Monthly Archives: February 2015

Camomile’s 30th birthday refit – week 3

The sander in bits

The sander in bits

Thursday 12th February Bill was up early to put the 2nd coat of primer on before we caught the ferry.   Yesterday afternoon he had the sander in bits 3 times! It’s really putting up a fight. With all the extra work it’s going to have to do Bill has decided to buy a new one so that’s been added to the days shopping list.

 

Rebak marina laundry

Rebak marina laundry

 

I spent the first half of the morning in the launderette sorting out the washing. I know it’s odd including a picture of the laundry room but I wanted to show you that we lead a normal life as well as a privileged life sometimes.

We were both finished and ready to take the 11.00 ferry to the mainland to pick up one of Mr Din’s cars.

Bill trying the prop for size

Bill trying the prop for size

First stop was the machine shop and there sitting waiting for us was the prop shaft, the guy had been true to his word and completed it before their 2-week shutdown for Chinese new year. Bill fitted the prop to it and everything fitted perfectly.

 

It was straight and true

It was straight and true

The new prop shaft was laid onto a bed of rollers to check it was straight and true. The old prop shaft was laid next to it to check it was the right size; it was prefect. They had certainly earned their bonus. After the monies had been sorted they presented Bill with a box of oranges, the traditional gift for your best clients for Chinese New Year, we felt honoured. The awful thing is we don’t even know their names. They don’t have a broad outside with their names on it.   For the boats coming along behind us all I can tell you is that it’s on the main road into Kuah about half way between York engineering and the hospital. Big blue building on the left hand side, we would definitely recommend them.

Happy Chinese New year

Happy Chinese New year

 

2nd coat of primer

2nd coat of primer

We carried on into town and to buy Bill’s new sander and the do a supermarket shop. We had a second look for the dinghy factory and found it this time (it’s quite common here to be given directions and still not find a place) it turned out we had driven really close to it on our last visit. I bought some neoprene and contact adhesive so I could now get on and make the new dinghy cover. On the way home we visited Nasir to collect our new sailbag; Camomile is going to look so posh.

 

 

All rubbed down

All rubbed down

The 4.30 ferry delivered us back to Camomile with our purchases to get on with the next set of jobs. As yesterday the primer was dry enough to rub down ready for the third coat in the morning. I asked Bill why he wasn’t using the new sander, he said he was going to wait until this one broke again then start using the new one. I asked if he would consider just throwing the old one away and he just gave me one of his looks and laughed!

Friday 13th February and Bill was up early painting the 3rd primer coat while I took the ferry, along with my fellow yachtie ladies, to buy our fruit and veggies from the little Chinese man that turns up at the ferry dock every Friday morning at 9.00. For any one visiting Rebak marina this is a worthwhile thing to do.

Our batten collection

Our batten collection

When I got back Bill suggested I unwrap the battens for the new sail and sort out any spares. The battens had been delivered tied together with cable ties and formed into a wheel.   Sadly I failed to take a photo before I started. Undoing them was a real trial. As I clipped the cable ties they all just pinged open. Good job I did it on the hard stand. We still have the battens from the old sail and this is our collection, how many spares do you need? I managed to prise 2 battens away from Bill for the give away table but he wants to keep the rest.

 

One prop shaft

One prop shaft

Here is the prop shaft ready to go in.

Bill carefully pushed the shaft through the cutlass bearing up into it’s housing underneath the engine. NO rude comments please!

 

8The rest of the day was spent with Bill serving the rope stripper and rubbing down the primer coat and me making someone a Valentine’s cake.

First undercoat

First undercoat

 

 

 

Saturday 14th February. I went for my run first thing while Bill put the first undercoat on. So far she’s had 3 primers with a rub down in between each one to smooth out the orange peel surface, which is normal. Now the undercoat was going on to flatten the surface and you can see the difference. So far Bill is pleased with the result. It took a lot longer to apply then the primers.

 

Valentine's flapjack cake

Valentine’s flapjack cake

 

 

Fortunately for me it gave me time to ice my flapjack cake. This is the finished effort. The letters are made from chocolate sticks. The resort was putting on a special meal for Valentine’s day and Bill suggested we join them. It was a lovely idea but first we had work to do.

Bill assembling the prop shaft

Bill assembling the prop shaft

 

Bill reassembled the prop shaft by first removing it to fit the anode (the little metal thing on the inside of the P bracket).   Once reinserted the stripper was fitted and finally the propeller.

 

Shiny

Shiny

 

 

It looks very shiny and ready for the water. Once in position Bill had to drill a hole from the inside through the 316 stainless steel so it can be reattached to the bottom of the engine.   This proved to be a lot harder than he thought. It took ages and the drill got so hot it kept overheating.

