Our 2016 adventures with Peter Robyn a 1950 classic wooden sloop
Newer posts are at the top. Click on any photo to enlarge.
27 December, 2016
Jamie., Maddie, Sophia and I headed south to the Duck Pond. The longest travels in Peter Robyn since we took her over - 32nm. It took 2 hours to motor to the anchorage (head winds all the way) as we left late at 5.30pm.
The winds whipped up to 20 knots and there was a 1 - 2 metre random swell off Tinderbox with the waves rebounding off the cliffs and causing quite a rock and roll. The bow submerged 3 times and once we rocked fairly heavily to starboard until I headed off course in into the main direction of the swell in North Storm Bay (at Jamie's suggestion).
I have access to a tender over summer a lovely little clinker built Oregon and Huon Pine dingy made locally in Penna. It's a little delight and is easy to row. It did fill with a couple of inches of water in the spray and rain - I'll need to cover her if she remains with us.
The trip was lovely and the girls enjoyed all being bundled together in the cabin warm and snug with the oil lamp burning and salmon fillets for dinner. The Duck-pond was a perfect choice as the winds hit 30 knots overnight - while Perpetual Loyal took 5 hours off the Sydney to Hobart race record. We planned to welcome her in - but at 2.30am we were sleeping peacefully. Fishing was also on the agenda at sun down and sun up - high winds kept us below deck in the evening and solid rain in the morning.
Our return voyage to Hobart was wet, wet, wet - raining all the way. Good thing we had a full breakfast of poached eggs and toast to sail on. The scenery was delightful with low cloud and misty hill tops.
It was a great experience and cherished by all.
New Tender tows well
1 - 2m swell
9 December, 2016
I hauled the boat onto the slip to re-pack the rear stuffing box with GFO Fibre. And to give her an overall survey.
All went well and the GFO is great - it has allowed the rear seal to run almost drip less and at less than 40 degrees Celsius - measured with an infrared wireless thermometer.
A point to remember for future slips is the board goes on the second beam as in the photos.
15 December, 2016 - Drifting around in Sandy Bay
I recently spend a wonderful evening on Peter Robyn drifting around in Sandy Bay. I pulled up in a tranquil anchorage to spend on night on the boat - testing my newbie anchoring skills and to see how it felt. With Christmas break approaching I am hoping to spend a few days away on her here and there so this was a shake down test. These are a few photos from a very pleasant evening.
I do say I was lucky with this spot at the tide was a king tide and I had 7m at the bow and 5m at the stern. Probably a metre or two more than I would have at other times!
It was nice to squeeze in next to Nora for the night - a fellow classic wooden boat that has been moored in the Bay this 2016 summer.
2nd December, 2016 - more renovations
I have moved inside briefly to refinish the floors and other bright work. This week I completed the rear cabin sole and previously the engine bay cover that forms the companionway step.
Using the usual approach stripping to bare wood and staining with a 50:50 mix of Awlwood yellow and clear primer. The as its inside only 6 coats of varninsh - 5 of Gloss and the last of Satin Matte.
Below are some shots of the rear cabin taking shape.
Sunday 20th of November, 2016
Isabella and I had a long sail five and a half hours in initially light winds down to O'Possum Bay and across towards the Tinderbox cliffs. Towards the end the wind was gusting 30 knots with a one meters swell - two reefs in the sail and Peter Robyn handled it well.
There is a video below of the early part of the voyage - with the sail already reefed (too early).
Auto-tiller doing a great job in the chop
29 October, 2016
Lovely sail out today with Rebecca. 15 knot breezes - she doesn't like tilt on the boat so kept it level with a 1/3 reefed head sail only and full starboard rudder on a close port reach.
Spring Sailing (Nov, 2016) wth Rebecca
Our Garmin track - 13.4 km 3 hours,
Maddie's video of a spring day on Peter Robyn
3 October 2016
September has seen me away a lot on the weekends with work travel overseas, a weekend away for Beccy's 50th and some other family outings. Still, I have managed to get around 13 hours on the engine and everything is going well.
I have used Navionics to track the usage and some of the tracks are published above. You can see I rarely get far, although last Sunday travelled the farthest with a 36km session to Ralph's Bay and back to the bridge - then picking up Beccy and heading to Bellerive.
The furling head sail, auto tiller and improvements to the rudder shaft have made a huge difference as does the control panel in the cockpit. I have had the boat in 25 knot breezes and furling the genoa and taking down the main stabilised the boat very well.
