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Saturday, June 01, 2019

DELAY TO ENVOY'S LAUNCHING

We've met a NZ couple from Blenheim – Keven and Kerry who've recently bought a “green” motor vessel. It has an electric motor, good for about 20 miles cruising plus a VW diesel engine with a range of about 600 miles. They eventually plan to ship it home where the electric motor will suit cruising in the Marlborough Sounds.

We're constantly reminded that many costs are still very reasonable in Greece. Last night we went to dinner at a nice restaurant overlooking the estuary and had a Greek salad, french fries, fried eggplant, mushrooms with cheese, bread, one bottle of water, one litre of house white wine and desserts of fruit and yoghurt for a total cost of 27 Euros – about NZ$47. In many restaurants at home we'd pay nearly that just for the wine. On the other hand petrol is nearly 2 Euros per litre – about NZ$3.48.

Huge crane lifts our RHIB down for engine service

Preparation for Envoy's launching had been going well and after 7 days aboard were ready for launching the day before it occurred. So last Tuesday Envoy was lifted from her chocks on the hardstand and put into the water. 

Envoy in the travelift slings

We always spend a few minutes checking for any sea water leaks before the travel lift operator removes the slings and we soon noticed a leak into the engine room bilge.
Regular readers of this Blog may recall we've had similar leaks twice previously, but they've stopped quite quickly after launching (although we were never able to figure out exactly why). However this time more water was coming in (at a guess about a litre per minute) and it didn't look like stopping any time soon.
We had Sailand engineer Panos aboard for the launching and he suggested we allow more water to come into the bilge, then lift the boat out and hopefully see water coming back out from the inside.
So we did exactly this and after lifting back onto the hard were able to identify a small area of the keel leaking water .
Within an hour Sailand's GRP expert, Raza, was on the job with his assistant and they used a grinder to cut back the GRP in the area of the leak. In doing so they found some de-laminated GRP and then a plug of sealant. Raza's theory is that a previous owner must have had some minor impact damage, used sealant to make a temporary repair and then pulled the boat out of the water and glassed over it. This must have happened more than 12 years ago. When the boat was on the hard the sealant plug dried out and shrank so that when launched water could pass through until the sealant swelled a little to stop the flow. Anyhow this is conjecture and a fully professional repair is now being completed – first grinding back to solid, good condition GRP and then building it up again using carbon fibre and Kevlar cloth impregnated with West Systems epoxy resin and using presses to apply pressure during curing. They've nearly completed the exterior and today modified the interior of the aft bilge, pouring in Gurit's Ampreg 26 epoxy resin to fill in previous surface imperfections and building up the bilge's  level by about 150mm to provide more strength and a smoother impervious surface finish.
Raza is working on Sunday to finish sanding, undercoating, painting and anti-fouling so we can launch on Monday.

Raza working on the leak repair. A towel covers the Yanmar's prop for safety

He used infra red heaters both to dry the hull and to cure the epoxy

West System's 105 epoxy was used

Also carbon fibre and Kevlar cloth

This image shows the extent of the repair - pink


It's now Sunday and Raza has been working today to complete the job so we can launch tomorrow.

All other work is now completed except that our large RHIB is awaiting a new regulator for its Yamaha outboard's alternator – during servicing the mechanic noticed the battery is over charging. This part is due to arrive on Tuesday so we're hopeful of starting our cruise on Wednesday.


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