Pattern for the dinghy

Pattern for the dinghy

 

Meanwhile I made a pattern for the dinghy cover. Although made of Hyperlone we feel it still needs a cover on it. I made a temporary cover for it in Australia but now I had some nice Sumbrella material to make one out of but first I needed a pattern.   I used some greaseproof paper that I’ve had hanging around for a while and celotaped it onto the dinghy cutting around it’s various appendages (the dinghy is definitely a boy!) It’s difficult to see in this photo but the tube facing the camera is wrapped in the greaseproof paper pattern. I then carefully cut it off, taking care not to cut a hole in the dinghy.

Dinner on the beach

Dinner on the beach

We had time for showers before our beautiful dinner on the beach. Bill has spent so much time attending to the ‘other woman’ in his life that tonight it was my turn. We had a wonderful evening with the most superb food, it felt like being on the set of Masterchef.

Shocked Sydney Rock oyster macerated in mandarin orange, dill leaves and grey goose (don't know what grey goose is)

Shocked Sydney Rock oyster macerated in mandarin orange, dill leaves and grey goose (don’t know what grey goose is)

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The staff brought round these lovely little bears, a red rose and chocolates along with our sparkling wine.

Tian of blue crab with basil marinated tiger prawn, carppacio of diver scallops and soya malibu froth

Tian of blue crab with basil marinated tiger prawn, carppacio of diver scallops and soya malibu froth

Thyme scented essence of cherry tomato with sundried tomato tortellini

Thyme scented essence of cherry tomato with sundried tomato tortellini

 

I took the photo too early they came and spooned the essence of cherry tomato (soup) over it shortly after.  Bill said it should be tortellino because there was only one but it tasted delicious.

A little sorbet

A little sorbet

Pan seared fillet of Norwegian wild salmon with fennel root, truffle mash and berry barbecue sauce

Pan seared fillet of Norwegian wild salmon with fennel root, truffle mash and berry barbecue sauce

 

 

 

For the main course there was the choice of salmon or chicken, we both choose the salmon.

 

Steamed walnut and gianduja pudding, strawberry panacotta and tia maria creme brule

Steamed walnut and gianduja pudding, strawberry panacotta and tia maria creme brule

 

Mummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm and yummmmmmy

Bill with his headphones on

Bill with his headphones on

Sunday 15th February  The undercoat takes longer to dry than the primer so now it’s a day painting followed by a day of rubbing down. Today was a rubbing down day. Bill was getting fed up with the sander continually droning on (it hasn’t broken down again yet) so he wrapped his blue tooth headphones up in socks and played his music while he worked.

First undercoat rubbed down

First undercoat rubbed down

 

 

 

From the inside it sounds like bees droning but if Camomile was a cat I think she would be purring. I spent the whole day writing, posting photos and publishing the blog.

By the end of the day the hull looked like this. The blotchy patches are the primer showing through but it felt so smooth. As it was Sunday we took some time off for a swim in the late afternoon.

Cutting out the dinghy cover

Cutting out the dinghy cover

Monday 16th February I took the canvas and my pattern to the Hard Dock café to cut out. As there aren’t any walls the wind played havoc with my pattern and little gusts kept blowing the pieces around. They all had to be anchored by shoes, boxes, etc. I had quite a few people passing comment so a certain amount of chatting was undertaken but eventually I had all my pieces cut out for the new cover.

Busy Billam

Busy Billam

Meanwhile Bill had been up early and given the hull a second undercoat. During the middle part of the day he tries to find inside jobs to do. Here he is with our bed rolled up and working on the inside of the cabinet that the rudder shaft sits in. It was all cleared and painted ready to take the new bearings.

Inside of rudder housing nicely painted

Inside of rudder housing nicely painted

Giving bathing platform a coat of teak oil

Giving bathing platform a coat of teak oil

All the fittings that have to back on the transom needed a coat of teak oil so Bill did that later in the day. The rudder has had some repairs to the copper coating. Bill is constantly busy, I try to take photos but he just gets on with his jobs and I don’t always see what he’s doing.

 

A third of a dinghy cover

A third of a dinghy cover

 

 

Tuesday 17th February Bill spent most of the morning rubbing down the second undercoat. It feels so silky and smooth. The rest of the day was spent doing lots of smaller but still important jobs. I spent the day working on the dinghy cover. By the end of the day I had all the pieces sewn together to cover the bow of the dinghy.