I also spent a very pleasurable Friday evening with my work team, gently sailing to the bridge and back - sipping champagne (the crew not me) to thank them for their efforts.
Maddie and Jamie also spent a terrific afternoon out with me where the winds got up a bit. She made a video and that is also published above.
Other good news is she has been accepted for Boats Afloat at the 2017 Australian Wooden Boat Festival so it will be good to see her there with the other 259 entries in February next year.
10 August 2016
There has been a lot happening in the life of Peter Robyn in the past month. And mine for that matter. Since completing the lovely deck paint. Peter Robyn has been worked on tirelessly by Richard Manning from Mobile Marine Services. He has:
- built a strong painted metal engine mount
- replaced the drive shaft
- re-mounted the control panel
- installed a new exhaust with Vetus muffler in the bilge
- installed a new cooling filter with visible strainer basket
- repacked the rear seal
While this was going on my dear father passed away. I returned from the funeral to find Peter Robyn on the hard stand with the new engine sitting in her mount and the prop shaft off for re-manufacture. So I decided to have a ' quick' look at the play in the rudder shaft and set about removing it one Saturday. The rudder mounts onto a 1400mm shaft from the top of the deck to rear of the keel. It had a bronze cladding structure around the top and a bronze clamp and spigot on the bottom. All held on with bronze 1/2 inch rivets and stainless bolts through a top 2" square brass spigot. First I had to undo the top stainless bolts (three in total) and hammer the shaft down to drive to reveal the spigot into the propeller recess.
At this point my marina neighbour Doug came along and dropped what he was doing to help me out for the day. Totally unexpected and very kind as I am a complete novice. We ground off the bottom rivets and removed the clamp and the rudder fell away from the keel nicely. I could now mallet the shaft and top spigot all the way out. Once disassembled, the bottom spigot (brass) was clearly in poor condition (broken in two pieces and barely would have lasted much longer.) The top shaft (also brass) had been worn poorly from a stainless key which held the shaft neatly to the main mounting spigot. Due to the mix of stainless and brass there was much electrolysis going on.
I had been warned my rudder play (5" in total) was due to a worn key. However it clearly now was a worn shaft - the expensive part as always. My $11 fix turned into a $1000 fix. However it was important this was done as the auto-helm was not going to be much use with so much rudder play and if left unattended the bottom of the rudder would have come free very soon.
During the afternoon's work Doug suggested that I re-shape the rudder from the squared off rear profile to a more tapered design to improve turning performance (lighter tiller) and better rearward manoeuvrability. He loaned me his electric plane and I took a 10cm swath off each side. Next I had to apply two layers of woven matt and epoxy. After much sanding and three coats of anti-foul we were ready for a re-mount.
On the day I removed the rudder, Anthony the RYCT Bosun recommended a top fellow to make both the prop and rudder shafts and after a week they came back ready for fitting. Richard kindly popped the rudder back in place for me with a new bottom clamp and shaft - she works like a dream and will be more durable and strong. I have since tested the performance and it is a little better under power - not the one finger steering I was promised but it is better. I am delighted to not have a worrying 5 inches of play in the tiller.
Peter Robyn went back into the water on Monday 8 August and was left for an engine line up as she had moved significantly while out of the water. On day 2 of re-launch Richard lined up the new prop shaft and started the engine. All was looking good. So he called me down for a sea trial in my work suit we went out for a 'twenty minute run'. All was good for 15 minutes and then we experienced fuel starvation and the engine cut. We drifted perilously towards Manning Reef (ironic) in Sandy Bay. I jumped on the mobile and alerted Karl the other RYCT Bosun we my need a tow. I shackled on the anchor and threw it overboard. Thank goodness it stuck and we turned windwards as the gusts approached 35 knots. Richard tracked the problem to one of the old fuel filters hitting on the front engine box cover causing it to suck air. He removed the cover, bled the fuel lines and we spluttered back to the marina. He decided to remove one of the two old fuel filters from the engine box (leaving one new one on the engine and the rear most of two existing ones) replacing the old narrow fuel line with 8mm rubber pipe and the problem has been rectified. At least I hope so as I will take Peter Robyn out this Saturday and do not want a repeat engine failure on my own.
