Peter Robyn 2017 - jeffmurray

Our 2017 adventures with Peter Robyn a 1950 classic wooden sloop

Newer posts are at the top.  Click on any photo to enlarge.

18th of December, 2017

It has been a long while in the life of Peter Robyn with the Murray family - six  months.  I have enjoyed many winter sails since June - some in the rain.  Some with snow on the Mountain.  My sailing ability is building and I have learned to handle the "tilt" a little better - easing the main.  I am gaining confidence tacking and jibing.  Generally I was out every two weeks (except in October which was blowy) with 70 hours on the new motor  - up from around 30 or 40 at the beginning of the year and 52 hours in May.  

There were some sail repairs over winter and Mike from Quantum sails did a great job on the leech and luff of the sail, and some strengthening around the bottom cleat on the luff, plus the rear cleat on the foot - taped to a metal cleat now.  The entire leech was replaced with a new tensioner at the clew.  Three new batons installed and the sail performs much better as it should.  I also washed the sail in a weak solution of oxalic acid and they are brighter and cleaner with less rust marks.

A notable sail on 19th of November  was to see the world's largest carbon fibre yacht - Hetairos moored of RYCT.  There are photos on my main photography page - I won't repeat the story here.

The main point for posting today is  Peter Robyn has had a hull birthday.  She came out of the water on the 6th of December and took seven days of my Annual Leave and 11 days in total to have the hull stripped to the base epoxy coat (above the Dynel) and then have a primer epoxy coat Wattyl PR250 (Olive Green), then two coats of Wattyl Epoxy Tie coat TC170 (yellow) and then a coat of black Wattyl Anti-foul and a final  coat of red anti-foul (with an additional going over at the water line).  After stripping there were some minor glass matt (double layer) and epoxy repairs at the keel.  These were left bare over night  to dry the wood out - then glassed over.  The hull I would call a "one gallon hull" as it takes exactly 4 litres of paint to go around under the water line (especially on the first coats of primer, epoxy and anti-foul).  The second coats leave a little for patch-ups and repairs (taking about 3.5 litres).    

I also sanded and primed the topsides - filling any blemishes with two part epoxy fairing filler.  This is green in colour and needed the primer coat to hide under the top coats (2) of International TopLac single pack gloss enamel - in snow white.  Next time I do this I will use white filler and some Penetrol to ensure the paint flows smoothly - although I an very happy with the results.

The rudder anodes were replaced and I fitted a new one on the end of the prop shaft.  Purchased from Spectrum Engineering at the kind suggestion of John from 'Dove Tail' - slipped behind me and out of the water for an anti-foul and some other work.  This anode fits snugly aft of the prop and just 3 or 4mm clearance on the rudder - will protect the shaft and prop from corrosion.  Part CDZPN-CC.  It's an elegant solution that would otherwise have required some brushes on the prop shaft internally earthed back to the engine.  I really didn't want to screw anything into the ribs or hull so this is a godsend.  In future anodes might be purchased here.

Overall, this was really hard work and very tiring.  However I am now thrilled that the hull has been kept in superb condition and the topsides look lovely.  All ready for the Christmas break and what is becoming a tradition - seeing in the Sydney to Hobart Yachts and the New Year's fireworks on the water.  Stay tuned for those photos.

Peter Robyn went back into the water on Sunday 17th of December, on a still sunny morning.

Peter Robyn is Miss May:  Last year when researching some information on Restive with the UK Maritime Library I noted a photography competition. Having just stayed on the boat in Sandy Bay and taken a dawn sunrise photo I sent it in - and never gave it a second thought. Some-time while slipping the boat in December 2017, I came home exhausted and deflated that this huge workload was getting on top of me. It was a great surprise and spirit lifter to find out my photo was selected for the National Historic Ships UK Calendar. There are some spectacular images in the calendar (I didn't win a category) but I am thrilled to receive this.


18th of June, 2017

It's been a little while since I have posted.  Peter Robyn is going very well - I have tried to sail every two weeks or so, even if I only get out for an hour.  

On the 3rd of June I took a leisurely sail over to Bellrive and saw a large pod of Dolphins.  They were jumping in and out of the water and generally thriving in the warmer Autumn/Winter we have been enjoying.  The winds were next to nothing on the way out a several times the boat spun on her center board as the current outweighed the power of the wind.  Coming back was a nice 4 - 6 knot run downwind.