Giant butterfly

Giant butterfly

Wednesday 18th February On my run this morning I found access to another 30% of the island through a little twitten.   I normally pass the entrance in a blur on my run(!!!) but this morning I decided to deviate. It led to a very remote and quiet path. There were monkeys in the trees and Hornbill’s and Sea Eagles flying overhead. Everything is bigger here. This butterfly is about the size of my hand, giant bees buzz past, ants are the size of my fingernail and there are spider webs all over the ground.   Normally that’s the sign of Tarantula but I don’t think they have those here although if the spider lives in the ground because it’s too big to live in a web I don’t want to see it.

Shiny boat

Shiny boat

 

 

I came back from my run and found a shiny boat.   Bill had mixed the third undercoat 50/50 with topcoat and it looked beautiful. Camomile’s new skirt was coming along nicely.

Dinghy tubes

Dinghy tubes

 

 

 

 

 

I spent the day working on the dinghy cover.   Today I was constructing the tube covers, they look easy but the dinghy has so many bits to cut round and make holes for like handles, rollicks, ropes, etc.

 

Servicing Hydrovane

Servicing Hydrovane

 

Bill serviced the Hydrovane and rubbed down the transom. Although it’s already been painted it was painted in snow white so now it will be painted Mediterranean white to match the hull.  He also gave the prop shaft and prop a coating of lanolin to try and prevent it getting coated in barnacles.

Thursday 19th February Last night we had strange wet blobs falling out of the sky, I think it’s called rain but it’s so long since we’ve seen any I’ve forgotten 😉 In the morning the jungle behind us looked a verdant green as though it had been washed, it’s very dusty in the boat yard.   It caught everyone by surprise and there was a lot of mopping up.   The masking tape was all soggy and Bill couldn’t paint the transom. Once it stopped every where dried up very quickly and by 9.30 Bill was out rubbing down the hull. It was 2 hours later than he normally started but as it was cloudy hopefully the sun wouldn’t get to hot too quickly.

New sailbag

New sailbag

Our friends Norman and Sara arrived on Norsa later that morning and came over to have a look at how we were getting on.   Haha they were immediately given a job.   Bill wanted to get the new sailbag and mainsail bent on to try it for size and get it out of the way but it was too heavy for us to do on our own so Norman volunteered to help. First the sail bag was laid out across the boom and tied on.

Nice new sail

Nice new sail

Then the sail has to be slid along the groove but not pushing the sailbag out of the way.   The new cars were slotted into the mast one by one; at the same time the battens were slid into the sail. All the spare battens that Bill wants to keep are inside the spares pocket on the sailbag.

 

Flaking sail into bag

Flaking sail into bag

Finally we raised the sail briefly to check it’s the right size and then put it back in its bag. It’s a beautifully made sail; Bill is very pleased with it. We aren’t anonymous any more.

 

 

Lion dancers at the resort

Lion dancers at the resort

 

 

It’s Chinese New Year today and the resort had a visit from a troop of Lion dancers. I love watching them.

 

 

 

Gong Xi Fa Cai to everyone

Gong Xi Fa Cai to everyone

 

 

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Camomile’s 30th birthday refit – week 2

Camomile not looking so good

Camomile not looking so good

Last Friday we had what Bill considered a major disaster; the hull wouldn’t cut. We were going to have to make a decision – continue to rub it down using the strong rubbing compound to get the best finish we could or paint the hull.   Jimmy the painter at Pangkor had already quoted a price of the equivalent of £5000, which was out of the question for us. Poor Camomile sat waiting for us to make a decision.  Bill continued to rub the hull down in the afternoon and I gave the galley a good clean while we each gathered our thoughts. We always knew there was a risk it wouldn’t cut but hoped it would.

The Hard dock cafe

The Hard dock cafe

We went for dinner in the Hard dock cafe next to the hard stand to talk further. Bill had worked out how many square metres of coverage there was and that it would still fit into our timeframe if we painted and he wanted to go and find out how much the paint would cost to see if he could do it himself. Bill is very skilful at most things but this was a big undertaking and he wasn’t sure if he could do it. A nice distraction to our thoughts turned up in the shape of Eric and Tamara our friends off of the catamaran Sea Child and we spent the evening having a lovely catch up chat with them.

Saturday 7th February saw us on the ferry to go over to the main island to pick up one of Mr Din’s cars.

Bill with the young lad at the machine shop

Bill with the young lad at the machine shop

Our first stop was the machine shop where we had left our prop shaft and POM to make some bearings at the beginning of the week. The rudder bearings were perfect; Bill was very pleased. No sign of the prop shaft although the 316 stainless was on order and they were able to tell us it was going to cost RM1000 (£200), which was fairly cheap. We decided a little bribery was in order. Bill told him if the prop shaft was ready by the weekend, before the Chinese New Year shut down of 2 weeks, he would give him another RM500. This brought big smiles and he agreed.

