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Old 02-06-2015, 02:19   #466
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Re: Breaking All the Rules ...

I had wanted to setup the waypoints for the Wide Bay bar in the chartplotter while in the comfort of a marina rather than on a rolling wet deck dodging spray, so contacted the Coast Guard at Mooloolaba, Tin Can Bay, and Sandy Straights to ask for the coordinates, and while they all admitted they had them they all refused to give them to me, with the instructions being to contact Tin Can Bay Coast Guard by VHF when I was 5 miles from Double Island Point when they would tell me if bar conditions were suitable for crossing and way points. Since there is no protected anchorage nearby to Wide Bay I really don't want to spend a day getting there and be told I need to wait until conditions improve. Sandy Straights Coast Guard also warned me to contact them by VHF BEFORE transiting Sheridan Straights so I guess they have doubts about my draft getting through there. So ... after these responses I think it is clear I should take the ocean route, which is longer, more exposed, further from help, and means at least one night at sea without sleep, and possibly two if I don't backtrack behind Breaksea Spit for a rest.

I went on a quick shopping trip in the morning to pick up a solar cell so if I ever do get stuck somewhere remote with flat batteries I can at least charge one to get me going. While I was there I also picked up some new flares as the big sack of them on the boat were all expired. I had thought I was being safe by keeping the expired flares as from experience they will still work, but I was advised that in Queensland you can be fined for having expired flares on your boat as they are considered unsafe so I delivered them to the local Coast Guard for disposal Based on the price of the new flares the expired ones were worth over $1000.

After the battery charging problem detected on the way to Mooloolaba I ticked off a few of my long to-do list, and pulled every cable off every battery, cleaned the terminals, and rewired the 8 batteries into two banks of 6 + 2 to protect the engine starter. I also removed a few unnecessary switches left over from the old generator that I had suspected were related to the battery charging issue.

During the rewiring I found that there is negative current leaking through the hull from both the starter motor and the wind generator which is not surprising, but still annoying. The starter motor has the negative cable grounded to the engine block which I had suspected was in electrical contact with the hull via engine mounts and shaft. Unlikely I could totally isolate the engine block from the hull, but I can at least put a switch inline so current does not flow when the engine is off. The wind generator is probably in electrical contact with the hull via the mounting pole so I just disconnected the leads as it is useless and never puts out more than 4 volts regardless of wind speed so is on THE LIST to be removed.

Unfortunately after all this rewiring and cleaning I started the engine ... and the voltage output at the alternator terminals is zero so my 5 month old alternator seems to be dead. In Sydney I was able to get a new one the same day but in Mooloolaba .... I should have a chat with the marina staff and let them know I may be here a while
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Old 02-06-2015, 05:37   #467
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Re: Breaking All the Rules ...

The ocean rout is very doable but can be/is uncomfortable due to the East Australian current which is at its closest near Frazer island. The next 3 day's will be fine for a bar crossing. Daylight transition of the flats could be tight due to the very low high tide this week. In the flats follow the markers and not your charts.
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Old 02-06-2015, 06:01   #468
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Re: Breaking All the Rules ...

Hydraulic steering lines cannot be reliably terminated with hose clamps. The pressure that can be generated by a steering pump (manual or electric) cannot be contained by this method. The hoses will likely pop off when there is a lot of pressure on the rudder. Which is precisely when you can least afford it.
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Old 02-06-2015, 16:34   #469
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Re: Breaking All the Rules ...

Hi Homeless, you need a copy of this:
https://www.whitworths.com.au/main_i...AbsolutePage=1

They'll have it at the Mooloolaba Whitworths. All about the Wide Bar Bar etc, right up the coast. It's a must have in my opinion.
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Old 02-06-2015, 17:48   #470
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Re: Breaking All the Rules ...

Damn it homeless, I had to PM you at the beginning that I wasn't questioning your integrity. After following your posts daily my fear is I won't get anymore and your wife and child will never see you again. Take it for what it is worth or not. You predicated it with you had no experience and the intent was to make money on it. No body does that on a boat. Yes you have her looking great. Take it as the ramblings of an old fool but it may be time to cut your loses.
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Old 02-06-2015, 18:01   #471
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Re: Breaking All the Rules ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by homeless View Post
I had wanted to setup the waypoints for the Wide Bay bar in the chartplotter while in the comfort of a marina rather than on a rolling wet deck dodging spray, so contacted the Coast Guard at Mooloolaba, Tin Can Bay, and Sandy Straights to ask for the coordinates, and while they all admitted they had them they all refused to give them to me, with the instructions being to contact Tin Can Bay Coast Guard by VHF when I was 5 miles from Double Island Point when they would tell me if bar conditions were suitable for crossing and way points. Since there is no protected anchorage nearby to Wide Bay I really don't want to spend a day getting there and be told I need to wait until conditions improve. Sandy Straights Coast Guard also warned me to contact them by VHF BEFORE transiting Sheridan Straights so I guess they have doubts about my draft getting through there. So ... after these responses I think it is clear I should take the ocean route, which is longer, more exposed, further from help, and means at least one night at sea without sleep, and possibly two if I don't backtrack behind Breaksea Spit for a rest.

