Preparing Double Trouble for cruising

Having moved onto DT in February 2017, we had noticed that sitting in the marina was not helping the antifoul keep up with the barnacles on the hull. We also had a rather long list of maintenance items we needed to take care of as part of preparing for our shakedown trip up the East coast of Australia.

So we booked into the Boat works at Coomera on Brisbane’s Goldcoast. This is about a days (motor) sail south of Manly and was another good chance for us to practice our beacon navigation.

The staff here were extremely helpful and efficient, as we had arrived a day early they let us moor up on their pontoon as we were scheduled to be the first out the following day.

After hauling out and getting the hubs jet washed we were placed on the hardstand so that we and the various trades could start work.

Here are some of the things we had done:

Antifoul, cut and polish

We think the original antifoul was on the boat, especially due to the large amount of growth we had in the couple of months since picking the boat up from Sydney. We tasked Mahn and his team from Complete Antifoul Solutions (CAS) with cleaning, prepping and applying two fresh coats of Sigma PPG ABC 3  antifoul. As this was also a ‘soft’ antifoul, similar to what was on there already, the hulls did not need a full sand back to prime them. We also got the props treated with speed prop to the propellers and aluminium antifoul to the sail drive legs.

As part of giving DT a ‘birthdays’ we also got all of the hulls and topsides cut and polished.

We cannot rate Mahn and his team highly enough. They were all cheerful, consciencous and efficient.

Engine service

The engines were overdue a service and we also wanted to get the mechanics to give everything a thorough once-over to make sure we knew what state the engines were in. It would also be a good opportunity for Rob to learn about some of the regular servicing as well. DT has two Volvo D1-30 engines with sail drives and folding props. It is basically a marinade tractor engine, so with regular maintenance should last for years!

We got a full sail-drive service and engine service, we also changed out the CAV diesel filters to clear bowl units – much easier to inspect. Once all the regular servicing was done (oil and filter change) it was noticed that the raw water pump was leaking behind the seal. This is not good as it means that raw seawater can get into parts of the engine! We could have got these rebuilt, but decided to go for full replacements and rebuild the old units as spares. Also, on inspecting the coolant system the exhaust elbows were completely blocked. Apparently these are a consumable item on these engines (at $415 each!) . We also organised to get the heat exchanger cleaned out.

While discussing the costs we were incurring in the engine service with fellow cruisers, it seems things could have been worse (or ore expensive) – we thought the service was quite costly, but at least we know what state the engines are in – and take some comfort from the fact that Rob can do most of the preventative maintenance from here on.

New Solar Panels and Arch

We tasked Jason and his team at Wicked Fabrication with the installation of a new Stainless steel structure to house three new solar panels. Jason was recommended by our lovely friends Matt and liana on Espresso (a Lagoon 400) Jason came up with a fairly minimalist design that reused a lot of the current mounting points already on the boat (keeping new holes to a minimum!) We are very please with the finished result which also allows for the solar panel cables to be run down the uprights to the battery banks.

Now that the solar panels are in place we have 4 solar panels providing 1440 potential watts. These still need wiring in but will provide the basis of  the battery charging system and a huge improvement on the 400 watts of solar panels that were on the boat. 

House batteries and Inverter

Currently we have four 110aH AGM batteries in our ‘House bank’ that are completely stuffed after only 2 years. These are located in the port engine bay along with the inverter. We think the location of these is not ideal for the equipments long term well being, so we are looking at other locations inside the boat to relocate these to. We are also doing some power calculations to see what our power usage will be – 400aH is likely not enough. This is taking some time and research, but we hope to have some solutions in place soon. More on this later.

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