More jobs to do

More jobs to do

Bill also gave him the smaller diameter POM to make some bearings for the Hydrovane shaft and some davit bearings. It was agreed we would visit them again on Tuesday to see how they were getting on.

We continued into the town to the International paint shop to find out about the paint. The Chinese guy told us that he just had a shipment of paint delivered from Hong Kong. Colour charts were consulted and advise taken as to how many primers, undercoats and topcoats were needed. Bill had already painted the transom snow white but it looked a bit stark and there was another colour we liked better called Mediterranean white. The guy checked his stock, he had 6 tins in stock and we needed ……. 6 tins. That was it the decision was made – we paint; it was meant to be. So for 3 primers, 3 undercoats and 2 top coats we bought 6 x 750 litre tins of top coat, 3 litres of undercoat and 2 big tins of primer together with the necessary thinners at a total cost of RM2940 with the small discount he gave us which converts to £534, 10% of the painters price.

The condemned sail

The condemned sail

We carried on into town to see Phil Auger who was supplying our new main and we wanted to see it before transferring the final money. Beautiful sail; Bill was very pleased. Phil was also able to confirm that our old sail was condemned. It’s not been right since the terrible storm we were caught in off the Australian coast when it was badly torn and had to be repaired. The whole of the leech (the back of the sail) was weak and just tore in your hands, clearly uv damage. The annoying thing was even though it’s nearly 9 years old it was still a nice shape and worked well but was useless, even as a spare.

Happy Bill

Happy Bill

 

After doing the rest of our shopping we returned to the island happily reassured things were going ok.

 

 

Sunday 8th February We started the day with Sunday breakfast in the resort, which is our treat. There is so much food on offer that we end up eating the equivalent of breakfast, lunch, tea and pudding. The good thing is we seriously don’t feel like eating for the rest of the day, which saves money! That’s my rational and I’m sticking to it. Rebak is a lovely location and the staff are so friendly. It’s a great place to haul out.

The sitting area at Hard dock

The sitting area at Hard dock

This is the sitting area next to the Hard Dock café, note there’s no need for windows or even walls, and the showers were just behind me when I took this photo, Camomile is the 5th boat along so not far to walk.

Lovely surroundings

Lovely surroundings

Little dings made by the anchor

Little dings made by the anchor

I spent most of the day writing and posting last week’s blog. It takes me ages to write every thing up, line up the photos and finally publish it. I never know if anyone reads my waffle but we seem to get quite a few viewings so I continue. Depending on our signal sometimes it won’t post, the air turns blue and Bill hides!

As we’ve decided to paint Bill filled the little dings in the gel coat, these ones have been made by the anchor, and rubbed down the waterline. The order of doing things has changed now and he wants to repair the boot line with some copper coat and raise it 2 inches – again.

The repair areas masked up

The repair areas masked up

 

 

 

We raised it before we left but with everything we carry these days we sit further down in the water and the waterline gets very mucky.   Finally at the end of the day he masked up all the repair areas ready to start the copper coating first thing in the morning.

 

 

The first coat of copper coat

The first coat of copper coat

 

Monday 9th February Bill was up early to mix the copper dust with the epoxy resin and start applying it. The first coat was very thin then gradually Bill made a thicker mix for each coat putting on 4 coats in total.

Thicker coats

Thicker coats

Repairs

Repairs

 

 

There were also some repairing of odd patches to do; this is where the rudderstock will be refitted in time.   I have now reached the dizzy heights of chief paint stirrer because the mix needed constant stirring to keep the copper particles from settling in the bottom of the pot.

 

Before and after

Before and after

 

 

I continued to clean the metal work. This is a before and after photo of the metal struts that support the bathing platform.

 

Working on the bathing platform

Working on the bathing platform

 

 

This is the bathing platform half finished; I hope you can see which side I’ve done. During the day I discovered that my niece had gone into labour in the UK and I was about to become a great Auntie again so I was up and down the ladder all day checking on the computer for any news.

 

Delos going back in the water

Delos going back in the water

The boatyard is very busy; they move boats every day except Fridays. Romance came out and this is Delos going back in the water, she is owned by Brian and Karin who we met on the East Malaysian rally last year. They are off across the Indian ocean this year and wanted to give the boat a scrub off and a coat of anti-foul paint before they leave. They’ve only been on the side for 4 days and have worked really hard to get her back in the water so quickly.

Bill sanding down the old antifoul on the keel

Bill sanding down the old antifoul on the keel

In the afternoon Bill had the grizzly job of rubbing down the keel. It doesn’t have Cuprotect on it and needs to have several coats of conventional anti-foul applied before we go back in the water. As we’ve no idea when that will be the anti-fouling will be done later.

