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Old 07-31-2011, 08:14 AM   #1
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Met an old chum in Tortola recently who had just bailed out of a catamaran delivery from Madagascar to Brisbane (citing crew fears of piracy). He had been skippering for a "well known Delivery Company" who purport to be catamaran specialists, no less.

Long story short - I took over the job. Here's digested bits of the story.......

..."For those who helped and for anyone who is/was, interested: Here's where we are at.

Arrived at the boat in Seychelles in early May to find a sad, unloved little craft that had part sunk at the dock (a head hose failure on stbd side.) Not a brilliant start to one's day.

People who had been looking after the boat at the dock for the owner (who lives in Oz) had done as good as they could and had replaced the hoses and the drowned alternators on the stbd engine etc, etc but she was still in a bit of a state.

It took myself and gallant crew a week to sort out and we did managed to get a bit of "tourism" in as well. Seychelles is absolutely gorgeous but goodness me, it aint cheap!!

The intention was to bash straight across to Bali but 3 days out, in not particularly horrible weather (it was a bit lumpy, but bearable) during a perfectly normal controlled gybe - the gooseneck broke!! Since it was 2.00am, I decided to drop the main until daylight and just gill around a bit until I could jury-rig it. Daylight came and just glancing up at the top of the mast, as one does, I noticed that the port cap shroud was "stranding". Getting the binoculars onto it, I could count 7 loose strands out of the 19. Not good, thinks I. Anyway, having rigged the topping lift and 2 spare halliards as temporary stays, I was pretty happy that the mast wasnt going to fall down and, reviewing the situation, decided that I was closer to Maldives than going back to expensive Seychelles. It took about a week to limp up to Male under small sails where I contacted the owner.

Long story short, after discussion with Z spars UK (brilliant support from them by the way), it was decided to ship in some spare shroud wire, Norseman terminals and a gooseneck fitting.

This all eventually arrived and we measured and cut and fitted. Talking about that though: Have you ever tried to cut 10mm 19 strand wire with the bolt croppers that you have onboard? Try it - you will be frightened about actually how difficult it is - just imagine having to cut away rigging in some nasty stuff in a hurry!

Maldives was not a happy place: I'm sure there are beautiful bits but we were anchored off Hulumale (where the airport is) - a ferry ride into Male itself which is the commercial centre and capital - ghastly place! Oh yes - did I mention that being Muslim, it is totally dry? Not good.

Apart from the rig, although I had been told that the fuel tank had been cleaned....it hadnt! (Trust - but verify, as (I think), Ronald Reagan once said). So I had spent many a happy hour in either or both engine rooms trying to coax fuel through. The electrics were a total mess (I'm not sure I have them totally worked out, even at this stage!) and every hatch leaked. So although it took 2 weeks for the parts to arrive, there was lots to be done on board in terms of repair, refit and general clean-up.

We got out of Maldives and decided that the best thing now, being much further North than originally intended, was to go across to Langkawi then down the Malacca Straits and across to Bali to pick up the programme.

Har, Har, 2 days out of Male, strong smell of propane and all of a sudden, no cooking gas. Well - I do like my bacon-and-eggs for brekkie and the thought of no hot coffee for a week or so was just too much to bear. Being now closer to Sri Lanka than any where else, we decided to divert to fix the gas and all the other various little problems that had, meanwhile, cropped up.

Sri Lanka was, how can I put it, interesting?? But we got done what had to be done then had a lovely fast passage with the SW Monsoon across to Langkawi.

If all goes well here with the few defects that I have left to sort out, after re-provisioning, I should get out of here on Monday night/Tuesday morning.

I am just now trying to sort out in my brain whether its worth going Bali-Darwin and onwards or staying in the South China Sea and dropping down to Oz on the East Coast from somewhere like East Timor...

The saga continued.....

MINI UPDATE. Still in Langkawi! One of the "minor defects" I mentioned earlier was the bracing wire over the top of the compression strut on the forward cross-beam started to strand in a similar manner to the original problem of the port cap shroud. I found a rigger - Luigi (must be one of the Mario Bros) who has spent a couple of days on what originally appeared to be a relatively simple "repair by replacement". Needless to say, "we need a bigger hammer"!!

