Our last post spoke too soon as no sooner had I mentioned NZ’s return to unrestricted cruising than the Auckland level 3 lockdown commenced on 12 August until the 30th. This time there was no room for confusion as all forms of boating were clearly identified as not permitted.
Well Spring is here if you go by 1 Sept, or nearly here if you go by the Equinox of 23 Sept. Regardless the cruising is going to get better.
Di and I rarely do cruises under several days and prefer cruises of ten days or more. With this in mind our next project is to cruise for about a month from mid October to re-visit one of our favorite areas, the eastern side of Coromandel Peninsula including The Mercury Islands and Mercury Bay. For part of this time we’ve rented a berth at Whitianga Marina for a very reasonable $40 per night (in the Med we’d pay three or four times this) making it easier for family and friends to join us. I plan to cover that trip extensively in the Blog and we’ll also be publishing an article in the Pacific Powerboat magazine about it.
I want to talk a bit more about our new Salthouse 52, “Rapport”.
When we bought the boat we definitely knew she had “good bones” and presented extremely well with extensive upgrades including engines and gearboxes removed and rebuilt 900 hours previously, new Furuno electronics, recently added water maker, new house and start batteries and exterior repaint. The survey confirmed her good condition, but as they invariably do it also identified a few issues needing attention.
Over the last few months we’ve attended to these issues as well as a host of other improvements to convert her from a full-on game fishing boat to a comfortable cruising boat. Much of this process has been making existing equipment work correctly.
Some of the more major projects have been:
1. Projects we expected to do:
-Purchase of new Aquapro SLR 2.6 rigid alloy hulled inflatable with Honda 2.5hp 4stroke outboard to replace the poor condition RHIB that came with our purchase
-The pulpit was poorly mounted and attached only to the teak decking rather than being through bolted.
It was removed and tidied up, an access hole made in the fore peak so the pulpit could be bolted to the alloy deck, the teak deck was thoroughly dried and the pulpit was properly and rigidly bolted down in a bed of sealant
-Paint blisters under the beltings (where the hull meets the deck) on both sides were opened, the alloy underneath ground back, treated for surface oxidation, filled, faired and painted
-Replacing cutless bearings
-Installing a high volume sea water wash down pump in the cockpit
-Sourcing new spare pumps for fresh water circulation, sewage holding tank discharge and grey water holding tank discharge. We always prefer to have critical spares like these on board
-Upgrading safety equipment including extinguishers, flares, lifejackets, EPIRB, hand held vhf, binoculars, smoke detectors and horseshoe buoy
-Installing Venetian blinds in saloon to protect furnishings from sunlight and provide more night time ambiance
-Installing a 101L capacity electric freezer on the flybridge so that we’re not totally reliant on the existing freezer with its engine driven compressor and have an operating freezer while in marinas
-There were no tools aboard so we put together a very comprehensive tool kit including some power tools plus a wide range of chandlery items for undertaking on board R&M
2 Unexpected projects:
-Installing new Maxwell 3500 VWC windlass complete with spare electric motor
-Replacing a non-working alternator
-Replacing PSS prop shaft seals with Kiwi seals including replacement of all bearings. At this time the prop shafts were also crack tested and straightened by Henleys, then realigned. The props were checked and found to be in good shape
-Comprehensive service of genset including installation of primary filter, recondition of heat exchanger and some electrical work. Supply of 220V charger for genset battery
-Replacing all Teleflex hydraulic steering hoses and many fittings
-New batteries for second house battery bank mainly used for powering 12V equipment
-There was a large amount of electrical work to make existing equipment function correctly, rewire breakers that didn’t perform their correct function, instal new power outlets etc
Apart from the above PSS shaft seal issue we’ve not encountered any problems during our ownership except for a leaking fresh water circulation pump (solved with a new outlet fitting), a loose wire on our genset’s starting circuit and a failed high voltage shunt which turned out to be redundant and not needing replacement.