Tues 15Dec09 Strong winds in Cape Town over weekend... after bad news on Friday... time passing..

Friday-Tuesday 11th-15th December 09 Bad news... repairs organized.... strong winds in Cape Town....

On Friday came the bad news - seawater (lots) in the engine .... Not the starter motor problem I was expecting - this was far worse... The new engine needs replacing....after only 75hrs of use! Looks as though water entered from the exhaust pipe, with the water trap not large enough to hold amount of water there and anti-siphon arrangement not high enough... Unbelievable.... I'm hoping that the problem can be resolved quickly, with a new engine of same type in stock nearby, so use could be made of a haulout scheduled for Friday, originally just for new through-hull fitting for watermaker to be fitted. But could now prove useful for damaged engine to be removed and replaced with new, although several days needed for the work..... Definitely not the happiest day of my life.... Warranty situation not clearcut as yet....

Sailmaker Mark came by and removed genoa and mainsail for repair. New battens to be fitted (top two were broken in 50+ knot winds on way here), also new reef strops for use in easing tension on reef lines, hopefully avoiding future chafe problems... Also looked at trysail deployment and arranged for new sailbag for when hanked on to its mast track and stowed on deck, ready for use.

Over the weekend, there were really strong winds... 75 knots were recorded at top of Control Tower at entrance to Cape Town Harbour - everything was coated in a thick film of fine black dust from smelter upwind. Hosed boat down but it was quickly coated again - horrible!! Difficult to get anything positive done, so was that much nicer to enjoy going out for a meal in the Waterfront area on Sunday with friends Andy and Alison - here from London visiting her chef brother. Earlier that same day, Rob had kindly given up his free time to reorganize the watermaker pipework and Clark pump / membrane arrangement and also looked at Raymarine instrument issues, to be continued on Friday when the boat is hauled out , enabling a crazy-reading log impeller to be dealt with.

Monday - lots of phonecalls trying to get people to boat. ... Riggers came early to change faulty rod kicker and it turned out that the boom end sent was the same as the one already there that had caused problems, so I decided to stay with the twin line reefing system I'd already organized on way here, with two more jammers for luff lines....

Early evening: Manuel came by to look at gelcoat repair, rust marks and other work.... also I discussed practical sailing issues with him... It's always useful to get other people's opinion, especially when they're so much more experienced than I am!

It was nice to welcome Baden on board a little later - an excellent stainless steel worker, and keen racer with his own boat, I'd met him in Simonstown two years ago where he did some work for me from his workshop beside the False Bay Y. C. He'll straighten the stanchions bent when the mainsail was backed as a front passed through and I've asked him to make a gimballing mug holder for the chart table - I had problems coming here with nowhere safe to put a mug of tea or coffee when working at the chart table!

Early Tuesday - Clive of IMS came by to look at the engine installation to make a report to Yanmar , also to see how the engine could be removed during the Friday haulout, usng a crane by the hoist . After that, the little diesel generator was given its first service and I discussed spares I should have on board.. Tom came by later - he's been sorting out how to fix the end of the emergency forestay in place under tension. I could well have to ask Baden to help with some steelwork in that connection when he comes by with the repaired stanchions on Wednesday - which is the final day of the Summer Regatta here at the Royal Cape Yacht Club - let's hope they have pleasanter winds for their racing then than over the last weekend!!

Written by : Mike

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