Saturday, November 29, 2014

Propspeed vs. Velox --- Test Results

No sooner than Tortuguita was out of the water, Marty from Bradford Marine was over to see the results of our antifouling experimental trial.

We were able to see how things were going during the season but didn't let anyone know prematurely how the two processes were holding up.

After the first month, I inspected the props and the Velox had failed but the Propspeed was holding up well.

Here are pictures of the props after 3 months:

Velox on Strut, Propspeed on the Prop
Where the strut was antifouled with Velox, it lost adhesion in places and some growth occured.

The propspeed picked up some growth but alot of it happened during the past 2 weeks in the berth.

The tips of the props had all the antifouling removed by swirling sand when we used the engines to get us unstuck in the Mary River and the Sandy Straits.  So all growth on the tips and an equivalent amount of growth elsewhere occurred since we arrived here at the marina.

Velox on both Strut and Prop
The Velox prop did not fare so well.  Most of the velox came off the prop and growth occurred on the bronze underneath.  However, there was no growth on the actual Velox itself, only where it came off.  It appears that it would be a good product if they could get it to stick to the metal.

Out of the Water, again

That's a wide Travelift
We are right on schedule.  The 2 weeks in a berth were used efficiently, the sails have been removed, the engine oil changed, batteries watered, dinghy and engine cleaned and flushed, lines removed, sunshades made and installed, water tank welded and ready for installation, toilets and holding tanks prepped for storage, and on and on.

Dry Storage at the Gold Coast City Marina
After haul out, the antifouling need to be scrubbed, tanks filled, boat washed, engines flushed with fresh water and preserved with antifreeze, and finally 'cleaned up'.  This all takes about 4 days if no problems are encountered.

Still need to be scrubbed and cleaned

Removing and Repairing a Privilege Catamaran Watertank

Tank exposed, cabinetry and freezer removed.
During our first day out of Guaymas, Mexico, we discovered freshwater in the starboard bilge.  It turned out to be a leak from the stainless steel water tank on that side.  We could have delayed our trip across the Pacific but instead have been using the remaining tank and 5 gallon water jugs.  This project has been a unknown black hole of time hanging over my head ever since.  Well if ever there was a place to repair the tank, it was Australia.  The big problem with this job is that the the tank was put in place right after the keel was laid.  Everything else was built over it.  This meant a serious amount of cabinetry that had been fiberglassed to the hull had to be removed.  The new freezer that was installed in Mexico had to also be taken out.  There were lots of unknowns and once started, that side of the boat would be torn apart until the tank was back in and the cabinetry reinstalled.  That could be weeks or maybe a month.  This is not something you wanted to do during the cruising season.

Tank ready for removal
As it turned out, only the cabinets on the outboard side of the tank had to be removed.  It appeared that it would be possible to rotate the tank during removal so it would slide under the inboard cabinets.  That was incredible luck since I don't think the factory ever intended these tanks to be removed.   The tank was also fiberglassed in place and all that had to be cut out.

This is the area that I suspected had the leak.  The welder at the Gold Coast City Marina was very busy and I would not be a priority for him.  We met a welder named Malcom last year and when we went to find him, it turned out that he closed up shop.  The guys next to his shop at 'ICE CAP' do refrigeration but were not too busy and were able to do the welding right away.

They set me up in their parking lot with saw horses and I removed all the corrosion and leak checked the tank. to find the leak.  As it turned out, there were quite a few places that needed to be welded.  Tony had to cut out the entire bottom edge and weld new metal in place.  There were also some tiny cracks that he closed up with the TIG welder.

While they were doing the welding, I was sanding and prepping the keel to get it ready for the tank.

Looks alot better that before it was removed.  Hope for no leaks.
Repaired tank installed and ready for fiberglass.

There will not be enough time to finish everything before we leave for the US so the rest of the installation will have to wait until we return.

Gold Coast City Marina, again

Besides the normal storage preparation checklist, we have a few big projects to do before we leave for the US.  The exterior sunshades that I made back in May are blue and really absorb the heat.  During past boatyard layups, we have put black plastic (also absorbs heat), reflective mylar (doesn't last), and reflective bubble wrap type insulation (also doesn't last) under the sunshades to keep the heat from building up inside the closed up boat.  I was disappointed that the old sunshades only lasted 8 seasons so in order to extend their life, my goal is to make new shades out of a lighter color that will be used temporarily during times of storage to keep the tropical sun from ruining the 'real' ones.

Making the Tan Sunshades
We bought 2 Shade Sails, basically triangular pieces of shade cloth 12 ft per side with D-rings during the window replacement project to keep the sun from expanding the plexiglass while the adhesive was drying.  They came in handy this past season and we have plans to make more and larger Shade Sails to keep the boat cooler.  We bought some of the tan colored shade cloth at a hardware store in Maryborough but they only had 5 meters left on the roll.  I made window covers out of that but still needed more.  We picked up a small roll at Bunnings (like Home Depot) to finish the project.  Bunnings also had some reflective Wall and Roof lining plastic that will be fitted under the new Sunshades.  I expect this to also fail from the UV but something is better than nothing.
Tortuguita with the new 'temporary' Sunshades

Sandy Straits and Moreton Bay

During the Austral Winter, Low pressure areas over the Tasman Sea reinforces the Trade Winds coming across the South Pacific and give predominantly Southeast winds on the Queensland Coast.  In the Spring (October/November), High pressure over the Tasman will redirect the Trade Wind flow and come from the Northeast.  This is the time to start heading South.  These Northeast winds only last for 1, 2, maybe 3 days at the most.   This is what we have been waiting for and using to get ourselves back to the Gold Coast.

We went to Maryborough because the other option was to anchor behind Frazer Island and wait.  We left Maryborough to time our departure out of the Wide Bay with the Northeast winds.  We had a good run down the Mary River pushing tide for the first hour and had great current the rest of the run.  The outgoing current was great for the river but left us with low tide in the Great Sandy Straits.  We struggled through the shallows only bumping a few times and ended up anchoring a few miles from the Wide Bay inlet.  There is an anchorage at Pelican Point which is just inside the inlet but from the a distance there were so many boats there that it looked like the Spanish Armada was there.  For sure they would have taken all the good spots in that small anchorage.

We left at dawn (5AM) and were toward the back of a pack of 20+ boats.  We passed over 10 during the day.  The Northeast wind was forecast to last 3 days and even though most of the boats were heading to Mooloolaba, some were heading further offshore for multiple day legs.  3 days was all we needed to make it back to the Gold Coast.

We anchored in the Mooloolaba River and left early for the Moreton Bay so we could catch the ingoing tide.  The wind was forecast to built to 30 kts during the day but it would be behind us and the so would the shallow shoals of of the NW ship channel.  The thing that was interesting however was that when the tide switched to outgoing, it was counter to the winds and with the 25-30 ft depth in the southern Moreton Bay, the waves were very short period, steep, and higher than you would normally see.  It was a good thing that we were going with them.

We anchored at Karangarra Island around sunset just as the wind was dying down.  The following morning we got an early start before the wind picked  up and made it to the Gold Coast City Marina by 10AM.

We plan to stay 2 weeks in a berth and then put Tortuguita in land in dry storage until April.