This last week back on Take It Easy has been rather painful – stress wise and money wise. Between the insurance claim process, the haulout, the engines close to carking it, and the mainsail needing a slight re-cut, nothing seemed to be going our way.
We have been going through the claims process with Top Sail Insurance. It was just a slow thing on our part as we had to get two quotes organised for the replacement of the stolen navigation equipment and building of a new housing. We sent the second quote on Friday and on the bright side we have just heard back with the OK to go ahead!
The haulout at the Queenscliff boatyard took place over two days. It is a bit nerve racking coming into The Cut, a narrow channel that connects Swan Bay to Port Phillip Bay. The tide rips through the narrow pathway, so it is a challenge to motor through and keep going straight, especially if another boat comes charging the other way and the wind is blowing hard.
Another nerve racking thing is seeing our catamaran lifted out of the water by the Travelift. We normally come out at the Gippsland Lakes on a rail, so seeing our cat dangling up in the air was a tense experience. Don’t drop it!
We cleaned up the weed and barnicles off the bottom… not too bad after two years. We antifouled, polished the hulls, and TIE now looks much smarter. While we were out of the water, we also got the outboards serviced, but that’s another story!
The bad news is that our two Yamaha outboards are on their way out. One outboard is bad, the other will soon be. The upper oil seal on the drive shaft leaks oil from the engine into the crank case. With 1100 hours on both engines, rather than pay for an expensive repair we opted to get new ones. However they have to come down from a couple of different interstate dealerships, which will take at least a week. So we will be back at Queenscliff when they arrive.
But wait, that’s not the end of the story. The engine woes really came up an extra notch when the Travelift dropped us back in the water and we discovered that the ‘not so bad’ engine’s water pump was not working – the speedy way to instantly destroy an outboard! At $700 a haulout, we were not gettting lifted out again and manoeuvring in this tight spot with one engine was out of the question. The Yamaha service guys were at fault and quickly came back to finish the job properly, but what a frick around!
And our brand new sails have to go back to the sailmakers as we expected. The mainsail needs a bit of trimming as the top two battens on the trailing edge hit the back stays, and we also need telltales (bits of string that indicate the airflow along the sails and help with sails trimming) to be put on all three sails. The worse thing is having to climb to the top of the mast to release the two furlers, then needing to put all the sails back on once the job is completed.
So all in all, we are having a very frustrating start to the year! We are now chilling out at Observatory Point for the weekend, just across the bay from Queenscliff. We needed this small escape away from crowds and busy shores. There is no one around, just peace and quiet to recover from all our woes. Then next week we will head back to Melbourne to get everything sorted out. Who knows when we can leave for Tasmania, but we are not venturing out on the exposed West Coast of Tassie until all our gear is ship shape.