Posted by: catamarantwooceans | December 5, 2013

Back in Richards Bay

7.12.13 – Saturday – You may remember that I left the boat in Zululand Yacht Club on October 11th in the care of Barry Wheal after giving him a long list of jobs. When the boat was taken out of the water, he started at what we considered to be most crucial – the suspected delamination in the port hull. Removing the outer layer he found the foam material inside to be very wet and had to enlarge the opening until getting to a healthy section.

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There were also cracks on the front of both bows.

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Barry sent me a picture of the port hull during the repair and I could see the enormity of the job.

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Those were just the fiberglass jobs but there were more things to do; engines, electrical – including ordering and installing new batteries and off course painting antifouling.

Doing repairs by remote control does not work very well; I did not feel I was getting enough information and was worried that going back into the water would be delayed. That made me decide to go back to the boat a few days earlier than planned. I reached the boatyard on Monday and assumed the role of a catalyst. Things started happening. There were also some setbacks; it turned out I needed to replace the shaft of the starboard drive, which was badly pitted and this could only be done in Cape Town, costing a lot of time and money.

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My crew for the next leg decided, contrary to my recommendation, to come as planned, so the waiting game will be in company. The first one to come was Dany Lanis, who sailed with me from Palau to Thailand. He had a bit of an adventure as he arrived at Richards Bay airport; coming out of the terminal he was looking for the driver I sent, a man called Johnny, saw a car waiting and speaking to the driver a two sided mistake bloomed. The driver was a Joey going to Zulu Niala resort and each of them thought they found the right party.

After some time the error was discovered; Joey had to return the company car he was driving to the resort and then took Dany to Zululand Yacht club, three and a half hours late. Dany, always the positive thinker, took all this with a smile.

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On Friday the new batteries, six Discover 100 amps EV Traction Dry Cell, arrived; although being larger than the previous ones I had, we succeeded fitting them into the same compartment.

Today we hoped to finish installing them. Michael Wheal, Barry’s son, who is the family’s electrician, started working on making the various cables for the system. We were eagerly waiting for him to come and finish the job but as I write this, at 1700, we know we’ll have to wait another day.

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