 

Unveiling the new bootline

Unveiling the new bootline

 

Finally at the end of the day Bill removed the masking tape to reveal a beautiful new waterline and we rewarded ourselves with a dip in the pool after we’d had showers to get all the grim of the day off.

 

Eric, Bill, Tamara and Sue

Eric, Bill, Tamara and Sue

 

Eric and Tamara joined us again for a meal in the Hard Dock café with more catching up. At 10pm we heard that Kirsty had had a little boy weighing 6lb and they have called him Logan. Mother and baby were tired but well. We had to have a glass to celebrate.

Mr Din's car

Mr Din’s car

Tuesday 10th February back across to the main island into another one of Mr Din’s cars and onto the machine shop again to see how the guys were getting on with the second set of bearings. The stainless steel bar for the prop shaft was sitting on the lathe ready to be turned – HOORAY. Bill had taken the propeller with us to give to him so he could make sure it fitted and turned nicely. The other little bearings were waiting for us and perfect again.   We carried on into town and collected our new sail and visited Nasir to see how our sailbag was coming along, which also looked really good. Every one thinks that jobs like this can’t be achieved this side of the world well we’ve proved they can be; inexpensively. Prices are a lot less here, however, you can still pay twice the going rate for goods of average or poor quality. We have found that it really pays to shop around and do your homework as this often gets you top quality and a very reasonable price. Compared to UK prices, it’s a steal but then we don’t live in the UK and if we did we wouldn’t be able to afford to do half of these things!

Trying the bearings for size

Trying the bearings for size

We got back to the boat and Bill spent a couple of hours starting to put things back together. Firstly the new rudder bearings our little Chinese man had made were tried for size on the rudder shaft and they fitted perfectly.

Going .....

Going …..

Going ....

Going ….

 

The lower one was fixed into position in the rudder shaft hole. It was very stiff but it’s meant to be tight. A couple of hefty whacks with the hammer soon saw it home.

Gone and in place

Gone and in place

 

Fitting new cutlass bearing

Fitting new cutlass bearing

 

We had bought a new cutlass bearing in Thailand and again it’s meant to be tight. To get it into the P bracket Bill used his invention in reverse and gradually pulled the cutlass bearing up into place.

Cutlass bearing in place

Cutlass bearing in place

 

Cutlass bearing in place

Cutlass bearing in place

 

 

 

 

It sits snugly in the P bracket waiting for the prop shaft. Finally he masked up the bootline ready to start the first primer in the morning.

I finished cleaning the metal work on the bathing platform.

 

Shiny bathing platform

Shiny bathing platform

 

Wednesday 11th February I started my day with my little joggy trot. Rebak island is 80% jungle and the resort and marina are perched on the edge so there’s a lot of wildlife here.

Monkeys on the bank behind the boats

Monkeys on the bank behind the boats

Monkeys are regularly seen coming down onto the hard stand early morning and in the evening looking for food. Camomile is sitting on the water side of the hard but the boats on the bank side have to be very careful not to leave their hatches open in case the monkeys get in.   They can do a lot of damage as well as pooh everywhere.

A Hornbill in the trees

A Hornbill in the trees

 

 

 

There are also monitor lizards here, we saw one nearly a metre long the other day on one of our cycle rides. When I do my run I hear them rustling in the undergrowth as they run away to escape my approach. The bird life is amazing too, I’ve seen sea eagles, hornbills as well as other brightly coloured ones that flit through the jungle canopy alongside huge butterflies.

First coat of primer

First coat of primer

 

 

Meanwhile Bill started applying the first coat of primer. It’s designed to form a barrier between the old porous gel coat and the undercoat/topcoat and bind them to the surface. The first coat looked quite thin. Bill is using a roller with a short pile head. It took about 3 hours to apply a coat to both sides of the hull.

First primer coat is on

First primer coat is on

 

servicing the rope cutter

servicing the rope cutter

 

During the heat of the day Bill tries to do inside jobs where we have the air conditioner on. These are some of the parts of the rope stripper that Bill has thoroughly cleaned and polished.

 

Nicely polished

Nicely polished

 

This is the rudder shaft seal carrier. When the shaft came out this was all stained and Bill has serviced and polished it. Bill made the comment “ Last time I polished this bit of metal there was snow on the ground!”

One good thing about the heat here is that the paint dried really quickly so in the afternoon Bill was able to get out and rub it all down ready for the second coat tomorrow.

Tomorrow is D day or rather P day; would the prop shaft be ready?