I went on a quick shopping trip in the morning to pick up a solar cell so if I ever do get stuck somewhere remote with flat batteries I can at least charge one to get me going. While I was there I also picked up some new flares as the big sack of them on the boat were all expired. I had thought I was being safe by keeping the expired flares as from experience they will still work, but I was advised that in Queensland you can be fined for having expired flares on your boat as they are considered unsafe so I delivered them to the local Coast Guard for disposal Based on the price of the new flares the expired ones were worth over $1000.

After the battery charging problem detected on the way to Mooloolaba I ticked off a few of my long to-do list, and pulled every cable off every battery, cleaned the terminals, and rewired the 8 batteries into two banks of 6 + 2 to protect the engine starter. I also removed a few unnecessary switches left over from the old generator that I had suspected were related to the battery charging issue.

During the rewiring I found that there is negative current leaking through the hull from both the starter motor and the wind generator which is not surprising, but still annoying. The starter motor has the negative cable grounded to the engine block which I had suspected was in electrical contact with the hull via engine mounts and shaft. Unlikely I could totally isolate the engine block from the hull, but I can at least put a switch inline so current does not flow when the engine is off. The wind generator is probably in electrical contact with the hull via the mounting pole so I just disconnected the leads as it is useless and never puts out more than 4 volts regardless of wind speed so is on THE LIST to be removed.

Unfortunately after all this rewiring and cleaning I started the engine ... and the voltage output at the alternator terminals is zero so my 5 month old alternator seems to be dead. In Sydney I was able to get a new one the same day but in Mooloolaba .... I should have a chat with the marina staff and let them know I may be here a while
Sorry to hear of your electrical problems.

You may not be aware, but one can anchor on the north side of Double Island Pt. Take a peek at Lucas' [I]Cruising the Coral Coast[I]. We've anchored there many times. It is often rolly, but safe in good sand holding. That also allows you to cross WBB in the morning, with the sun behind you, a couple of hours before high water, in which case you shoot through, with the incoming tide, and this is a good deal for those of us who draw over 2 m. Sheridan Flats is the shallowest place you could run aground in there, so plan your transit of GSS accordingly.

Some supplies are available at Tin Can Bay.

One good thing, if you do go outside Fraser Is., there should not be much traffic at night.

Ann
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Old 03-06-2015, 01:48   #472
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Re: Breaking All the Rules ...

Yes, I have the Lucas book, but suspect I would prefer a night at sea heading North than a night at Double Island Point.

Took the alternator to an auto electrician today, and they could not find any problem with it, which was a relief as it is only 6 months old and cost over $700. Since I was seeing 0 volts on the output of the alternator, they suggested I should be seeing 12 volts even when the alternator is not turning, as it needs a starting current to initiate. Back to the boat and trace the wiring from the alternator back, and there is nothing between it and the battery bank isolator. I took the battery bank isolator out of the circuit and replaced it with a physical switch and now the batteries are charging, and the charging current meter is working, when it did not previously. So .. one problem solved, and some redundancy built in to the system.

After cutting another 3 holes in the bottom of cupboards I have not been able to find any potential sources of leaks in the top of the diesel tank by visual inspection, and it only leaks when the boat is heeling, so difficult to track it down. Need to get a cheap compressor, pressurise the tank, and do an old fashioned soapy water test.

Tomorrow off to Enzed to get some new crimped hoses made up for the autopilot hydraulic system so I can finally get rid of the hose clamp weak points.
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:32   #473
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Re: Breaking All the Rules ...

I know it's a big boat, but would it be feasible to heel her at the dock to look for the fuel leak? The bubble test sounds easier...
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Old 07-06-2015, 08:19   #474
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Re: Breaking All the Rules ...

