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Work, stop, play…work, stop, play…

December 25, 2014
Our new hydrovane self steering cover

Our new hydrovane self steering cover

I can’t believe we are still at the dock at Yacht Haven Marina.  I think it’s now been three weeks we have been tied up.  At least we are in the water and the boat gently rocks to the occasional wind that kicks up the water or else a power boat goes roaring by creating a wake when I am at the top of the mast.

Talking about masts.  I have now completed putting on mast steps.  I guess it’s one concession to being an elderly sailor.  No longer is it easy for me to lift Connie to the top of the mast and damn near impossible for Connie to get me up there.  So what does one do.

There are a number of choices to make and for us I think we have made the right choice. We chose a reinforced nylon/glass step that we were originally going to secure to the mast using monel rivets. However, it turned out to be impossible to use the rivet gun and so I used stainless steel bolts which required drilling a pilot hole, then using a tap creating a thread in the aluminium and then securing each step with 5 stainless bolts.  There are 33 steps in total so that means I had to drill 165 holes, tap 165 holes and then dry-fit each one. After dry-fitting I had to undo each bolt and apply Duralac; a compound to minimize the electrolytic action between the stainless steel bolt and the aluminium.

Up the mast for the fifth straight day

Up the mast for the fifth straight day

After endless hours up the mast in a chair it is finally completed and now we can race up and down the mast doing all the maintenance work necessary which included replacing burnt out bulbs in navigation lights, replacing spreader tip leathers and replacing the mast-head navigation light.  We are delighted with the steps and the ease in which we can get to either the spreaders or the masthead.

steps to heaven

steps to heaven


It’s time for a break.  We are supposed to be enjoying ourselves but it is hard work doing all this stuff in 30+C heat and full sunshine.  That is usually broken with a torrential downpour around 1600hrs that comes with a half hour of 30+knot winds, torrential rain and thunder and lightning. All very dramatic but of course everyone is scurrying around shoving their tablets, smart phones, PCs etc into their ovens to protect them should a boat get struck by lightning, which does happen occasionally.


What do we do to enjoy ourselves.  Get out teeth fixed (!), entertain visitors

Jeff, Elliott and Connie

Jeff, Elliott and Connie

go to a movie (The Hunger Games), head to the beach for a massage, go out to lunch or dinner with a friend or just sit on someone’s boat and have a few gin and tonics.

Lorraine and Connie in the galley of Katani getting the appies ready

Lorraine and Connie in the galley of Katani getting the appies ready

Graham at rest after a hard day getting ready to leave

Graham at rest after a hard day getting ready to leave the next day.  Drinks are on the way

Katani - what a boat.

Katani – what a boat.




Okay another day of work – at the bottom of the page I’ve listed all the things we’ve done or have to do. It’s an extensive list and we pick away at it bit by bit without getting depressed about how many things there are still left to do. We also know, though, that the list never really disappears and we still have  items that HAVE to be done before leaving Thailand.  So plug away….


Connie learning the finer points of winch maintenance and doing a great job

Connie learning the finer points of winch maintenance and doing a great job

One of the main dismantled winches

One of the main dismantled winches


The old radar guts

The old radar guts. Looks OK to me but…

A sad day.  The old radar has bitten the dust.  They say it’s too old and spare parts not available.  Aaargh – fortunately, or at least for us, someone in the boatyard got hit by lightning.  He is replacing all of his instrumentation whether things are working or not. He has an old radar unit that is a few years newer than our old one and which works despite the lightning.  We are picking that one up and installing on Sage.  Hopefully it works for the next couple of years although we really question the need for it as leaving Victoria 4 years ago there haven’t been many times we have put it into use.


Here is our list of things done over the last 2 months or that still need doing:

New throttle cable****DONE****

Check rigging

Re galvanize chain – *****DONE+****

Replace sw galley intake thru hull****DONE****

Glass over depth sounder****DONE*****

Replace self steering lower bearing, collar and sleeve ***DONE****

Remover cover on windvane and pack new cover for canada****DONE****

End for end main halyard

New cover for steering post*****DONE******

Review and renew abandon ship box DONE

Rebuild fuel injection pump****DONE****

Replace solent stay deck fitting – ******Done********

Get pulpit fixed

Install masthead light IN PROGRESS

Replace light on propane switch

Paint engine locker instrument lid********DONE**********

Replace upper lifelines****DONE*****

Get blade (sail) made

Replace radar********IN PROGRESS********

New Trojan batteries***DONE****

Install mast steps****DONE****

O/b maintenance**DONE******

Replace zincs******DONE****+

Change sump oil

Repair kit for head pump****DONE****

Inspect electronic self steering electrical connections

Install new hatch gaskets needed****IN PROGRESS*****

Service injectors

Install new Batteries – *****DONE*****

Install water shut off valve to dripless bearing*******DONE*****

Test EPIRB -*****DONE****

Install new motor lift*****DONE*****

New kayak cover****DONE*****

Repair fuel injector pump***+DONE****

Repair water pump on engine****DONE****

Paint cockpit locker*****IN PROGRESS*****

Check navigation lights*****IN PROGRESS******

Install new light in galley

Install rope clutch for jib halyard ON ORDER

Renew wire on pulpit navigation light-*****DONE*****

Paint design on new hydrovane cover ***********DONE********

Work is continuing and will be posting more about the ongoing activities.

I do want to thank our special artist who worked on putting the sunflower on our self steering gear.  Diana Naggo is the artist and we are so pleased we ran into Diana and her partner, Rob, in Yacht Haven. I think she did a great job of putting the sunflower on.

Rob and Diana by their boat The Doctor

Rob and Diana by their boat The Doctor

5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 26, 2014 05:14

    Tony, Connie:

    Welcome to the wonderful world of mast steps. Of course real sailors would only install them on a rigged mast. A great joy with all the dread of dropping things (Including yourself) and of course there’s always the free advise and banter coming from the dock inspectors. We won’t mention the dark words beamed telepathetically at the passing power boaters who slow down just enough to maximize their wake.
    So well done! You’ve installed the same steps I have. I find they like to fold up just as you’re lifting your foot off which makes coming back down rather interesting. However it beats the alternative, especially if you’re alone.

    Best wishes for a great new year and a happy transit of the Indian Ocean. You’re ever in my thoughts and envy, fairwinds to you both.

  2. December 26, 2014 05:46

    Looking great – Connie, sunflower and THE LIST! Oh I do relate to the list… Hope you had a Merry Christmas and look forward to a Happy and Healthy New Year with safe travels.

  3. Wayne Holt permalink
    December 26, 2014 12:15

    Could you possibly add more to that list?!! Haha… fair winds dear friends. Tally Ho!

  4. Annie Boldt permalink
    December 27, 2014 16:31

    I DO LOVE THE SUNFLOWER… speaking of sunflowers do you have any pics from last summer of FIELDS of sunflowers? i want to paint a picture of that burt I need a photo to work from.
    This LIST is unbelievable. So sorry my list was only about 1/2 that size a week or so before Xmas but is is now complete and MUCH less rigorous than yours and mostly involved food to cook items.
    I made ‘nuts and boldts’ for the first time since 2002 when we last home for Xmas. Lorne delivered them around just like old times.
    On Jan 3rd we are moving into Carole and Al’s place for a week or so to get out of 16 KGT to give us and Dad a break.
    Lorne and dad sick with colds the last 2 days but were good for Xmas day thank goodness.
    Miss you both ++++++
    Love A&L>

    • December 29, 2014 02:12

      Unfortunately the cover has the name of the manufacturer. We would have preferred it to be blank ready for more sunflowers. Perhaps later.

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