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Camomile on the Mend week 5

The autopilot hydraulic ram

The autopilot hydraulic ram

So the auto pilot hydraulic ram turned up on Monday. Bill spent the morning finishing off some wiring for the crossover DC switch in the radar arch to get his horns working (I’m not going to begin to explain that). After lunch Ally turned up with the hydraulic ram, which she had extracted from the Singapore customs. When we opened the box we kind of understood why they had held it. The ram was skilfully attached to a backing plate to prevent it from moving in transit, it had come from the UK, but on an x-ray the profile probably looked like a gun. Secondly it had a little container of hydraulic fluid attached to it and the customs officials, bless them, had drained it.   Why? Who knows but it meant we needed more before we could test it.

Trying the mounting unit for size

Trying the mounting unit for size

 

 

 

This is how the unit fits onto the mystery object.

 

 

It needed some fine-tuning!

 

Fine tuning

Fine tuning

The base of the ram in place

The base of the ram in place

 

 

The hydraulic ram hull mounting reinforcement, Bill’s official name for the mystery object, was fibre glassed in place by the end of the day Monday. Bill spent the next 2 days mounting the ram and wiring it up. The main mounting is under the port locker next to the bed with the ram going through a hole in the bulkhead ready for attaching to the rudder quadrant.

The ram ready for attachment to the quadrant

The ram ready for attachment to the quadrant

It couldn’t be tested without the hydraulic fluid and I spent 2 afternoons, on the bus, going to the next two towns carrying my little empty bottle trying to buy hydraulic fluid with an ISO of 10 – without speaking the language! Who says I have nothing to do all day? Unfortunately I failed. I managed to get cable ties, easy, and electrical terminal blocks, little harder, but not hydraulic fluid. I could have bought a 15 litre bucket of it but we only need 2 or 3 litres and they wouldn’t sell me a little bit. So I came home disappointed. We had a further disappointment when we heard the TV coming from the UK had been held up until Monday but at least that gave us a focus to work towards – leave on Monday.

Meanwhile Bill had sent another email to Aquila asking again about the VHF and the SSB. To give Aquila their due they always respond well to emails. Ally assured us the new VHF was on it’s way from Australia and would be here before the weekend, and they had bought a new Icom SSB from their supplier and installed it in their office to test ours, (apparently their supplier maintained it didn’t have a warranty because they don’t break) and they had our SSB head working! She also had hydraulic fluid. As our parts for the fridge had also arrived with the refrigeration company in Singapore we decided another trip to Singapore was in order.

Busy streets of Singapore

Busy streets of Singapore

Thursday morning we got on the bus and made our way across the border, stopping to get a stamp in our passport either side. We went to the fridge company first to pick that up and got all the parts in our backpacks. After lunch we made our way to Aquila’s office. They are based in an unusual building in that it’s a vertical industrial estate. Singapore is very short of space so they have built many light industrial units vertically, it’s a brilliant idea. Apparently there was a service area around the back with a multi story ramp that delivery vehicles can drive up and there’s a large service lift on the inside.   Aquila has a showroom/storage area on the 7th floor with a large office at the back of their unit.   Very practical. Any way we arrived and had a demonstration on the SSB and sure enough it was working – brilliant. We made our way home – stopping to get two more passport stamps – and refitted the SSB head to try it. Turned it on …. same problem, GGGRRRR.     Another email.

The new TV with two of my cushion collection

The new TV with two of my cushion collection

Friday 13th was it going to be our lucky day? Aquila were due to come over in the afternoon and commission the new instruments. The first good news of the day was that Ally had our VHF radio from Australia. The second good thing was the little TV turned up from the UK early, hooray nothing to stop us going now except a couple of radios! Then we heard Aquila were delayed and wouldn’t be over until late afternoon. 2 steps forward 1 step back all the time.

Bill made an attachment to go on the back of the TV so it could sit were the old one had been.

Bill had arranged for Aquila to bring over the new SSB system they had bought to check our system, which meant my sewing machine cupboard had to emptied – again.

We waited all day for Aquila to arrive and just as we were giving up hope of them coming, they arrived at 4.30. There had been a big accident on the causeway bridge causing gridlock in the area. Sylvester and Allyson had come along with Raja the SSB technician, the new SSB set and our VHF. While Sylvester started working on his laptop downloading the latest firmware for the sonar unit and configuring the new system, Raja started swapping out different parts of the SSB.   Their head didn’t work on our system either so the next thing to check was the transceiver. Success, suddenly the system was working. So the new SSB set was fitted to Camomile and Aquila took away the non-working set to argue with Icom that it was faulty. We now had on board everything we had ordered, Friday the 13th turned out to be a good day.