17 and 18 June saw Peter Robyn in the Cruising Yacht Club of Tasmania's Dark MOFO occupation of Constitution Dock.  Several friends dropped in and we served Mulled Wine and Hot Chocolates.  To participate we had to dress Peter Robyn up in red lights.  I managed to get some 12v LED's from eBay and soldered them in series so they could run on the house battery.  I made a run of 13m for the back stay and 11 meters for the front.  They went all the way to the top of the mast on the spinnaker halyard.  Bunnings had 5m runs of AAA Battery powered garden lights - these completed the look around the lifelines.  It was a pleasant night at 16 degrees and even sleeping on board was very comfortable - although noisier than I remember the location was for the Wooden Boat Festival.  At sunset and sunrise there is some meditative music played for Dark MOFO - its quite relaxing at a distance, ie: from our house, but close up it gets a bit spooky.

As we left Constitution Dock around lunchtime Sunday there was a protest organised against the Tassal Salmon Farm application for areas adjacent to Triabunna.  I joined in as I can sympathise with the destruction they cause the seabed and vegetation.  Although I do love to eat the product! 

Winter Sailing and Dark MOFO

Dark MOFO 2017 and Tassal Protest

13 March, 2017

On the Labour Day long weekend I was hoping to head to Ralph's Bay again.  I set off early this time 2.30pm.  The weather was calm and I was ready for a steady motor up wind.  On getting out of the Marina there was a reasonable gentle blow.  I set the course for Blinking Billy and got on with raising the sails, only to find he engine stall early in the process.  After several attempts to re-start I checked the fuel to find it all gone.  Drifting off Wrest Point - the kind people from Tas Maritime Radio helped me with a tow back to the fuel Berth at RYCT.  I think the boat was s 34' Riviera Vivacious 4 (not sure).  They were very helpful and within 10 minutes I was back.  Glad this didn't happen at Ralph's Bay. 

Three trips to the Caltex to avoid the high Marina prices and there was 60 litres in the tank.  I think Ian must have drained a fair bit when he did a service this week.  

By 6.30pm I was underway.  Not wanting to head far on my own now its so late I anchored up in Sandy Bay to the most peaceful night there was no wind!  It was a stunning evening perfect for photography with a wonderful full moon.  The sleep through was also great with no wind noise or rocking - I had a deep snooze and woke early.  The sunrise didn't disappoint and there are pics below.

I tried a little fishing first thing too and got a fish to the surface with the plastic bait.  They were quite frisky and were jumping out of the surface.

I waited for the wind to pick up from 1.5 knots to 2.5 and set off for Howrah.  It was a good sail with breeze up to 15 knots tested on the Vaavud (a handy wind gauge for the mobile phone).  There is some video below of the peaceful early times.

Labour Day Sail

Gentle sailing at Howrah

26 February, 2017 - A night in Ralph's Bay

Rebecca, Sophia and I headed for Ralph's Bay.  We left too late as usual into a gusty and bumpy Derwent late afternoon sea breeze.  Beccy and Sophia took the ride in the cabin felt quite sick.  

It took longer than the quoted hour beating into the head wind - even motoring for an hour or so.  

We moored of Dixon Point with two other yachts - Talisman and another.  The wind dropped at sunset and I took some images while cooking tea and enjoying a G&T.  We spend a tranquil evening in still conditions and it was lovely.

Beccy woke around 3am as the wind beat in from the North West and this side of the bay was not protected from that angle.  Nonetheless it wasn't a gale and soon we settled back.  With Sophia working at noon we headed out at 8am to get her home.  The river was flat and wind steady at 8 - 12 knots - great sailing!


Ralph's Bay

13 February, 2017 - Australian Wooden Boat Festival 

There is so much to write on this excellent event.  The 2015 Festival inspired us to get involved in wooden boats and we were so pleased to be able to participate in this year's event on Peter Robyn.  The opening parade was spectacular with so many wonderful historic boats on the water all sailing along quietly in perfect conditions.  The weather was warm and with the right breeze.  I was delighted to have our youngest daughter Sophia and the former owner Peter Atkins sailing with me.  We kept close proximity to the other boats, particularly Westward Star (as Sophia had a friend on her) and Seasalter.  The Helicopter filming the event, hovering close to the water kicking up spray created another memorable site.  The radio banter between Egeria and Westward Bound was keeping everyone in tow.  

Arriving in Sullivan's Cove the smooth organisation became evident.  The motor boats greeted us and gave clear instructions on the bridge opening.  We went into the dock uneventfully in front of thousands of onlookers to welcome us.  The atmosphere was fantastic.

Over the weekend the events on the water kept us entertained and the music in the evenings did the same.  Sophia and I slept all three nights and stayed up until the band stopped at 11.30pm.  We slept in on the first two tranquil nights and were rocked around on night three when Rebecca stayed in too.  Many friends dropped on board over the weekend and shared a drink in the buzzing atmosphere as thousands sauntered past looking at the fantastic array of boats on display.