Sea Trials - 7 knots full throttle
2 July 2016
The weather was kind today and so was Beccy. Busy with her last submissions in her University course - I was able to get to the marina for the most of the day. This was terrific to have a long go at painting the deck.
Arriving at 10am I finished at 3pm and had a thick coat of the paving paint on the topsides. Richard - the engine guy also arrived with a large steel frame for the new engine mount. He tried a few test fits and it did not go as well as planned. The engine sits too high for their liking. I am sure they will get it right in the end - but it is fiddly work for them. And I do appreciate them working a Saturday.
Sophia came to the boat when the paint had dried. She hadn't been down since before I painted the cabin roof. She was very impressed and said the boat looked amazing. She was also very pleased to have chosen the deck colour and loved removing the masking tape. She feels the masking tape has given an overall sharp look. The Blue 3m tape while expensive does hold the paint back from bleeding onto the varnish - it also sticks well and lasts 14 days if you have a lot of coats to put on. Overall, it's been very successful outcome.
Hopefully I can relax back a little soon and enjoy the fruits of this labour. The girls - both Sophia and Isabella are keen for me to start on the inside though.
Ticking off my work list:
- varnishing the three forward hatches - Done
- painting the seat cushions burgundy - Done
- varnishing the wooden mount under the bow bollard
- varnishing a frame in the cockpit
- the companion way hatch slides
- the rub rail and
- finally I want to re-make the rear seat in some teak planks if possible.
- I will paint the deck (in Sophia's cream) and the roof in white - Done
- fit a roller furling foresail - Done
27 June, 2016
Saturday was a lovely day, 10 degrees with light winds and sunshine. So I was able to get started on the deck. Just in the cockpit area to begin with. I have used ViPonds Paving paint on recommendation from Samuel the owner of Norla (there is a photo of her below). The anti-slip is a little scratchy on the knees - but it is a nice paint (thick and with good coverage). The colour is 150% classic cream - a Colorbond colour.
I also fitted the tiller and have filled the remaining deck cracks with epoxy. This held me up a little as the deck was quite wet on Sunday and the epoxy takes 48 hours to dry. It will need a sand and another coat too before the paint goes on.
Mobile Marine Services have advised the engine is expected today (now) and they will start making the engine bed - so I may not get easy access to the boat as she will be out of the water at a currently unknown time and for an unknown time. I am hopeful I will get some time-frames soon.
23 June, 2016
A tiller refurbishment is now completed and ready to bolt on. Plus there is a roller furling unit for the head-sail from Almasts Australia. Great progress.
My woes with the Awlwood MA have been resolved - International Paint (AkzoNobel) provided a another replacement Satin Matt from a new batch and its lovely. It's not drying prematurely in the tin and goes on sillky smooth. I am very happy with the three front and companionway hatches.
A new 30HP Nanni N3.30 arrives tomorrow - install completion date from Mobile Marine Services maybe three weeks away. The installation will see newly completed steel mounting beds, a new propeller shaft as the engine is moved forward 200 - 300mm, rear stuffing box will be re-packed and the control panel moved to the cockpit for safer starting and stopping while under way.
11 June, 2016
Last weekend I discovered the boat engine had seized. Monday saw the head removed and the engine full of seawater. The head gasket had blown and filled the cylinders. We put a three foot extension bar on the front pulley and couldn't budge it even using my full body weight. Its a shame so early in the life of the boat in our family. Although it will prove to be a more reliable solution and I can fix a few foibles at the same time.
The stern gland has been a constant problem leaking around 20 litres into the bilge per day and now I can replace or repair it. The control panel being in the cabin was inconvenient and some said dangerous. So now I can mount it outside in the cockpit. The exhaust on the boat is not the best so will be replaced. Finally, the new engine will rev a little higher, so will be smoother, more powerful, lighter and of course more reliable. Although, until this issue occurred the previous engine always started and ran well - other than the broken exhaust elbow.
The 35 year old Yanmar 2QM20H came out on the crane yesterday and was taken unceremoniously away. I have just spent the day cleaning and painting the engine bay. I discovered the previous mounting was not as good as it could be so it will be replaced with a newly built painted steel mounting. This will add much strength in this area and improve things considerably.
Update: 13 June, 2016 - I am currently baling water out of the bilge every day. The electrical system has been disconnected with the removal of the engine. I spent hours on Saturday looking for the missing connection. The manual bilge pump is not working and is very difficult to get to being behind the galley cupboard. I hope to have the wiring rectified tomorrow.
