More Mucking Around at RBYC

January 2015 -

Decided to move to RBYC shortly after new year. Further deliberation then decided to take a 12 month berth and renewed membership.

Decided to increase solar array after one 20W array blew off and smashed. Installed 140W panel on the modified stern rack. Installed a security system in the boat - very cost effective using GM01 and Vodaphone. Has night vision and movement sensor. Sends an alarm photo to mobile and website.

March 2015 -

Installed a pole for a radar on the stern (after a bit of changing around) and a A65 display - Found that my Sea Talk was not compatible with the new sea talk. Purchased a converter and now have the radar and display talking to the depth, log, wind and chart plotter.

Continued starting difficulties. Decided to replace the batteries with 2 125AH gel units. Starting problems continue - engine won't turn over. Starter solenoid and motor fine. Solar charging not operating properly - found a fuse blown and worked out that the way I had it wired it did not allow for charging of both batteries. Changed regulator and wiring around. Regulator mounted in the quarter berth. The old 110ah batteries were still fine after 7 years so its correct what they say about Gel longevity.

May 2015 -

Sought the assistance of Mike Davidson from AM Marine Engineering regarding the engine starting problem. He took the head off and found sea water in the cylinders. How it got there who knows - the obvious answer is through the exhaust. No idea why although I have decided that the configuration leaves a lot to be desired on the output side and the anti-siphon on the input side was not working properly. I had noticed that there was a flow into the cockpit while the engine was running. I also rarely closed the inlet sea cock which is another mistake.

RBYC in disarray over proposal to close the slipway and throw out the marine support trades like AM Marine Engineering. More examination of the motor parts - still struggling to identify exactly what went wrong.

June 2015 -

Replaced cushions and floor coverings.

RBYC Slip defective and closed. Current flag and committee want it removed and to use the beach for off-the beach sailing, family sailing etc. Joined the resistance to not repairing the slip - out voted! Probably means the demise of keelboats at RBYC in the longer term. Many people considering moving to Hobsons and Sandringham. The dispute and misinformation coming from the Commordore has distracted everyone from sailing including the marine businesses resident at RBYC. AM Marine must move delaying my repairs.

The approach taken by the committee is staggering - quite happy to split the membership. Happy to have one quote for the repair about twice the real cost, no business case, ulterior motive for wasting $millions on clubhouse extension, using the yard as a car park, incredibly poor behaviour. Never experienced the incompetence and level of poor behaviour before. Very sad situation. Will give it another few months before deciding whether to go or stay. Problem is that all the marinas in the north require you to be a member of a club (apart from those in the Yarra) and therefore likely to experience the same nonsense.

October 2015 -

Finally obtained a quote for the repair of the MD2030 - over $10k - almost the price of a new motor so a new dilemma - what to do. Lots of research later finding that exhaust corrosion is a common problem in Volvo's particularly in the 2000 series. In this case after internal blasting of the heat exchanger faults were located in the housing.

Sea water had been leaking through the housing and into the engine manifolds, an unusual situation especially in an engine with low operating hours. It was apparent that this had been occurring over a period of time.

Then I find internet comments referring to Volvo MD2030 like "The water collector (exhaust manifold) at the exhaust holds a maximum of 5 years, then it falls apart to trash." The motor had been installed for 12 years and had done 250 hours work!

Decided to replace the motor rather than fix it at great expense then find 5 years later that I had to do it all again. Considered the obvious changeovers - Volvo, Yanmar, Nanni and Westerbeke. Volvo is out! Yanmar I'd have to change the S120 Saildrive leg as well - decided on 30C 25hp Westerbeke interfaced to the saildrive which AM Marine convinced me they could do. Westerbeke have 5 year warranty but more importantly have a different approach to heat exchangers than Volvo and Yanmar.

November 2015 -

30C 25hp Westerbeke ordered. Hole ready for installation. Mike and Justin did a great job installing the Westie which is smaller and lighter than the Volvo and has a number of features that are improvements. AM Marine manufactured an interface plate over the bell housing that the sail drive bolts onto and modified the mount base to align the components. Everything connected including a cockpit control panel (another improvement not having to leave the tiller to check revs, etc) and a sea trial on 7 December - operated perfectly. It was good to be on the water again after so long.

Need a bit of a cleanup and dust inside and a wash and we will be as good as new - well we are new. So this means I've now refurbished or replaced everything on the boat (excepting the prop and sail drive leg)


December 2015 -

Added benefit from replacing the motor is that I've finally got hot fresh water which I never got around to with the Volvo. Also the security of a 5 year warranty. Looking forward to some time on the bay. Pretty impressed with Mike and Justin Davidson's work in putting the new motor in - very efficient at a price I'm happy with. Also happy to have a US company's propulsion unit with world wide support and knowing that the US Navy small craft are being powered by them.

Checked the Honda 2.3 to see it still runs - started third pull after not running for 12 months.

Intend fitting a oil pressure and temperature gauge together with an hour meter which will bring the control panel up to the Admiral level rather than just warning lights. Decided to also invest in an ultrasonic antifouling system from JayCar. The research I've done indicates that it actually works so long as you can afford the power drain (about 200mA). This should assist in reducing my needs to slip the boat as often.

January 2016 -

Having trouble with the alarm system now - rebooting itself continuously so more research and maintenance needed. Also trying to decide on the placement of the ultrasonic transducer. Should be a horizontal surface in the hull somewhere close to the sail drive leg.


August 2016 -

Lifted the boat at Sandringham. Very good service provided. Bottom excellent so a quick sand and paint. Thought about changing the prop - next time. Sail Drive oil change and back in the water in 3 days.