Camomile’s 30th birthday refit – week 1

Panoramic shot of Rebak marina

Panoramic shot of Rebak marina

Bill has been planning Camomile’s refit for over a year now. The treadmaster on the deck has become badly worn, the woodwork is gradually eroding, the hull has become stained and yellowing and the mainsail has become weakened and torn by heavy duty and UV damage. As she will be 30 years old this year and with the miles we’ve travelled she’s in need of a face-lift.   I did an assessment of the marina prices before Christmas and, despite everyone saying Thailand is cheap, it was going to be cheaper in Malaysia. The two options were Rebak marina or Pangkor marina further south. They both had lifting facilities but also both had their pros and cons. The biggest pro for Rebak for me was that it has proper showers, washing machines and a pool to cool down in after a hot day working on the boat, the con is that the internet signal is weak and it’s based on an island so everything had to be on board or brought over on the ferry.   Pangkor pros were that it has a reasonable internet signal, Joe had given us a competitive quote to do the deck painting and good shops nearby but the biggest con is that there are no proper showers and only men’s toilets that the yard boys use. Call me a princess but I choose Rebak for our haul out!

A beautiful beach in Thailand

A beautiful beach in Thailand

 

 

So after leaving Thailand early on 30th January (I’m hoping to write a blog on our adventures in Thailand soon) we motored all day and arrived back in Kuah, on the island of Langkawi, Malaysia at 9pm ready to check-in the next morning. Our last week in Thailand had felt like a holiday and now we were back home (?) to get on with some work.

 

 

 

 

Saturday 31st February

Camomile ready to be lifted

Camomile ready to be lifted

There were a couple of errands to do after we checked in (so easy in Malaysia). Bill bought a length of studding for taking out the rudder and after taking our mainsail off it was taken into Phil the sailmaker in Kuah to see whether or not it was beyond repair as a back-up; our new one was due to arrive within the week. We then motored round to Rebak tying to the pontoon at 7pm.

Diver adjusting strops

Diver adjusting strops

 

 

Sunday 1st February was lifting day.   First on the list Bill backed Camomile onto the lifting jetty while the yard boys tied up our lines.  We’ve found in the past they always take such care when lifting boats on this side of the world and Rebak was no exception. A diver was sent down to position the strops maybe they don’t do that in the UK because he would need a full wet suit on.

 

 

Camomile slowly coming up

Camomile slowly coming up

 

 

Once every thing was in place Camomile slowly raised up out of the water. I always feel a bit emotional watching her come out; she looks like a fish out of water.

 

Shovelling barnacles

Shovelling barnacles

 

 

Straight away we could see how mucky her hull was. The Cuprotect is still working fairly well because there wasn’t any serious weed growth just the usual layer of slime and loads of barnacles which the yard boys starting shovelling off straight away. The travel lift wheeled Camomile into the pressure wash area for her ‘bath’.

In need of a bath

In need of a bath

Bill dismantling the rudder shaft

Bill dismantling the rudder shaft

 

Meanwhile Bill took our mattress out and rolled the bed up so he could take off the front of the cupboard to start releasing the rudder. The studding Bill had bought was passed through a wooden block and screwed into the rudder shaft to stop it suddenly dropping out.   Bill released all the bolts that held it in position.

Our view across the bow

Our view across the bow

 

After about an hour Camomile had had her pressure wash and was wheeled into her new position. We’ve got a nice view of the marina across her bow and the jungle from her stern.

 

The forklift was ready

The forklift was ready

 

The yard boys brought the forklift in ready to take the rudder out but Camomile was objecting to her ‘colonic irrigation’ and wasn’t going to release the rudder easily.

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The rudder slowly releases

 

Bill unscrewed the studding and the boys were jiggling from the bottom but still it wouldn’t move. Bill started hammering on the top of the shaft with the old Hydrovane shaft but it wasn’t having it. There must be something else holding it. Bill did the studding up again to stop it accidentally falling out and did a further check inside the cupboard and discovered a keyway had become fouled. Once cleared and with the rudder resting on the forklift the studding was slowly released to allow the rudder to gently slip down.

 

The rudder was carefully lowered

The rudder was carefully lowered

Putting the cradle into place

Putting the cradle into place

Once the forklift prongs were on the floor Camomile was lifted higher in the strops and it was out. Finally the boys could get on with their job of fitting Camomile into the cradle that would hold her steady for the next 4 or 5 weeks.

 

Releasing the strops

Releasing the strops

Taking the boat lift out

Taking the boat lift out

 

 

The strops were dropped and the boatlift pulled away leaving Camomile comfortable in her new bed.

 

 

Scratches on the keel

Scratches on the keel

 

The first thing we noticed were the scratches across the front of the keel from sitting on the reef in Indonesia. No damage but it would need some sanding.

 

 

Looking up into the rudder housing

Looking up into the rudder housing

 

 

This photo is looking up into the hole the rudder came out of. The bearing will need to come out and it all looks a bit worn.

