Refit 5

April - August 2009

Small items like installing hand holds, battery charger, companion way steps replaced, begining the head laminate installation.

September 2009 -

Fitting a Comar Multi AIS required some manipulation of the cabling, more trim added in the head area. I hate laminate - very difficult to produce a good job in uneven ceiling and surfaces. The companion way steps now hinge from the floor allowing better access to the engine and incorporate storage and tools.

October 2009 -

The Laptop computer is now mounted vertically on the bulkhead which makes it a little less vulnerable to salt water and coffee. While doing the headlining in the forward cabin I noticed a small crack between the wood hatch surround and the cabin top - I gave a gentle push against the hatch from underneath and found it to be floating which would have been somewhat embarrassing had a wave taken it away leave a half metre hole in the deck. Trying to blame someone became a bit more embarrassing when I realised it was my responsibility - I removed the old bolts, I re-stained the timber surround, I should have noticed it was not secured. It is now! My other recent cockup was the autopilot not working. I finally worked out that I had interferred with the compass cabling to the control unit so it didn't have a clue which way the boat was heading. After much more fiddling this is now fixed as well. I'm still very impressed with the manoeverability of the S&S34 (with the sail drive and prop I have) - in and out of my berth is so easy single handed. No noticeable prop walk - she just follows the tiller. Coming in is a breeze - I just let her follow my line and a short burst in reverse pulls her up dead alongside the finger. It's just that easy. And I hesitated for a long time taking her out by myself. Must admit a working autopilot makes things much easier.

November 2009 -

Wow that October entry was a mistake - next time out everything went wrong. Scaped the finger reversing out of the berth, the autopilot stopped again - the intermittent connection wasn't fixed. Then no wind to speak of so coming back in keeping to starboard in the Watson Inlet channel - too much to starboard. The sounder says 0, no matter, still in the channel so just push through - wrong! stuck and the tides on the way out. After another hour or so I could see the error of my ways - about 4 feet off the channel but those 4 feet could have been 4 miles. I was going nowhere. Decided to wait til I floated off - 4 hours later still stuck and it was getting late. Called the marina and the guys from Supreme Marine threw me a line and I was free. Coming back into the berth wasn't a spectacular success either. Had to fend off! Maybe just one of those days.

December 2009 - January 2010

More painting and tidying up. Put in some vinyl tiles on the cabin sole to make it look a bit more presentable. New main sail delivered with our new sail number of Y186 (was MH186 - Middle Harbour - who apparently have no historical records!). Now working on enhancing the ice box (reducing the size and increasing the insulation.

February 2010 - July 2010

Fitted spinnaker downhaul block. Finished painting, fitting a skeg to an 8 foot pram dinghy which is now installed on the foredeck. Small matter of altering the dinghy seat to be finished. Organised for MM to be slipped in April.




Gratified that after 20 months in the water no sign of blisters or any other issue apart from where the supports had been prior to launching August 2008. Very little pitting of the zinc on the motor which is also welcome news and the fuel tank has been removed for pressure testing again.

On further inspection we did find problems which has meant a lot of bottom sanding - the fairing epoxy which was liberally applied over the "new" hull was not mixed sufficiently well and resulted in the microballoons absorbing water which expanded and has lifted the epoxy undercoat in places. The skeg is particularly bad. The fairing was also not that good and made more difficult because of the softness of the fairing epoxy. Being fixed under warranty - the test will be in 18 months when she comes out of the water again.

Problem with the iCom VHF traced back to the output power module - more repairs.

August 2010 -

Back in the water with check made to water tank, stern frame for new solar panels and somewhere to mount TV and emergency VHF antenna. Comar AIS back to the UK after determining that it wasn't registering AIS traffic. Seatalk to NMEA MUX installed which allowed all data to be fed through the AIS and displayed on the SOB/CMaps chart - worked well except no AIS information. Yachtbits UK were very good replacing the AIS Multi and when re-installed I can now see marine traffic at last.

Added an extra 20W solar panel and small 18AH battery up forward to power the head and anchor winch, tiller extension, bow fairleads.

January 2011 -

So whats still to do? - ordered a new No 1 furling headsail, shelf in the cockpit locker, locks on the gimballed stove, HF radio, main sail cover and extra fresh water. Maybe do some sailing too! Put together a web site for the Yaringa Mariners Club -

Nervously purchased a No 1 Headsail (above) from HLM China Sails and boom cover. Need not have worried - arrived before scheduled, looks to be great quality, well cut and put together. Only problem is my measurements on the boom stack cover - its a bit tight. The price for these sails is about half of locally produced.