Departed Mooloolaba Friday morning and arrived Gladstone Marina midday Sunday. Longest I have ever been awake, but was still functional for docking and paperwork, then to sleep. The autopilot, alternator, and battery banks did their jobs well after the changes made in Mooloolaba, but still have those annoying diesel and water leaks when heeled over

The last 24 hours winds were up to 30 knots, with huge swell, and the boat was surfing out of control, the main sheet block at the end of the boom exploded (crevice corrosion in the stainless steel pulley shaft), so had to drop the sails and motor.

Some scary times trying to drop or reef the main sail in strong winds, with big waves over the bow, sails flapping, boat rocking, lines whipping, standing on a slippery pilothouse roof trying to zip up the lazy bag. Only remembered the lifejacket and safety line afterwards ...

Other scary times zig-zagging between coral reefs in the dark in huge seas wondering just how accurate my old electronic charts are ... then having the chartplotter software crash and reboot. That 30 second reboot takes a looong time.

Some "urgent, call me" voice mail messages from my broker, so maybe someone wants to buy the boat.
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Old 08-06-2015, 05:00   #475
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Re: Breaking All the Rules ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by homeless View Post

Some "urgent, call me" voice mail messages from my broker, so maybe someone wants to buy the boat.
Seems it would be a shame to part with her now that you have come to know her so intimately and "bonded" so well during the latter sailing leg ....
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Old 08-06-2015, 07:41   #476
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Re: Breaking All the Rules ...

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Originally Posted by Marqus View Post
Seems it would be a shame to part with her now that you have come to know her so intimately and "bonded" so well during the latter sailing leg ....
Well, seeing as how his entire goal was to fix her up and sell her, this could be a great thing for him. Good luck Homeless.

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Old 12-06-2015, 10:23   #477
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Re: Breaking All the Rules ...

Has anyone heard or have any idea on his whereabouts in the last five days?
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Old 15-06-2015, 03:19   #478
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Re: Breaking All the Rules ...

Now in a marina in Airlie Beach catching up on junk food. Spent last night anchored out in a really pretty protected bay at Whitsunday Island and would have liked to spend more time cruising these islands.

Stopped in Island Head Creek for 3 days on the way up from Gladstone to hide from 30 knot winds behind the hills, but no phone or radio signals there, so no weather forecasts, and constant action of wind against tide wears you down. Had my anchor drag for the first time in the fight with wind against tide (saved by the anchor alarm!), and saw one other boat drag for the same reason.

The white smoke from the engine exhaust has been bugging me, and I finally got a diesel mechanic on the boat today after trying for 6 months and being told "too busy" or "sorry, not certified to work on Perkins". Mechanic today said he thought one of the injectors must be stuck open, so suggested I get them all reconditioned and/or replaced. Took the injectors to the shop he recommended and they pressure tested and found no problems, so don't recommend to replace them. Will get the mechanic back on the boat tomorrow for a compression test.

I changed the oil and filter in Gladstone because the oil pressure had been dropping. The oil pressure has dropped and level seems to have risen since Gladstone, so the mechanic suggests diesel may be leaking into the engine. Not sure if this is related to the white smoke or a different cause. The only possible sources of diesel leaking into the engine are the injectors, the lift pump, or the high pressure pump. As the injectors seem OK they should not be the source. The lift pump is not needed as I have an electric fuel pump installed, so I may get the fuel lines modified to bypass the lift pump to remove it as a possible source of problems.

I had thought that the oil in the engine room bilges was from the engine, but after the engine rebuild it continues, so I have concluded it is from the Hurth gearbox, which means I need to plan a time to rebuild it and replace the seals. Will need to wait until I reach Cairns. I checked for loose bearings on the shaft when I was in Southport and did not find a problem, but when the boat is surfing the prop speeds up and vibrations increase, so there must be an imbalance and too much clearance, so I need to add that to the list of things planned for the next haulout ...

One of the batten connections to mast track cars cracked on the trip up so needs to be replaced. The two local riggers have not seen batten-car connectors like the ones on my main sail, so I will need to find someone who can fabricate new ones out of plastic or aluminium, or possibly head to the nearest Bunnings hardware store and buy a tap with the right thread and do the work myself.

On the bright side, the chandleries here do have sailing gear, so I have been able to replace the boom block that failed on the way up.
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Old 15-06-2015, 03:39   #479
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Re: Breaking All the Rules ...

There is a good chandlers around the bend from Bunnings its part of Home hardware. If you ask for best price they always try.
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Old 15-06-2015, 14:16   #480
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Re: Breaking All the Rules ...

homeless,

When do you plan on the big sail to home?
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