 

 

Working on the propeller

Working on the propeller

 

 

While I disappeared off to the laundry Bill started scrubbing the propeller with a rotary wire brush and by the time I got back it was nice and shiny Apparently he had found a live oyster growing on the prop.

 

The rope cutter behind the prop

The rope cutter behind the prop

 

 

The prop holds the rope cutter in place, which is our silent friend. We never know whether its done its job or not but we’ve only ever been caught in one net so it obviously does. Bill loves to tell the story that I bought him a stripper for his 40th birthday and it usually raises a few eyebrows until he tells the full story.

 

His puller kit laid out on the rudder

His puller kit laid out on the rudder

 

Bill got his ‘puller’ kit out and removed the prop without too much trouble; the rope cutter decided to be more difficult.   The reason the rudder has been removed is partly to replace the bearings but also to get the prop shaft out.

Cleaning up the P bracket

Cleaning up the P bracket

 

 

After Bill detached it from the engine it came out without too much trouble and Bill was able to clean up the P bracket – which he also managed to bang his head on giving himself a nasty gash on the head and renaming it ‘the complete and utter bastard bracket’.

Bill's first injury

Bill’s first injury

A bare rear end

A bare rear end

 

 

So her rear end looks a bit bare now without a rudder or a prop shaft.

 

 

Removing cutter

Removing cutter

A grovvy prop shaft

A grovvy prop shaft

 

 

Bill set about removing the cutter from the prop shaft, which took another hour. Time flies when you’re having fun.

And this is why it needed removing. The stuffing box packing has worn a grove, which has been causing bad leaks in the engine bay. We intend taking it to a local machine shop to get a new one made.

 

 

Cutlass bearing inside the P bracket

Cutlass bearing inside the P bracket

 

 

Inside the P bracket is the cutlass bearing, which also needs to come out and be replaced.

 

Bill's cutlass removing 'tool'

Bill’s cutlass removing ‘tool’

The cutlass bearing is extracted

The cutlass bearing is extracted

 

Bill, of course, had made an invention to remove it. As you can imagine the P bracket unattached to any thing is fairly delicate and the last thing you can do to it is whack it with a hammer, tempting though it may be.

The cutlass bearing out with a final tug

The cutlass bearing out with a final tug

So Bill put together a series of metal tubes with the studding through the middle which when tightened with the clip on spanners gently pulled the smaller tube into the P bracket pushing the cutlass bearing out with it.   I’ve suddenly realised all this detail is way too boring but some people might find it useful. That was the end of our first day out of the water. In the evening we sat down to a nice lamb curry that I had made. Our bed was still upside down so we had to sleep in the forepeak.

 

Monday 2nd February

The 'before' picture of the transom

The ‘before’ picture of the transom

This is a view of the transom before we started.   As you can see the paintwork isn’t in bad condition but all the metal fittings need a through clean and the wood of the bathing platform has gone all green and black. As the transom has always been painted it will need to be painted again so everything has to be removed.

Bill removing bolts from the inside

Bill removing bolts from the inside

 

 

 

This had Bill back in our cabin removing all the bolts from the inside.

 

 

100s and 100s of barnacles

100s and 100s of barnacles

 

Meanwhile I haven’t been sitting around without anything to do. When Camomile was pressure washed it took all the slime off but left the bases of lots of barnacles that needed to be removed. Not sure if you can see the little white dots in the photo because they are quite small but some of them were stuck fast and needed quite a bit of scrapping. I felt that was something I could do so over the space of several days, in between the washing, cooking, washing up and generally trying to keep things tidy I took every one off with a little scraper and the hull went from this….

All gone

All gone

 

 

 

… to this.

 

 

 

Matching shorts and crocs

Matching shorts and crocs

 

 

Bill said to point out that I still managed to find some old shorts to match my crocs!

 

 

The forepeak has become Bill's store cupboard

The forepeak has become Bill’s store cupboard

 

Inside our bed is back in place and the forepeak bed has now been lifted to store all Bill’s pots and potions. All of this is supposed to be kept cool but with 32C outside and 80% humidity it’s a bit difficult. Luckily we’ve got the air conditioning unit going. This job would be so difficult without somewhere cool to retreat to at the end of the day.

 

Tuesday 3rd February

The ferry across to the Langkawi

The ferry across to the Langkawi

We needed to take the prop shaft and rudder bearings to the machine shop on the main island so we joined the 8.45 ferry, which takes about 10minutes, and hired one of Mr Din’s cars. The advert says “ALWAYS starts, usually no fuel, no insurance, cash only 40RM” (£8) and that’s exactly what you get. Our one also had air con and the doors locked! (We’ve had one before that didn’t, neither did the speedo work but as they don’t do more than 40mph it doesn’t matter.) Forgot to take a photo, I’ll take one next time.

