Rigging Check And Other Stuff

Rigging check day.

Brian, a local rigger went up the mast for a check and to oil the halyard sheaves. He pronounced everything in "excellent shape".











Down below, Ann is working on one of her most disliked tasks. Vacuum sealing food for the voyage. This is a very convenient way to have portion-sized food easy to access with reduced volume and packaging.  It also protects the food from spoilage.  It’s very tedious though and the packing machine is temperamental.

Portion size, freshness and reduced volume.

A few of the packages showing sizes and bay leaves inside, which are purported to keep bugs at bay (no pun intended).
















On the boat work front, progress is still being made. I’m on the last coat of epoxy to fill the wood rot, then will varnish tomorrow.

The patch getting fitted (as seen in a previous post).

Patch in place and coated with a final coat of epoxy. The hardest part has been lack of proper woodworking tools.

Wooden Surprise

One thing we pay very little attention to on Charisma is the boom crutch. It’s not a major structural thing, it just holds the boom when the sail is not up.

The boom crutch on the deck after I took it down for maintenance.








Imagine my surprise when I took it apart and found this!

Bummer! I guess water had seeped down some screw holes and rotted a part of the wood.









New wood rough fit









Oh well, another day, another unexpected project. I’m squaring up the hole and fabricating a piece of wood to fill the void and will sandwich it with an epoxy/micro-balloon slurry which will dry stronger than the original wood. Then trim, sand and varnish and it’ll be good as new and ready to go back together.

Oven’s In The Cockpit

Yup, another project we’ve been wanting to do is redo the propane fitting on the back of the oven so it will gimbal properly. The fitting broke a couple years ago in Tonga and I installed a straight one because I couldn’t find a 90 degree angle. The result was the oven/stove worked fine, but at fairly high angle of heel, the fitting banged the cabinet. Found a 90 degree one, so today the oven is in the cockpit getting a new fitting and a cleaning. I actually didn’t think I would ever take this thing out, but it was actually fairly easy. Now getting it back in…

Had to rotate it 90 degrees to get it to fit out the companionway, but did it with inches to spare

Now Ann can get behind it to clean. First time we’ve been able to reach back here.

Without an oven, we could put in a new nav station.

The Other Handrail

Yes!! I finished the port side rail!

I’m so happy to have finished this, I wrote a song, to the tune of Norwegian Wood (by the Beatles) that, by the way, I can play on my Ukulele.

“I once had a leak, in my handrail,
It, was a big leak, such a big leak, I had to fix it.”

…and so on and so forth…

The discerning reader may sense that I’m writing this after a celebratory rum enhanced cocktail or two and she would be correct!! This is a big day, as it marks the end of the official “most ugly of projects”. Just have a look at how ugly this one got…

Oh, the ceiling had to come down in both the head and the shower (not shown).

Yup, this is just some of the trim boards that had to come down to get at the handrail bolts.

Of course it wouldn't be a true boat project unless at least one of the bolts was fiberglassed in, requiring me to chisel the glass fiber away to access the bolt which was virtually inaccesible

So, after many hours and much swearing, it is over – we can now get onto more fun projects and are closer to being able to leave for a shakedown cruise.

Tomorrow, I’ll work on some misc projects, and Ann is going to spend the day at Janette’s doing a quilting project for some friends who had babies this year up in Fiji. We hope to send the finished quilts out to the islands with cruising friends headed that way this season.

Broken Screw

That’s today’s fun.

I’m rebedding the chain plates on the starboard side and got to the last one. It’s always the last one. One of the screws holding down the cover broke off. Grrr.

What do you do? You have to enlarge the hole around the screw and then in this case, dig it out. It was too small for a screw extractor which sometimes works. So, a two hour job is becoming a two day one since I have to epoxy the new bigger hole, let it cure and then drill it to fit a new screw before I can finish the project.

Also on today’s agenda – painting some wooden deck plates. I’ve never touched these since I’ve owned Charisma and Ann noticed the paint was getting fragile. So…Ann taped them and we sanded them for prep and a coat of paint today and another tomorrow (if it doesn’t rain).

Here's one of the deck plates taped, sanded and ready to paint. There are seven of the little buggers.

Another Ugly Project

I’ve been avoiding this one perhaps more than the others I have learned to avoid. But, we have had a persistent and increasing leak in the forward cabin and I can’t put this off any longer. The dreaded handrails.

Doesn’t sound like a big deal. But, the first three connections of the rail to the deck leak and when we’re going kinda upwind – as we’ll be doing a lot of on our trip back to the U.S. we bury the bow into the waves a lot. The result is a lot of solid water going over the forward cabin and – yup, right down the loose bolts on the forward part of the handrail.

What makes this project not fun is that to get at the bolts you have to take down the overhead in the cabin, which means unscrewing about 30 screws, pulling the carefully fitted and varnished wooden battens down, then levering the false ceiling off (complete with multiple brass tacks holding it in place). Looks really pretty when it’s all in place. A big pain the the @ss when it has to come out to get at the bolts.