14 June, 2016 - Marine Electrician found the problem quickly. The electrical system connects through the positive link on the alternator. So with the engine out the circuit is broken. He will repair tomorrow and then tidy the whole lot up after the new engine is installed. I also took the opportunity to fabricate an aluminium Bilge Pump Mount that can be easily removed and raised - as working on the pump so far down in the keel is difficult and inconvenient (photo below). The material is 3 x 60mm fluted aluminum extrusion from Bunnings Warehouse.
5 June, 2016
It's raining heavily and yesterday was very cold at 6 degrees celcius maximum during the day. Oddly, the actual maximum was 13 degrees around midnight.
While the temperature is not conducive to paint or varnish drying (even inside) I am held up a little. However, I did pop down and put the partly finished companionway hatch back on. It's looking a treat and Beccy likes the colour. There is still a light sand and 3 coats to go. However AWLWood Satin Matt is still out of stock Australia-wide - ETA mid-june. I have located one of the "gel" tins that I thought I had thrown out so have taken that back to the store to see if I can obtain a discount or replacement.
I also visited the paint shop yesterday (TasPaints) and discovered I can part mix the colour. Sophia liked Colorbond Classic Cream - although said it's a little light. So they are able to mix 125% and I have included a swatch below of the 100 versus a rough approximation of the stronger mix. I am very much looking forward to finally painting the deck and completing the outside. However with winter here in full swing I don't know when I can get around to that little job.
All of the cabin leaks are now solved - they were not significant but there was a few small ones when the rain was heavy. They were mostly little deck cracks and some thought the portholes (seal issue) and hatches (needed re-finishing).
30 May, 2016
Work completed in the last week includes seven coats on the three forward hatches. They are resting on the boat presently not screwed on - as they are to be Satin Matt ultimately. And presently there is none in Australia so they will come home again for their last coat mid-June.
24 May, 2016
Visited the boat to check the plastic on the hatches has weathered the recent down pours.
I photographed the new roof paint and I am still pretty chuffed. Toplac seems a lovely paint - I hope it lasts nicely.
Other good news is I have the AutoHelm that came with the boat working. Replacing a blown fuse seems to have it underway and even though its a 1979 model it seems to still be supported via Raymarine (this is an Autohelm Mark II from Nautech). I have procured a $15 socket and will mount it up in the cockpit tomorrow. Win!
22 May, 2016
I headed home with four hatches after slipping the masking tape of the cabin roof. The second coat of Toplac did a great job and its looking good.
The Scotch Blue masking tape did also worked well holding back the runs onto the varnish and I have mostly clean crisp edges between gloss enamel and the AWLWood.
I'll get more shots of the roof when the rain stops - in the interim I have a long job sanding, sealing and varnishing the remaining hatches.
My little Black and Decker multi sander (a cheapy purchase from KD Hardware) has a louvre attachment - very handy for the vent on the companionway hatch.
21 May, 2016
Cabin roof paint went well today. It was dry and sunny all day and enough time to mask, sand and single coat the roof.
I used International Toplac and it went on pretty well. There are a few areas where the paint as peeled and the primer and top coat dealt with these pretty well. I'd like to fill some areas a little more. However I will probably come back to that in the summer.
I am aiming to get a second coat on mid-week all going well.
20 May 2016
It's been a rainy week here in Hobart so I have been doing 'inside' jobs after work. I am hoping to get started on the cabin roof tomorrow.
In the interim I have restored the cockpit cushions. I discovered a product called Duplicolor Vinyl spray to so I have updated the colour of the seats to burgundy. It matches the interior cushions and the external sail and hatch covers.
I also found a gas bottle cover from a company called the Hose Bag Company. It was $30 and will tidy the stern up nicely. They come in grey only and when painted with the Duplicolor will tie in well. There is a photo of it alongside the Windlass Cover below.
They have a low sheen satin matt look and I hope they keep well in the sun - if not I can repaint them regularly as the paint is pretty inexpensive. I did read on the web that others users are pretty happy with it on car interiors two years on - here's hoping its ok in a marine environment. [Update Jan, 17 - after seven months they did need a little touch up - but are lasting pretty well on the second paint.]
14 May 2016
I spent a few more hours on the boat today. Yay! I have the stern light working. Was a full 90 minutes trying to track back from the switch panel to the wires going rearward. Finally I saw a little two-ply set painted white and a couple of grey wires entered the switch panel - one had broken free from it's soldering.
