Leaving Gibraltar

From Gibraltar we decided to sail back to Portimao again, prospect for good winds at start and by taking a wide curve out at sea there was also prospect for some good sailing most of the way. Taking a straight line the wind would have died out very quickly. The direct distance was 145 Nm but our way became 195 Nm. We started from Gibraltar at the same time as Zultana another Swedish boat, which was a bit faster than us at start and she took the straight line. We arrived Portimao a few hours earlier than Zultana, our choice of way was for ones the right one as we could sail most of the way, for Zultana the wind died away rather quickly.

A you-tube (7 min) movie in ”Swinglish” from our trip to Portimao/Ferragudo from Gibraltar, klick on it if would like to see it.

Portimao

Ferragudo/Portimao Anchorage

Portimao is just a few Nm from Lagos our hometown so we decided to make a short trip there to pick some delivery we had got at the marina office including the Furler the sail-maker forgot to include when delivering the sails. When docking at the reception pontoon the bowthruster started to give some strange noise and the motor increase in revs, not a good sign at all.

We have a retractable bowthruster that can be serviced when in water

A short video clip on how it looks from the inside with a large hole in the boat and how a retractable bow thruster looks like.

It was the gears inside that was worn after 20 years of service, so it did not pay off to dismantle the whole thing, just had to put it back and order a set of new gears. We were on our way to pick up my son and fiance in the neighborhood of Porto for a trip in Galicien so did not know were to have the parts shipped.

After putting the Bowthrsuet back in place to seal the hole in the bottom of our boat we sat sail towards Cascais a trip of about 130 Nm which go passed Cabo De Vicente the South West corner of Europe

Cabo de Vicente

Cascais

Arriving Cascais

We explore the posh suburb to Lissabon

The square by the seaside offers a nice café named Paul which we of course must visit

They have particularly good pastry that we enjoyed on Kerstins nameday

After Cascais the idea was to sail up to Galicia about 220 nM to meet my son. We made a try but after slamming into heavy seas and strong wind for half a day we gave up and headed back to the anchorage, where we a few days later had to ride out a few days with very strong northerly wind

A clip from the windy anchorage of Cascais

Instead we rented a car to pick up Kristofer and Karin at the Airport in Porto about 360 km one-way car ride. We had not meet each other for a while and had a lot to talk about so I forgot about petrol, suddenly on the way back to Cascais the car stopped on the motorway!!! There are usually 30-40 km between the petrol stations so this could be a major issue. Guess what? There was a station just 300 m in front of us, aren’t that luck?

My surprise to realise no petrol

It sat us back maximum 30 minutes so no big deal, but now my son has one up on me!

Back in Cascais we sat sails towards Lagos again. The crew was tiered after a very early morning and a long day so with a bit of seasickness they were soon knocked out in the cockpit.

Tiered and seasick crew

When in Lagos we anchored outside the beach Meia Praia for a nice barbecue lunch

We took a tour exploring the caves and the youngster also explore the town of Lagos. I picked up the spare part to my bow-thruster that I have ordered to the marina in Lagos, and then we continue the short way to Portimao

Kristoffer examine the anchorage when we entered into Portimao/Ferragudo

Portimao is the “larger” town on the west side of the river and Ferragudo is a very nice Village on the east side of the river

Portimao offers very nice and long beaches with bars and restaurants and is visited by many tourists

Ferragudo is a genuinely nice village well worth extensive visit.

Kalu beach bar offers nice and tasty burgers, The Sangria is also well worth to try

Walking along Praia Grande watching the anchorage

Or the small streets of Ferrgudo

Looking for street art that are quite common in Portugal

After that a sun-downer on deck

Or a wobbly tour on the SUP

Next stop Rio Formosa/Culatra

We had a nice gentle sail towards Culatra, when approaching the narrow inlet it was close to slack water but still some current, one should go in on a rising tide to get the current with and because it is patches of shallow water on the way to the anchorage. Just outside the inlet there was an alarm from the engine, it’s overheating, quickly shutoff the engine, I opened the hatch to the engine room to locate the problem. A bucket of saltwater below the engine. Soon I found the cause, a circulation hose to the water heater was worn just at where it connect to the stud, by adjusting the hose clamp, fill up the engine with water and glycol and we were soon on our way again to the anchorage for proper repair later. Luck again it would not have been fun to have the engine overheating in the narrow inlet with the current, much better a few 100 meters before.

