Friday, April 15, 2022

Tessilmare Rubrails on a Privilege Catamaran

Insert style rubrail

There are 2 types of rubrails.  One kind is a track with a slot that gets an insert. The other is a track that gets a cover over it.  The tracks are screwed to the boat. 



Cover style rubrail by Tessilmare

Tortuguita has rubrails down the sides and around the swim platforms.  Both were in terrible shape and were removed for the gelcoat spraying.  The rubrails that are on the sides have an aluminum track with a plastic insert.  The aluminum was deteriorated, the caulk had failed and dirt and algae were living behind the insert. We replaced these with Vetus EHARO60.

Original swim platform rubrail

Old rubrail removed from groove
The swim platform rubrails were an extruded white rubber that was screwed to the hull through a slot down the center which was then caulked to keep water out.  This is kind of a hybrid design.  These were also in terrible condition.  I researched all options and unless I wanted to have 500’ custom made, I could not find an easy option.

New rubrail has to fit in this groove

The big problem finding a replacement rubrail is that it has to fit into a recessed groove that runs around the perimeter.   


Rubrail on LUNA.  RADIAL 30


Lou on LUNA turned me on to the Tessilmare RADIAL rubrail but the one he used was a little smallish looking (30mm) but it did mount inside the groove easily.

Mounting and thermoforming the track
Well, of course I wanted bigger and didn’t care how hard it was to install so, I bought a sample of the Tessilmare RADIAL 60mm and came up with a plan, sort of.  Nothing ever goes as planned.
Bend the cover to get it on the track
The rubrail mounts on a track by bending the cover and feeding it onto the track.  It’s a neat design and there are many videos on youtube of installations on flat surfaces. 

The problem with installing it into a groove is that the cover spreads out when bending which keeps it from fitting onto the frame.

Mount and trim the cover

The first part was to mount and screw the track to the groove so that the cover would fill the groove as much as possible.  I actually installed the rubrail upside-down so that the long edge runs around the upper corner of the swim platform to hide the gap at the top.  The track had to be thermoformed with a heat gun and screwed in place so that the finished product wouldn’t have gaps.

Hold the bottom in the groove and pull the top back to access the screw

Now the fun part was to remove the track and mount the cover on it. 

Then the assembled unit had to be caulked and screwed into the prior drilled holes. 

Some thermoforming was needed on the cover around the compound corners.

After the caulk dried, the edges were taped and caulked.

Each hull took 8 long days to complete with the only real unexpected issue was that the track, being black plastic, expanded 6mm in the heat of the day.  This really caused problems getting the screws back in the correct place during the final remounting.  Nobody said it would be easy.  Especially me.

Finished product

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

2 Year Covid Boat Storage

Shredded sunshade and broken timber
We were back in the US for almost 2 years during Covid, Tortuguita stayed in Malaysia, covered by sunshade exposed to the elements.

We had no idea what to expect when we returned.  

I had built a timber frame on the deck to hold the sunshade.  Would that still be intact?  Would the sunshade be torn to shreds?

Broken timbers at the bow
Would the sunshade be dragging on the ground and make it easier for rodents to infest the boat?

Would there be ants and termites that found there way onboard?

Would monkeys be living aboard?

Worst of all, was rain leaking inside that would allow mold to grow all over?

Well, after 2 years, it really wasn't so bad.  Considering....

Green slime everywhere

Yes, the sunshade was shredded in places but not dragging on the ground.

The timbers had rotted or cracked from the high winds but the loose pieces did not cause any chaffing damage.

There were no insects nor rodents living onboard.

There were a few minor leaks but no mold.

Safe in the garage?
The dinghy had been chewed by some boatyard dog but it still held air.

The only mold was on the decks and was the green slime type that grows everywhere in Malaysia.  A little Clorox and pressure washing takes care of it.

The Volvo was parked under the boat well protected.  The tires were kind of flat and the cover was dry rotted but it could have been worse.

A real Rats Nest
Then again, it was worse as we began poking around.  Rats had been living in the car.  Don't know how they got in or how long they were there but it was not a pretty sight or smell.

