Monday, May 1, 2017

__________________ MARINER HEADS NORTH (Part 1) ___________________

One of the absorbing parts of being a boat(s) owner is being involved in all the required maintenance. The current job relating to my yacht Mariner (above) has been on hold for far too long and is to do with the engine. Long story, short - I was going to re-power with a brand new engine but have decided for a number of reasons including cost to get the current engine restored - hopefully to its former glory. As the restoration will take place in Opua, Bay of Islands by the team at Sea Power Marine Services, and as the engine is not working, an engineless coastal passage is required to get the boat to Opua  from our home port of Whangarei. So today Mariner was hauled out as I begin the first part of preparations for the trip north.

Mariner was kindly towed from her mooring in the Hatea River to the Riverside Marina haul out area by Brian who is in charge of the Whangarei Marina Trust - he is a sort of port Captain. He completed the job with consummate skill. His services are going to be crucial in getting Mariner below Te Matau ā Pohe (Whangareis' lifting bridge) and down into the lower reaches of the river so that we can make sail.

There was a couple of years build up of barnacles and slime that was partly removed by water blasting. The forward part of the hull in this photo has been water blasted which has removed the slime. All the little white spots on the hull that are left are a forest of tough little barnacles that we had to remove with scrappers - hard work. After removal of the barnacles the hull was wet sanded.

The white topsides, deck, cockpit and cabin are in reasonable condition and only required a good clean with a brush and hose. I thought I would be able to quickly anti-foul the under water section tomorrow and relaunch the next day, but there are a few little fiberglass jobs that will be required on the hull first. The weather forecast is looking good, so I hope there is a big enough rain free weather window to get all the work completed.


Ben said...

So you will be going on a trip to the Bay of Islands. Good for you! When the weather is good I will be envying you.
I appreciate your decision of overhauling the engine. In fact good sailors don’t need the engine very often, only on special occasions. 😉. So you don’t need a new engine with top performance anyway. With a good overhaul you will be ready for many more years to come.
It is a pity that electricity still can’t do the job economically.
When will Mariner be ready again?

Alden Smith said...

I don't use my engine for long periods of time, sailing is much more peaceful and fun but I require an engine to negotiate the new lifting bridge and get on and off Mariners pile mooring with ease.
You are correct about not needing an engine, there are plenty of examples of engineless yachts doing circumnavigations etc without an engine (The famous Lin and Larry Pardey come to mind who have spent their whole adult lives living, sailing and writing - engineless).
The electrical option, attractive for many reasons would be a real contender not so much if the technology was more developed but rather if there was a local installer able to do the job. There was a time when I would have been up for the research and installation work myself but I really don't want to spend sailing time trying to get something as complex and expensive 'right the first time' - Next time if a capable installer is available I will seriously consider an electric motor.
We take the boat up in a couple of weeks mid May and she should be ready to bring back (or I may rent a swing mooring in the Bay of Islands for a while) at the beginning of June.