Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Two steps forward, one step back--Cha-Cha-Cha

The view of the boatyard from the top of our mast. It's
much higher when you're out of the water because we're blocked
up 8 feet higher than normal.
Conrad has been knocking the socks off me in the 'updating blogs' department. And I need those socks because it is cold here. Yes, it's only in the 60's overnight and 70's during the day but keep in mind that we don't have heat and still have thin blood from living in the tropics for the last few years.

Our naked hull
After returning from Chicago, the reality of our boat project list hit us square in the face. Also, a rock literally hit us square on the underside of our car, causing no injuries but aimed just right to jar the sensors and set off the driver side airbags (geez, those things are LOUD when they go off).

This rock = $1500
Naturally, we had just (as in 2 hours prior) agreed to sell the car to a guy in the boatyard but that deal fell through for obvious reasons. It will cost most of the value of the car to get the airbags fixed.  Unfortunately for us, New Zealand cars must past a bi-annual Warrant of Fitness and if a car was fitted with airbags, the airbags have to be working (so just cutting them out and ignoring them wasn't an option). Fortunately, someone else is willing to buy it for the value of the car minus the price to fix it. It could have been worse and even with the lowered resale price, we got good use and value out of the car for the six or so months we've owned it.  Still extremely annoying, since now the beer budget has been reduced...

Our boat projects seem to be tinged with the same feeling that nothing is going as planned. The hull seems to have dried out pretty well while we were gone. We proceeded with our plan to inject fiberglass resin into holes in the hull where some voids seemed to have developed in the kerfs of the core (fortunately, based on some core samples Matt drilled, there doesn't appear to be any delamination). After we had completed injecting resin on one side, it started to pour rain and we noticed that the vacuum pump was pulling water all of a sudden where it had previously been dry. Fortunately, it was fresh water but we had no idea of the source.

After panicking for a day (actually only I was panicking) and envisioning the havoc that would be caused by water coming into the hulls from an entirely new source, Matt tracked down the cause of the leaks. There were two drain holes for our forward lockers that had a small cracks that were connected to the core.* As it turns out, it was fortunate that it rained when it did or we would never have known to plug those leaks. I can do without the emotional ups and downs though.

Fiberglass templates that Matt and Glenn made
Other minor issues included Matt climbing the mast to install our new main halyard but not noticing until after it was installed that the line was a narrower gauge than what we had ordered and paid for. Also, and this was the icing on the cake, small wasps were laying eggs in the small drain holes we drilled in the hull and covering the holes with a sandy/waxy substance that was almost the same color as the surrounding fiberglass. This required us to literally carefully inspect and poke at every square inch of the hull, lest we miss a hole and forget to fill it back up. I heard somewhere that holes on boats are bad.

On a positive note, Matt has added yet another skill to his extensive repertoire: fiberglass repair. He did a fair amount of fiberglass patch work and worked with Glenn of Immaculate Marine for the bigger fixes. Glenn's work was top notch and Matt learned a lot from working with him. And he managed to get epoxy resin in his hair only twice. It's time for haircuts anyway.

During our 'downtime' (which is code for the plentiful rain and not an actual cessation of work), Matt has kept busy checking off the millions of other smaller, non-weather dependent projects from our list. We have our new mainsail, the trampolines have been reinstalled, the transmission has been reinstalled, the engine injectors have been removed for servicing, expanding foam has been put into the port keel (which was hollow for some unknown reason, instead of containing a foam core like the starboard keel).

There is a 30-second window from the time you pour the
2 components of expanding foam together to mix and pour it.
The paint crew here has started the filling and fairing, which is basically like Bondo-ing your boat. It has to be dry for this work, so we watch the radar like a day trader watches the stock market. Except that their goal is to make money and our result will be to part with a good chunk of change. Speaking of money, our friends at the Monkey's Fist have compiled a list of blogs that publish their spend for this lifestyle, including ours (http://www.svperry.com/p/costs.html).

Mark busy with a book report. He is always reading.
The kids have been troopers through all this. Conrad has been helpful as a gopher and his natural curiosity has him asking tons of questions about everything that is going on. Fortunately, Matt loves explaining what he's doing when he's focused on something. Okay, not really but he is good at explaining things and mostly patient. Mark and Conrad were ecstatic when our friends on Field Trip showed up in Whangarei, so they have some kids to play with after school is over.

Hopefully we'll get things sorted in the next couple of weeks and get back in the water.  Once floating, the plan is to make it to Fiji to assist with the post-cyclone Winston relief efforts with the Sea Mercy folks.

*For other Privilege 482 owners out there, check those drain holes!  Privilege did a good job of creating a round section of solid glass so the drain hole wouldn't impinge on the core BUT, in our case, they then drilled the actual hole too close to the edge where the core starts up, and a small crack developed where the two layers of glass came together, allowing water a route in to the core.


  1. While reading this latest blog I had to hold my breath continually wondering what was to follow.

    1. Yeah, we're doing the same thing but in real life, haha.

    2. Matthew, in the picture of you on top of the mast do I detect a hint of apprehension?

    3. No apprehension. Just a bit of a wedgie from the harness.....

  2. Matt, I need a picture of the Drain holes that you are referring to so I can check ours. Your keels have foam in them? Ours are all the way to the bottom. Got to love boats? I remember the temp all to well, condensation dripping from the hatches is not far away. Full Monty

    1. It's the drain holes for the external hatches just aft of the tramps (one on each side). Ours have a drain hole that exits to the underside of the boat. Let me know if that's still not clear and I'll try and take a photo. Re: the keel, someone glassed across the deep keel bilge and put in a shallow sump. Not a bad idea because the bilge is now up higher and easier to keep an eye on and the foam in the keel would help keep water out if the boat ever grounded and/or suffered a breach there.


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