Well the rain never did let up and allow me to apply that final brushed coat of paint to the topsides that I refer to in the last blog entry!
Once the prop-shaft was back from the machinist it was simple matter to install it and hook it up to the flexible coupling on the gearbox; a final look over the hull, check the anode nuts, etc., and haul her back into her natural element.
The tender did eventually get finished and has been working well. I need to get some longer oars to make rowing easier but overall I’m very impressed, she is a very dry and stable little dinghy.
The new Rocna anchor didn’t fit the anchor rollers very well and the point had a tendency to dink the paint on the bow when the anchor was pulled all the way home so a new anchor roller was needed. I mocked up what was required using some 1/2 inch ply and threaded rod and the built the final product out of 10mm stainless steel plate, that originally came from some machinery mount on a trawler’s factory deck, and welded it into place.
Countless other jobs have been completed too; LED bunk and reading lights, the red light system extended to also include the chart table, a new windex installed, new halyards (the previous new ones were a size too big), new weather cloths made and fitted, a new wind charger controller and some simple Amp meters installed to monitor charging from the solar panels and wind charger, painting some rusty spots in the bilge, ripping off the old, slippery, anti-slip covering from the deck, etc. etc.
One big job that I completed whilst “Morgane” was out of the water was to clean out and re-commission the fuel tank in the keel of the boat. This had never been used as it had been painted when the boat was built and then filled with diesel; which dissolved the paint and left a very goopy mess in the bottom of the tank that no engine would want to burn. I had estimated that the tank would hold 300+ litres of diesel but not bothered to actually measure it as there was no way I was going to change its capacity anyway. I filled the tank 20 litres at a time so that I could record the levels for future reference; in all the tank holds 410 litres. That, along with the day-tank that holds 100 litres, should give us a very useful motoring range. the extra 400 (ish) kg of weight in the keel is also welcome!
In between all the work on the boat there has been a couple of little fun trips too, along with a couple of shake down day trips to check out the shaft alignment, new transducers and the anchoring system.
The first trip was to a nature reserve near Stanley called Kidney Island. It’s only about 15 miles from Stanley. Paula and I sailed around and anchored for a couple of nights so that we could have a whole day to explore the island. It’s a small island totally covered in tussac grass and home to 100s of thousands of birds during the summer; a lot less in the Autumn when we went of course but there is still plenty to see.
The second was a longer trip, around 25 miles each way, to East Island where we were to help with a rat eradication project. “Morgane” was the transport ship for the project and we carried around 800kgs of rat poison to the island. Although when we left Stanley the wind was a very pleasant 15 – 25 knots from the SSW the wind had been in the South and South-East for a couple of days before we left and anybody who knows Stanley will know that is not a good thing. We had a very messy sea to contend with as we beat our way to Port Fitzroy. Once inside the kelp reefs protecting the port the sea was smooth and we anchored for a very peaceful night before picking up the rest of the rat “exterminators” from Bluff Cove and transporting them to the island. The rest of that day was spent spreading the poison around the island and transporting the “exterminators” back to Bluff Cove. We sailed (well motored) back to Stanley the next day with no wind and calm(ish) sea escorted all the way by Peal’s dolphins.