Moment like this one is very happy of the easy access to the engine, it took maybe 5 minutes before we could start the engine again.

Rio Formosa offers a vast area to anchor at and many long and fantastic beaches and good restaurants

Kristoffer and Karin enjoyed the beaches and food for a few days. As well as some genuinely nice beautiful sun sets

 We also visited Olhao

Where we took our guests to a traditional Portuguese fish restaurant, but not really their “cup of tea”

Times passes quickly when one has dear visits of the “kids” so home they went much to soon.

We stayed over a week more relaxing and repairing the Bow-thruster while at anchor, If you interested in how to do it you find a link to a video under Technical & equipment

Further we bought some Oysters from the local water-man selling water and oysters

Tasted wonderful with a glass of champaign

If you would like to see how an amateur open oyster have a look at the clip below, a wonder i did not cut my hand

After that we went back to Ferragudo anchorage enjoying hamburgers trying our new sails especially our new Code D

Us with our head set a very good tool when communicating over longer distances, now we are discussing how to set the Code sail. Must say we will be very pleased with the sail very easy to set, furl and unfurl, very versatile we have tried it from 80 degree to 170 degree apparent wind angle works great, sure it will be a good sail for our future trips. Now we are waiting to be hauled out at Sopromar in Lagos, I have ordered prismatic cells to convert to lithium 16×270 Ah cells all in all 540 Ah 24v. Guess we will have busy times with maintenance and improvements for out next trip.

The Plan is cross the Atlantic next year to Soure Brazil for a Rally ca 500 Nm in to The Amazon

Kids in canoe from last time I was there as crew on a Sweden Yacht 42 a fantastic experience

After The Amazon we go north to French Guyana, Surinam, Tobago, but as they say a sailors plan is like a “love letter in the sand at low tide”

I will post about my LiFePO4 project for the one interested

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Gibraltar & New sails

Gibraltar

In November last year I ordered a complete set of new sails to Kerpa, My “old” sail I bought in Turkey 2016, did not last as long as expected, on the contrary the genoa is already beyond repair. When we arrived to Horta last year we used several square meters of repair “tape” to fix the worst and luckily it has worked until now, the main is repairable, and the mizzen has probably  a few more years in service. The stay sail did newer work properly it was a great disappointment. So I decided to order a complete set of new sails from Incidence Sails in France including a Code sail on a furler, they have made many sails to Super Maramus and other Amels so I expected better performance and durability, the cloth we chosed this time was Hydranet . We were supposed to pick up the sails early April this year in Gibraltar, but Covid 19 put our plans on hold. Gibraltar opened 1.st of July and the only marina to host foreign boats are Queensway Quay Marina. We booked a slip and sat sails from Rio Formosa the first of July this year for the 149 Nm to Gibraltar. We arrive to the Marina in the afternoon the 2:nd of July.

Quensway MarinaQuensway Marina 2

We usually do not sleep very well during a one night passage so we were rather tiered and also hungry, so now on British territory we walked down the streets of Gibraltar to get some good Fish and Chips, Gibraltar felt like a deserted town, very few people on the streets, many shops were closed. But we got our Fish & Chips

Fish and Chips

Tasted good but not excellent.

A Few days later we ordered shrimps at a local restaurant, to our surprise this is what we got

Shrimps

Very very small shrimps in some dough, deep fried, tasted OK but contained tons of fat, so we did not eat much of it. So, our experience from last time was repeated, you do not visit Gibraltar for the food, there are probably several restaurants with good food, but for sure several more with average or substandard food.

Two days later when we were on the pontoon, we were invited to celebrate 4 of July with some other boat owners. It became a very pleasant evening we got treated very well with booth food and drinks. That is one of the beauty with cruising, very often we meet new people and hear about their stories and can tell our own story

Pina Colada

Kerstin with a Pina Colada

Have a lock a the short video clip of our nice 4th of July pontoon party, did not expect to be served a water melon in which they have “pored” in one liter of Vodka, a few sore heads the day after!

