16 May 2010

This weekend

This weekend became a work weekend, after last week's offshore sailing trip.  Conditions were somewhat bumpy so there were a few things broken that needed fixing, and some other jobs that had been waiting around for a while.

  • Major clean up.  Muck scraped off cabin sole, vacuumed, washed, mopped.
  • Fetched a new battery for the clock.  Neil had gone to Dick Smiths with the battery model number, and been assured by the staff that no such thing existed, so I went up there this afternoon and picked it off the shelf (fairly clearly labelled with the other batteries, in a 2 pack).  Also treated myself to a new pair of Harken deck shoes, most comfortable and less slippy than my current ones.
  • Hosed off all outside surfaces.  After a few days of high winds and seas almost the entire top deck was crusted in salt, which needed hosing off.  I still need to get at some salt accumulation in the mainsail boom bag, but the wind was up a bit high today to tackle that.
  • Also a batten has popped out of the mainsail, that needs putting in.  I spent most of the weekend waiting for the wind to drop, it finally did around 5:15pm today so I got up on the doghouse roof and got the boom bag unzipped only to be greeted with another wind shift and pick up in the wind speed, so had to zip the bag up again and abandon it for another day.  Because I'm on a berth and not a mooring I have to wait for the wind to die away to bring the main up otherwise the wind pushes it sideways and it jams in the lazyjacks.
  • Quite a bit of water came in through the leaky porthole in the heads and had accumulated in the main bilge and under the cabin sole.  So I pumped all of that out, jury rigging the main deck shower pump as a suction to save having to fetch my manual pump from storage.  Then mopped out the rest and set my electric fan heater to dry out the spaces under the sole.  There is still some water in the main bilge, I'll have to get the long handled mop down to dry that out.
  • The connection from the navigation laptop to the NMEA interface (for GPS etc) had given up, but a tightening of a few connections seems to have solved that.  Similarly the power connection to the hull transmitter (connected to the depth sounder and speed sensor) had fallen out at some point, which wasn't obvious initially because the transmitter has a battery in it and can run off that, but when the battery ran out we lost depth & speed reading.  The autopilot needs the speed reading to be functional, and without the depth sounder working I couldn't drop anchor, which is why we came back to Berry's Bay after getting back into the harbour, rather than dropping anchor at Nielsen Park or some other good vantage point.  Plugging in the power connection solved that of course.
  • Dinghy hauled out, hosed and bottom scraped.  I left it upstairs to dry, it hasn't entirely dried yet but I'm hoping the rain will ease off later in the week and I can pack it away in its new bag and tie it up on the foredeck for the winter season.  I don't like to put the dinghy on deck without being in the bag because the non-slip coating on the deck damages the PVC of the dinghy, so it's been sitting in the water for a while waiting for a new bag to be made after the one it came in disintegrated in the sun.
  • Food cooked, ate, caught up on much lost sleep.
Given that we were in fairly rough seas for 2 days or thereabouts, the fact that nothing important broke was reasonably reassuring.  The laptop picked up the spare GPS when the main one lost its connection, and apart from some shennanigans from the autopilot when it lost its speed reading, all was good.  The main & genoa sheets are on their last legs and will need replacing over the winter, and a few of the halyards could use replacement as well, but apart from that all held together pretty well.  The engine ran well and the engine electrics are behaving themselves after receiving a bit of attention earlier in the summer, although I'd still like to get that entire wiring harness replaced (but I'm unable to source the flexible housing that it goes in).  I'm beginning to think that the wiring harness will have to stay in place for a few years yet until I'm ready to replace the entire engine which will no doubt happen about then.

So it's the second weekend in May and I'm assuming that it's about the last chance before next summer to sit around on deck in shorts and t-shirt.  I've got a fair task list of things to do over the winter, which list I'll get to sorting out and organising into priority order over the next few weeks.

No doubt this will become a pretty boring blog of repairs, replacements, upgrades and servicing until next summer.