Bill squeezing in cupboards again

Bill squeezing in cupboards again

 

Saturday Bill spent all day fitting the VHF and it’s speakers. Again wires and connectors were bigger making life difficult for poor Bill.

 

 

 

 

 

SSB transceiver on the left VHF on the right

SSB transceiver on the left VHF on the right

 

 

 

 

The main VHF unit had to be fitted next to the SSB transceiver because it wouldn’t fit in its old place.

 

 

 

VHF speaker above the SSB speaker

VHF speaker above the SSB speaker

All the wires neatly tucked away

All the wires neatly tucked away

 

The speakers for the SSB and the VHF are now together and the wires are encased in some conduit because they wouldn’t go behind the ceiling panels.

Sunday was clean up day trying to put everything back where it belonged. I scrubbed the outside decks because as there’s a building site next door the boats are all covered in dust. No photographic evidence I’m afraid!

Bill putting his tools away

Bill putting his tools away

 

 

 

Bill spent time putting his tools away including oiling his big vice.

 

 

 

 

Bill oiling his Grandpa's big vice

Bill oiling his Grandpa’s big vice

All back to normal

All back to normal

 

 

 

 

The bikes back in place and the workshop all back to normal.

 

 

 

The forepeak all clear

The forepeak all clear

The cupboards back in place over our bed

The cupboards back in place over our bed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The new instruments all configured

The new instruments all configured

The completed navigation station

The completed navigation station

And this is the chart table, looking like nothing happened, with Bill’s new computer and the new instruments. It’s worth noting that in the middle of the instrument on the bridge head is our faithful, stand alone Garmin that survived the strike and still works. It displays our trip figure and has a very useful snails trail, which we often use, so it was refitted among the new posh instruments.   It looks very old fashioned but it works.

 

Some of the old instruments

Some of the old instruments

 

 

 

The final use for the carrier box is storage for all the old bits which I managed to make Bill part with on the basis they don’t work!

 

 

 

A last drink with our friends

A last drink with our friends

 

At the end of the day we met the crews of Soltice, Hokele’a, Totem, Utopia II and Kite for a farewell drink. Soltice, Hokele’a and Kite are heading across the Indian ocean this year so we won’t see them until we get to the US some time in the future.

 

 

Jackie and I

Jackie and I

It will be sad to say goodbye to Jackie after our gym sessions together. Utopia II and Totem went back to their boats but the rest of us had a final meal together. Tomorrow we head out of here.

 

 

 

 

Bill (Soltice), Jackie, Sue, Jack, Jake, Jamie, Bill, Behan and Zdenka

Bill (Soltice), Jackie, Sue, Jack, Jake, Jamie, Bill, Behan and Zdenka

Camomile on the Mend – week 4

The kit arrives

The kit arrives

40 days since we were hit by the lightening, 19 days since interim payment from Insurance company was agreed, 12 days since we accepted Aquilla’s quote and paid for the bulk of the new instruments but we are still waiting for most of it. Bill has been really busy fitting what we have so that when the rest of it arrives he can get straight onto it. Thankfully Monday morning 2 big boxes arrived from Aquilla, one contained the new radar dome and the other had the rest of the items we were waiting for but sadly no auto pilot hydraulic drive, still on ‘back order’. Bill agreed with them that we would be ready Thursday for the technician to come and connect the network. This would be a struggle but Bill thought he would be able to do it.   Monday afternoon I went on the bus to Gelang Petang looking for conduit and found a little emporium that had what we needed.

Respraying speaker pods and autohelm housing

Respraying speaker pods and autohelm housing

 

 

 

Tuesday was wiring, wiring and more wiring. Before it got too hot Bill started the day spraying the bridgehead, new auto pilot housing, and speakers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Respraying the bridgehead

Respraying the bridgehead

 

The transducer under the floorboards

The transducer under the floorboards

 

 

 

Then the floorboards came up. Bill fitted 2 transducers 1 for depth 1 for speed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Floorboards up for more wires

Floorboards up for more wires

New course computer

New course computer

Now that we have the course computer and all the wires that go with it Bill was able to fit this and run all the wires ready for Mr Yap to arrive on Thursday. He sat at the chart table most of the day with his arms in the cupboard but at the end of the day he had achieved it.

 

 

 

AIS and network box

AIS and network box

 

 

It looks quite impressive, again all the boxes are much bigger than the old system but they just about fit.