A trip up the hills of Gibraltar

It was very warm while we were there, but it is a must to have a walk up the steep hills of Gibraltar, much more pleasant this time as it were very few tourists now.

The narrow streets on the way up the hill

Further up this view over the Marina

And here the view over the airstrip separating Gibraltar from Spain, on the other side is the small town La Linea. We were told that ca 10000 Spanish citizens work in Gibraltar, so Spain is very keen to keep the border opened now and after the Brexit.

It was hard work to climb these stairs in the heat, and it was more to come

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I was not the only one who thought it was hot, The Monkeys too took a rest in the shade

On the top we were well rewarded by the view

For the brave one can walk out on this glass bridge

You must look at this cute little baby monkey

Back to the marina we enjoyed a café latte at the quay taste good after a long day walk in the sun

The streets filled up more and more with tourist during the 10 days we stayed in Gibraltar. The reason for staying that long was due to delay in delivery of the sails. They were scheduled to be delivered the 6th but nothing arrived, not very much info from the seller or agent, Wednesday after noon I got a bit angry and send a few angry mail, finally the 10th they arrived, then we found out they had forgot to include the furler for the code sail in the delivery!!! Not happy about that, they promised to send it asap, so we asked for it to be sent to my home port Lagos. No photo but I made a short film about receiving and testing our new sails

After hoisting and testing the sails we sat course towards Lagos.

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Rio Formosa

Finally, we could go sailing after all the boat work, first stop was Portimao just around the corner from our home port Lagos, which we wrote about in last blog. Next, we went to Rio Formosa.

Rio Formosa Approach

Kerpa approaching the entrance to Rio Formosa, a national park, a rather large area sheltered by barrier sand islands with a few places to anchor a boat. Enjoying the tidal-area who dramatically change face two times a day, well worth watching.

Rio Formosa

At low water, a big area emerges where local fishermen quickly use the time to harvest mussels and sea snails.

Rio Formosa 4Rio Formosa 3Rio Formosa 2

And just a few hours later vast areas are again covered by water and it is almost water as fare as one can see, as in most directions the surrounding land is very low

Rio Formosa anchorage

Rio Formosa 6

Interesting to explore by dingy a calm day

Many odd boats can be seen

Rio Formosa Boat 2Rio Formosa Boat 1

As well as several villages where Culatra probably are the most interesting

Culatra

Culatra harbor 1Culatra harbor 4

Just entering the old harbor is a treat for the soul.

Culatra Village 3

Walking around exploring the village

Culatra Village 5Culatra Village 2Culatra Village 1

Seeing some quirky houses and gardens. Across the island fantastic beaches meets you with white beautiful sand

Culatra beach 2Culatra beach 1

They have become more popular lately so when opening after Corona there will soon be rather many people on them, but as they are very long no risk for crowding

There are several cafes and restaurants where one can enjoy good food and wine to attractive prices

Culatra Kerstin

Here with full view of Kerpa

Culatra Kerpa

And at night the most stunning sunsets

hdrpl

It was midsummer when we were there and of course we had to celebrate that with a Swedish Smorgasbord

Culatra Midsommar 1

Size small but tasty, followed by

Culatra Midsommar 2

Coffee, Swedish homemade cinnamon bun and traditional Swedish Punch (a very sweet drink based on vodka, sugar and arrak), usually consumed in large quantities by students at the major university cities together with other alcoholic beverages followed by a hangover “category 5”

 

Olhao

Is a small and lively town about 3 Nm by dingy at low water but only 1 Nm at high water. Before we started the trip I filled gasoline in the tank, I thought the two stroke oil looked a bit strange but well it was a new bottle so assumed no problem. Just 50! meters from a pontoon at Ohlao the engine stopped! I could start the engine again but it stopped as soon as I gave throttle. At least we got enough power to get into the pontoon.

