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Old 22-01-2019, 13:54   #1
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Sea Biscuit now in Greenwell Point 550nm in 62 hours

A quick report on the trip back from Horizon Shores Marina (Steiglitz, Qld) to Greenwell Point, bringing Sea Biscuit to her new home.

Small ship: Sea Biscuit: Cecil Boden design wooden trawler, 39'6" (12.0m), 15 tons, Perkins 6.354 single diesel engine, 38" manganese bronze prop. Nav gear below in a following post.

Raw stats:

Distance: 550nm
Time: 62 hours
Average speed 8.9kn
Fuel consumption: ~550 litres

Before anyone calls BS, we rode the East Australian Current 90% of the way; it's running at 4kn S presently. Two on board, and we received regular weather updates from my brother, the scientist "Land Captain"; these received via InReach SMS service.

1.5–2 hour watches, 24/7. All food prepared and heated on board.
A relatively quiet weather window (our last attempt was thwarted by Tropical Cyclone Owen).

The East Australian Current (EAC) largely follows the continental shelf; hence once we cleared the bar at the Gold Coast, we headed SE, checking SOG. We were making ~7kn at 1,200rpm, a sweet spot for the engine/hull/prop combination, and leaving no wake at that speed.

The highest rpms were 1,450 for the last leg (from Seal Rocks South); small wake and more speed.

Once we were ~25nm offshore and in the EAC, SOG varied between 8.5 and 11.2kn; we headed due South. Course corrections were made to follow the continental shelf, rather than the shape of the coastline.

Sea Biscuits' engine is new; it had been completely rebuilt before installation in the engine room in 2003. When I bought her, there were less than 100 hours on her (and 92 on the hour meter on the Sea Wasp). Engine oil is still completely clean.

We serviced the whole of the raw water/heat exchanger circuit in situ at the marina, and this is where the lack of use showed. The impeller was missing teeth; the heat exchanger tube were blocked in the bottom 1/3, one elbow was cracked (my fellow skipper made a new on from stainless) and the exchanger cap was badly worn and was not holding pressure at all (and half the coolant was missing as a result).

We found that the large solar panel array had been going through a cheap solar controller—and four new (2017, fitted by PO) sealed gel batteries were cooked and unrecoverable as the result. I do not understand the concept of saving money on mission-critical parts! Two new start batteries (2 x 12V in parallel, because we could not readily source the 6V batteries that were fitted). We have disconnected the array until I can source a new controller. For the trip, electronics were run off the new batteries and apart from charging phones and hand-held nav gear, we only used the batteries to run the nav lights.

A great trip, and a fabulous sea trial: Sea Biscuit is ready for passages.
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Old 22-01-2019, 14:25   #2
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Re: Sea Biscuit now in Greenwell Point 550nm in 62 hours

Thats a quick trip for sure, got to love the East Coast current when you are going with it..............
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Old 22-01-2019, 15:00   #3
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Re: Sea Biscuit now in Greenwell Point 550nm in 62 hours

On careful re-checking via dip stick, probably safer to say we used 650–700 litres of fuel. Still decent consumption considering we were heading into a southerly wind and swell all of one night's passage.
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Old 23-01-2019, 12:29   #4
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Re: Sea Biscuit now in Greenwell Point 550nm in 62 hours

I was going to call bs on the mileage report, one liter per mile with an engine pushing 15 tons through water. At least now its a little more believable.
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