 

 

 

 

All looking very smart

All looking very smart

It works!!

It works!!

 

 

All the wires are behind the panel and at the end of the day we have a chartplotter that works with AIS contacts on it. The red boat in the middle is us.

 

 

 

Bill working in the aft cabin with more wires

Bill working in the aft cabin with more wires

 

Wednesday was radar dome day. Ironically our old raydome was still working but it was analogue and our new system is digital so it had to go.  Again the wires were bigger and the connector was too big to go down the A frame arch where the raydome lives. So Bill took the collar off the connector and took out the wires for the lights and horn in the starboard side so that the new wire would just about fit down inside. This was achieved with me inside pushing and Bill outside pulling the wires out with a mouse attached then we had to push the radar wire in and down. The old wire was inside the port side so that had to come out and the lights and horn wire had to go back inside there. As you can imagine there was a lot of huffing and puffing and shouting and cursing of inanimate objects but we did it and the Ray dome was fitted!

Posh new Ray dome

Posh new Ray dome

 

 

All this was going on through my lockers in the bedroom so clothes stored in the forepeak.

It’s birthday week this week and today it was Bill’s sister Kate’s birthday in NZ. Happy Birthday.

 

 

Yap working at the chart table

Yap working at the chart table

Thursday was the day the Rally were due in Kucking where we had hopped to catch up with them but we are nowhere near ready to leave yet. Yap arrived from Singapore to start fitting the instruments. As it was shopping day I disappeared for the morning, when I got back everyone was scratching their heads. It seemed there was stuff missing, there were things not working and generally everything was still in a muddle; will we ever get out of here. I managed to get Bill out for a meal that evening because he hadn’t been off the boat for over a week.   Bill sent a strong email to Aquilla later that evening listing all the problems which included the fact that we still couldn’t get the SSB to work and the VHF she had brought over was the wrong one and where was the hydraulic ram for the autohelm? The good news of the day was that the little 12v TV (unheard of here) we had found on a UK website had arrived at my brother-in-law’s company and Alan was sending it out for us.

The at Traders overlooking the marina

The at Traders overlooking the marina

Friday was a good day because we finally got to use the gym in Traders hotel right next to the marina. Several of us have been asking about it for some time and the marina has reached an agreement with them.

 

 

 

The hole in the cockpit coaming for the new autohelm control

The hole in the cockpit coaming for the new autohelm control

The new autohelm control

The new autohelm control

Bill worked on the housing for the new autohelm controls in the hope that one day we’ll get our hydraulic ram!   The old control had been on the side of the binnacle but Raymarine don’t make those any more so Bill cut a hole in the cockpit coaming for the housing he had made to take the new control.  Very cleaver considering it’s humble beginning.

In response to Bill’s email Sylvester and Allyson from Aquila came with Yap in the afternoon to sort out our problems.   After their trouble shooting session it was established that the SSB wasn’t working, the wind instruments at the top of the mast wasn’t working (originally we’d thought it was ok but the tests showed it had been zapped), we were short of some wires and connectors, and the VHF was the wrong one so they took it back with them along with the SSB head. The good news was that the hydraulic ram was in Singapore but unfortunately held in customs. Another birthday today, our nephew in NZ was 18. Happy Birthday Will.

New wind transducer

New wind transducer

 

 

 

First thing Saturday morning Bill went up the mast to change out the wind transducer.

 

 

 

 

 

The new instruments being wired in

The new instruments being wired in

Wind and second autohelm control on the starboard side

Wind and second autohelm control on the starboard side

 

Yap arrived with missing items and made good progress in the morning with the new instruments in place. Bill worked in aft cabin finishing off the Radar wires and sorting out the wires in the cupboards so I could put my clothes back.

 

 

Speed and depth and chartplotter repeater on the port side

Speed and depth and chartplotter repeater on the port side

 

By the end of the day all the instruments are working, including the autohelm control even though it isn’t connected to anything yet. We had a meal out that evening when we were finally able to stop.

 

 

 

New autohelm control working

New autohelm control working

The contents of the food cupboard on the table

The contents of the food cupboard on the table

Sunday I washed down cockpit while Bill wired speakers in and finished off the last little bits. Camomile is starting to look dressed again. As soon as it warmed up we moved inside and Bill started working on connecting up the Gas alarm.   The wires had already been run through the deck locker so Bill just had to get them to the alarm, easier said than done! I had to empty my big food cupboard; the contents covered the table.