I've had a nice new bronze light chrome plated from Classic Boat Supplies. I fitted it today and it looks great and finally we have a full set of navigation and mast lights working.
The previous owner kindly offered me a new compass in the week and he has the old one as a souvenir. It is fitted to the newly varnished rear cabin and it's looking great. This also has the little internal light now working. Woo hoo. I am ready for some night sailing.
I have also spent some time trying new colours for the Deck. Sophia is keen on the existing cream - she said "you want the classic look don't you?" So its cream it is - no beige or terracotta for us.
All of the masking tape is off now and I also spent some time looking to remove the secondary gas bottle mount. At the last minute I decided to stay put. Although it clutters the rear it does add balance and you never know it may come in handy. I have a gas bottle cover I am going to paint burgundy (with Duplicolor Vinyl paint) - so this might improve things and keep a neater stern. I will wait and see before I make a decision on the rear gas bottle mount.
Work ahead of me includes:-
- varnishing the three forward hatches
- painting the seat cushions burgundy
- varnishing the wooden mount under the bow bollard
- varnishing a frame in the cockpit
- the companion way hatch slides
- the rub rail and
- finally I want to re-make the rear seat in some teak planks if possible.
- I will paint the deck (in Sophia's cream) and the roof in white
- fit a roller furling foresail
And after all this the outside should be done.
A quick note on the AWLWood MA from AkzoNobel or AWLGrip. The gloss is brilliant, it builds to a perfect shine and is Chrystal clear. The Satin Matt is a nightmare. Three tins have turned to gel, four days after opening. At $100 per tin that's expensive. AkzoNobel did give me a free tin - so I am at break even. However, from here forward I am thinking of keeping it in the fridge or something once I have opened it. I am certainly beginning to regret ever using the Matt varnish.
Update: By mid June a new batch arrived in Australia. The new batch is much better and the " opened shelf-life" is a lot longer. My latest tin is 1/2 used - three weeks old and still liquid - yay! It seems to be a lot smoother as well - so they may have brought the dry time down a little which is ok - it still dried ok over night in Tasmanian winter weather.
23 April, 2016
Back on the job again. This time re-finishing the cabin sides and rail. Thinking of also stripping and varnishing the comings and rear cabin door. Hopefully will make good progress tomorrow.
1/2 cabin sanded today - it will depend on how much varnish I have as to whether this gets done.
I was also hoping to remove the porthole and rear window surrounds - sadly they are fairly stuck on with sealant. Not to worry a job for another day. I really want to polish them up a fair bit.
This job as with many on Peter Robyn took longer than expected. In my mind - I was going to strip the cabin on Anzac Saturday before lunch - add a coat each of primer and varnish before sundown. Perfect the weather was great and the whole week forecast to be fine. Time was on my side.
By Anzac Monday I have spent the whole long weekend in the Marina (much to the disappointment of the family) and I still have some small patches to hand sand! Also I have found that the coaming is mismatched on each side having been repaired with laminated ply. At first I thought I could disguise this with the stain - although its just not possible. So I am hopefully going to laminate this with some veneer - a mid coloured Blackwood is all I can procure. It should be ok depending on how well I can get it to adhere. After some heavy sanding I notice the lovely Teak on the Cabin is a laminate which has been in the weather for 65 years so it can work.
I have had to book a day's leave tomorrow Wednesday 27th - although will need to be in work for the first meeting of the day - then hopefully off to the Marina. I really want to get a coat on and the veneering done as rain is now forecast on Thursday and this wonderful Autumn weather cannot last.
11 April, 2016
I took the boat our for a sail last weekend - a quiet little reach over to Bellerive. It was my first solo sail as everyone seemed to have lost interest. All was good coming out of the pen, putting the sails up became a pain as I seemed to have twisted the main in the track and had to take it down again while the jib was flapping around. I drifted in the way of an approaching yacht and they tacked around. It was a bit rude of me but I was busy with the sail to notice them earlier.
