Gibraltar & Alcaidesa Boatyard (La Linea)

Sue & Alan
Wed 4 Mar 2015 21:14
Been home few days now so will mention what I got up to last week...........
I flew out to Gibraltar last Thursday, having been warned there might be no tow to get me over to Spain where Ticketeeboo was to be lifted next morning. Fortunately, I was able to successfully dury-rig our seized propshaft seal and test it so was able to keep my appointment at the lifting dock early next morning. Thinking (with a strong wind on our bow as I manoeuvred astern into the lifting dock) "Did that well in these conditions" I was soon brought down to earth when Pepe (lift operator) told me to go back out and wait until after the lift is in position to receive me! Not something I wanted to hear - having 20-30kn on the nose! OK, off we go again. My second run sterns-to into the lifting berth may not have been quite as accomplished as the first, just pleased to get in without any damage. By end of the morning Ticketeeboo had nice clean bottom and was safely plonked in steel cradle ready for repairs.
Resident repairers Elaisblanco proceeded to knock-hell out of our beautiful yacht shortly before noon to gain access to our rudder heel bearing. It didn't want to show itself! By end of the day we could inspect our heel bearing and it was fine. Also, decision made not to remove entire rudder because it was now confirmed better option to add an additional bearing to hold top of our rudderstock. In meantime work started on our failed propshaft seal, which necessitated removal of our propshaft. Easier said than done. By close of play on Friday after lots of pounding and clobbering Eliasblanco had our propshaft out. They don't work Saturdays and the boatyard is locked-up vacant on Sundays so continuation of repairs had to wait until Monday. Not much happened on Monday until Eliasblanco proceeded to knock hell out of our P-bracket cutlass bearing, which eventually gave-in to their fine efforts. I warned them not to start on our stern-tube cutlass bearing until they were certain they could remove it without risk of damaging our FG stern-tube. Despite the discernible onslaught they eventually acquired an internal puller and completed the job without nasty damage. Not much seemed to happen on Tuesday and I genuinely felt there was no-chance of being finished on time to enable re-launch next day. Then I found out that the yacht lift was gonna be out of action all day Wednesday for annual servicing. Me was not entirely happy man. Give Eliasblanco their due, by 7:30 pm, just as it was getting dark on the Wednesday, our new additional rudder bearing was planted and our propshaft was back in, complete, with new cutlass bearings, new thrust bearing and new propshaft seal fitted. We were now ready for re-launching first thing Thursday morning.
Thursday morning went like a flash. Relaunched, over to Gibraltar, sterns-to with winter lines on in our Queensway Marina berth, Customs check-in and walk to the airport............. all in succession with no time lost. I'de taken the initiative to check-in on-line so when I arrived at the airport I immediately made my way through security and joined the boarding gate as last of the stragglers boarded. We took-off some 15 minutes early and I was on silverbird heading home as planned.
I won't do myself justice without mentioning.............. I worked my balls-off Friday, Saturday, Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday. Our coppercoat hull and bowthruster are now prestine again and our topsides shine wonderfully...... probably better than ever? Unfortunately my body resents being pushed up and down scaffolding and my knees are complaining 'orribly. Oh yes, Sam (sailmaker from Tarrifa) brought our 2 x sails, bimini & sprayhood back......... all fully serviced, repaired and upgraded and resting comfortably on deck ready for fitting, so much looking forward to our next sail.
I'm, certain Ticketeeboo is even better for the all work done. It's just a pity the repairs to our rudder and propshaft were both unexpected and un-owner-friendly. I'm convinced the builders neglect future maintenance needs and could do much more to make servicing repairs more owner-friendly. At least I know what to expect and be better prepared for next time.