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Monday
Aug062012

Repairs in Noumea, New Caledonia...

At Port Moselle, New Caledonia drying out the bedding...

What is always frustrating is when it is necessary to have to spend money on fixing things which break which would not have done so if I little more thought had been given to them in the first place.  I had several things like this happen which proved to be very expensive. 

By far the most expensive was the loss of all the electrics.  This proved to be about a NZ$35,000 problem.  As I mentioned in an earlier post I got some water in the electrics which in turn got into one of the motor legs and required a new motor which I had replaced in Picton.  The hatch where the water got into had not been properly sealed and the water got through a hole in which cables passed through into the other electrical compartment.

When the electrician finished the work in Picton the hole which allowed the water to get through was to be sealed with Sikaflex.  To ensure that there would be no water get in from the top of the compartment he sikaflexed the lid and sealed it with duct tape.  When I got back to the boat I asked him if he had sealed the hole but he had forgotten…but, because the top was so well sealed I said not to worry about it.  My $35K mistake!  Why?  Well, I forgot that there was a vent on the front of that compartment which would never be an issue normally, but when I filled the cockpit with green water during the storm it got through the vent, through the hole and back into the compartment again.  Not only did it damage the motor again but it also damaged two of the lithium phosphate batteries beyond repair…also the inverter.

Photo of the missing rudder below.


The other two preventable problems was the rudder which came apart because it did not have lock nuts on the two stainless supports, and the stainless masthead which the navigation lights were mounted on.  That fell down as it had no lateral supports and just broke off at the weld.  The lesson learnt here is that I should have gone up the mast prior to leaving NZ and inspected this but I had assumed that the engineers would have ensured that it was strong…but, as I have said for many years, one mustn’t assume…but I did.

One of the problems which we did not expect was in the forward section where the supporting blocks for the front decking is bolted to the hulls started coming apart.  Refer to the photos. This was due to the boat falling into ‘holes’ which put enormous stress on this section.  However, it would seem to be a weak section and so we repaired them and glassed them to the hull as well rather than just relying on the bolts.

Anyway, all the repairs will be done and we can resume our voyage.

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