Usually Portuguese people are very friendly, but this time they claimed we needed to move, I explained the situation about our engine not working properly, I insisted and was allowed to stay for a short period. The cause of the problem was dirty fuel probably from the oil, so get rid of the old fuel and get some new, but where to dispose the old fuel? I was directed fare away, but it was a hot day and I was not in mood for a long and maybe unfruitful walk. To make a long story short I found a shop where I could buy a jerrycan and a funnel, back to the jetty where there was a small fuel station, pored the dirty fuel into the jerrycan, the care taker for the fuel station was more than happy to take care of the old gasoline and the new jerrycan. New gasoline and new oil, and the engine was alright again, no residual in the carburetor (sometimes one is lucky, the engine have now worked fine for several weeks). Now we had to find a place to put the dingy, but again we were not welcomed at any place except the major wall, difficult to climb from the dingy, but we managed. A short walk and we found a very nice plain restaurant for lunch

Ohlao Restaurang

The RestaurantOhlao Chef

 

The ChefOhlao Fish

The Fish

Ohlao Guest

“The Kerstin”

Three beers a lot of fish, potatoes, salad, bread, olives, forgot the cost but ca 20 Euro, excellent. On the way back we found a shellfish shop, which solved our evening dinner problem

Ohlao Crab

A crab, bread and wine, delicious.

Faro

Faro is the major town on the Algarve coast with about 60.000 citizens with the airport to use when visiting Algarve, the southern part of Portugal.

It is a longer trip with the dingy around 6 Nm. Further up there are some narrow anchorage, but mainly permanent moorings, nothing for us with our draft.

Towards Faro 1Towards Faro 2

Rather low tide when we approached Faro

Towards Faro 3

 

Faro mooring 1

Not always easy to find a place for the dingy, very shallow, but tide was rising so no problem this time, sometimes tide cause more problem parking the dingy than anchoring the mother ship. The stairs where we landed was very slippery, but we managed.

Faro mooring 2

High tide when back.

Unfortunately, we took no photos when in Faro, the main objective with the trip was to visit Decathlon a major retailer for sports and outdoor activities (probably the best). Unfortunately, in Corona times the shelf’s were rather empty, but we found at least one important thing, a pocket shower

Pocket solar shower

We are very keen on saving  water on the boat and we do not like to shower inside. It was good we found the pocket shower because our electric motor for our water-maker would not start any longer, do not know what the problem is, save it for later when we are on the hard.

Pocket shower in action, it is definitely a water saver we can recommend for water consumption concerned cruisers

Next stop will be Gibraltar to pick up our new sails, will follow soon

 

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A minor replacement becoming a MAJOR project

I’m sorry but again the blog is mostly about maintenance, I promise next post will be about life and places when sailing, but off season life in harbor contain a lot of maintenance, repair and improvement, actually an important and major part of cruising.

A new plotter

At the end of last season we noticed that the touch control on our chart plotter or MFD as it also is called, did not work properly. Fortunately it also has a “key board” so it still works but felt rather uncomfortable to use. A bit disappointing as the MFD is only 4 years old, after browsing on internet I found that it is not an uncommon problem. Not such a big deal we rather quickly decided to buy a new MFD the Axiom 9 from Raymarine.  BUT then looking where I could make a good deal, I found a very “attractive” package deal, a Quantum Radar and an Axiom 9. I have been thinking of replacing our existing Furuno radar, an excellent radar but very power hungry (8A 24v), the quantum radar draw less than 1 A and users praise it. So that was ordered and delivered rather fast, but I need a radar bracket, as well soon to be found on Internet.

Up in the mast preparing for mounting the bracket

Up in the mast mounting the bracket

 

Radar bracket

Radar bracket and cables in place

oznorCBT

After hanging in the mizzenmast for three days the radar doom was finally in place. Decided to keep the old radar, at least for a while until I can determine if the new radar is as good as the old one.

New and old MFD

The old MFD to the left worked good as a radar screen the touch function not so important operating a radar. The new MFD to the right in the picture. It is a great improvement to have a radar screen at the helmsman place

So it was a bit more work than just replacing the old MFD with a new one, but this was just the beginning!

Our old AIS only have NMEA 0183 and the new MFD talk NMEA 2000, so I need an interface to connect the AIS with my Axiom, the Interface cost ca 200 Euro, a bit sour that was not part of the plan. Internet is fantastic? I found a B&G VHF with integrated AIS and NMEA 2000, an outgoing model for 279 euro, now I can replace my old VHF who does not have DSC (distress function) for the cost of “79 euro”, a given…. and easily get AIS to our MFD!