Chinese father and son in machine shop

Chinese father and son in machine shop

We drove to the little machine shop we found at Christmas time and showed the father and son our prop shaft. Bill had made a drawing of what he wanted and took it with him. The son speaks a bit of English but the father very little.   There were lots of smiles and ‘can do can do’ which was encouraging. “New year, new year” meaning after the chinese new year wasn’t quite so but he has a lathe and he makes all the prop shafts for the local ferries so fingers crossed. We also gave him our lump of POM bought in Thailand to remake our rudder bearings “can do can do” along with big smiles so here’s hoping. I’ll let you know if we ever see either of them again! We carried on into town to the International shop to buy the paint for the transom, one of the few things we hadn’t bought in Thailand. After lunch we headed back to the ferry, left the car in the car park with the keys in it (NO ONE is going to steal it) and back to the boat.

Removing Camomile's name

Removing Camomile’s name

In the afternoon Bill started removing the lettering with a heat gun and rubbed the transom down. Camomile is now completely anonymous because the sail bag with her name on it was removed at Christmas to be remade. She’s going to look so posh at the end of this refit.   I carried on with my scrapping.

 

All bare and rubbed down

All bare and rubbed down

 

At the end of the day the transom looked like this ready for painting. The rubbing strake was new in 2008 so won’t need replacing. Bill has rubbed it down ready for oiling with the rest.

 

Cycling to the pool

Cycling to the pool

As I said at the beginning of this blog Rebak has a pool. This is our third day here but we haven’t visited it yet. So after we’d finished our work we cycled over to the other side of the island for a well-earned dip in the pool.

Into the resort

Into the resort

A rare photo of Bill relaxing

A rare photo of Bill relaxing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday 4th February

First coat on the transom

First coat on the transom

 

Bill was up early before the sun got too hot to put the first coat of paint on the transom.

 

 

 

Barnacle removing from the rudder

Barnacle removing from the rudder

After my run (walking jog) and more washing in the machine I carried on with my scrapping, this time on the removed rudder.   So as well as router and navigator, chief cook and bottle washer I’m now an expert barnacle scraper with sweat dripping off the end of my nose like a dew drop, at least it’s not a cold dew drop.   One of the odd things that happen here is that the hotel does tours of the boat yard so every now and then a golf buggy carrying photo clicking tourists comes by taking pictures of us all – bizarre.

Removing the gold strip

Removing the gold strip

After painting Bill moved onto removing the gold strip and rubbing down the blue cove line. Again we’ve got new ones of these. He has to keep changing sides because in the tropics it’s important to work on the shady side of the boat unlike in the UK he used to work in the sun to keep warm.

Rubbing down blue strip

Rubbing down blue strip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cleaning the hull with oxalic acid

Cleaning the hull with oxalic acid

Thursday 5th February

Bill gave the transom a second coat of paint and finished off sanding the blue cove line before spraying down the topsides with oxalic acid. This was time consuming because each section had to rinsed before continuing to the next.

The reconditioned bathing platform

The reconditioned bathing platform

 

 

In between jobs Bill has been rubbing down all the pieces that came off the transom. This is the bathing platform hardly recognisable with all it’s green slats rubbed down. I finished scrapping the hull and washed down where the boatlift straps had been as the pressure washer missed them.

 

 

 

Ready for chatting

Ready for chatting

My next task is to clean all the metal work from the transom with metal polish. It’s a nice job because I get to sit in the shade and chatting to everyone who comes by. Another swim in the pool at the end of the day.

Friday 6th February

The end of the week here. Fridays are the Malaysian Sundays. All the shops are shut on the main island, the yard boys don’t work on a Friday and all the men go to the mosques to pray. It’s also the day the little Chinese man sets up his fruit and veg stall on the Langkawi side of the ferry dock. After my early morning run I joined a group of yachties on the 8.45 ferry to go and see what he had. All the fruit and veggies were really fresh plus he had some frozen salmon and chicken in polystyrene boxes and Easi-yo yoghurt mixes, which are really difficult to get here. I came back all happy to find Bill despairing back on the boat. The hull won’t cut.

We went over to the resort to sit down and have a coffee and talk over our options.   Apparently while I had been out he had rubbed down a section of the hull and tried cleaning it with the aggressive rubbing compound we had bought but it wasn’t cleaning up. There are white blotches on the hull from past repair work and they show up against the yellowing of the original hull. Bill had hoped to clean up the yellow patches to bring them closer to the colour of the repairs but it wasn’t working, he said he had been dreading starting this stage because it was make or break time.   Do we go to the expense of repainting the hull or do we leave it as it is?

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