I put my lower back out the other day, lifting one of our unpacked suitcases onto the bed. In all my 55 years I have never had any back problems, so it was a real eye opener for me as I shuffled around for 3 days like a 90 year old man. The reason for wanting to look in the suitcase was to try and uncover the 'special' hiding place where I'd stashed our Australian passports the day before we left for our sailing courses in Gibraltar at the beginning of February... I didn't find the passports.
Note to self; If you stash something in a 'special' hiding place, take a photo of it with your phone for future reference!
This blog is a bit of a 'leak' about tomorrow's Sailing A B Sea YouTube video, so STOP reading now if you don't like spoilers.
WE HAVE FOUND OUR YACHT!
We're so excited!
She is beautiful, she is a 1995 Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 45.1 and she's in perfect condition. It's actually the yacht that we wrote about in Barry's Blog # 13 and Aannsha's Blog # 11. If you're interested in all the details of how we first met her and walked away from her in January 2018, those two blogs are a good starting point.
So moving forward 2 months, the original broker Jose, from Marina Estrella, is now the owner of the yacht and he has agreed to honour the original price of 75,000 Euros and original purchase conditions, so we agreed to buy her and we get to move on board on Thursday April 19 2018.
Did I mention how excited we are?
We are going to rename her 'A B Sea'. Her Spanish name is 'Corajero', I don't know what it means and even Jose couldn't find a translation for it. And for those of you wondering where A B Sea comes from, let me explain;
A = Aannsha.
B = Barry
Sea = the sea
But when you sound it out, it is ABC, which we thought was just perfect for two complete sailing novices who are learning everything about yachts and sailing from scratch.
While I'm on the subject of learning, as I lay awake in bed this morning I began making a mental 'to do' list of all the things we need to learn. Obviously our 18 days in Gibraltar taught us the difference between a topping lift and a halyard and we have check lists of what to do to prepare the yacht for sailing and how to put her to bed. But a yacht is much more than just a hull, deck, mast and sails. One of the most important things to learn about is the Raymarine E80 electronic chart plotter. This device lets us plan a sailing route, displays our position, course over ground, speed over ground, wind speed, depth of water and lots more. Luckily the instruction manual for it is still on board, so that's going to be some interesting reading and lots of button pushing. 'A B Sea' is also equipped with radar, Autohelm ST 7000 autopilot and an AIS transceiver. I reckon there's a good few days worth of instruction manual reading with all those things.
Yachts are also constructed with lots of storage spaces, so one of the first jobs when we get on board is to start at the bow and work our way backwards to discover every space, give it a number and type into a spreadsheet where its location is and what is stored in it. You may be thinking that's a bit of overkill, but when you need to find a specific item or tool in an emergency, you've got to know where stuff is. Fun fact: I watched a YouTube video of a woman who spent 5 days making custom sized fly screens for all the opening ports and hatches on her 56 foot Oyster yacht, she did a really great job. Then 2 weeks later she discovered a storage space in the forward master berth, that she hadn't noticed for the 2 years she'd been living on board and when it was opened she found the original Oyster factory built fly screens stashed in there. True story.
Let's talk maintenance; "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" and "a stitch in time saves nine" were two of my grandmother's favourite sayings and very relatable to being a liveaboard on a sailing yacht. Noticing a few small drips of water from the engine cooling system and after checking finding a small hairline crack in the hose and being able to replace it straight away, is much better than having the hose completely split whilst out at sea or coming into a harbour/marina under engine power. So I'll be getting into my personal happy space by making lists of daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly things that need to be checked, inspected, cleaned, serviced or replaced. God that sounds so geeky, but I really do enjoy making lists.
Let's talk food and drink; admittedly we won't be doing any marathon 5 week ocean crossings for some time, but provisioning and knowing what food and drink is on board and where it's stored is something that we're going to have to get organised about. A trip to the supermarket will probably involve a taxi, because our Zodiac dinghy will only get us to the nearest beach or dock and who knows how far or where the supermarket is from there? We can't have cardboard on board because cockroaches lay their eggs in cardboard and the last thing you want on a boat is a cockroach infestation. All canned and bottled goods placed in the bilge storage areas will have to have their paper labels removed and the contents written on them with a permanent marker. This is to prevent the bilge and bilge pump becoming blocked with paper labels that would come off if the bilge got wet.
