10-18-2013, 09:18 AM   #4
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Yeah, she's quite a fungus all right. Both tyres exploded so no amount of plugs or cans of foam filler would have helped there.

Replaced 2 x 30A fuses, ham radio works.
Replaced 1 x 7A fuse, VHF radio works.
Replaced 1 x 10A fuse, bilge blower works.
Replaced 1 x 5V regulator, VA meter works.
Bridged the burnt tracks in 4-way cig adapter with wire, three are now working.
Threw out the cig-to-USB adapter, it was a gonner and I have several more of them.

Cleaned all the stuff that was in the fungus cupboard with hot water and soap, washed out cupboard base and put it all back.

Replaced the broken bow roller that my brother welded up for me.

Went ashore and grabbed several more boxes of tools from the van.

Pumped 60 gallons of fresh water out of the forward bilges. I think it must be coming down the mast, there's no sign of wetness anywhere in that area.

Went around in the dinghy and scraped the bulk of the obvious barnacles. John from the adjacent Benetau showed up and I got him to contact his diver mate Dave, but Dave - the wimp - reckons he couldn't do the job justice and I should haul out and anti-foul. Screw that, I'll find another diver. I just don't have the money for a haulout right now.

Well, today was quite a busy day!
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Old 10-19-2013, 11:55 AM   #5
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Divers -- try contacting Bowline Marine. I don't have their contact details off hand but they have a pretty good team, you should be able to find them on google. You might be better off looking for a couple of Trojan deep cycle batteries on eBay or similar. They are usually sold to golf clubs to run the golf carts, or to old fogeys to run their little scooter cart thingies, you can often find them second hand cheap and they do last forever. I have 4 of the T105s, they are 225Ah @ 6V so you need two of them to make a 12V circuit.
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Old 10-20-2013, 01:04 AM   #6
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Yesterday was discouraging, not the least because of the amount of work in front of me. I'd love to just perform the minimum stuff and go to Christchurch with Del in December, but with an engine install and NSW Maritime breathing down my neck it would be folly to rush things.

John's Bendytoy almost caromed off the stern in yesterday's wind. He broke mooring recently and evidently they repositioned it in the wrong spot. Which means I have to be on watch at every tide change to be sure he doesn't crush my dinghy or take the outboard motor off.

I have a leaking fuel canister, so I wanted to decant that into a new 20L fuel tank bought in Brisbane. Got out the bucket because it has a lip suitable for pouring, cleaned it and put it down on the deck. It blew into the water. Jumped in the dinghy and plucked it out, cleaned it again and put it face down inside the pilothouse away from the wind. Then opened the chain locker where the leaking canister was stored, which required moving several sheets of ply from on top first. One of them was ripped out of my hand by the wind and landed in the water. Leaned over the side and plucked it out again. Got the canister, tied the hatch down and carried it aft. No bucket. Sigh. Add to shopping list: One new bucket, One funnel.

Del, thanks for the info. I know of Bowline but, like most commercial operations, they're expensive - min. 4 hrs @ $330ph. Likewise Wendy on Kukka (another local yacht) suggested one yesterday, but again they were expensive. She has some other contacts with young guys who have been known to do such work, and I'll be contacting some diving clubs. Someone out there must want some tax-free beer tickets for what is essentially 4 hours' easy work. I'm also looking into electronic antifouling devices to avoid future costs.

The ham radio looked like it was working after fuse replacement, but although it receives it doesn't transmit. Bloody hell, that's annoying. EDIT: Haha silly me, I wired up the antenna tuner wrongly. Now working.

Re: 6V batteries - I'd need four of them for a dual circuit system and they won't fit in the available spce.
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Old 10-20-2013, 08:11 AM   #7
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What about hiring a hookah and DIY? I did see one mob advertising cheap hookah hire on the harbour a few years back.
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Old 10-20-2013, 11:26 AM   #8
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They don't have a net around Woolwich Baths for nothing. I'm afraid of things that go "Chomp!"

Ultrasonic antifoul looks like the go. I know they don't work on timber, ferro or glass sandwich construction, but that's if you attach them to the hull. I have a cunning plan ...
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Old 10-20-2013, 11:48 AM   #9
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Brisbane river is not a good place to swim. I remember seeing sharks in the river as a kid when I used to swim at the Davies Street pool (no longer there) and when 'parking' near the ferry at West End.

THE BOGGO BLOG: Why sharks love it when dogs swim in the Brisbane River
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Old 10-21-2013, 12:37 AM   #10
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Hi Auzzee,

I'm back in Sydney mate. Lane Cove River isn't a great swimming attraction either.
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Old 10-22-2013, 05:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delatbabel View Post
What about hiring a hookah and DIY? I did see one mob advertising cheap hookah hire on the harbour a few years back.
I checked Google for hookah hire. Just came up with lots of dope-smoking apparatus.

I've ordered the Jaycar ultrasonic antifoul kit and plan to install it into a sealed PVC tube and dangle it off the transom. The plastic tube should emit enough vibrations to keep the prop and rudder clean with some luck.

Yesterday and today I've been around in the dinghy, scraping what I can reach with a 2 metre broomstick and scraper, and repainted the darkened line down the port side. The other side has some body filler that needs to be dug out and replaced with cement, then I'll paint it as well. Looking much better now.
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Old 10-22-2013, 08:55 AM   #12
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Contacted my crane barge guy by email yesterday, not much point taking everything apart if he can't do the job. He did mark it down in April so I hope it's still going to plan.

But today I remembered an issue that makes using the boom for lifting impossible. The screws holding the boom to the mast are loose and need fixing. I have three possible solutions, comments appreciated:

1. Drill out the bracket and fit larger screws. Hard to do, the bracket is an odd shape and covers access.
2. Lower the boom (ooer!) and drill out the holes and dowel them, then drill through the dowels for new holes. Might be hard to drill down the grain with a hand drill.
3. Same as 2 above, but epoxy over the dowel ends and move the boom 10mm up or down and drill fresh holes in the mast itself.
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:26 PM   #13
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Are both the boom and mast made from timber or aluminium?
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Old 10-23-2013, 11:11 AM   #14
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Quote:
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They don't have a net around Woolwich Baths for nothing. I'm afraid of things that go "Chomp!"
In 2004, 17 people world wide were killed in shark attacks. That's the most in any recent year. In the same year, 43 people were killed by falling coconuts.
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