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Maintaining Speed

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P9091591 We received the replacement speed transducer from Andersen Marine while we were in Mackay. I fitted it the other day and we can again see how much tidal currents contribute to our speed. Yes, as shown in the picture, we were getting up to 3.5 knots of current going down the Whitsunday passage today on a rising tide.

Actually, I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to do some maintenance to the boat while on this trip. Apart from fitting the new speed transducer, I’ve made up a new bridle, fender ropes and performed a regular service to both diesel engines. That’s on top of the repairs after our bit of trouble with the boom.

IMG_2871 [Updated] David McKay, responding to a previous post commented: "What happened with the boom? Your viewers back home want warts and all you know"?

To the best of my knowledge, here is the sequence of events:

We had a rough night and the rope I was using as a preventer wore through, causing some unintentional gybes until we restored the preventer(Dark night, running South with 35-40 Knots gusts, 4 m seas).

Part of the gooseneck, attaching the boom to the mast, failed the next day in very mild conditions when Leon was "shaking out" the number one reef. It could be that the part had failed earlier and that our single line reefing system had prevented any drama - the boom was being supported by the reefing lines.

Was it longer term metal fatigue - the fracture showed a brittle quality rather than a clean break. When did the part actually break after being weakened?

What we do know:

  • The line I was using as a preventer was not up to the task and wore through  where I had attached it to the end of the boom.
  • We should have reefed to #2 before conditions deteriorated, putting less strain on the gear.
  • The boat handled the conditions really well and we were not aware of any breakage during the night.
  • When the part really failed, it was not at all dramatic. The boat kept sailing on its downwind course and we had plenty of time to do a controlled drop of the sail.

We found someone in Southport this morning who is willing to build a replacement part at short notice.

[Update 11 August] Here is the result:


The repaired part fitted in quite easily. However, it took a fair bit of effort to tidy up the sail and lazy bag. And we found that the second batt from the top had disintegrated. Evolution Sails made up a new batt for us today and the boat is ready to continue on its way.

Mind you the weather is not looking that flash for the next 24 hours, so we might claim another lay day tomorrow (Thursday).

PA231286 Just to follow up on our engine failure the other day. The cause was a faulty relay (the one driving the starting solenoid). There is a young sparky (Marcus Edwards, 0405 248 854) here at the Coffs Harbour marina who found the cause quick smart and had it going again in a few minutes. Today I rode the bike into town to get a spare relay, just in case the starboard engine wants to play the same trick.

At first light tomorrow we’re hoping to set off for Yamba/Iluka. Another adventure awaits…

PB020413 Recently, our house battery was clearly on its last legs, barely lasting a night. Te Moana had two 140 Amp hour (Ah), giving it a total of 280Ah. When I started looking for a replacement, I was taken a back by some of the prices I found for direct replacements (approx A$2000).





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Te Moana's new trampoline It's been a pain not being able to fully use the boat for the past few weeks (yes, it sails without a full tramp, but anchoring or picking up a mooring was a little insecure, so we took it easy).

Thanks to Barracouta Sails, Te Moana now sports a new Trampoline. Back to sailing!

On Saturday evening, I was talking to Ken (Red Undies) over a drink at sunset in Jerusalem Bay. "Now that Te Moana is six years old", I said, "it will need some additional preventitive maintenance".

P9210382 On Sunday morning, Joy and I were taking our time taking up the anchor, washing the anchor chain as we went (Jerusalem Bay has good holding, but very sticky, thick mud), all 60 meters of it.

Unfortunately I lost my balance standing near the Anchor locker, took some heavy steps on to the trampoline to regain my balance and consequently gave it a solid stress test. The result is clear, we need a new trampoline.

Another lesson learnt

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I'm still recovering from our Queensland cruise. While we had a largely trouble-free time, on our return from Mooloolaba, we struck a problem at Trial Bay. A southerly with gusts over 40 knots came in around midnight. While we had expected the change, it was uncomfortable and we decided to pull into Trial Bay to let it blow over.

Unfortunately, while we were setting the anchor, a gust of wind combined with the swell proved too much for the anchor winch. The gears stripped and we put out 60 meters of chain in water 2 meters deep. Sigh... A couple of hours later, as the weather settled down, we manually retrieved the anchor and had a further trouble free (motor) sail home to Pittwater.

However, the anchor winch needed repair, so I took it out of the boat and had someone look at it. They pulled it apart and confirmed that the gearbox had failed. Unfortunately, the quote for a repair kit was $1900 plus shipping from France, which I politely declined. I'm fitting a new Australian made Muir winch for the around same money instead.

Lesson learnt: When setting the anchor, don't allow the anchor winch to do all the work. I'll be fitting a chain stopper as well as the new winch.


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