Let's talk fresh water; its usage will have to be carefully monitored too. A B Sea has two stainless steel fresh water tanks holding a total of 600 litres. A Google search shows that on average a 2 person home will use 276 litres of fresh water per day, at that rate we'd have no water left after just 2 days. However there are some differences between a house and a yacht. In your house the biggest user of fresh water is toilet flushing, fortunately the two electric toilets on board use seawater to flush. The next biggest consumer of household freshwater are baths and showers. There isn't a bath on board, but there are four shower locations. A separate shower stall in the forward master cabin, a shower hose in the forward ensuite head and one in the aft port side head. Plus a shower at the transom. I think long hot Hollywood showers are off the menu from now on. This is one of the reasons why yachties love to share info on which marinas have the best shower facilities. I think that when it's our time to leave the Mediterranean we will have to seriously consider installing a water maker, but right now that's 6,000 Euros we don't need to spend.
I went off on a bit of a tangent there, this blog was meant to be about the haul out and survey so let's get back to that. Out of the water all 46 feet of her looked huge and impressive, Aannsha immediately climbed the ladder attached to the stern and started checking things inside. I wanted to get a good look at the outside. The first thing I noticed was that the zinc sacrificial anodes were almost wasted away to nothing. That's not good. When you have two different metals that are physically or electrically connected and immersed in seawater, they become a battery. A small amount of current flows between the two metals. The electrons that make up that current are supplied by one of the metals giving up bits of itself, in the form of metal ions, to the seawater. This is called galvanic corrosion and, left unchecked, it quickly destroys underwater metals. The way to counteract galvanic corrosion is to add a third metal into the mix, one that is quicker than the other two to give up its electrons. This piece of metal is called a sacrificial anode, and most often it is made of zinc. Within half an hour of me mentioning the sorry state of the anodes, Jose had replaced all of them, that's good service.
Then I looked at the keel, it was in a sorry state too. It needed sanding back, epoxy primer, a couple of coats of paint and then antifouling applied to it. A relatively time consuming task. The fibreglass hull looked very good and our surveyor Frank found no signs of osmosis or delamination. The through hulls all looked good on the outside too.
On deck there was no issue with the furling main and head sails as they were only 2 years old. The running rigging (the lines) were also just 2 years old. The standing rigging, the stainless steel wires that hold the mast upright and in place, was however the original 23 year old rigging and our surveyor recommended that it be replaced. The insurance company will be happy about that.
Inside everything had been meticulously maintained and you certainly wouldn't guess that she was a 23 year old vessel. There were a few issues with some of the sea cocks and the broker has agreed to replace some of them and service the others. There is also a pressure loss issue in the fresh water system and that too will be investigated and fixed by the broker.
After a thorough going over by the surveyor, it was time to get her back in the water and take her out for a test sail. It was quite the sight watching the massive four wheeled cradle lift gently hoist all 9.3 tonnes of her and slowly lower her back into the water. The test sail went well, the 62HP Yanmar engine performed perfectly and has just under 2,000 hours on the clock, which is very low for a 23 year old. So the previous owner had either been an exceptional sailor and carried out most manoeuvres under sail or had simply not taken her out that often.
The whole survey took about 9 hours and Frank announced that overall she was in very good condition. Jose the broker was very willing to replace or repair all of the problems noted in the report and we also agreed to go 50/50 on the cost of replacing the standing rigging.
We have ordered a new Zodiac Cadet 330 rib with a Mercury 8HP outboard. We chose this particular rib because it has an aluminium floor which is needed for carrying the weight of our scuba gear. We're also having a stainless steel arch custom made for the stern, with built in davits for the rib and support for 600 watts of solar panels. We may also have to replace the life raft, but we'll check that out once we move on board in April.
It feels so good to know that we are just 3 weeks away from having somewhere to call home and finally getting to unpack all of our belongings which have been sitting in our suitcases since mid December. Don't forget to check out tomorrow's (Saturday) YouTube video which is all about the haul out and survey, it's a good one. Meanwhile I've got to stop writing this blog now because I have to start making lists. So many lists, so little time.
Aannsha, like a dog that won't let go of a bone, rummaged through all of our luggage for the fourth time and finally found the Australian passports tucked into the lining of one of the suitcases. So all is good in our world again.