Having had 2 fairly important bits of rigging go, the Wise Virgin decides that it might be a good idea to check out the rest......it is! The stbd cap shroud is starting at its lower swage. Luckily, the Owner had flown in 2 cap shrouds when we were in Maldives so that's a pretty easy swap out. Obviously now, I'm gonna have to look at the Forestay....not looking forward to this but at least Luigi, bless him, carries 10mm ss wire! Maybe a couple more days here but its not a bad place to be stuck....cheap beer, pretty girls, exotic culture (if you dig beneath the tourism)...

Not bore my readers but....

ANOTHER MINI UPDATE

And so, gentle readers, the saga continues...Where did I leave you last? Oh yes, Langkawi. Well 2 days out, getting into the Malacca straits, lots of things decide to give up on me, including the autopilot. Being now two handed, this makes life a little more stressful. The Port engine is burning sumpfuls of oil per day and the starboard engine alternator is doing nothing to help the batteries and the engine itself has developed yet another fuel leak. So back to Langkawi we go! I'm sure there were other problems but without delving back through the log they were obviously not too life-threatening!

Got a lot of stuff sorted in Langkawi with the assistance of John and Sheila who own the Chandlery at the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club - good people! The electrical problems took a few days because lekkies seem to be as rare as hen's teeth there. However, the elusive Mr Sin puts me onto his mate, Mr Han and we find a main 150 amp fuse has blown, which caused the majority of the electrical problems. Now dear Mr Han speaks either Hokkien or Cantonese and I speak English, French and a bit of Spanish. So my important question - "Why did the fuse blow"? Never truly got answered!

And so, off we go again. As you go down the Malacca Straits, they get narrower! This means that the shipping all converges and it makes for a very busy life indeed, until they start the Shipping Separation Lanes which, as long as you keep out of them, makes it much easier. And why did I say easier? Because, once out of the shipping lanes you are now amongst the fishing fleets with their seemingly miles of unlit nets! Hey ho!!

3 days out, after mostly calms or gentle Southerly breezes, the wind picks up somewhat and I put in a precautionary 1st reef. Half an hour later the mainsail splits from luff to leech just on a seam below the 3rd reef. No option but to bring the main down to the 3rd reef which, in light and contrary winds, makes everything exceedingly slow - like - about 3 kts through the water (forget bucking a foul tide!)

Even so, we force on and just South of the Equator (Hooray - at least we're in the correct Hemisphere!) the auto pilot craps out again and, having stopped the Port engine to check its bodily fluids - I cant get the bugger started again!

Long story short - Now in Raffles Marina, Singapore!!! ... Watch this space ... Tony

As of Sunday - Stilll here and expecting the parts etc to arrive by Wednesday. Then its a question of putting it all back together again......Tony

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Old 07-31-2011, 02:28 PM   #2
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Sounds like a lot of fun
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Old 07-31-2011, 02:40 PM   #3
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Wow! Thanks for posting the story. Hope all goes well for you going forward - let us know please.
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Old 08-01-2011, 02:41 PM   #4
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Well you certainly should not be bored and look at all the extra ports of call you managed to fit in to an other wise straight forward trip.....lol
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Old 08-02-2011, 03:30 PM   #5
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LOL - that is a great story. I can't wait for the next installment... Think you will delivery any more boats?

Kevin
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Old 08-12-2011, 07:20 AM   #6
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Singapore Update:

Many thanks to all for your kind comments! As I think you know, we had to turn back to Singapore a couple of weeks ago.

Our mainsail is now re-stitched, and I have re-supplied myself with extra needles as the jib will surely go next! We also have a brand new sail bag which looks pretty good.

The electrics have been a continuing problem and both alternators have been in the workshop many times. The wonderful Mr Tan has done sterling work in putting the electrics back together and explaining the system to me! Interestingly enough, the original buyers survey reckoned that even with the huge amount of add-ons that have occurred over the life of the yacht, that it had all been “professionally done”......

The autopilot – I managed to fix....don't ask me how!! Probably weak supply and I, more by luck than judgement, wiggled the right wire(s). Not entirely satisfactory but it will have to do.

The starboard engine's fuel leaks have all been chased down and stopped. Then, on re-start, yet another hose burst and the local yanmar agent didnt have it in stock. Well, I'm not waiting for yet another week (much as its nice here, I can't afford the beer – or the time!), so I trace down a Chinese fluid line shop and blow me down, they make one up for me as I wait and only charge 9 sing dollars! I wish I'd found them 2 weeks' ago...