After this all went pretty well other than the wind being a little changeable. It was a very pleasant morning and the mast and boom were all good (re-assured I hadn't done any damage through the unstepping process). Later around 1.30pm a blustery patch hit and I had to luff up and get the sails down quickly as the boat laid over on her gunwale. The video doesn't do it justice as it had calmed down by the time I took this one. It did die off again - later but being on my own I didn't want to face the prospect of a 40 knot gale and me bobbing around with flapping sails. I motored uneventfully back to the marina and dock - ok on my own except I tried to hook the bow rope on the way in and didn't stall the momentum at all - hence I cracked onto the pier and chipped away some concrete - fortunately no damage to the boat or front rails. Thankfully the tide was just right. I made a note to myself to always hit reverse before going forward to fiddle with the ropes.
This last weekend it was very gusty and so I spent the time varnishing hatches. I am delighted with the main hatch - either Teak or Spotted Gum (not sure) its a beautiful wood and I love it with the AWLWood colour on it.
March, 2015 Update
There have been four significant developments in the life of Peter Robyn in the past month.
1. Boom re-varnished
2. I took my eldest brother out for a motor - while the boom was off.
3. The exhaust broke.
4. The Mast is re-varnished.
Firstly, I took the boom off at the beginning of the month and stripped it with a rasp. This was quite effective as the boom was merely varnished and it came off quite easily. I applied a coat of Awlwood MA Yellow Primer and noted it was very red. Rebecca was not at all happy with the "Mahogany colour" so I spent another two days sanding and re-applied a 50:50 mix of clear primer and yellow after checking the batch number with the manufacturer to ensure it is the correct colour. We're happier with the final colour. Eight coats of gloss (for better UV protection) were applied and I was delighted with the result. Early on I used some cheaper brushes and two really good ones for the seventh and eighth coats. I noted perhaps the cheaper brushes did leave a few brush marks so decided to go for better brushes on the mast.
Robert & Irene
Robert and Irene visited early in March for a Saturday breakfast and then they wanted to head off to Salamanca Markets. So in between we motored (without the boom) around Sullivan's cove, over to Bellerive and back to Sandy Bay. It was a perfect day and there was no wind for sailing anyway. When I switched off the motor back in the pen I noted a "fluff chuff" sound on the exhaust.
Next a week or two later, I unstepped the mast using the crane they use for the Dragons. It was just high enough and we needed low tide to get enough height to clear the 51' foot mast from under the deck. I motored to the crane having undone all the rigging from the mast in the pen. This was later thought to be "insane". When I took the boat back to the pen and switched off - I noticed the exhaust was broken - a smooth break in the middle of the rusty manifold. This explains the sound when I switched off after taking Bob around. Later in the week I talked this over with a guy at work and decided to join with some rubber hose while seeking quotes on a new manifold and system (potentially $1500 I am told). [Update: the rubber is on now and it is working ok.]
Once the mast was out and after heading back to the crane after putting Peter Robyn back in the Pen. I thought I might be able to get the mast home on the roof rack of the Subaru like I did with the boom. Well it weighs a ton and so had to ask six guys to help me carry it to the hard stand. The older ones were complaining. Those that helped me were Mike (on a yacht from Fremantle WA); Jeff or Geoff not sure - (from I think he said Seattle - he and Cathy his wife have sailed up to Alaska and then all the way to Tasmania); Johnathan from Ocean Child One (his blog) and Cedric his French crewman. There was another young guy and I didn't catch his name. It's a shame doing the mast at the club as its out in the open and I am at the mercy of the weather and the forecast was for a week or so of rain.
We stumbled to the hard stand - and I set it up on props ready to strip. I began with the heat gun and scraper and after an hour had done 36 inches of one side. This was going to take too long. I remembered Rob Virtue of Vanity said he did his with a plane. Off to Sandy Bay Hire I went and hired an electric plane. Back in the yard it made short work of the two pack epoxy on the mast - roughly 2 mm thick. It did take off a lot of material in parts. Although AWLWood needs a bare wood result to commence with their primer and I needed to strip the bleached wood to get an even colour in the finished result. Overall, it took a full day - from Friday into Saturday to get the mast stripped. It took until Monday to get six coats on. Leaving two more during the week, plus checking the wiring, bulbs, and painting the white parts. I took the mast out on the Labour Day long weekend. Then the next weekend did the two more coats, wiring, spreaders and the white parts. On the Thursday before Easter - the mast was ready to go back in. A total of thirteen days work. This time I hired a trolley from Ian Brett the rigger to get the long stick back to the crane (about 200m away). It only took one helpful chap to help me lift it onto the trolley and then I got it back to the crane on the trolley and Karl guided me along through the car park.