All in all it was a great event and the rain on Monday - day 4 didn't dampen our spirits.  In fact, as I motored under the bridge in Constitution Dock Sophia was disappointed we took the first opening to participate in the Regatta Sail past.  She wanted to stay longer and soak up the Festivities.  The sail past was another spectacle for us in close proximity to Tenacious as we rounded HMAS Choules.  Heading home we were blasted with a 35 knot front that tipped the boat and drenched us - but we were happy.  And we're looking forward to 2019!  Thanks again to everyone involved - organisers and volunteers - it was fantastic.

I have many photos from the event and have shared some highlights below.  Clicking on the photos will take you to the galleries where there are many more images.  Thanks for looking.

Photo Favourites

Opening Parade of Sail

Festival action

Closing sail past

29 January, 2017

I had a sporty afternoon's sailing with Isabella.  20 knot breeze - 25 knot gusts - double reef in 3.5 knots boat speed (sloooow).  I am finding it really hard to tack when reefed - managed it once - its all in the timing of the winch on the Genoa - too early and she heaves too.  Boat speed is critical and 3 knots is too slow to tack.  After using the engine to complete several turns we finally made a kilometre windward and anchored up in Sandy Bay. 

Being a warm still summer's evening we had ice cream and Tea on the beach. Perfect - idyllic. A funny lesson in dinghy rowing.  With Bella in the front, I rowed ashore and thought it best to time the waves.  Only trouble is - I timed it wrong - small wave turned us over right on the shore line.  Funny now - but stupid - will hop out early next time!

Long Beach Sandy Bay

22 January, 2017

I have completed the Toe Rails on Peter Robyn yesterday and also painted half of the cockpit in white enamel.  A good 7 hours work to put the last three coats of AWLWood on with the last of Satin Matt.  Overall, it looks pretty good although I would have loved a direct match with the cabin.  If I am pedantic later I will replace the Toe Rail Cap and Rub Rail in Teak.

One of the more difficult jobs here was removing the masking tape.  Like before when I did the cabin. the AWLWood Primer sets like plastic and makes it hard to remove - as it frequently tears.  

Today I have moved onto the new Head Floor.  I am replacing the old Marine Ply and Cork floor with a matching stripped Huon Pine and Blackwood one to match the rest of the cabin.  I have glued alternating strips of 38mm and 6mm wood - both 16mm thick.  Custom Cabinets in North Hobart kindly dressed the wood for me.

There was a bit of fun trying to clamp the whole job as my four clamps were not wide enough leaving me with only the two new ones I bought for the job.  In the end I have found a way to series two together and there are four clamping points now.  Its all glued with Araldite (150kg) and will be dry for sanding tomorrow.  I hope to trim, sand, varnish and fix to the old sub-frame by next weekend.

This will leave me just the cockpit to finish and the stainless fittings to polish before the Wooden Boat Festival.  Later I would like to gloss the hull, anti-foul and do some more varnishing and enamel work internally.  The job is never ending albeit enjoyable (except maybe the Toe Rail job just done - HARD WORK). 

Toe Rail done - Head Floor done

15 January, 2017

Update:  Just in are the berthing allocations for the 2017 AWBF.  Peter Robyn is in Constitution Dock just south of May Queen (nice) - I hope you get to come down and see us there!

With the Wooden Boat Festival rapidly approaching I wanted to complete my varnishing.  it was time to get on with the rear seat and the toe rail.  The rear seat in pine was easy to finish at home in the workshop.  I'd like to replace this at one point - as it had a hatch cut in it which I have closed off to make it more comfortable to sit on - and I am not sure how long it will last in the sun.

The toe rail was an entirely other story.  I decided to do it with the Nanny rails and stanchions on the boat and it turned to be a very tiring and stressful exercise.  Hanging over the side and doing all work at ankle height took some physical effort.  It took 6 hours to strip and sand over three separate days of work.  By the end my armpits and chest were quite bruised.   For the final day's work I invested in some knee pads and this made things faster and more comfortable.  

Sadly I also primed the rail too dark.  Finishing sanding on the third day I was pretty tired and mixed my normal 50:50 clear and yellow primer.  However as the rails are Spotted Gum I think - this was too dark.  So I had to spend a fourth day re-stripping sanding and priming.  I was really hoping these rails were teak like the cabin - I guess that teak too soft for a rub rail.  Nevertheless - the job is mostly done now primed with 50:1 clear to yellow primer and with three coats on and five to go.  I'll do the remainder just after sun up and before sun down (to stop the varnish bubbling).

AWBF 2017 - Peter Robyn's Location

Working on the toe rails and seat

7 January, 2017

It is very kind of the My State Australian Wooden Boat Festival to share our Blog and speak kindly of our photography.  We're looking forward to seeing Peter Robyn in this year's Festival.

Peter Robyn on the AWBF

AWBF Facebook Post

New Year

We headed out on New Year's Eve to see the fireworks as we did in 2016.  It was a lovely sight seeing the fireworks reflected on the water.  Rhona H made a nice companion for the show.