Joy of joys, we've managed to sort out the fresh water and may even be able to have a shower on the next leg instead of chasing rain-clouds.

Since we have been here, the boat has changed to Australian registry and we are now the proud owners of a humungous Australian flag which will be a little difficult to fly, but I'm sure we'll manage.

So, a quick shop for vittles, beer and tobacco – not cheap especially as the last re-supply was in Langkawi which was dirt cheap- and we're off.

And what exciting destination next?? Well, I hope Darwin but halfway down the road is Bali: I already have the Indonesian paperwork completed so I can use Bali as a break-off point, which is a bit of a comfort to know. We wont be able to dally there long, if we do go there, as its still an exceedingly long way to Brisbane and I have a couple of trans atlantics lined up next, which I would not like to miss (apart from the financial side!)

Blessings to all and safe sailing, Tony
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Old 08-17-2011, 07:18 AM   #7
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Latest News in the continuing saga....

Having got everything together and cleared out of Singapore, I decided to investigate a new marina I had heard about on the Malaysian side of the Johore Baru Straits, about 3 miles North of Singapore on the Malaysian side (obviously!) This turned out to be an excellent idea and if anyone is in this area, they should go under the bridge and up to Puteri Harbour. This is a beautiful new Marina Development. The office staff can clear you into Malaysia which saves a huge amount of chasing around and they have a good chandlery on site and a ten us dollar taxi ride away from a modern mall with ATM machines, and a first class supermarket. Being Malaysia its considerably cheaper than Singapore!

So we stored and fuelled and set off in the late afternoon, back down under the bridge, past Raffles Marina and into the Straits yet again. We didnt have much wind so it was motor sailing with one engine to maintain a decent speed. By the next morning we were just about through the Singapore Straits and settling into the passage routine. An uneventful 2nd day got us nearly to where we had turned back the first time, about 11 miles North of the Equator.

The wind was a light South Easterly and there was a gentle swell. I had just put the first reef in the main as I could see that she was beginning to tear along the lowest seam. Ah, ha, another stitch job, thinks I. So we, if anything, were slightly underpowered when, suddenly, an almighty "crack" and the mast lurched back about 10 feet. Pretty obvious what had happened - the forestay had parted. I was on watch at the time and immediately got off the wind to reduce pressure. Meanwhile the crew, who was also on deck at the time, went up to the mast to grab a spare halliard to run through the forward cleat.

Unfortunately, we weren't quick enough and the whole rig came crashing down, causing quite a bit of damage in the way of bent guard rail stanchions, torn sails, broken saloon windows, extensive gouging on the coach-roof and side decks, etc, etc.

You will remember that we had replaced both shrouds. Our rigger in Langkawi had also inspected the forestay top swage and deemed it ok (but with no guarantees!). Because of the roller furling, it was not possible at the time to inspect the lower part of the forestay, and this had caused me some anxiety - I would be extremely embarrassed if it broke down there! It was the top swage that parted. With the benefit of 20/20 vision of hindsight, perhaps the owner and I were penny wise, pound foolish, in not replacing the forestay in Langkawi, but what's done, is done.

It took us over 6 hours in pretty flat conditions, to secure the mast and boom - jolly heavy, catamaran rigs! Having done that, we had no lights and no vhf and were obviously going to have to turn back to Singapore to get the latest mess fixed. I jury rigged a stern light out of an inspection light which worked very well. In front, attached by jumper cable crocodile clips to the house battery, I rigged up an led white light. Not having any coloured paper, I couldn't make a red and green but, hey, at least we had something visible forward.

So, back we went and I slowed down so that I would be in the thick of the Straits in daylight.

This boat obviously doesn't want to go South of the Equator - perhaps it had a bad experience there as a child?