While I was stripping the mast, there were many comments in the yard about using the plane to strip the tough polyurethane coating - several recommended a belt sander. After seeing the AWLWood go on and how it leveled and came to a great finish the comments turned towards how good it was looking. Someone asked me what I used on it and I replied "AWLWood - its a little expensive." He said, "Anything that looks good is expensive." I am happy :-) I used a cheap acrylic white paint on top of the spreaders - rated for 20 years (I hope so). Its like Zinc sun cream for the most exposed part.
The wiring and replacing the bulbs with LED's went well - all the lights worked a-ok testing them with a 12 volt battery charger on the hard stand. It seemed they may have been marked out of order in a previous installation. I am not sure but they work out of the boat. Anyway I was hopeful I could get the spreader, masthead and steaming lights going again once in the boat. The fact they worked on the hard stand surely is a good sign. Last job was to tie the VHF aerial to the back stay and I had ordered some nice stainless ties on eBay. The supplier xrst_511 listed them as in Australia and indicated they would arrive in time. Well they didn't (I bet they come from Hong Kong and boy is he getting negative feedback) . So the night before stepping was scheduled, I headed to the Chandlers and purchased some stainless wire and fashioned some clips.
On the mast stepping day I was off work at 12pm to get this in at 1/2 tide. Karl the Bosun said we'd do it at 2pm. And all was in place in time. The mast went in a-ok with a 5c piece underneath, Andrew on the Deck and me below. I guided it into the keel uneventfully - remembering that Restive snapped at the base at this point in the article on their adventure. I had fixed 4' extra lengths of wire onto the mast to ensure that I had enough to get them through the small hole in the top of the cabin before the mast foot went into block my view. I noted previous chiseling had gone on to find them once before. The wires straight out of the mast are only about 2" long and too short to easily poke through when they sit between the top of the cabin and the underneath.
Next, I attached all of the rigging while at the crane this time as Andrew (one of the Bosuns) was worried I may lose the mast on the way back to the Berth. This took me until around 3.30 and the tide has at its lowest. On the way out the wind was blowing me onto the wharf and I couldn't swing tight enough so I grounded in the dinghy slip. A guy rowing his dinghy by helped me get a line ashore and the Bosuns pulled the bow off and I headed back to the pen. I did press the motor pretty hard in reverse and the yacht wouldn't budge - I smelled burning rubber which is odd on a yacht - maybe my new exhaust join? She berthed easily with mild breeze. And next after tying up I had a look at the wiring briefly. I could only get the deck lights on. At least I got both going this time as only one worked before re-wiring them from the spreaders. I'll come back another day to get them up and running and to get the boom on - hopefully for a sail over the Easter Weekend.
January to March, 2016
Hobart enjoyed a warm mostly dry summer and so we had several trips out in the Derwent Estuary in the boat. I tracked several of them in an app called Memory Map. Although I have switched and use Navigon which is more expensive but includes weather and tides.
We went out pretty much each fortnight and did one fairly long sail (for us) to Ralph's Bay - sailing in an around some tankers moored off Taroona. Early in January we took Jamie and Maddie to Long Beach fishing. I used Aniseed Fish attractant and we pretty much caught something every cast. There was a good feed of Flathead and Whiting which I crumbed with CornFlakes for extra crunch.
On one trip - I managed to rip the mainsail slightly - when the cleats jammed on raising the main halyard. It repaired easily with some sail tape and I will have it stitched in winter.
Isabella invited some school and Uni Friends on a warm Monday long weekend in January (Regatta Day) and we moored off Sandy Bay - Long Beach for swimming. All was good until I fiddled with the anchor (resting in sand) and we drifted towards some rafted up cruisers. I had to get underway quickly. This was ok - although I had two swimmers in the water and we discovered that the boarding ladder works adequately for those in a dinghy or raft - but is not deep enough for a swimmer. So we had to leave one of the girls and get out about 50m further out leaving her to swim. One of the cruisers came to the rescue and helped her to us with their dinghy. All work out except I was most embarrassed and know I need a roper ladder to extend the little wooden one on the back deeper into the water.
A selection of pics and videos from our warm summer of sailing.
Graham and Nicky were excellent bringing Peter Robyn to Hobart. We set off early on a Saturday and had a lot of fun getting the engine going with a car horn blasting from below decks. Peter has fitted a car horn in lieu of the engine water temp and oil pressure alarms. I forgot the instructions on how to switch this over and so we woke the whole marina I am sure!