A working gas alarm

A working gas alarm

By the end of the day we had a gas alarm.

Last birthday of the week was our son Thomas.

Happy Birthday Thomas.

Still no auto pilot hydraulic drive!

Camomile on the Mend week 3

Palm trees at Puteri harbour

Palm trees at Puteri harbour

 

Life continues in Puteri harbour, it’s 32C most days and over 80% humidity so we are lucky to have out little air conditioning unit. It’s over a month now since the lightening strike but we don’t seem to have got very far. Everything is on order and we just have to wait.

 

Housing for the mystery object

Housing for the mystery object

 

Bill has been doing some more fibre glassing over the weekend.  This is where the mystery object sits; it’s under one of the lockers in our bedroom.  Maybe a clue.

 

Monday afternoon we went to the dentist, it was amazingly cheap. I had a check up and small filling, Bill had a check up, x-ray and fairly big filling with an injection plus they gave Bill about 3 lots of drugs in case of infection, pain killers, etc and the whole lot came to £86, we couldn’t believe it.   Bill said his filling was painless too.   Geoff the surveyor came in the late afternoon to see how things were going, and probably to check that we had spent the insurance money properly!

Our box arrived from the UK

Our box arrived from the UK

Tuesday was delivery day. Firstly a delivery came from Singapore with the first of the new instruments. We were just sorting that out when a knock on the side came from the marina boys with our UK parcel that my brother-in-law Alan had sent over for us. It was like Christmas opening all the boxes. Bill certainly has some work to do now.

Lots of goodies inside

Lots of goodies inside

All stacked in the fore peak ready for fitting

All stacked in the fore peak ready for fitting

 

 

I stacked all the boxes in the forepeak along with the cupboards that have been taken out of our cabin.

 

 

 

 

Nice new chartplotter

Nice new chartplotter

Not connected yet.

Not connected yet.

The LED’s were fitted first in the saloon; they were an easy job. Then Bill spent the rest of the day fitting the new C95 chart plotter and AIS. The chart plotter looks smaller than our old one but in fact the screen is the same size.

 

 

 

The circuit breaker panel with it's red lights all repaired

The circuit breaker panel with it’s red lights all repaired

Wednesday saw Bill starting with a couple of little things, the water gauge and configuring the new anchor windless hand control, both of which had stopped working. The rest of the day was spent working on the circuit breaker panel fitting new red LED’s and replacing the circuit breakers that had blown when the lightening struck. Bill is starting to realise that the wiring is going to take the most time to replace.   Everything seems to be bigger, fatter wire, bigger connections, and bigger breakers’; trying to put things in the same place is proving difficult.

Shiny new alternator

Shiny new alternator

Thursday I went off in the marina mini bus to the supermarket for the weekly shop and came back to find Bill had fitted a shiny new alternator. It was finished off on Friday morning along with the replacement smart charger.

 

 

Mystery object in place with wires just waiting for new hydralic ram

Mystery object in place with wires just waiting for new hydralic ram

The rest of Friday, with the boat in chaos, was spent running wires for the new autohelm – which is what the mystery object is for. It’s the base for the new autopilot ram although he can’t go any further until the new unit arrives.

 

 

 

Base of a lock top box

Base of a lock top box

 

 

Bill had the fibreglass out again in the afternoon and I discovered one of my lock-top boxes had disappeared!

 

 

 

 

Making a mould

Making a mould

17

 

 

 

Saturday morning the housing unit for the new autopilot controls came out of it’s mould.

 

 

It was trimmed up

It was trimmed up

filed and rubbed down

filed and rubbed down

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Given an undercoat

Given an undercoat

The contents of the deck locker spread around the deck

The contents of the deck locker spread around the deck

While it was drying we emptied the deck locker, I swear there seems to be more in there each time we do it, so that Bill could spend the day replacing the eberspächer diesel heater. Now I know you’re all going to say what do we need a heater for? Well one day we will return to colder climates when we’ll need it and as it was zapped by the lightening, to be covered by the insurance, it has to be fitted now. The gas alarm was zapped too and the wires for that have to go through the deck locker so Bill lost several pounds in his own personal sauna that day!

The re-wiring starts

The re-wiring starts

No peace for the wicked so Sunday we were busy again firstly reloading the deck locker then Bill spent the day working on wires behind the circuit breaker panel inside Camomile with the air conditioning on which meant various lockers being unloaded and reloaded again as the wires make their way through the boat. The good news this week was that we heard our son James had made it safely down from Mera peak in the Himalayas.

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