We are just awaiting the repair facility manager to come and inspect the damage and liaise with the owner on what's to be done. I'll update the saga as necessary later. T
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Old 08-17-2011, 07:44 AM   #8
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You absolutely need to turn this into a blog somewhere -- it's proving to be an interesting read if not entirely for the schadenfreude.
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Old 08-18-2011, 03:24 AM   #9
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You absolutely need to turn this into a blog somewhere -- it's proving to be an interesting read if not entirely for the schadenfreude.
Cheers, Mate!! I'm a computer Dodo so "blogging" isn't quite my thing!! Its such a shame, though - Here was I, practising my Australian....useful phrases like "'Strewth Mate", "G'day, Sheila", "Its tinnie tinnie time", "No worries, Cobber" - Blimey, I was getting quite fluent!! I also had had a fantastic response from the Aussie Immigration Office to my report of intended arrival - it almost sounded as if they were going to welcome me!!

Meanwhile - I'm trying to rattle some cages here - anybody would think they had too much work on to take me on - its not as if they're building a superyacht here for goodness' sake....most frustrating; I might just have to go further up the JB Strait and turn left into Malaysia where there's a brand new marina development, Puteri Harbour, and see what they can do....!?! Tony
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Old 08-18-2011, 09:42 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by bvimatelot View Post

Cheers, Mate!! I'm a computer Dodo so "blogging" isn't quite my thing!! Its such a shame, though - Here was I, practising my Australian....useful phrases like "'Strewth Mate", "G'day, Sheila", "Its tinnie tinnie time", "No worries, Cobber" - Blimey, I was getting quite fluent!! I also had had a fantastic response from the Aussie Immigration Office to my report of intended arrival - it almost sounded as if they were going to welcome me!!

Meanwhile - I'm trying to rattle some cages here - anybody would think they had too much work on to take me on - its not as if they're building a superyacht here for goodness' sake....most frustrating; I might just have to go further up the JB Strait and turn left into Malaysia where there's a brand new marina development, Puteri Harbour, and see what they can do....!?! Tony
Tony, Is Putera Harbour what used to be called Danga BayJetty & complex.jpg ??

Photos, marina details ???
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Old 08-21-2011, 04:14 AM   #11
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Tony, Is Putera Harbour what used to be called Danga BayAttachment 1745 ??

Photos, marina details ???
Puteri Harbour - Sorry, no snaps. My chart of the area isnt making it clear if it is/was Danga Bay or not, I'm afraid. Going further up towards JB, the stretch is called "putri narrows" They've got a website (which you'll have to google, I'm afraid!) All I can tell you is that its in year 4 of development: very smart marina and lots of condos going to be built - like one of those "marina villages". On site at the moment is a nice bar and restaurant, a good chandler, a fuel dock (which is pretty shallow at low tide), good and helpful marina staff and they will also arrange your clearance into Malaysia. The whole area looks like its going to be a fantastic modern development, given time.

GPS co-ordinates are: 001deg 25.06minN, 103deg 39.57E
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:37 AM   #12
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Puteri Harbour - Sorry, no snaps. My chart of the area isnt making it clear if it is/was Danga Bay or not, I'm afraid. Going further up towards JB, the stretch is called "putri narrows" They've got a website (which you'll have to google, I'm afraid!) All I can tell you is that its in year 4 of development: very smart marina and lots of condos going to be built - like one of those "marina villages". On site at the moment is a nice bar and restaurant, a good chandler, a fuel dock (which is pretty shallow at low tide), good and helpful marina staff and they will also arrange your clearance into Malaysia. The whole area looks like its going to be a fantastic modern development, given time.

GPS co-ordinates are: 001deg 25.06minN, 103deg 39.57E
Danga Bay it is - your GPS doesn't agree with the chart

Danga Bay Chart 2 .jpg
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Old 08-21-2011, 01:48 PM   #13
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Here's a link to lots of pictures of Puteri Bay and the rest of the development PUTERI BAY development



And this link is the fancy website for Nusajaya, which gives the same coordinates as Tony did (with a few seconds diff.) NUSAJAYA
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Old 08-21-2011, 04:06 PM   #14
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Here's a link to lots of pictures of Puteri Bay and the rest of the development PUTERI BAY development



And this link is the fancy website for Nusajaya, which gives the same coordinates as Tony did (with a few seconds diff.) NUSAJAYA
That's it Jeanne! The web-site is a little in advance of what has actually happened there - but its coming along!

MNATSEA - Interesting that the charts didnt agree - I was using electronic C Map and just put a mark on where I was actually parked! Certainly good enough to get you there though, I think!

(although, according to the chart - I was on the putty by about half a mile....) Tony
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