I ordered the VHF and it arrived, but where to place it? To make a long story short I found I had to rearrange the whole nav station to get a good placement of the VHF. At the same time I could convert my solar and battery control system to blue tooth to get rid of some displays.

Nav station 1

Half way through to ripping out the instrument

New Front 1

Making new fronts in Plexiglas for mounting the instruments

Cutting Plexi

Sawing in Plexiglas works OK, but drilling was more difficult, very easy to get cracks, but I manage well, did not have to redo any panels

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Work in progress

For a not so handy man there are several challenges, one was how to get access to fasten the VHF on the back side?

VHF 1

On one side plenty of space for inserting a screw, but on the other side, very limited space, but a threaded rod VHF 2

And a piece of fuel hose

VHF 3

And the VHF is firmly in place. You can se a fuse box in the picture as I was poking around in the area with a lot of cables I decided to tidy up a bit, by taking away the in line fuses and install proper fuse boxes, one for 12 v and one for 24 v, plenty of work as replacing a few cables as well.

Pannel 4

As well as a new stereo, rather pleased with the result,

But the original a few hours work to replace the old MFD, became 4 weeks hard work!

Nav station now in place

VHF and SSB close to each other, nice? The observant reader might think is it not very practical to have the VHF station down at the chart table? is it better to have the VHF in the cockpit. Yes it is, and of course there is a solution to that.

B&G Remote unit

B&G sell a remote hand held unit to have in the cockpit not so much work to add but more cost, the discounted Axiom 9 MFD I bought, did not only create a massive amount of work, in the end the cost became many times higher than anticipated, a well known fact for most boat owners.  But we got Bluetooth monitoring of our solar panels and  battery management

Blue tooth SP

11 Amps going in 311 W from 360 watt panels not to bad.

Blou tooth SP monitoring

Yield the day before was 2 kw from the same panels, coming fall we will replace the old Turkish panels we have on the arc with new modern high yield panels witch will get almost 2 times the effect on just a fraction more surface, The list gets longer…

After Work

We sometimes  took a walk in the quiet lock  down Lagos for an occasional drink, to rest from the boat work

Sushi

Sometimes to tiered to make dinner then a Sushi take-away was ordered, not bad for 20 euro 

When we were at it, we also replace to old nav station chair with a new one, of course they had different tube size for attachment.

Chair base 1

The old tube, I did not want to replace the base, because the old base is an integral part of the structure so very firm.

I found some sewers pipe connectors that fitted well in the old tube and after some grinding gave perfect fit to put the new Aluminium tube on top of it, to get a solid installation.

Chair Base 2

Nav station chair

Nav station with chair and new VHF etc.

rhdrCaptains Chair 2

We also made some new padding for the helmsman’s chair the old was rather uncomfortable. Kerstin is happy now when she gets a more comfortable place to helm Kerpa from.

But that is not the end of it, more work to follow

Cutter gibb 1Cutter gibb 2

The attachment for the cutter jib was not very neat and not strong enough, it had bent a bit so we had a new stronger one made.

Cutter gibb 3

8 mm 316 Stainless Steel and two extra bolts, this should be strong enough and looks much nicer.

 

Chaos 1

As always working on the boat it is chaos aboard, but finally we said to each other, enough is enough and decided to postpone a long list of work to after this season as it will be a short season about 3 month of sailing before we go on the hard.

 

So we provisioned and caste of and sat course to Ferragudo, less than 10 Nm from Lagos

REWARD

Ferragudo 1

Anchored outside Ferragudo

Enjoying one of the best hamburgers ever

Hamburger

Kerstin took one with salmon as topping, it was surprisingly good, I took a regular one that was delicious, can’t compliant on the setting either

Ferragudo 2Ferragudo 3Ferragudo 4

marvelous sitting there having a hamburger for lunch, we had only planed for a short lunch but it was so nice so we stayed for a few glasses of Sangria as well before heading to a neighboring boat for a sun-downer, a bit headaches the next morning.

Next stop Rio Formosa…..

