Thursday, 18 August 2011

Staying in Darwin for the Wet Season

Hi everyone,
We've had a busy three weeks since arriving here in Darwin.  Lots of work done on the boat, and plenty more still to do.  We've settled in at Tipperary Waters Marina and met many of the sailors here.

After reviewing the state of the cruising kitty we've decided to stay in Darwin until next year.  It looks like we'll not have trouble getting work and I have secured some initial consulting work.  Staying here will allow us to better prepare the boat for ocean sailing.

Jobs done here so far include:
  • Installed a new (but same Garmin GPSmap 451 model) GPS chartplotter, giving us a 5 minute swap-out with the old
  • Purchased two 32W flexible solar panels from SolarTechPlus.
  • Replaced bolted-in brackets for the "larder"/"pedestal"/saloon table with glassed-in brackets
  • Had a removable wooden chopping board / work surface sink cover fitted
  • Had a wooden cover / work surface fridge cover fitted
  • Had a removable wooden insert fitted to convert the forward V berth into a double
  • Had cushions made for the above insert and also two cockpit seat cushions
  • Had the mainsail, No 3 jib, storm jib and trisail checked and made good by Nautical Supplies
  • Replaced all rope bags (the old ones were _very_ old)
  • Purchased courtesy flags for Mauritius, France and South Africa from National Flags
  • Fitted retaining lines to washboards
  • Fitted storm-retainers to several lockers 
  • Purchased canvas cockpit dodgers and companionway cover from The Canopy Man
  • Sanded back and epoxied the original (and current spare) tiller
  • Had a wooden emergency forward hatch cover fabricated
  • Purchased a spare electric macerator assembly for the head
  • Lodged our fy1011 tax returns!
However by far the biggest job we've done was inspecting the "egg crate" on which the mast support column sits.  For non sailors, this vertical stainless steel column fits between the deck and the hull, transmitting the load from the mast to the hull.  We wanted to inspect the area under this column since there was evidence of some water getting into the cabin around the bottom of the column.

Mast compression post removed to expose base plate
Base plate removed to expose forward "egg crate"
My parents visited us and helped with the inspection.  We had to move the foot of the mast a few inches aft to gain access to bolts securing both the step and the top of the column.  That was fun!  Then we had to jack up the deck enough to take the weight of the mast so we could get the column out.  With the column out we could then remove the base plate, give it and the fibreglass "crate" a good clean up, and then seal and refit them.  There's more work to be done there in due course, but the work helped prove the boat is structurally sound (as the shipwrights in Mooloolaba confirmed).

Work still on our to-do list, and all subject to cruising kitty constraints, includes:
  • All-chain anchor rode 
  • Boom tent and foredeck awning 
  • Replace winches 
  • Replace cabin headliner 
  • Permanent inner forestay with furler and new storm jib 
  • No 2 headsail 
  • Trisail track 
  • Towed generator 
  • Replace cabin windows 
  • Sea anchor 
  • Manual watermaker 
  • Retainers for remaining cabin lockers
Sunset over Cullen Bay from Darwin Sailing Club
Oh yes, HMB Endeavour caught up with us a couple of weeks ago...

1 comment:

  1. Wow, you guys have been busy. All the best for your stay in Darwin - I always wanted to visit there....hmmmm :D

    Take care, Michelle.