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