Posted by: catamarantwooceans | April 24, 2011

Highs and Lows – continued

20.4.11 – Wednesday – At 0750 I started the engines to go to the lift out position. Put the port throttle in reverse gear, then the starboard and… I can’t feel the prop is pushing water! Tried again with higher revs – nothing! We proceeded with port engine only and positioned ourselves on top of the trolley. As we were pulled out slowly the bitter truth was revealed. There was no prop on the starboard shaft! How could that have happened? I used that engine in January with no problem whatsoever! A mystery!

Once the boat was positioned in the yard the various specialists showed up.  The order of events that followed is a bit hazy since I had to scoot from mechanic to electrician to rigger to boat painter but slowly we started seeing positive results.

Marcel found out the cause of the alternator problem: when his colleague dismantled the now dead charger- inverter he left a certain cable loosely connected. The moment it was put right the alternator output was back to normal. He also replaced the faulty solar panels regulator so we had them functioning.


Rob the rigger, with me as his second in command, was climbing up and down the mast like a… professional rigger that he is. It was a pleasure seeing him work.

The boat-painter guys came over to prepare the hulls for us to paint. Volkmar, who has some kind of a painting operation back in Austria, was not satisfied and made me (us, actually) work on smoothing the hulls some more. Exactly the thing I wanted to avoid doing.

And what about the missing prop? I don’t have the time or the money to order a new folding prop. I decided to use the old fixed three bladed props that I had on board. Surely they make the boat go slower but the new mainsail will probably compensate…

22.4.11 – Friday – This is Easter Good Friday so the hectic atmosphere relaxed a bit. We had to wait for the sun to burn away the night’s dew so we can start painting. We took the opportunity to visit the Yacht Club, where a cruisers “Market” for marine stuff was opened. Some interesting things there, but the main attraction was the colourful characters that loitered there. (A thought: Am I one of them?) Volkmar, who went around advertising himself as crew from Vanuatu onwards, bought a coffee press for 2$NZ.      

Volkmar advertising


 At 1100 we started painting the first, red, anti-fouling layer. The first hull took 2 hours, the second – after gaining experience – 1 hour and 40 minutes. Not an easy job, but a rewarding one when you think about the money saved by doing it yourself.


In one of his trips to the masthead Rob replaced the regular bulbs with LEDs. I put the switch on – Anchor light working, Tricolour doesn’t. Another job for the electricians!

 23.4.11 – Saturday – We painted the second layer of Anti-fouling, this time in black.

24.4.11 – Sunday – Drove to Kerikeri (about 30 km away) to a farmers market and bought some fruit and veggies. Back at the yard we added a third layer in “strategic” areas, such as the bows, the waterline and the keels. Not enough black paint so we did the keels in red. The engine drives being aluminium needed a special paint which came in blue. Our multihull is now multicoloured. 



 In the afternoon we checked and repaired a few nav lights that did not work due to internal corrosion.

Oh, the gas detector went crazy and shut off the system. Using soapy sponge I could not find any leak. It may have been activated by fumes out of the continuously charged batteries. Still investigating. 

The V.H.F transmition is breaking up, another item to fix!

25.4.11 – Monday – A grey and rainy day. Volkmar’s daughter and her husband came to visit yesterday, so he’ll be with them all day. Tomorrow they will take his van away. We’ll rent a car for a day or two, to pick Erez from Kerikeri airport and do the shopping before departure.


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