July in Whangarei

Serenity of Swanwick
Phil and Sarah Tadd
Sat 7 Aug 2021 05:09

On 1st July, having settled Serenity into her winter berth in the Town Basin Marina, we moved ashore for a couple of weeks.  Phil was going to be pulling our sleeping cabin apart to fit insulation behind all the woodwork and to replace the headlinings (vinyl covering of the ceiling and sides) and needed room to work on board.  Sarah was starting making new bimini and sprayhood to replace the old, misshapen and leaking ones and also needed a work room.  We wanted accommodation relatively close to the marina with cooking facilities and a table for Sarah to sew at and found the boathouse on Airbnb.  It was, quite literally, a boathouse with the owner’s boat moored there.  There was a small studio and a covered decking area with a big table and other work surfaces where Sarah could lay out her canvas – and just 5 minutes walk along side the river from Serenity – perfect.

Plenty of space for sewing

Small and easy to keep warm

Just enough space for two

Views across the river from the boathouse, and ducks for company

We were able to keep the studio cosy with a little heater and there was plenty of bedding to keep us warm at night, but Sarah had to wear all her winter clothing, including hat and scarf, while she was sewing.  We ended up extending our stay by a few days just to finalise our jobs, then we were able to move back on board with the first jobs pretty well complete.

New headlinings, and a replacement, light over the mirror

The old headlining was hanging down of the slope at the back of the cabin, despite our attempts to reglue it.  Phil attached a board to battens on the fibreglass to give the lining a better surface to stick to, and also to allow more insulation to be inserted behind it!  He also put insulation behind the boards at the back (where the curtain’s are) and at the sides behind the bookshelves, above all the ceiling panels  – and behind the wardrobe and other furniture on the opposite side.  The ceiling light is an addition to improve lighting in a dark cabin and the blind around the roof hatch is also a mosquito net.

The sprayhood protects the companionway from the cockpit to the cabin.  We couldn’t see through the clear vinyl in the old one

The bimini is the roof over the cockpit.  Sarah was pleased that the side curtains she made last year still fitted to the new bimini.

The unexpected bonus of the extra insulation is that it has dampened external sound, so we are less disturbed by traffic noise and the sound of rain on the deck.  When we were ordering the materials to redo the headlinings we were offered a deal if we purchased all they had in stock, so the work is continuing and Phil has now started on the forecabin.  At the same time we are settling in to town life – spending time with friends, hashing, orienteering and going to the cinema.  We are booked into the marina for the whole of August so we can use shore power to heat the boat, and use the hot showers ashore.  It has been a wet and windy winter so far, but the worst of the damaging floods have been on the South Island this year.  We have only had a couple of frosts this far north, but the forecast is for colder weather over the next week.