Friday, 20 May 2011

Mooloolaba Continued

We're now on the hard at Lawrie's Boat Services, a five minute motor up the canal from the yacht club marina.  Zen Again was lifted out of the water on Wednesday morning and since then we've been flat out.

In the slings
Within a few minutes of lifting out we were (once again) confident we don't have a major keel problem.  Absolutely no cracks or any other signs of stress around the keel.  The job became one of working out how water is getting in, and to stop it moving around inside the boat.

The first job however was to give the Coppershield antifoul a light rub to "re-activate" it.  That took the two of us the rest of the day.  In the evening we reran the electrical cables from the depth and speed transducers so that they no longer pass through the main bulkhead down in the bilge.  That took several hours and we ended up with about 30cm excess cable - phew!  Likewise we removed the fresh water pipe which runs from the main water tank to the head compartment sink.

On Thursday we filled the holes previously used by the electrical cables and water pipe to isolate the head area from the main saloon at bilge level.  Overnight we left several buckets of water in the head bilge to see where it went.  During the day Nicki went shopping at the nearby mall for provisions, and we're now fully stocked again with non-perishables.  We have renamed the "pedestal" the "larder" to better describe its purpose.  ;)

On Friday morning we discovered how water is getting from the head compartment to the main cabin, and set the local shipwrights to work to fix the problem.  Basically there is some delamination of fibreglass which was part of the repair done about 10 years ago.  The delaminating fibreglass is being cut out and replaced.  We'll end up with much improved access to the hull in the head compartment - which alone is worth the cost of the work.  Inaccessible hull areas on boats are always a worry and occasionally dangerous.  Very few such areas left on this boat!

While the shipwrights worked inside the boat we polished the topsides and the stainless steel on the bow and transom, both of which are hard to do with the boat in the water.  Zen Again looks significantly shinier after this (hard) work.

On the other problem of how water is getting into the head compartment in the first place, we're confident it isn't through the keel or the skin fittings.  We believe it's probably been siphoning up through the sink drain / head sump foot pump hoses.  We haven't been closing the sea cock for that drain, perhaps foolishly.  :(  Thanks to previous owner Rex for his thoughts on the problem.

We expect to put the boat back in the water on Monday afternoon.  If the fibreglassing is completed then tidying up can be done alongside the work jetty here at the boat yard.  On Tuesday we will have the engine serviced and hopefully the rig inspected.

We're living aboard the boat while she's out of the water.  Peculiar climbing up and down ladders into one's supposedly floating home!  ;)

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