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Old 03-17-2015, 04:28 AM   #1
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Default Ruminations, and a cunnung plan

Last September I mentioned that I'd defer any decisions about the yachts until finances stabilized and I had a chance to look at the new situation. I've been back on Keppelena since early February and saving money by not spending a cent on anything except food, and now have a clearer idea of where I'm going.

The NZ trip caused me to accrue some credit card debts. It's not a cheap place to live and I spent some money on the house, amongst other things. I should have those debts totally eliminated by mid year.

The income drop caused by the estate settlement with my brother wasn't quite as bad as expected. We did manage to borrow against the property at a good interest rate, and so I'll be able to continue the current lifestyle even if at a slower pace. That just means I'll have to really tighten the belt and consider every cent, which I've been doing all my life anyhow.

I considered a number of ways to proceed from here. I've had friends in Cairns expecting me for two years and Del will be there some time in 2015 so it would have been nice to drive up and stay a few months. But it would be far better to sail there so I regretfully have to skip that option.

It also occurred to me that in order to get sailing in NZ sooner I could buy or build a more meagre yacht, such as a Hartley TS16. I have the space at the house to do so and the local yacht club in Wairoa has a launch ramp for trailer sailers. But I really wouldn't like to sail the NZ coast in something that small - with apologies to Webb Chiles - and it would mean taking a heavy loss on one of the ferros. Also, building even a plywood yacht from scratch is now out of the question, the prices of raw materials being ridiculous in NZ compared with Australia.

Since the ferros still provide accomodation in two states, an option I really enjoy, I have to admit that I don't want to sell either one unless it becomes financially impossible to keep them.

So here's the current plan:

1. Cease work on Keppelena except for minimal maintenance. At this stage I'm not even keeping up with entropy, she needs a brand new cabin as the dry rot is worth than I first anticipated.

2. Buy a small outboard (old Seagull or similar) for Shenoa, get the sails fixed, sort out the rigging and do some day sailing in the Brisbane river. When finances are available, take her down to Coomera for a haulout, fix the hull crack properly and repaint her. At the same time I will remove the ridiculous fibreglass helm "awning" and build a new pushpit from galvanized pipe using an electrician's pipe bender, with which I have some experience. At the same time I'll build davits for the dinghy which will double as a mount for the solar panels. I'll buy a MIG welder for this job, a useful piece of additional kit and cheap enough. Total budget to make her seaworthy is $7,500

3. Sail the East coast, then get her on the Australian registry and sail her solo to Wairoa, with a target date to leave of December 2016. Since I'm establishing a permanent residence there should be no import duty or GST applicable on the import. And as a bilge keeler she should make it through the river heads, to be permanently moored either in the lagoon or against the old abandoned jetty posts which could be used as a pile mooring. Either option is safe long term even in flood conditions.

4. By this time I will have to make a decision about Keppelena. Options here are to sail her to Coomera for a refit or sell her. What happens will depend on a number of things, including finances and health at that stage. But having a permanent floating home available in Sydney for less than $1,200 a year is still highly attractive anyhow.
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Old 03-17-2015, 05:57 PM   #2
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Glad you're sorting things out but sorry to hear that you're boxed in a bit on the finances. Even so -- once you see a path you can start working your way towards your goals.
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Old 03-18-2015, 06:09 AM   #3
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Life is full of compromises, but one I'm not willing to make is to go back to working for the man again. Life's too short. Eventually the building I own with my siblings will be sold, then it gets much easier. Meanwhile I've got to do whatever's possible.

It's good to have a definite plan again.
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Old 03-20-2015, 12:12 PM   #4
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Sounds like a good idea to concentrate on one boat and get out sailing
Good luck and keep us posted!
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Old 03-21-2015, 09:03 AM   #5
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Thanks Steve. Until now I've been concentrating on the other one, but it now seems to be a much larger task than anticipated. The only serious issue with fixing Shenoa is the condition of the sails, and throwing money at it will fix that. I'm considering getting a long arm sewing machine and making a new set right now.

The hull crack is a minor issue, it isn't leaking much since I patched it (brother checked recently and the bilge pump is still keeping her dry) and it can be repaired properly when I haul her out for antifoul. I'll take the mast down and fix rigging at the same time.

Apart from that, a bit of wiring (easy peasy) and removal of the fibreglass canopy and we should be good to go. Maybe six months' concentrated work there.

Once I have her over in NZ the options open wide up. While I'm there, if I get bored working on the house I can take her out for a sail or a bit of fishing any time. And there won't be any distractions when I'm in Oz either, one boat only to concentrate on.
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Old 04-17-2015, 11:12 AM   #6
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Well bugger. The best laid plans of mice and men, and all that ...

Just arrived back in Brisbane. My dinghy has been stolen so I can't go aboard. At my brother's place again. Police have been notified but it's a lost cause, I'll have to buy another one.

Just once I'd like to catch one of these thieving weasels in action.
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Old 04-17-2015, 07:10 PM   #7
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I caught a dinghy thief. He was 16 and the son of the vice commodore of the sailing club. He damaged the engine of my dinghy and set the plastic fuel tank on fire. The damage bill was about $600. Father offered to pay and I refused the payment. At the time, a gardener cost about $25 an hour. I made this little brat mow my lawn to pay off the debt. Every weekend for six months, this kid had to face me. I like to think I helped deter him from a life of crime.
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Old 04-18-2015, 02:12 AM   #8
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Let the punishment fit the crime. Excellent lesson served there.

The fact that his father was willing to pay indicates where the problems lay. You can't teach responsibility that way.
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Old 04-18-2015, 11:30 AM   #9
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Argh!! Just got a Facebook message from NZ. The uncle of the girl I bought the house from has been there again, loading up stuff and taking it away. The police are getting involved this time.
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Old 08-04-2015, 04:38 AM   #10
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What a year it has been. Abovementioned issues aside, I've also had the driver side mirror smashed off my van by a passing truck (now replaced for the 4th time) and the NZ house has been burgled.

I'm still looking for another dinghy but they have been very expensive to buy even at secondhand prices, averaging $500 on ebay lately. So for now I'm still living at my brother's house. He turns 60 later in the month and just bought a house in the next street so I'll probably be here for another few weeks to help him shift in, there's a lot of large and heavy stuff to move due to his home based airconditioning repair business.

The single piece of good news is that the debts are almost gone, but I really can't see myself doing much to Shenoa this year, and plan to be back in the NZ house from December to replace the rusted tin roof. Maybe I'll get to sail her next year.
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Old 08-04-2015, 05:49 PM   #11
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Hi, Did you have a look on gumtree? Inflatables are still pricey but there's a GRP at 8' in Toowong which may be of interest.
8ft fiberglass dinghy | Tinnies & Dinghies | Gumtree Australia Brisbane North West - Toowong | 1085783368
Hope this is of help.
Cheers.
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Old 08-05-2015, 05:11 AM   #12
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Biggest problem has been finding one that will fit inside my Transporter van. That one looks like it will, thanks. I'll send them an email.
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Old 08-06-2015, 03:27 AM   #13
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It was gone Auzzee, but the seller has another dinghy for sale at the same price - a dual-bottomed one that he used as his own tender and evidently better than the one advertised. He'll be sending me photos later in the week. Thanks for the link, looks like I've found my new dinghy.
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Old 08-06-2015, 04:31 AM   #14
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No worries. Very best wishes and I hope you get the new dinghy.
Cheers.
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