The trip took around 4 hours and Sophia and I had a lovely time on the way up. We saw two Dolphins playing off the bow around Kingston and wondered if they knew the boat from its time spent there years ago. Photo below.
She sailed well to the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania and berthed easily under Graham's guidance. He is presently sailing an over 40' yacht back from the Mediterranean to Australia. It was great to have advice from Niky and Graham.
In December, Madeleine and Jamie arrived from Scotland and we spent a few quiet days on the Derwent sailing to Bellerive and Rokeby so I could get used to the sailing. - Total sailing hours still less than 20 in my lifetime!
These trips were largely uneventful although much enjoyed.
On Christmas Day Jamie's parents joined us and my confidence stepped up for no reason. "I'll show you the finish of the Sydney to Hobart." "We can watch the New Year's Eve Fireworks."
So with limited sailing experience out we went. AT NIGHT!
Overall, the boat was great - the waters were calm and Jamie helped tremendously on the bow with his Dad. Coming into the pen was a challenge for the first time on my own and a kind neighbour living in the Marina came out to help.
Slightly missing the entry to the pen he told me to go around. Second go I got it and and hopped off to meet Doug. We talked old boats and Yanmar Diesels and he gave me good advice. "The old classics with full length keels are hard to manoeuvre - if you miss it first time - piss off out of here and come back in."
While all this was going on RYCT hosted the world 2.4m championships with boats largely from the UK, Denmark and Tasmania. It was great to see these little sailing go karts slip in and out of the marina with impressive performance for such little craft.
On the night Commanche arrived, I knew I wanted to miss the welcoming fleet. The traffic would be busy, the waves tremendous. Well, we an eye out south down the Derwent from around 8pm until about 9.40 sailing back towards Sandy Bay in sunset gloom suddenly a bluey flashing light was on us. I had just taken down the sail, taken over the tiller from Bella and started the engine when Commanche slipped to our starboard by about 50m and then it hit us. 12 or more launches some very large sped by and the wake got us. The swell seemed to be 2m or more and Peter Robyn end for ended. My eldest shouted "WWWwoe, woe woe". I gunned the throttle forward. And somehow all seven of us stayed on board and the deck was still dry.
New Year's Eve
Out we went again - bravely still banging on about the high of welcoming Commanche at the closest quarter's of the entire fleet. We headed for Battery Point to anchor. I found a great spot - unwound the clutch on the old Admiral winch and watched the chain go - waiting for it to slow as it hit the bottom. The chart said 18m and Peter estimated 30m of chain. Well all was going well until the dead end of the chain went straight over. "Let's cruise around like the other yachts was the team decision."
Friday 18th of December, 2015
Having paid Peter for the boat he kindly drove 3 hours down from Devonport and agreed to take me for a sail. I have only had limited experience on yachts - a few hours in corporate sailing events winding winches, sailing Windsurfers, small catamarans and a little on my brother's Sharpie.
Peter took my youngest daughter Sophia and I across the D'entrecasteaux Channel to Barnes Bay Bruny Island. I was really only expecting a short hour or so but he kindly took us out for 3 or 4 hours and 'showed us the ropes.' We went to where Peter used to live on Bruny Island and he showed us a stone jetty (photographed) that he built on the back of his property and where Peter Robyn most likely spent much of her past 20 years.
This was excellent as I was undecided whether to bring the boat to Hobart. The decision weighed on my mind as the Channel is a top class sailing destination - my friend has his boat there and the marina staff were wonderful. However if I am to work on the boat a local mooring is best.
The lesson worked well and gave me the confidence to arrange with friends to bring Peter Robyn to Hobart and I made inquiries about moorings at Battery Point, and RYCT. Our friends Niky and Graham who I had asked if they would help me bring her up - recounted stories of rowing out to their mooring on windy days. I worked on the costs of the mooring plus Dinghy storage, day berths and hard stand costs. The decision was clear the cost of a fixed pile mooring with access to power, water and a slip was the most economical way to go. The Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania were most helpful and so it was decided. There was a choice of two berths - I walked out and looked at them and chose one next to an old varnished sloop called Sjoyren (? spelling). Peter Robyn would look just fine next to another old beauty - the two of them in the middle of some fine, impressive and expensive vessels.
The photos below of Sophia, Peter and I on our first sailing experiences aboard Peter Robyn.
First contact - 17 December, 2015