THEN, you have to go topside and drill out the wooden plugs that hide/protect the bolts that hold the darned thing on. After drilling the plugs out you go back down below and tap out the bolts, except when you tap them with a hammer you hear a funny “tinkle” on the deck. That sound is the top of the bolt falling off. Turns out they rust out, which is why they loosen and leak.

Here's one of the three bolts that broke off.

OK, so there’s lots of other detail about putting it back on like like sanding, taping, cleaning, followed by applying the goo that seals it all back up that I won’t bore you with, dear reader.

Once it’s bolted back down after carefully taping, gluing, etc., then down below to put the overhead back together (i.e. 30 some screws, wooden battens, etc) and finally cleanup of all the fiberglass dust and crap that falls onto the shelves and floor that needs to be swept up.

Tomorrow, epoxy and teak plugs get glued onto the outside bolt holes, then when they are dry I chisel and sand them flush and apply several coats of varnish to seal them.

Then… we’re not done, I get to do the same on the port side!

Oh, boat work is such fun!

Splash Splash (by Ann)

After ten grueling days of work Charisma is back in the water! Amen!

At 9am Karl and Shane , the experts at Riverside Drive Marina, drove the travel lift over to our corner of the boatyard and by 10 am not only had we been lifted out of the cradle but Bob had applied bottom paint to the spots where the keel rested on the cradle and…we were back in our slip.

I guess I did not really believe it would be a 9am lift because as I hurried down the ladder for one last time and saw the slings lift Charisma up

Shane, all around good guy!

I realized I had neglected to move the full coffee pot off of the table. One quick slip while Charisma was being carried across the boatyard to the launching dock and our salon could be full of coffee. Uh oh. Maybe I was just testing Karl’s driving skills. And we are thrilled to report that he is an ace drive and all was well on board.

Karl and Bob relax for a moment. Charisma topped the scales at just over 28,000 pounds! That cannon must weigh a lot!

It was a huge relief to be back in our slip and we are very pleased to have made our best turn around yet…just ten days. Grueling days but a huge sense of satisfaction when it is done.

So we celebrated, taking a day off (minus Bob getting a coat of varnish on the helm). Yep, we played! Lunch in town at our favorite cafe, a quick trip to get food for a birthday BBQ tomorrow for the captain, and even ice cream on the water front. And to make sure we knew how to play we hiked up Parihaka to enjoy the view to the ocean. A stunning day to play!

Of course not everything is done, but the work that required Charisma to be out of the water is complete. She is shiny and beautiful and we are smiling!

One More Day.

Yup, tomorrow is our last day on the hard. We’re splashing before the 4 day Easter weekend.

Today we finished the wax/polish, are now one coat of varnish on the starboard side from done there, got the regalvanized anchor and chain back and are marking it before hauling it back up, greased the through hulls and some other stuff. It never ends, but the things you can only do out of the water are within an “inch” of completion! Supposedly tomorrow we even have a tanker truck coming with diesel!

Get the varnish on while we have the nice scaffolds!

Shiny regalvanized anchors and chain.

Behind the fence for now, but soon back in the water!

Varnish and Rain Don’t Mix

It’s a little disheartening when days of work culminating in a gorgeous coat of varnish get rained out. As in rain on fresh varnish. Bummer. We might have saved it. By the time it rained the coat had kicked off a bit and we were able to very gently wipe the drops off, but there is some staining. I won’t really know until tomorrow after it dries overnight and we see how another coat goes over this one.

But, success on the waxing front. Ann finished buffing a coat of carnauba wax onto the starboard side.

How's this for real shine!

We also got the prop painted with PropSpeed, so we’re whittling the list of stuff that has to be done on the hard.

This stuff is the best anti-fouling for propellers I've used.

We splash this Thursday. We need two more days with no rain to finish the varnish. Cross fingers.

I’m Beat!

Wow, good thing Ann’s still got some energy. She has been cleaning the hull and is almost done. Next step will be waxing, but she gets to use a buffer for that, although that does come with a weight penalty. You have to hold the beast up against the hull.

A lovely shine is taking place and the wax is not even on yet.

As for me, today would have been a GREAT varnishing day, except MetVew said it was going to rain, so I held off. Of course it was a beautiful day. 🙁

Instead I did a hated, nasty project I’ve been avoiding. Changing the raw water impeller on the engine. Doesn’t sound bad when I just say it, but to get to the bugger, I have to literally take apart the quarterberth just to expose the pump. Then, since it’s still buried on the side of the engine, you have to use a mirror to see the thing and take it apart “in reverse”. The old one should come out easily, but never does, etc, etc, swear, swear!

In retrospect, it was a good thing Ann was outside.

Anyway, got it done. Very happy to have that behind us. I’m now utterly exhausted and drinking a beer to recuperate!

Harrington's, a great beer from Christchurch, on the South Island. Not to start a war or anything, but the best Kiwi beer is from the Sourh Island.

And while I contemplate sleep, Ann is over next door with half the other Yachties around here in Room 7 at the adjacent motel, watching the final of the World Cup Cricket Match. Australia vs. New Zealand. The Internet is dog slow right now, so many people around here are watching.