If something had to be trashed, it might as well have been the car.  It doesn't owe us anything and I would much rather have a two thousand dollar car destroyed instead of a quarter million dollar yacht.

A worthwhile trade.

Wire Insulation must taste good

Sunday, February 20, 2022

SkyCab and SkyBridge

Yes, we are being tourists. Just like getting selfies with the Giant Prawn, Giant Mango, Giant Banana, and Giant Avocado in Australia, we had to do the Giant Cable Car and Giant Bridge.


The SkyCab is the world's Free Span, Single Rope Cable Car.  

At the top of the mountain is the SkyBridge.  It is the longest Curved Single Column Cable-Stayed Suspension Bridge in the world.  It is 125 meters long and sits on a mountaintop 660 meters high.  It has glass panels in the deck and can only be reached by the SkyCab.


The view really is incredible.

And just like the Giant Prawn, we'll do anything once.

Saturday, February 19, 2022

The Island Tour


Monkeys in our hotel Pool
Langkawi is a group of 99 islands, 30 miles offshore in the Malacca Strait near the border of Thailand.

Creative use of towels    
We will end up here with Tortuguita on our way North but the Bubble was a good way to check it out in advance.

We spent the first few days recovering from the flights and doing administrative things like getting a SIM card and shopping. 

We had the full run of the island with no restrictions.  This was much different than any other quarantine or COVID lockdown that we have experienced before.

Taking a break
Great idea




Thailand in the distance










Excellent Thai Restaurant at the Hotel
We met up with quite a few other cruisers who were doing the same Bubble.  Some we knew, some we didn’t.  Almost all were heading to Pangkor Marina Island like we were.  We would all meet up for Happy Hours and Dinner at one of the Hotel Restaurants.





Inside the 'Lucky Temple'
After a few days, we hired a driver for the day and did a circumnavigation of the island.  The drive without stops would take about 4 hours.


Our first stop was the “Lucky Temple” because, why not?  Luck is good, right?

There was an interesting carving in the marble hillside, the Goddess of Mercy”


The Goddess of Mercy

We will be anchoring here










SkyCab with Telaga Harbor
Next was Tanjung Roo.  It is a quite beautiful beach area adjoining a mangrove area that tours visit.  There is an anchorage called "Hole in the Wall" that we will definitely be staying in.

Our next stop was the SkyCab Cable Car and Skybridge.  SkyCab is the steepest and  longest free span single cable ride in the world at 42 degrees and 950 meters respectively. 

From the SkyCab hill,we saw Rebak Marina Island, and Telaga Harbour Marina.  You have to take a ferry to get to Rebak but not so with Telaga.  So, we had the driver take us there for a look around.

Royal Langkawi, Rebak,and Telaga are the 3 yacht marinas on the Langkawi.

Friday, February 18, 2022

My Sejahtera App

Everyone in Malaysia is required have or be covered by a COVID App for Tracing and Tracking.

Sejahtera means “Safe” and “Prosperous” in English.  The My Sejahtera App is a combination of two COVID Apps. 

Our Status while under Quarantine    
MyTrace Malaysia is a Bluetooth scanner that looks to be an outgrowth of the Open-Source Blue Trace project initially developed by Singapore.   




It anonymously tracks all other MyTrace enabled phones for distance and duration of contact.  It notifies you if you have come in contact with a COVID infected person.

Typical QR Poster at businesses    
The other App, My Sejahtera, is a QR scanner and logger.  All businesses have a QR poster at their entrance.  You scan the QR and it is logged to your phone.  The data is only kept on your phone but if you get COVID, the health officials will download the time specific log and use it for contact tracing.
Self Test Results to be uploaded    

You can also upload COVID test results and vaccinations using the app. 

Since almost everything is handled by the individual cellphone, no information is sent to a central server unless you end up with COVID.  In that case, the health department accesses the data and encrypted notifications are sent out to other My Sejahtera equipped phones.

The app  seems to be pretty good.  It works whether you have a data connection or not.  The only downside is that there may be a queue for Checking-in if you go to a busy place.

I know Americans that would freak out about having to use an app like this because of freedom or some such thing but they sure don't mind letting google track their every search.

These types of things save lives and we don't mind doing our part.