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Wished I was a handy man

I grew up with boats, and in those days, boats were very plain. We had wooden rowing boats, a small but heavy open sailing boat built of oak with lug rig and sails in cotton. Springtime we varnished the hull, anti-fouling was red lead, and below the floorboard’s linseed oil, and of course linseed putty to keep the boat floating. Occasionally we tried the ancient way to seal a leaking boat by putting a bucket or two of anthill under the boat, the water seeping in brought the anthill in between the swelling boards and worked as caulking. Wooden boats built is pine, spruce or mahogany are rather easy to stop leaking, but a boat of oak is more difficult.

Later on the boats grew bigger and better, but still with today’s standard very plain.

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1979 archipelago Baltic east coast

A double-ender clinker-built sailboat about 24 feet long with an outboard, tok us around the Baltic.

Dungungen

As mentioned earlier not to difficult to get a boat not leaking from below but from above it was more difficult thus the tarpon wrapped over the deck and cabin that season, before we got it reasonable waterproof

Lunch på Åland

The life then was simple a fire on the rocks which of course nowadays is a “no no” as it scares the cliffs badly, but we did not know better those days.  A coffee pot over the fire and a hot dog in the open flame provided lunch.

Not until the early nineties we got a more modern boat a Maxi 108 which we hade the pleasure to sail most holidays and many weekends for 13 years.

Kadira1

Life was still rather simple

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But we had fantastic summers with the family close together.

So my experience from earlier sailing did not gave me much experience to maintain, improve and repair a true blue water sailing boat such as the Amel Super Maramu, one can have many opinions about the Amel but is not plain or simple, rather sophisticated and despite 20 years old still it could be considered loaded with gadgets even compared with boats of today. But Kerpa is 20 years old so time for maintenance, improvements and repair and then it helps a lot to be a handy man, which I’m not. I remember the first year we had the Maxi 108, one day the engine did not start, nothing happened when I turned the ignition key! I opened and had a look at the engine, but I could as well had opened a random page of the Coran in Arabic, it would have enlightened my as much. I realize that if I’m going to fulfill my dream of one day sail around the world I need to know more about how to maintain and fix malfunction things on a boat. At that time I was convinced that if I would sail around the world it would be in a boat with a similar size and complexity as our Maxi 108 (35 feet) and not an Amel.

Over the years I have learned a few things, even changing a head gasket on a one cylinder diesel engine! install a heater, new instruments a lot of plumbing and electric wiring, all of this work a qualified boat builder would probably have said it’s a “bungler work”, and he would not be totally wrong.

After soon 5 years with Kerpa it is time for some serious maintenance, I have time now Kerpa is moored in Lagos Marina less than 10 minutes’ walk from our flat. We where not supposed to cast of until August this year, but now with the Corona crises we probably postpone the departure until 2021.

Maintenance and repair

For you who love sailing but do not fancy reading about maintenance you might better scroll down to the end, but if you read you will learn that owning a boat is not always a ” dance on roses” by continue reading you might learn from my mistakes? If you own an Amel you will probably  enjoy it either you are a handy man (probably a few laugh) or a bungler

Our outhaul gear box gave very strange noise when using it, so I thought it is time to service, not only the outhaul, but the whole furling system for the main sail.

Outhaul maintenance

One of the main challenges when servicing the out haul gearbox I have understood is to get the shaft of.

dav

The bolt broke when we where approaching Bermuda, that was the first sign we got of the urgent need for service. The shaft goes through the boom and down through the gear box, and it get stuck after a few years without service.

 

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It does not look good when the gear box cover is off, should be oil, not grease in the box, and it did not help getting the shaft off either.

Outhaul 5

A large bearing puller should do the job I hoped, but no it did not!

Outhaul lid

But I manage to crack the lid of the gearbox.

Outhaul 6

Finally after a lot of hammering with a large sledge hammer heating with a blowtorch I manage to get the shaft off but it took several days. Now the big question, can I fix the gear box? I need new lids, where to get them? Through the Amel forum I found a company in USA who made lids by 3D printing in plastic ( interesting) I ordered them at a price, but still 4 month later noting have arrived yet. Luckily, I had a spare gear box, so just install that one.

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Then it was a rather quick fix. This time I put a lot of Lanocote on the shaft, so I guess it will not get stuck to bad now, I will have on my maintenance schedule to remove and insert the shaft at least every year to make sure it won’t get stuck again.

