December 1-11 2012 Kidney Stones and Steering Problems
Went to town and did some shopping and met with friends, sociable and avoiding boat issues.
I forgot to mention that yesterday when I was coming back from the doctors I saw Smart Move anchoring in front of the dock. Johny had some boat issues and had come back too.
Stan and Lyn came by on their way to town. Stan agreed the wheel was too stiff for the autopilot and loosened the steering cables, but it did not help, so it looks like that is not the problem. All rather depressing so I cleaned the top of the boat and then played dominos. I won, but that didn’t make up for much.
I cleaned the deck and cockpit. Got the back cabin cleared to get the ceiling down for access to the steering and rudder.
I do not have a new set of cogs for the wind generator, but took it apart to find out why it does not go round. The pole does not centre on the fitting, which probably explains the problem. The 2 parts are joined and I can’t see how this has happened; has someone bent the pole somehow, is it broken inside?
On Saturday night there was a robbery at Moco Point. 4 outboards and a dinghy, which was later recovered. Also 5 solar panels and the controllers, which are usually inside the boats.
There was no moon, so it was pitch dark. There were dogs that barked, but there were noisy fireworks.
This seems extremely well planned.
I am trying to use things up or throw them away, so I glued the remaining yoga matting onto the wood surrounding the fridge box, which sounded easy and it was. Getting the fridge box out and back, which included taking the door off, was the hard part.
Stan came over and took the steering off so that we could check the rudder, I cannot turn it with the emergency tiller. The new bearings are a prime candidate.
I waited for the 3pm shuttle and went to town. The surgery was open, but the doctor’s car was not there and I could not raise anyone to come to reception. Short of jumping over the counter and stealing the drugs what could I do. I ran back to catch the 3.45 back to the marina, the next one is 5.45.
Not really a very good day all round.
I have turned off the fridge and the batteries are slowly coming up with what little solar power there is.
I went over to the doctor and had to wait over an hour. The culture showed no kidney infection, so now I am going to ignore the kidney, but of course I will drink lots of fluids; so the emails and facebook messages can stop now – I have got the message!
I had phoned Dennis who made the rudder bearings/bushes and he did not have a boat in the water and was going to let me know the position by the end of the week. I realized that I needed the marina in on this so I emailed them and Richard says I need to bring the boat over. I can do this any time they tell me they have everybody lined up to deal with it. I am trying to find out what material was used in case it was too porous.
Arnulfo brought the dinghy back, gel coat repaired and painted the outside. It was expensive for the price of the dinghy, but I couldn’t leave it that battered. I have protected the shrouds and guardrails on the boat, now I need to vamp up the protection on the dinghy to protect each from the other.
I had bought some material and am starting to cover the cockpit cushions. They are only a 1” piece of soft foam sandwiched between yoga matting, so not worth expensive material, but they have done me well since Trinidad.
Installing the Engel fridge box left me with an extra piece of 4” foam, which I did not need unless I moved the Engel, but was taking up room. I made 2 wedge cushions from it and covered them with old sail material. I threw away the stuffing for the 2 old cockpit cushions and a piece of material, surely I must be making space somewhere?
I have a message telling me my sat phone rental will expire soon and I haven’t used it yet. Do I pay the rental $39, to keep the minutes $57. I probably will in the hope that I can get somewhere soon.
The batteries are up nicely to 98.5% and should get full today; then I can start charging things and turn the fridge on again.
The marina said I could come any time so lunchtime I took the boat over. They want $150 to haul the boat, which is cheap, but I do not see why I should pay if it has been caused by bad work. I will argue this point when it is finished.
Dennis came and said we have to drop the rudder, but doesn’t think it is his bearings.
I missed Day of the Devil celebrations where they burn the Devil, this is the start of Christmas.
I wonder if some people, I could suggest candidates, have to hide to avoid mistaken identity.
I spent the evening on Roamabout with some other people which kept me up late and took my mind off the boat problem.
I was ready, but waited for haul. Then Dennis and Chris came together to look at the boat. Chris is independent and hopefully on my side. I am on the concrete and they cannot dig a hole and drop the rudder completely, so for now it was decided to drop the rudder a few inches onto a block.
Byron was tasked with the job but was busy driving the travel lift and then took a long lunch or went home.
What should have taken a few hours is not looking as though I will be off before Monday.
Duncan came over and had experienced the same problem and offered moral support.
I continued hand sewing the cockpit cushion covers. I have done more sewing while hauled out than at any other time.
Richard has more facts now and we have both calmed down and he is not going to charge me. I said we needed to tell Dennis to come and see it was his bearings that were the problem, but Richard was not going to bother with him. However these bearings do need machining so we called Dennis. Basically it took 5 guys 5 hours to get the rudder down and that was after the steering had been disassembled. The rudder would not budge and had to be hammered down by a large timber onto a 3” square piece of wood through the emergency tiller hatch. There was a continual sawing operation to replace the smaller piece of wood which only lasted about 3 hits. The top bearing was only a spacer to keep the quadrant up and that was reachable but could not be forced off, so there was no argument that the centre hole was too small. It went from no movement to a mm and gradually the rudder came down and the boat had to go back in the slings to be lifted and then put back on the chocks. Giovanni, Wiz 5, had experienced this problem and was there most of the day, which was really helpful. Dennis took the bearings home to take out a small amount from the centres. The material is Norel which is not supposed to be porous.
Dennis dropped the parts back just after 7, but didn’t stop to say hi. Terry, Gambit II came by looking for chain or a cable to lock his dinghy as his was one of the boats that was burgled, just days before they returned.
Patron and Wiz 5 launched, Peregrine was moved, all nice people that I know, but I needed the travel lift. It was after 4 when they lifted the boat and put the rudder in, it seems fine so I am back on the chocks for the night. The boat is nearly back together but it was dark and can be finished tomorrow.
Nolly came and re-assembled the steering and late morning I was launched. Everything seemed fine so I went straight back to Catamaran. The steering is light and the autopilot seems happy with it. I have my old slip back which is easy to go in and out of on my own.
Now I have to decide when and where to head off.