Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Preparation for Cat 6 Safety Inspection

Hi everyone,
This week we've been getting our act together in preparation for our Category 6 safety inspection.  Cat 6 is hardly onerous - the boat was equipped to Cat 3 when we were in NSW - but some work is required.  We haven't raced for several years so there were a set of items needing attention...

  • Replaced gas system to meet WA regulations
  • Replaced Dyneema rope lifelines with 4mm s/s wire
  • Replaced out of date drugs in the First Aid kit
  • Replaced out of date flares
  • Replaced out of date fire extinguishers
  • Inspected and serviced all life jackets, including 48 hour inflation test
  • Replaced batteries in all personal torches
  • Tested EPIRB
  • Wrote boat name on various new loose equipment
  • Checked heavy equipment tie-downs
  • Fitted lanyards to buckets
  • Searched unsuccessfully for our Distress V Sheet - will have to buy a new one
Not a trivial list!

Other work this week included making and fitting a new outboard motor bracket.  The old one was plywood and needed revarnishing every year.  That didn't happen so it was rotting.  The new one is made from a couple of plastic kitchen chopping boards...

New outboard motor bracket at left
The bracket also mounts the gas regulator and cut-off solenoid.

Finally, Precision Shipwrights in Phuket has added Zen Again to its web site Show Cases.  See it here.  Nice photos.  Precision certainly did a great job, and provided good support following our problem with the mast brackets.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Rottnest Circuit

Hi everyone,
The last couple of weeks have been very busy, with hours snatched here and there to work on the boat.  Here's what we got done...
  • Finished repainting lazarette and cockpit locker
  • Sealed cockpit drain hoses and fitted new bilge pump hoses in the lockers
  • Used cut-to-size rubber panels and sealant to seal all holes through lazarette bulkhead
  • Similarly sealed holes through main cockpit bulkhead
  • Rerigged mainsail after Extreme Sails replaced all luff slugs and their webbing
  • Took a steady stream of "cruising stuff" home for storage
The change to the lazarette is noticable...

Before renovation 
After renovation (with HF autotuner at right)
New helisteel hoses
Yesterday the boat was finally ready to go for a sail.  The weather was great with a nice 10-15 knot NE breeze.  We departed FSC at 0930 and first did some speed trials under power.  Although the new engine was installed last year in Langkawi I've been waiting until the shaft seal was replaced before doing these trials.  The results were amazing...

At 3000 rpm we were starting to get smoke from the exhaust but the engine hadn't run out of power.  Maximum revs on the engine are 3600, but I don't think we needed to push above 3000 which was giving us greater than the boat's nominal hull speed!  The new engine seems to match the prop size and pitch very well.

After the speed trial we had a very nice sail over to Rottnest, continuing around the island leaving it to port.  Once on the south side we were in the lee of the island plus the wind was decreasing generally.  We had a nice beat along the south side to Parker Point, where the wind became very light and we started the motor.  Our plan had been to give the new shaft seal a few hours run-in and so it turned out.  No leaks.

Zen Again Track
The sail also proved the new mainsail slugs run up and down the mast fine, and the new boom gooseneck and vang "knuckles" work well.  It's great not to have the boom slopping around as it was previously.

New gooseneck "knuckle"
Nice tidy mainsail
Also, the boat sails so much faster with 2" less draft!!!  (ie after removing all the cruising gear).

Trust all's well where you are.