At Last we "Splash" - Mackay Marina 21:06:710S 149:13:64E

Zipadedoda of Dart
David H Kerr
Sun 31 Aug 2008 10:03

After a frenetic visit back to the UK to catch up with family and friends, we returned to Mackay on the 22nd August.


The boat had been in the shipyard since we left Mackay some 12 days earlier, and we were hopeful that most of the work would be complete on our return. Annette Hurley of Boutique Marine had been our project manager for all the work in Mackay. She has done a good job in co-ordinating all of the work. This in fact turned out to be far more substantial than we had at first thought. This was primarily due to the discovery on lifting the boat out, that the damaged caused by Penelope III in Cooks Bay, Moorea after the anchoring fiasco, was far worse that we had thought. In addition to the damaged GRP, Epoxy and paintwork. The rudder bottom bearing had been twisted out of alignment. This had caused the alloy rudder stock to bend and consequently destroyed the bottom bearing. That meant a new rudder and stock had to be fabricated from scratch.



This was a significant undertaking and as you can see from the picture above it is a large rudder and the new Stainless Stock alone weighs in at 50Kilos.  But the work done by the two companies involved was very impressive.


The finished article looks a “proper job”………….




The complete amount of work done during our stay here is too long to list in this blog, but I will save it for the next one……………..something to look forward to!


So it came to pass that we were lifted out of our cradle on the “hard” and the giant 65 ton travelling hoist trundled along to the launching dock. On Friday 29th August. This was just as well because the local hotel was now full and we had been asked to vacate our room at the afore mentioned  Clarion.



The Wind generator and the SSB, DSC aerials only just fitted the beneath rear crossbar of the travel lift. This despite the fact that “Zippy” was dwarfed by this mechanical monster.


Mackay has a substantial tidal range so the lift out dock is quite an impressive bit of engineering………



Once in the water, we boarded Zipadedoda with Rick, one of the engineers from Marine Engineering. There were some anxious moments as we checked to ensure that the new Stern gland was water tight, and that the rudder assembly did not leak. Then we had the fun of getting the engine going after the installation of the new injectors. This took ages to bleed the diesel through. But it coughed into life and the repaired silencer/mixing boxes worked a treat. The engine is now much quieter with the new injectors and correctly adjusted tappets.  We had, had a few traumas with the Maxprop after its full service, due to the fact that the engineers lost the details on how it was set up before they took it apart! But it too performed perfectly as we manoeuvred into our berth in the Marina.


It is now Sunday night and we are the last Bluewater Rally boat in Mackay. ( Shame………). We have spent the whole weekend cleaning and polishing. NEVER again will I agree to have the bottom sand blasted. The grit and dust was everywhere. Jamming up the winches, windlass, sheaves and the teak decks are completely impregnated with the stuff. I have hosed them down 3 times now and we are still finding the stuff. It also seems to act as a rusting accelerant. Every bit of stainless steel on the boat has surface rust. I had no idea just how much of it we have. I now have arms like a gorilla, and numb fingers to boot!. But still only half the stainless steel is shiny! This does not take into account the mega cleaning job on the interior. There was dust and grease and oil everywhere.


We still have some issues to sort out, like getting the generator working properly, getting the Genoa repaired, installing the boom brake, getting all the cleaned up running rigging installed…oh and getting the leaks on the new electric toilet fixed and repairing the vacuum leak on the vacuuflush toilet……… is never ending.


Time for a stiff G&T me  thinks………………………


Oh, on a positive ending. I bought an AIS class B transceiver and colour LCD display in the UK. It is brilliant. Works like a dream. Jennie will be able to identify other boats by their name. precise position, COG and SOG and MMSI number + call sign,  on her night watches now. Even better, we no longer have to worry about coming up on big ships radar any more. We will “pop up” on their AIS system now. So much safer on long passages where we find ourselves in the shipping lanes. This toy was definitely worth every penny!!!