It was a play between the gearbox and the flange on the boom, the hole diameter was 9 mm and the screws are only 5 mm, but I inserted I piece of a fuel hose as a busing, fuel hoses are great for many things especially as spacers or shock absorber for pumps and fans.

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Fuel hose I do not know how long it will last but easy to put in a new when needed.

An other way to use fuel hoses put a thin hose into a larger hose and you get a very

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durable spacer or used it as a “silent block” when mounting pumps or fans it takes away a lot of the vibration and noise. easy to cut to desired length, and easy to carry as spare part.

Main furler

Main gearbox 6

Maine furler has three parts the furling mechanism, the gear box and the electric engine.

First I serviced the main furler

Main furler 1

Easy to get off and relatively easy to dismantle

Main Furler 2

But rather messy.

Main furler 4

It was nothing wrong with the bearing pictured but I wanted to take it away and replace it with a new one, but I did not manage to get it off and I spent quite some time on figuring out how to do it but in the end I let it be there. Now I have a new spare bearing. I replaced the other bearing and the lip seals and put it together.

I must confess, when everything was back in place and tested I had a look at the remains from my work

Gear box parts

I found a piece I did not know where it came from until I looked at the picture below.

Main furler 3

You see the tube at the right in the picture, that was the piece I found, Just had to take the furler off and dismantle it and put it back again, not without a problem, Wold not happened a handy man!

The main gearbox

To my surprise I found that the gear box that I had repaired in Turkey (actually I had them both repaired in Turkey at Emec marine), was put back in place with broken lids.

Main gearbox 2

They painted all things they fixed and you can see they even put paint n the o-ring! It was equal bad on the other side.

Main gearbox 3

The gear box apart no oil in this one either.

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And again a shaft to get of, the inner shaft is made by aluminium totally stuck in the outer stainless steel shaft holding the gear. After a lot of trying, heating, thinking of alternative solutions, a lot of time spent. I finally bite the bullet and order a new Gear box with a new shaft at the hefty price of 945 Euro plus VAT and freight from Amel.

It  arrived, and it is only to attach the plastic pieces that so that it could be bolted to its place.

Main gear box 1

It took of the screws holding the lids, the lids was firmly in place by paint and the lip seal. Looking for a few things then my wife said, there is some oil here what is that coming from? You can’t guess from where, can you? Well it came from the gear box, the oil came out from the screw holes, a new lesson for me. I did said a few foul word!

Main furler gearbox 5

I had no option but to take off one lid and put in new oil, but then I notice that the O-Ring between the house and the lid has expanded and was way too long to put back in place. I was not happy, NOT HAPPY AT ALL more not so nice words came out from my mouth. What to do? Then I remember that I bought a O-ring kit for making my own O-Rings, where is it? Luckily, I found it rather quick, so just make an O-Ring.

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But guess what? the glue was totally solid. Most shops are closed as it was in the beginning of the Corona issue. I thought the Chinese they might have the right glue and still be opened. Luckily they were open and had the right glue. Back to the boat and make an O-ring on the third attempt it was acceptable. Now to put it in place, then the bottom lid fell of and the same with that O-ring had to make one again but this time it was OK on my first attempt, learning curve in the right direction. One lesson learned always make sure the glue you have aboard is fresh else it is of no use.

Further to the burden was the slot wedge supplied did not fit to the slot in the shaft, it was too wide and too long!

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I got use for my vise, hack saw and file, a lot of time wasted, it takes a time for a not so handy man.

Before putting the whole thing back I had to fix the play between the furler and the furling profile, it is a rather common issue and need to be attended to regularly

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The hole is oval I earlier fix it with epoxy filler and putting in an Aluminium tube with the original size of the hole, worked for two years. One solution is to cut the profile and make a new hole, but I save that as a last resort, instead I again filled the hole with epoxy filler drilled a hole and inserted a fuel hose to get some flex

Then everything back in place it worked great, but as I mentioned earlier I found a piece left that needed to be put in place so out with everything and then back again, guess what? I manage to bust a thread in aluminium!!!!!! But I found a quick fix/Bunglers fix for that.

Mizzen boom trawler

I have long wanted to be able to control the position of the mizzen boom from the cockpit, and that was a rather straight forward job

Mizzen track

The most cumbersome job was to cut the end part of the track to be able to slip on the new end piece, but with Sandvik hack saw blade (never save on cutting tools, always buy the best money can get it pays off)  it was easier than I thought.

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End pieces in place, to start I just use the pollard at the cockpit for fastening the control line, if that is not to my satisfaction there are several ways to make a good solution later on. The SS screw you see is to blind the holes for the old end piece a very simple and maybe also a bungler solution? Fine with me anyhow. This I’m sure will be a great improvement for very little efforts.

Solar panels

I mounted two 150 w ridged solar panels on the rail when we were in St Martin about a year ago, they work OK but are very sensible for shadow as they has to be in series. After a lot of browsing on internet I found 72 cells 36 v 180 watt solar panels, I decided to replace the old ones, it was an easy job as they had almost the same size so a quick job.

72 cell solar panel

old panel

72 cell solar panel 2

New panel, notice the difference in number of cells between the two.

With the new panels in place  one notice big difference, even murky days so now I’m thinking of replacing my 3×150 watt panels on the arc to 3×180 watt 36 v, they also have more or less the same size. They have less shadow, but sure it will be a significant improvement.

Solar panels

Finally on solar, I have 2×100 flexible on the bimini, they do not give much as a lot of shadow there, but maybe 2×90 watt on each side of the boom would be a good idea, then I would have 1260 watt, that is a lot for a monohull.

Plumbing

Old toiletbase

Old toilet

The old aft toilet base was beyond repair, so decided to order a new Jabsco silent flush

New ToiletNew Toilet 2

on an  Amel everything in contact with salt water should be connected with the zink to avoid corrosion, I have done this a few times as the Motor/Pump starts to leak after about two years, the difference this time the bolt broke off!!!!, I quickly gave up the process of trying to get off the broken part as I had one spare pump since before.

New Toilet 3

At last the new toilet in place only remain same cleaning.

The manual bilge pump has stopped working so  I  had ordered a repair kit, guess what I found when disassembling the pump?

Bilge Pump

I found the nut and thread on the shaft broken, so now I’m Waiting for a new pump to arrive! I have ordered a lot off stuff on internet, and despite the corona times many things have arrived very fast, but some still waiting for.

Other maintenance/Improvements

Passarelle

We guess we will not have so much use for our hydraulic passarelle for our future sailing plans, It is a bit in the way for our Hydro-Generator, a very heavy thing so there would be several benefits to take it off,  and finally rather old and will soon require maintenance.

Passarelle 1

Passarelle 2

Now it is off, Kerstin is covering the old holes with butyl tape as temporary sealant before we have found out how to do it properly and good looking.

Passarelle 3

She looks better this way but the list increased from 1,5 to 2 degrees to port the passarelle was a heavy piece.

Deck lights

We need better deck light on the aft section, I thought the Arc is a good place to mount them, the only issue is the wiring,

Junction box

A connection box in the Lazarette, to pull the wire through the arc was rather easy more hard work to get it to the cockpit, but after some job it was there.

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it always become a mess inside when working

The lights in place, one on each side on the arc

Deck lighgt 1

After wiring this should not be big thing to mount the lamps itself, but  guess, the slot for the nut was to small so I had to file down the nut Am I the only one with bad luck with new things or?

More work

But in the end it will be a great improvement for dark nights working on after deck.

Lagos

Lagos is a nice place to relax in between boat jobs,

Now in Corona times the whole town is more or less deserted

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The marina usually bustling with life is now deserted, but we are happy to be here, It was just a vagary from me who got us back to Lagos else we would have been stuck somewhere in the Caribbean.

Now we are in a nice place

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Lagos harbour entrance

Movie from one of the beaches not fare to walk to from our flat.

We are allowed to go shopping for groceries and other necessities

Que

Only a limited number of people are allowed into the shop, when queuing there should be two meters apart.

The Gym is closed so we do some exercises on our balcony

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We have a three page long list remaining of things to do on Kerpa so we will be occupied for month to come and maybe even I can become not a handy man, but hopefully no longer a bungler.

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